{Tutorial Tuesday} Leather Clutch

posted on: Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So yesterday I gave you a small sneak peek at a new project I finished. I am so excited to show you this tutorial that I can hardly contain my bubbling excitement ;)

Find my chi, do some yoga, calm down.

Five minutes later...

O.K. excitement is under control.

Dilemma: Have you ever made something (e.i. dress, skirt, purse, whatever) and it didn't look quite as professional as you wanted it to look. You just knew that people would notice it was handmade. note: handmade is not bad...I mean this is a tutorial.

For instance, this purse:

 While, I was at home my Mom helped me make this beauty, I knew I wanted a cool clutch, but I didn't have time to make the inner lining and I didn't have the proper hardware to make a clutch that would pop open and shut. So she let me on a secret (that I will now share with you): use the hardware and lining of an old purse. GENIUS!

 First  find a old purse. My Mom picked this one up at a thrift store. This purse not only served as the pattern for the new purse, but the hardware and inner lining were used in a newly-updated clutch.

 Once we decided on a purse we then started to cut the hardware out. Be sure to not rip the inner lining while doing this step.

 It will start to look messy and a bit overwhelming, but don't be alarmed...it will all work out...I promise.

 This is what the hardware looked like that we removed for the white purse.

Keep this close because you will be using it very soon!

Once we  cut the hardware out, and removed the liner, we then turned the purse inside out and used it as a pattern.

So one of the reasons I was SOOOO excited about this clutch is because the leather that we used is actual Coach leather. That's right I made my purse from Coach leather. My dad, the saddlemaker, gets his leather from the same place as Coach. One day, he was telling me about it and when I got all giddy he said, "What's Coach"? After I was finally able to pick my jaw up off the floor I explained that Coach makes the best purses EVER.

 He still doesn't understand my excitement.

 ANYWAY, back to the tutorial. I knew I wanted to embellish the purse so I found a coordinating color that I liked and I cut out some flowers using a leather punch.

BEFORE, sewing the purse together we sewed the flowers to the turquoise leather.

Now, this may be the MOST IMPORTANT STEP. We laid the "old" cardboard that was inside the white purse on the new leather. We needed to know where the "slits" needed to be so we would have an accurate cut when it came time to insert the hardware back into the new purse.


This is what the slit should looked like. The size of the slit will depend on the width of your hardware.

 Once the slits were made a stitch went around the purse. ***Sew with 1/4" allowance around the outside.

We then, puckered the two botton ends...like this...

 And sewed across...like this...

This is what the clutch looked like once we puckered the ends. We did this so that the purse would have more depth inside. Simple. Easy.

We then trimmed off the ends.

IMPORTANT STEP #2: Once the leather had been sewed together we needed to insert the inner lining back in, in this step make sure to:
1. turn the leather inside out
2. turn the lining inside out
3. have the outside of the purse facing the inside of the lining.

Basically, you purse should look backwards right now.

Then sew the purse together.

 Now, that the purse is sewed together it will look completely WRONG. Don't panic. We picked the stitching out of one of the sides of the lining and did this....

We pulled the purse through the un-stitched lining...

Sewed the lining back together...

And then we went to work on our hardware. We took the hardware a part so we had two pieces.

Remember the slits we made earlier?  Then we pushed the hardware through the cuts.

This is what it looked like before we put the screw back in that attached the two pieces of hardware.

 We popped it open to make sure it worked...and it did! Yeah!

Now, I have a new clutch. Not only does it look great from the outside, but it looks amazing on the inside too!


  1. Holy cow you make this look so easy! I really like the blue leather and am now thinking I need to get my hands on some leather to give this a go. Very nice!

  2. Wow that is soo awesome! Good job. It doesn't look homemade at all!

  3. WOW!!!!!so cool. I'm now a follower!!! i found your blog through Tammy from http://ttscrap.blogspot.com/

  4. Wow!! That really is genius! I typically shy away from making purses because I hate the hassle of making pockets and adding zippers and all the other nonsense in the lining. You have given me inspiration. Love the clutch, the blue and yellow together is remarkable.
    Amie @ http://kittycatsandairplanes.blogspot.com

  5. Wow it is really nice leather clutch.It is really stylish and beautiful in looks...

  6. This looks very fashionable! Very nice DIY handicrafts.


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