I'm not even going to tell you guys how much I love books, you probably get it by now. So when I saw this Nerdy Chic Book Clutch DIY from Caught on a Whim, I knew it was only a matter of time before I was toting around my own and showing it off to everyone I know.
But I'm going to be completely honest. That matter of time ended up being a matter of months (yes, many, many months.) This clutch is definitely one of the coolest projects we've ever done. I mean, hollowing out a book to turn it into a purse?! That's awesome! But it was also one of the most complicated, detailed, and in depth projects we've done too.
It literally took us months to finally get this clutch finished, mostly because we had now idea how we were going to explain and document each and every little detail we did in order to make this. We wrote out an entire tutorial, but it turned into something straight out of a rocket science textbook.
We're going to let the photos do most of the talking, but we'll share some helpful notes where necessary!
Here's what you need!
- Book (we recommend a thrifted book!)
- Xacto Knife or Box Cutter
- Cutting Board
- Wax Paper
- E6000 Super Glue
- Metal Clasp
- Trace your book on your desired fabric and add a 1" clearance around the edge. Cut out your fabric with scissors.
- Attach fabric to the outside of your book with ModPodge and a paintbrush. Attach the front first, then the spine, then the back.
- Open front and back covers of the book, fold down fabric edges, and attach to inside covers with ModPodge.
- Attach a rectangle piece of fabric on the inside front and back covers. This doesn't need to look super clean around the edges, as it will be covered with the book pages.
- Cut out the center of your book pages, about 3/4-1" from the outside edges. We cut about 10 pages at a time, inserting a cutting board in between the pages to cut them.
- Locate the center of your book and insert a piece of wax paper between the pages. Insert a second sheet between the front cover and the first page, as well as a third sheet between the back cover and the last page.
- Use a paintbrush and ModPodge to glue together the outside edges of the pages. Apply three coats, allowing dry time between each coat. Repeat this process with the inside cover of the pages. Note: You do NOT need to glue together each individual page. Gluing together the outside and inside edges will keep the pages together.
- After your ModPodge has fully dried and your pages are glued together, open your book and locate the center of the pages. Use an Xacto knife to cut a small circle the same diameter as your clasp.
- Continue to cut through your layers of pages until your clasp sits flush in the hole. Your clasp should come in two pieces - attach one with E6000 super glue.
- Repeat with second piece on the opposite side of the book.
- Cut a trapezoid piece of fabric that is two layers thick and folded together on the long side. Use an iron to press this crease. Then hold the piece in half and press again with an iron.
- Either use a sewing machine or hand sew across the small side, with 1/4" seam allowance (right sides together.)
- Repeat with a second, identical trapezoid piece. Super glue the diagonal sides to the top/bottom edges of the pages.
- Finally, glue the pages to the front cover. Top with a heavy book and allow glue to dry and set for 24 hours.
This project had many ups and downs, but in the end we feel like we accomplished something pretty awesome!
Sarah & Nick
EDIT 5/25/17: This post was originally published in November 2014. I no longer have this book clutch, as I cleaned out my wardrobe and accessories extensively when we moved out of our apartment last year. In a few of the comments there was mention of us selling clutches or opening an Etsy shop, but unfortunately we are no longer able to make or sell these clutches. I do encourage you to try making one if this is a project you're interested in! As we mentioned, it was tough, but rewarding once I had the final clutch in my hands. Thanks for reading!