Friday, June 1, 2012

Craft Challenge: Wedding Crafts for Dollar Store Crafts

Okay - So this post is a two-fer.  It's a great excuse to share a tutorial on this blog, but it's also an entry I'm submitting for the Dollar Store Crafts Wedding Crafts Contest.  A little known secret is that I freaking LOVE the Dollar Tree... Okay, well this isn't really a secret because I'm pretty sure I mention it all the time to pretty much anyone who will listen!!  I always find really great things there to use and/or repurpose for crafts and a LOT of the projects I used for my own wedding as well as other miscellaneous crafts have been made with materials from the awesome Dollar Tree I have down the street.

The craft I wanted to share with you (and submit to the contest) is a tutorial for clutches that I made for my bridesmaids for my wedding.  I've been in a handful of weddings and I always feel like there is "stuff" I want to carry whether that's my phone, camera, lipstick, band-aids, etc. I thought it would be a nice gift for my ladies to store their own stuff on our big day!!

 Close up of the clutch I made for my MOH & super awesome sister!  I made flowers for each clutch (with a pin and clip) that my bridesmaids also wore in their hair on our wedding day.  Similar flowers can now be found in my Etsy Shop
Easy Peasy Pretty Placement Clutch Tutorial

This project is SUPER easy. I think they’re pretty darn cute AND useful (if I do say so myself)!

What you need:

  • Pretty placemats!! Mine were $1 each and I found them at The Dollar Tree. 
  • Depending on the thickness of your placemat you might consider using iron on-heavy weight interlining. This makes your clutch feel like it’s got a bit of thickness/body and help keep its shape. The clutch will feel thin without it.  Feel your clutch and decide how thick you want yours.  I used Pellon 809.  I found this at Joann’s and with a coupon one yard was $1.99.  This is enough to use double layers of interlining on 4 clutches.
  • Silver magnetic snap closure. I got 3 for $1.99 at Joann’s (also with a coupon).
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sewing pins
  • Iron & board
  • Cardboard and extra fabric on hand (optional)
  • Flower or brooch for decoration (optional) 
 Step 1: Decide which side of the placemat you’d like to be on the outside of the clutch and which side you’d like on the inside.  Play around folding the placemat with the “good/outside” clutch fabric inside, to decide how deep you want your clutch to be.  A good rule of thumb is folding the clutch so it’s close to thirds.  If you want to box out the bottom, you might want to make the top/flap portion of your clutch a little bit smaller compared to the bottom 2/3rds (the pocket portion).  Once you’ve played around and found a shape you like, with your iron, gently press your clutch shape.  This helps you to see the shape you’re working with moving forward. This is not necessary, but really super helpful. Now rip the seam on the top end of your placemat, where the top flap of your clutch will be.

Step 2: Next, cut the interlining so that it will fit just within the seams of your placemat.  If you use two pieces of interlining you can iron them together so they won’t slide around.  Place the interlining inside the placemat and iron again.  If you’re using a magnetic snap closure on the clutch, fold the placemat in half to find the middle of the clutch.  Measure about 4 inches down on the body part of the clutch, and follow the directions on the package to attach the first magnet button.

...oops, I forgot to take a photo of this step. 

Step 3: Now you’re going to sew up the sides of your clutch by sewing along the sides of the placemat. Remember that the "pocket" portion of the clutch needs to be turned inside out so that the seam will be hidden in the final product. I wanted my clutch to be a bit narrower than the size of the placemat so I lined up my foot about ¼ inch from the placemat’s already stitched line. 

 Step 4: Once you’ve sewed the seams on either side of the clutch, you can either leave the bag as it is (which will create an envelope type clutch) OR you can box out the corners of the clutch to give a little space for all of your stuff.  Either option is lovely, but I like to be able to carry around random “necessary” junk, so I went with boxed corners. 

 To box the corners, stick your finger inside one corner and fold the seams on either side until you get a triangle at the top.  Iron the seam open, making sure that the seam is truly centered (it should look like a perfect triangle) by laying a ruler on the seam.  Mark a line, depending on how wide you want the box at the bottom of your seam, and sew along this line.  If you’re not sure, start with a smaller triangle.  You can always re-sew the line further out to make your clutch bottom bigger.  (For reference, I made my triangles about 1.25 inches.)

Step 5: Turn your clutch right side out.  Now you’ve got to focus on the top/flap portion of the clutch.  You can pick any design you want.  Rectangular flap, turn in triangles, severe triangle… the possibilities/combos are endless.  I made each of my clutches a little different so no one girl has the same true pattern.  Once you’ve laid out a design you like, iron it down and pin to secure.  Be sure to add your second magnetic snap at this point, just before you pin the very top seam.  Sew along top portion of the clutch.  You might want two lines, depending on style and or to secure your pattern.  

Step 6 (optional):
1. You can make the bottom of the clutch a little stiffer by tracing the bottom of the clutch on some cardboard, wrapping some leftover fabric scraps around the cardboard and then sliding it into the bottom of the clutch.  I did this with all of the clutches but it's an extra/optional step so I did not photograph it.

2. Add a pin or flower or leave them plain.  I ended up making hair pieces for my bridesmaids which also had pins on them so they could double as brooches. I added them to the clutches when I gave them to the girls, but they took the flowers off on the day of to wear them in their hair.



Stay tuned for another tutorial later in the week!!  :)


  1. Those are stunning --- my fav is the one cut on the diagonal. I hope you win!

    1. Oh wow - thank you so much!! That's such a sweet compliment!!