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

Materials:

  • Leather
    • 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
  • Basic Leather Tools
    • 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
    • Utility Razor, Scissors & Measuring Tape or Ruler

Holly Mann is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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!

Comments

author
AdaS48 made it! (author)2016-08-09

OMG It's so beautiful!!

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ngwane made it! (author)2015-12-13

It`s lovely work. Can someone explain how to do the lace closure.

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megalison1 made it! (author)2015-12-11

I'm working on this clutch and love it so far, but can't figure out what you mean by the knot and suede. How did you wrap the suede around to be so secure? Thanks! Great instructions otherwise!

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leathertaste made it! (author)2015-05-11

awesome!

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watson121 made it! (author)2015-04-05

looks great:)

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studleylee made it! (author)2014-10-06

Awesome tooling work!!! I need to learn to stitch like that for tool pouches.

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AAAHan made it! (author)2014-08-23

Good !!!

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dbressler3 made it! (author)2014-07-20

Beautiful! I'm not clear on how the lace closure works since there are no pics of the back side of the clutch. What happens to the other end of the lace? Thanks! Good tutorial!

author
EurekaFactory made it! (author)2014-07-16

This is lovely, and would make a much prettier "Roll Up" Charging station than the one I made out of shelf liner material. I see a mash-up in my future, and a really nice beginners leather working project. Thank you!

author
HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

This is an excellent idea..:) I would like to make a rollup myself for the leather tools and some other things. :) Hope you have time to make one!!!

author
EurekaFactory made it! (author)EurekaFactory2014-07-18

I will! I'm actually heading to an event up in Michigan next week, where I should be able to find some nice materials to create a new rollup station. My great grandfather was a carpenter and I remember he had a leather roll up with special tools in it. You knew something nice was going to happen when he unrolled that tool set.

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bakdrft made it! (author)2014-07-15

Nice Work!

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

Thanks!!!

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watchmeflyy made it! (author)2014-07-15

Love it!

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

Thanks so much :)

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3366carlos made it! (author)2014-07-15

niceeee. Can. U. Make me one?

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

Yes - right away!

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shazni made it! (author)2014-07-16

Very nice work :-)

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

Thanks Shazni!

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jessyratfink made it! (author)2014-07-16

So pretty! I'm about to do some leatherworking tutorials myself. It's addictive! :D

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

Thanks Jessy! It is highly addictive! I can't wait to see what you make!

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DachsieMommie made it! (author)2014-07-16

This is just what I want to make. I have a husband who does car upholstery, so I have access to all kinds of leather scraps as well as an industrial sewing machine & all the tools I need. In fact, he just brought me some super soft (like butter & same color as your picture) good size pieces a couple of weeks ago. I have been thinking about what to do with it. Here's the answer. Thanks!

author
HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

Thank you for the nice comment. I think that is really awesome your husband has access to lots of leather and an industrial sewing machine - that is a dream! I hope you have time to make one or some other leather pieces - it is a rewarding craft/hobby. Once I started recently, I have a hard time stepping away from it. I like the fact that leather seems to last a lifetime and you can make something useful and timeless in a way. :) I hope you share what you make with us on here! :)

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Mark Montano made it! (author)2014-07-18

Beautiful job!

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-18

Thank you Mark!

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jmdushi made it! (author)2014-07-15

Simple is mostly beautiful but this one is gorgeous.

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-15

Thank you! That is so nice to say-I appreciate it!

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doodlecraft made it! (author)2014-07-15

Gorgeous! Great job Holly! :)

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HollyMann made it! (author)HollyMann2014-07-15

Thanks so much Nat!

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Bio: Army Vet. I love learning & being creative.
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