Introduction: Simple Leather Clutch
This leather clutch is a great project for a beginner to working with leather. Even if you have experience, this is still a beautiful and simple clutch that will last for many years. I created this to carry around my phone and other small items which I tend to lose often. I didn't want to make anything fancy. After cutting and sewing, I then decided to only use leather and avoid any metal clasps. I enjoy how simple and ageless it is.
Step 1: Materials for Leather Clutch
- Measurements - my piece was 9 inches wide by 15 3/4 inches long (feel free to adjust the size). If you don't have a leather store nearby, I noticed some leather pieces being sold on Amazon that would work, like this one: Leather Medium Brown Cowhide 10" X 18"
- I bought this finished double-shoulder leather at a Tandy store - any leather would work just fine
- Piece of suede lace to pull through the hole and tie up the clutch closed
- Rawhide or wooden mallet - the wooden ones are pretty cheap: Wooden Mallet-10"X4"X1.75"
- Spray bottle with water in it
- Diamond Punch with four prongs (this is for making the sewing holes - there are lots of alternatives) - here is a nice set and a good deal: Flat Chisel Hole Punch Tool Kit
- Hole Punch
- Waxed braided cord/thread for sewing the leather & needles
- Pliers - sometimes are needed when pulling needle through holes
- Creasing tool - used to make an even line in preparation for stitching
- Stitching Groover - this gouges a channel along the edge to prepare it for the holes & sewing
- If you really want to get into leather tooling, here is a multi-tool that can be used for creasing & the groover - 7 in 1 Tool Groover & Creasing Edge Beveler
- Utility Razor, Scissors & Measuring Tape or Ruler
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Step 2: Cutting & Preparing the Leather
The first step is to simply cut out the leather to the desired size. I cut my piece out with the measurements: 9 inches wide by 15 3/4 inches tall. After doing that, I sprayed the leather with water to make it pliable and then I folded the bottom part up approximately 5 1/2 inches.
After folding it up, I placed some heavy objects on it to let the crease take shape. Don't worry about folding the top down yet. My leather quickly dried and I was then ready to move onto the next step.
Step 3: Prepping the Leather to Sew It
At this step you will need to spray the leather again (or repeatedly as I did) and then take out the edge creasing tool and go along the edges with it. Once that's done, take out a ruler and hold it near the line you just made along the edge of the leather and then take out the stitching groover and carefully go along the same line to gouge out a bit of the leather. Do this along the edges where you will be sewing (flip it open to do the back side also). Once that is done, you are almost ready to sew.
Step 4: Sewing the Leather Clutch Sides
Now you'll need to take out your diamond punch and your mallet. I personally was able to use this punch to make holes through both layers of leather as I had the piece folded up. You can't always do that as leather can be very tough and thick. If it's not incredibly thick, you may just be able to punch through both layers at once as I did. First wet the leather again, then place the punch where you want it and use the mallet to hit it through the leather. You should have some type of leather pounding pad or surface below that can handle it. After you've punched all the holes, you can get the needle and thread out.
At first I decided to try a decorative chain stitch. After doing a few of them, I decided to pull it out and go the standard stitching route. But, I left the photos here as a reference in case you want to do that type of stitch - it can be very nice looking. The standard stitch is a bit hard to explain how to do, so I've found an excellent tutorial here that may help a lot.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Finally - you're on your last step! Spray the leather again and create a fold at the top so there is a flap coming down. Decide if you want to trim the flap to create a certain style or look. After that you can punch a hole in the center bottom of the flap and pull a piece of suede lace through it (with a knot at the end) and you are done! If you have any questions please ask!