DIY Upcycled Clutch

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You can upcycle an old thrift store blanket into a beautiful clutch in under an hour. This project is a perfect DIY holiday gift that is both affordable and practical. Your friends and family will appreciate the fact that you spent the time to make them a unique, earth-friendly gift this season. Even beginning sewists will be able to create this fun clutch.

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Cut Outer Fabric

Cut two 11" squares from the blanket for the outer portion of the clutch. Use a rotary cutter to cut perfect squares. If you don't have a rotary cutter, you can use scissors, a fabric marker and a measuring tape.

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Cut Lining Fabric

Cut two 11" squares from the coordinating bed sheet or fabric for the lining of the clutch.

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Cut Interfacing

Cut two 11" squares of the heavy fusible interfacing.

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Attach Interfacing

Use a hot iron to attach the fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of each outer fabric square. Before you start to iron the interfacing, make sure the side with the adhesive is facing down. The adhesive side has a shiny look to it.

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Pin Zipper

Place the zipper face down on the right side of the outer fabric. Place the lining fabric on top so the right sides are together. (The lining fabric in the photo is folded over just to show you that the right sides are together. Your lining fabric will lay flat on top of the zipper.) Pin the three layers together.

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Sew One Side of the Zipper

Use a zipper foot and sew through all three layers down one side of the zipper.

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Flip Lining Over

Fold the lining piece over to the other side.

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Flip Lining Under

Fold the lining piece under the outer piece so wrong sides are together now.

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Pin and Sew Zipper

Repeat the process on the other side of the zipper. Place the zipper face down on the outer fabric. Then place the lining fabric on top of the zipper so the right sides are together. Pin in place, use a zipper foot and stitch down the other side of the zipper.

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Press Flat

Flip pieces over so the outer fabric is on top and the lining fabric is on the bottom. Wrong sides of the fabric will be facing each other now. Use a hot iron to press the seams flat. Be careful not to melt the zipper if the zipper is nylon or plastic.

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Pin Outside Edges

Now flip the pieces so the right sides of the lining are together and the right sides of the outer fabric are together. It is very important to make sure the zipper is open at this point. Pin around all the edges.

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Sew Outside Edges

Sew a 1/2" seam around all the outside edges, leaving a 5" opening in the lining fabric. Slow the machine down when sewing over each end of the zipper. Be sure to back stitch at each end of your stitching so the seam will stay put when you pull the clutch through the opening. You will pull the entire clutch through the opening to turn it right side out.

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Clip Corners

Before you pull the clutch through the lining opening, clip each corner.

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Turn Right Side Out

Pull the clutch through the opening in the lining to turn it right side out. Press all the edges with a hot iron.

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Press and Top Stitch

Press, pin and top stitch the opening in the lining to close it. Put the lining back into the clutch and push out all of the corners with your finger or a chopstick.

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Leather Fringe

If you'd like to add a fringe zipper pull, start with a 3"x4" piece of leather. Start at the bottom of the long edge and use scissors to cut 1/4" strips. Stop cutting each strip 1" from the top.

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Get Ready to Attach Fringe

Thread a thin scrap of leather through the zipper pull and fold over in half.

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Place a line of leather contact adhesive down the wrong side of the leather without the fringe.

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Attach Fringe Zipper Pull

Place both sides of the folded thin scrap that you threaded through the zipper pull earlier on the edge of the fringe piece with the adhesive. Roll the fringe piece around the scrap. Secure the edge with more adhesive if needed.

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Set Clutch Fold

Determine where you would like the fold of the clutch, fold it down and use a hot steam iron to set the fold. You can use a pressing cloth if you have concerns that your iron might stain the fabric.

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Finished Clutch

Now you have a beautiful clutch, made in under an hour for a very reasonable price. Perfect for a handmade gift or you might even fall in love with it and keep it for yourself to take to those special holiday parties.


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