Santa's Lap: Designer Oyster Card Holders

By Julie PH Last edited 115 months ago
Santa's Lap: Designer Oyster Card Holders

Every day this month the Londonist team will be pointing you in the direction of a Christmas present that (with a bit of luck) you won't already have on your list. Climb up onto our collective lap and we'll see what we can move from our sack to your stockings...

So, you or someone you know is still wandering around London with an awful bright yellow Oyster card wallet held together mainly by staples and tape. Time for an upgrade? These Oyster card wallets are stylish, (mostly) inexpensive and will appeal to the wide-ranging tastes of those on your holiday shopping list, including...

The London transport junkie: From the London Transport Museum comes a holder (£4.95, shown here) that depicts the Underground map in its entirety, complete with travel zones. Presumably, the transport junkie in your life already knows this information by heart. Quiz them whilst you ride the Tube together.

The socially aware: Breast Cancer Care offers two designs by Julien Macdonald and Fearne Cotton that are not only lovely to look at but also money well spent (£5): proceeds go towards supporting the charity’s mission.

The museum gift shop design enthusiast: Know someone who makes a beeline for the gift shop the second you enter a museum? Give them one of the Olga Hirsch holders from the British Library (£2.99) or the Orla Kiely Colour Block holder from the Tate (£29.36).

The disgruntled commuter, the perpetual pessimist, the misanthrope, the ironist [which covers a large percentage of the people we know!]: Whether you find in your daily commute something soul-sucking or rather darkly comedic, Bad Oyster knows that public transit ain’t all a pleasure cruise. Its Sardines, Roulette and Mind the Gap (‘between your expectations and the service provided’) wallets (£2.99) are like a miniature dose of defensive humour for your harried journey.

Hey, big spender: Deep pockets and Italian leather – if this is how you roll, London boutique Violet May offers lamb effect leather card holders handcrafted in Spain (£55), and Mulberry carries wallets in a gorgeous, rich raspberry (£67.53).

The collector: Hey, this is apparently one of a kind: a knitted Oyster card holder ($20). Why? you ask. Why not? we counter. Holding this in your hands will keep you warm throughout the winter.

Image courtesy of amandabhslater’s Flickrstream under the Creative Commons Attribution License

Last Updated 04 December 2008


Smashing post, Julie. I have one of the Bad Oyster ones (sardines). It's coming to the end of its life now though, so I might check out one of your other recommendations.


Yes, great post, really helpful. Deck The Cards with pretty pictures. The Orla Kiely card holder isn't very Orla Keily, no happy colours, looks like canvas, not very slippy in and out of a pocket if you know what I mean?


Lovely. The knitted holder put a smile on my face, and I wouldn't mind carrying a Violet May leather deal, but of the more practical options I really quite like Fearne Cotton's for Breast Cancer Care. Nice shade of green there.


The Oyster card holder is a great Christmas present, I bought the actual one featured in the photo in this post for my mum. We in the Midlands need our memories jogged when we go on jollies to London so it's always handy to have an extra tube map. My mum then took a picture of her card holder and now her Christmas present is featured on a blog about Christmas

Julie PH

Cheers, everyone! I hoped that writing this would help me sort out which one I like best - Fearne Cotton? Olga Hirsch? Bad Oyster? (the last which M@tt so helpfully reviewed ages ago) - but no such luck, am still on the fence. I guess that, as inexpensive as they are, having a spare holder wouldn't be too extravagant even in this economy.

@tamsinslater: what a happy coincidence! If you have any other inspired Londony presents up your sleeve for your mum this Christmas, send them our way!

Mark Church

Thanks Julie for this post on oyster card holders. It is also worth mentioning where they have quite a few different Oyster Card holders and wallets.

Julie PH

Lovely, Mark - cheers!

Timely, too, as I just today stumbled on these Daisy de Villeneuve Oyster Card wallets offered by TFL to coincide with London Fashion Week.


Just joined and come across this. Check out also for various designs