The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial

My son has just started first grade this year, and we let him buy his lunch once a week.

The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}

Instead of him having to carry his wallet, he can just wear this cuff that can hold his lunch money (or keys, notes, etc.).
The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}
The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}
I remembered when I was young seeing a watch with a detachable face that held money.  I thought it would be fun to be able to make something similar that would hold money.  I did do some research and saw that these types of things are sold online, but now you can make your own with some cute fabric!
*I made mine to fit my 5 and 7 year old.  You can adjust the longer measurement to fit your child’s wrist.  Just make sure to leave some room for the velcro.
What You Will Need:
-two pieces measuring 8.5” x 3” of the lining fabric
-two pieces measuring 8.5” x 3” of the outer fabric
-3” zipper (if you don’t know how to shorten a zipper, here is a good tutorial for doing so on
-2.5” strip velcro
-two 1” x 4” pieces fusible interfacing
-glue stick
(*I learned how to do this type of zipper following this tutorial found here on U-Handbag.  It was a lot easier than I had imagined.  Thank you for the great tutorial, Lisa!)
Iron the fusible interfacing down about 1/2” down from the top and centered, onto the wrong side of one lining piece and one outer piece.  The interfacing is ironed on where the zipper will be placed.
Place the lining and outer fabric with the interfacing on top of each other, right sides together.DSCF1726
On the back of the lining piece, mark a line in the center horizontally, and 1” down from the top (the interfacing is on the back of this piece, at the top).   DSCF1727
  Mark a 1/2” x 3” rectangle, using the markings you already drew to make the rectangle centered.  See picture for reference.  (To explain this better:  You will draw a line 1/4” away on either side of the line that was 1” down, and then 1.5” marks on either side of the horizontally centered marking).
And sew around the rectangle, as follows: DSCF1729
Stick in your seam ripper or cut a small slit with your scissors in the middle.  Now cut a line through the middle, but at the ends cut diagonally to create little triangles:
Now tuck the lining fabric through the slit.DSCF1731
It’s gonna look a little crazy right now. DSCF1732
Iron it so it looks like this:DSCF1733
Take the glue stick and rub on the fabric part of the zipper. Place the zipper in the rectangle—the glue will hold it in place while you sew.
Use your zipper foot and sew all the way around the zipper.
So you have this now: DSCF1736

Getting close!

Take your other outer piece and place right sides together with the zippered outer piece.  Place the other lining piece (the owl fabric in the picture), right side together with the other lining piece (that has the zipper with it).  See the two pictures below for a guide.
Pin them all together, and leave a 3” – 4” gap for turning.  DSCF1597
Sew 1/4” seam around the edge.  Clip corners and turn.
Tuck in the opening and topstitch around the entire thing.
The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}
Place the rough velcro strip on the top and sew on.  The soft side goes on the other end of the cuff, on the back.
The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}
If you don’t want your money to go clear to the ends by the velcro, you can sew a couple lines indicated by where I am pointing, or around there.
You are done!
The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}
The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}
The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}

The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial {a lemon squeezy home}


  1. says

    What a wonderful idea, thank you very much.
    It’s great for making sports!
    Greetings from germany
    Kathrin from tinistaschen

  2. says

    Awesome tutorial! Thanks so much, I’m definitely going to make one. I was so excited to find your website last week, I entered your Purse Week contest, so exciting! Thanks for hosting it!

  3. says

    Geez, I love this for my boy. It wouldn’t help with his school lunches [prepay online]…but instead of a wallet when we make special reward trips for him. [We’ll plan out special trips for him to bring allowance money to GameStop, etc]

    ♥ -Kat.

  4. says

    What a fabulous idea!! I love it! Gonna add this to my crafty-to-do list of things I want to make. Thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    I love this idea!! I can’t wait to get started….The question now is do I put this ahead of my other projects that need to be finished (one of which is a purse that I hope to enter in your contest)???

  6. says

    i wish i would have had one of those when i was a kid. i remember going on field trips and my mom always made me put money in my shoes incase i got lost. great idea!

  7. says

    I love this zipper method what a nice clean finish and it makes it so easy once under that presser foot. I am a self taught seamstress and I love being able to pick up new tricks! Love the cuff and also I saw this same method on the sleepover pillow case, so great thanks for the time you put into these great tutorials!

  8. says

    Rather than leaving an opening (at the very end, when you are sewing everything together) you can just leave the zipper unzipped, sew all the way around the outside, and use the zipper opening to turn it all right side out.

  9. says

    Successfully made two for my boys! YAY! Thank you so much! Now they won’t forget their money for church. :)

  10. says

    Hi, this is funny. I made a tutorial for something like this as well. Thought I was original ;-) It’s a bit different, more girly.
    Keep up the good work!

  11. says

    This is such a great idea. I saw a link to this blog on $5 Dinners. I think this idea might be good for adults – put your coffee budget in your cuff, and maybe use it around your beverage when you are done.

  12. says

    This is so cute! Since I never carry a purse or wallet, this is the perfect hands-free solution for where to store my money or key without worrying that they’ll fall out of my pocket. Think I’ll use snaps instead of velcro for the closures. Thank you so much for sharing! Judy @

  13. says

    This is a great idea and I plan to make a couple. I think it would be a great place to add a label with parent contact information just in case the unthinkable should happen.

  14. says

    My kiddos carry wallets, but of course when we’re at the store they put them down to look at things…I’m always afraid they’ll lose them. I’m looking forward to making these for my kiddos and I know they’ll love them too. Thanks for the tutorial!!

  15. says

    What a wonderful idea. Too bad I can’t get this site to allow me to pin to my Pinterest board. I’ve tried both using my pin toolbar, and using the pin button on this site, but I keep getting an error message that doesn’t allow me to go any further. I’ve tried changing photos to see if you’re only allowing one photo to be pinned, but – no joy.

    Too bad that I can’t keep this for future use (kids grown, grandsons have a few more years before they start school.

  16. says


    I responded by email but will write the same reply here in case anyone else is having the same problem:

    I’m sorry, that is frustrating. I am having no problem trying to pin any of the pictures–I do not have any restrictions on pinning on my blog. If you are trying to pin from blog-lovin, I have run into the same problem. To fix that, click the x on the blog-lovin bar above the blog, and it will take you to the main blog page for that post and you should be able to pin it. Hope that helps!

  17. says

    Thank you so much for looking at this.

    Hummmm….I’m not using blog-lovin, but trying to post straight from your blog page. I do use Firefox and the Pinterest button that you can put on the Firefox bookmark tool bar. The only two blogs I’ve had problems with is yours and “One Good Thing” and with OGT, I can use the Pinterest button on her blog to get it to post. This is the error message I get – whether I use my Pinterest button or yours:
    Parameter ‘image_url’ (value is not a valid URL format.

    I’m usually pretty tech-savvy, but this has me stumped and I don’t know what this particular error code means.

    Totally weird. And I waited for a week or so to reply back to your reply as Firefox was due an update. I was hoping that maybe the update would fix the problem, but no joy.

    I just tried again to use both my button, and yours – to no avail.

    I’ve tried using several different photos thinking that maybe there was a downloading glitch, but that didn’t fix the problem either.

    I wonder if anyone else using Firefox is having problems pinning from this page.

    Thanks again!

  18. says

    This is such an awesome idea. I’ll definitely be making one of these for my 8yo nephew and for my niece when she gets school age^^ Thanks for posting this!!

  19. says

    I just made one today and it turned out great. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial and idea. It will help my kindergartener make it to lunch with his money :). I tried it on all my kids and it fit them too (ages 5, 7, 9 and 11.)

  20. says

    Thank you so much for taking time to put together this excellent tute! Your instructions are clear and the images are very helpful.

  21. says

    I love this so much for my son! Always forgets his money at home and I’m always worried he’ll lose his wallet. I am always on pintrest but this will be my very first pin!! Had to share! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  22. says

    I pay $20 a pop for something similiar to this to hold my locker key at the gym……2 for them, 1 for me! Yay! Fab idea and thanks for Tut

  23. says

    This morning my son tucked a £10 birthday note into his pocket and by the time we’d reached the high street, he’d lost it. Much telling off later we amazingly found it on the way home but I’ve made him one of these to keep his money safe from now on! Thanks for the super easy tutorial!

  24. says

    Food for thought…
    Kids can be cruel.
    Sending a child to school with something that makes them sick out from the crowd, generally causes issues. It can range from the kids trying to steal it, to the kids mocking to the point your child won’t wear it, and rarely creating a hype that everyone wants one.
    An easy solution is to make several in popular patterns and have your child “share” with their friends, creating the hype that everyone wants one, BEFORE the mocking can commence. There is power in numbers. Having worked in the schools for 7 years, I’ve watched this pattern over and over.
    Hope this helps!!