Sunday, November 23, 2014

Homemade Book Clutch

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!)
- Fabric
- Pencil
- Ruler
- Scissors
- ModPodge
- Paintbrush
- 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! If you have questions, be sure to leave them in the comments!

Sarah & Nick


  1. That turned out fantastic! I am super impressed!

  2. Love this idea! It would make the perfect gift for my bookworm friend :) Thanks for sharing!

    Natalie | CincinNatalie

  3. Hi there!!! Are you still making these? I've looked all over Etsy but couldn't find your store, I found similar clutches but I really like yours :D

    1. Hi Hikaru-chan! Thanks so much for reaching out! We haven't opened up an Etsy shop yet/are undecided on if we will. If you're interested in purchasing a book clutch, we could definitely make one for you! Just shoot me an email at and let me know what you're looking for! (i.e. fabric covered or plain with the book cover showing, thickness of the clutch, etc.) We are working on one currently with a Harry Potter book and leaving the cover blank so you can see the book title! I look forward to hearing from you! :)

  4. Thanks for putting up this tutorial!
    But wait, what are you putting on the book in step number thirteen?

    1. Hi Jennifer! We're sealing the pages together with Mod Podge.

  5. I love this! I've been looking for a tutorial on it for a while. I'm trying to figure out how I can attach a strap...any suggestions?

    1. Thank you! Are you looking to attach a long strap? Perhaps you could glue it in between the pages and the cover?

  6. What did you use to keep it closed?

    1. A standard round, magnetic clasp. You can see it in the final photos.

  7. Is E6000 a type of super glue? If so for that step could I just use any type of superglue?

    1. Hi! Yes, E6000 is a super glue. It's pretty thick and not liquid like some other super glues. I think another super glue would work as long as it's not a liquid one that would just soak into the fabric. Hope that makes sense!

  8. I hate to bug you again but was the clasp you used a 3/4" or 1/2" diameter?

    1. I think we used 1/2", but you could use either! You just cut your hole to whatever size clasp you have.

  9. How did you keep together the pages?

    1. Hi Karen,

      The inside and outside edges of the pages are sealed together with Mod Podge. You don't actually have to glue between each individual page - just the edges!

      Thanks for reading!

    2. What do you mean by inside and outside edges? All edges are "outside." Also, I do not understand any of the steps utilizing the trapezoid pieces.
      I can't wait to create my own!

    3. Hi Ivy,

      The process of sealing the pages takes place after you make the cutouts with a knife, so the pages do have an inside and outside edge. You seal both so that on the outside, you can't peel any pages apart, and on the inside you can't either.

      Please let me know in more detail what issues you're having with the trapezoid steps and I will try to help. We mentioned at the start of this post that this was a difficult project to complete, so it was even harder for us to explain. We tried to share enough photos and steps to convey the process as best we could, but I'm happy to try and explain further if you tell me which part in the steps doesn't make sense.