6 and 1/2 Steps to Shrink Your Stretched Out Leather Wallet (WITHOUT RUINING IT).

So you decided to slim down your carry and take out a bunch of “filler” from your leather wallet. Now everything is falling out because the wallet is stretched out and distorted.

Before you toss it in the trash, let’s see if we can salvage your stretched out leather wallet it in just 6 (and 1/2) simple steps.

What you’ll need:
  • A stretched out leather wallet
  • A pot of water
  • A fork or something to retrieve the wallet from said water
  • A stove top
  • Small fan (not necessary but will speed up drying time)
  • Leather conditioner


1Step 1: Take everything out of your wallet.

Especially your credit cards. This is a tutorial to shrink your leather wallet, not your debt. We can’t help you with that.

2Step 2: Get a pot.

Any pot will do. If it holds water and can go on the oven, it’s perfect.

STEP 2.5: GET A POT. Not your wife’s SPAGHETTI pot though.

Any pot will not do. Some pots are off limits for scientific experiments, her spaghetti pot being one of them. Find that pot in the back of the cabinet that you have been debating throwing away for a couple of years and use that. Fill it about half full of water. Put it on the oven and warm it up. We aren’t going for boiling but we do want it tepid. Put the spaghetti pot away where you found it.

3Step 3: Put your stretched out wallet into the pot and get a beer (optional).

We need to let that soak for a little. 10-20 minutes to be exact.

4Step 4: After about 10 – 20 minutes fish it out with a fork or whatever you have available.

Take a look over the wallet and make sure that all of it is saturated. If so go on to the next step. If it still has some parts that look like they could use a little more soaking, throw the wallet back in the pot for 5-10 more minutes.

5Step 5: Time to let that bad boy dry.

If you have a small table fan you can set it up in front of that. The trick to drying out the inside of the wallet in a reasonable amount of time is to allow some airflow. Remember that fork we used to fish it out of the water? If you take that and insert it slightly into the opening it will open up the wallet slightly. This will allow some airflow on the inside. More airflow = Faster drying.

Note: While you could use a hair dryer to dry out the wallet faster, we don’t recommend that. The hot air could remove even more of the oils from the leather and further damage it. Patience.

6Step 6: Once it is dry, the wallet should be back to it’s original size (before you stuffed it full of cards).

It will probably be stiff and dry. Your wallet is in sad shape. This is where a good leather conditioner comes in handy. We recommend something like Leather Honey or anything with Mink oil. We want a leather CONDITIONER not cleaner. Once you rub it down with some conditioner per the instructions on the bottle, it should be as smooth and soft as the day you got it. It may take a couple applications of conditioner to get it back into shape.

Final thought: We don’t recommend doing this often. While one or two times wont really hurt your wallet, repeated wetting and drying can break down the leather and cause it to start cracking. We suggest keeping your carry light and trying to limit the amount of stuff you keep in your wallet. Prevention is the best solution!

Have you given this technique a shot or know of any other techniques that work? Let us know how it went in the comments below!