My goal for 2014 is to quell some of my sewing related fears, pull out my users' manual, and schedule another lesson with someone who is sewing savvy. Until then, I have to use my other crafty abilities and resources to make things that may require sewing skills.
I've been loving cute, casual, and modern clutches as of late, and have seen so many great styles and designs on Etsy and on blogs. I've seen some great DIY versions, but many involved sewing and /or more complicated than I would like instructions.
So here's my incredibly easy, super affordable, endlessly customizable, completely no sew DIY clutch. (ta daaaah). I'm titling this "No. 1" because I plan to make more with my list of ideas for designs and embellishments (hint hint: come back for more DIY clutches if you like this particular one, please and thank you).
The basis for this clutch is simply an 13.5" x 13.5" cotton tote. This project is about all the little details that can take a plain tote and, as the French say, "fancy it up." You can get a set of three totes at Hobby Lobby or Michaels in white or cream for under $10 even before you use a 40 or 50 percent off coupon, making them less (this DIY is "math not included"). For all of the other supplies, I had on hand in my craft hoard.
For this particular design, I wanted a coral pink colored bottom half and a print at the top. I used painter's tape to mark off the area I wanted to paint, and then mixed acrylic paint with textile medium and painted the bottom half. The bags themselves are not a very thick, but the paint dried somewhat hard, making the bottom part of the clutch more substantial than the top, which was welcomed yet unintended.
For the front and back top flap of the clutch, I used a chevron arrow stamp with a black fabric ink pad to stamp alternating up and down chevron arrows. I then set the image with an iron per the fabric ink's instructions.
The arrows were a little far down on the front flap, and I had quite a bit of blank space above my chevron stampings. I thought it needed something else, something more, and my first thought was "cowbell," but that wouldn't really work for this project. So of course, I chose the next best thing: glitter.
I pulled out my trusty dollar store painter's tape and marked off a slim stripe across the top of the clutch. I painted the stripe with fabric Mod Podge then sprinkled gold glitter over it.
Next I created a closure with a square of brown leather from my leather scrap stockpile. I adhered it to the center of the front flap with Aleene's Leather & Suede Glue. I added a rectangle of Velcro to the back bottom of the leather flap and to the bag itself for an easy and simple closure method.
And that's it! From plain tote to something a little snazzier, sans cowbell, and plus glitter and pretty details. I love the mix of coral, gold and brown, and the simple chevron arrows across the front and back.
This clutch will be great for day (or night) to hold a few small journals, some pens and pencils, snacks, and other small odds and ends. It was relatively quick to assemble, though I have a few more semi-complicated designs in mind and other no sew accents I want to try out. However, I could definitely crank out quite a few of these for Christmas or birthday gifts, and of course more for myself! Hooray for low anxiety creations!