The Alternative Oyster

Millions of Londoners have Oyster Cards. Well we were all sort of forced into it weren’t we?

Anyway, they all look the same and there is a distinct lack of creative oyster covers, cases, and sleeves out there so, I am jolly pleased to have stumbled across the Alternative Oyster with their rather brilliant and durable wooden cases.

Here are my favourite two cases, I intend to get one of them. That is, once I decide which one I like best!

Photo from: Alternative Oyster

Photo from: Alternative Oyster

About The Product


Each Alternative Oyster card is made from 8 sheets of wood. Each sheet is layered with its grain running at an angle to the previous layer, ensuring exceptional strength and avoiding any weaknesses along grain lines. Thin sheets of wood help to keep the card light, coming in at under 8.0g (less than a £1 coin)

Oyster cards are designed for daily use, so the Alternative Oyster has to be ready for the wear and tear of constant use. To this end the sheets of wood are sealed and compressed with a strong and water-resistant bonding agent before being stained twice and varnished three times to keep the card looking fresh, but slowly developing a vintage patina that makes is unique to its owner.


Wood is a beautiful and nuanced material, full of variation and life. This means the grain, stain colour and surface texture all vary slightly, and although we make sure there are no structural imperfections to the cards when we engrave them, we do leave the texture of the wood to add character to the cards. If you are after a particular look for your card, or are opposed to things like deep grain and knot-holes then leave a note with your order and we’ll hunt you out what you’re after.

The cards are made of wood so if you put it in a fire, don’t expect to see it again.

The Alternative Oyster Website