Credit: Natalie-Elizabeth Tan

Despite being more for show than anything else (let’s be honest, how functional is a bag that can’t even hold your phone?), mini and micro bags have taken the fashion world by storm. Jacquemus, Fendi, Chanel and more have all jumped on this tiny bandwagon, releasing bags that just seem to keep shrinking with each season… while growing in price at the same time.

Take for example Chanel’s classic clutch with chain, which costs a hefty S$2,720. This bag is so tiny, it’s essentially a glorified, overpriced wallet.

Credit: Chanel

This bag measures 8cm by 12.5cm, only marginally larger than Chanel’s classic cardholder which measures 7.5cm by 11.3cm and will set you back S$810. Although the clutch admittedly does fit more than the cardholder, it really is hard to justify paying more than triple (!) the price of the cardholder just to be able to store an additional lipstick and your AirPods.

So we thought, since these tiny bags are basically wallets with an added chain, why not add our own chain to a wallet to create a micro bag? And that’s exactly what we did! We loved how convenient it was — adding the chain turned it into a nifty micro bag, perfect for running short errands or a girls’ night out.

You can do the same with your wallet too! As long as your wallet or cardholder comes with a flap, you should be able to transform it into a lil’ bag.

Credit: Natalie-Elizabeth Tan

You’ll need:

  • Flap wallet or cardholder (get a long chain if you want to make a crossbody, but a short chain will be great for turning your wallet into a mini handbag)
  • Bag chain or strap
  • Old card (optional)
  • Hole puncher (optional)
Credit: Natalie-Elizabeth Tan

If you’re doing it the easy way, simply clasp both ends of the chain together and loop it under the flap of the wallet. Just like that, you’re done! This is quick and easy, but one downside is that you’ll have to exercise caution when opening your wallet, lest all your cards tumble out. To get around this, you can just hold the wallet itself when opening it.

Credit: Natalie-Elizabeth Tan

For this to be a little more secure, you will need an old card that you don’t want anymore. Punch two holes in the card (one at each upper corner of the card). Then, clasp each end of the chain in a hole in the card, and tuck the card into a secure position in your wallet. And voila!

This is a more secure method compared to the first, but be careful not too put too much weight on the chain, otherwise the card and chain may slip out of the wallet.

Alternatively, if you want a more proper, permanent way to turn your wallet into a micro bag, you can purchase a felt organiser. The organiser, specially made for wallets, comes with grommets or hooks for you to attach the chain onto. Many felt bag organiser brands will happily custom-make one for you, but there are a couple of brands that sell ready-made ones.

Credit: Samorga, KD Australia

KD Australia has felt inserts that come with grommets, available in several colours and variations that are made to fit specific wallet styles.

Similarly, Samorga sells such inserts too. They come in over 40 shades, so you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your wallet interior. The size is meant for the Chanel classic cardholder, but it will fit in just about any cardholder of a similar size. If you have a long wallet, this larger size will fit in yours, snug as a bug.