DIY Leather Clutch

DIY Leather Clutch
While browsing Netflix, I came across a reality series called All On The Line which highlights struggling designers and their journey to get their brand in major department stores.  While viewing, it brought to light the fact we as consumers are severely overpaying for fashion, something I already knew but had no idea the extent of the pillaging.  The bulk of the cost is manufacturing which a line producing a whole collection will incur a hefty bill which in addition to a nice profit margin is passed to the consumer.  After the show, I wanted to see If I could attempt to make a higher end item for pennies on the dollar.  The first thing that came to mind was my love of clutches and exotic skins.  Doing research for a DIY clutch online only resulted in lots of either cloth clutches or faux leather envelope clutches which would not cut it.  Annoyed, I sketched out a few designs resembling chicken scratch, made a pattern, ordered leather hides and python hides, visited a leather factory for bag making supplies and started sewing.  The bag I’m showing today is a python print leather with a silk lining.  I so look forward to carrying this.

Tools needed:
Leather 22.5 inches long and 14 inches wide
color pencil
Canvas (used for structure) 22.5 inches long and 14 inches wide
Silk fabric 22.5 inches long and 14 inches wide
6 pieces of 8.5×11 paper
Rotary cutter
Hand sewing punch
Sewing machine or waxed thread if hand sewing
Wooden Mallet

Either use a very large piece of construction paper or tape together 6 pieces of 8.5 x 11

Using a acto L shaped ruler measure on your pattern 18″ long and 14″ wide and 4.5″ long for the flap and cut out the pattern.

Pin the leather to the pattern and cut out.  Using the same pattern, do the same for the canvas and the lining.

Sew the canvas and the lining together on the wrong side of the fabric, trim close to the stitching then turn right side out.

Line the canvas, lining and leather up together, fold them at 9″ leaving a 4.5″ flap.  Sew the canvas and lining to the leather.

Using the rotary cutter, trim the edges to the stitching.

Using the mallet, beat the stitches until flat and blended.

Using excess leather, create a bias on the flap to conceal raw edge and create a lip.

Due to leather being difficult to penetrate with a needle, use the sewing punch to punch holes in the leather and slip stitch for a neat closure.

Slip Stitch the bias to the lining under the flap to conceal the raw edges and create a seamless front flap.

What’s not shown in the images is a inside pocket made with the silk fabric.



  1. July 25, 2012 / 1:05 pm

    You did a great job! I am more & more drawn to DIY myself because i think fashion is lacking individuality, & i don´t care for millions of style-twins all over the world. It´s like an uniform you know? Glad to see someone not conforming either. *have to see that report too*

    • July 25, 2012 / 10:18 pm

      Thank you! It's such a great show unfortunately only 1 season 🙁

  2. July 25, 2012 / 1:57 pm

    I love this! I made a clutch once. It was a knockoff of the Valentino bow clutch for my daughter. I've been toying with the idea of making something similar to yours. I even bought some faux ostrich to play with before investing in a beautiful hide. But your bag is stunning!

  3. July 25, 2012 / 2:10 pm

    Wow, so gorg.

  4. Nadia
    July 25, 2012 / 2:58 pm

    Wow Nikki, I've been read your blog for a while but this definitely inspired me to post … great job!

    • July 25, 2012 / 10:19 pm

      Thank you Nadia, I'm glad you enjoy,

  5. July 25, 2012 / 3:20 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! I love it!!!

    • July 25, 2012 / 10:19 pm

      Thank you Kim

  6. Anonymous
    July 25, 2012 / 5:52 pm

    WOW!!!! This is amazing and beautiful! You didn't mention how much it cost you to have the finished product, please share if you don't mind. Your hands are blessed girrrllll!

    • July 25, 2012 / 10:26 pm

      Thank you!

      The leather was around $40, the canvas was $9.99 for a yard so I have lots left and the silk lining was $2.00 in the scrap bin.

      The tools I purchased including the rotary cutter, hole punch and misc tools which was an initial investment were $90.00

      So take out the price of the tools and were looking at around $50.00

  7. July 27, 2012 / 3:20 am

    Girl, is there nothing you can't do? You are putting that sewing machine to great use. Love that clutch!!
    I love All On the Line! I think it's supposed to come back for another season in a few months.

  8. August 2, 2012 / 8:53 pm

    You are so creative! I love this you should so sell clutches!

  9. April 17, 2013 / 2:16 pm

    You should be selling these in your etsy store. I am in love with this bag, if you ever sell it let me know. Very cute!

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