Get a handle on clutter by crafting a charming burlap clutch

A clutch is a purse without a strap or handle that can be used as a dressy evening bag or, as this DIY project shows, a place for jewelry, toiletry or other small objects. Although an evening clutch is usually made of a sumptuous fabric such as satin or patent leather, the take on this one is rustic. We use earth-toned burlap, a complementary floral print fabric for the clutch’s inner liner and a dainty but functional decorative button fastener.
There’s no limit to what you could store in this eye-catching bag. If you have several pieces of delicate jewelry you want to protect or a collection of makeup brushes that always seem to go missing, this is the solution to keep them findable. The clutch looks pretty on a vanity or bathroom shelf, but if necessary, you can throw it in a purse or suitcase. It will make your life a bit easier, and add a homespun touch to the space while doing it.
- 1/2 yard of burlap fabric, 18 by 44 inches
- Tape measure
- Marker
- Rotary fabric cutter
- 1/2 yard of printed or solid fabric for the liner
- About 2 dozen straight pins in a small bowl
- Sewing machine
- Bias tape
- Decorative button
- Sewing needle
- Spool of thin rope twine
- Scissors
- Elastic
DIY Everywhere
1. Place the burlap on the work surface.
2. Measure 10 inches along the short end of the burlap and make a mark with a pen at that point.
3. Measure and mark a point 18 inches along the long edge of the burlap.
4. Cut the burlap along the long side using a rotary fabric cutter.
5. Turn the burlap so the 10-inch mark is in the upper right corner.
6. Trim off the thin strip of burlap that extends beyond the mark using the rotary cutter.
7. Shift the burlap again on the work surface so it's oriented horizontally.
8. Fold the burlap in half lengthwise so the edges are at the top.
9. Make a rounded edge on the right side of the burlap with the rotary cutter, cutting through both layers of burlap.
10. Unfold the burlap, turn it so the curved end is on the left, and trim a very slightly curved thin strip from the other end of it. The strip should curve inward.
11. Place the liner fabric on the work surface and put the piece of burlap on top of it.
12. Trace around the piece of burlap with the marker onto the liner fabric.
13. Cut out the piece of liner fabric, using the traced line as a guide. Scissors may be easier than the rotary cutter.
14. Place the burlap on the work surface and the piece of liner fabric on top of it. They should be oriented the same way so the fabric fits over the burlap exactly.
15. Secure the fabric and the burlap by pinning all the edges together except the straighter end, which remains open. The pins should be placed about 1 inch apart.
16. Sew the pinned burlap and liner fabric together on the sewing machine.
17. Pin the bias tape along the open edge of the bag, on the fabric side of the piece.
18. Taking out the pins as you sew, fold over the open edge with the bias tape on it, so half of the tape is exposed on the side of the bag covered with fabric, and the other half is sewn to the burlap-covered side.
19. With the fabric side of the bag facing up, fold over the bag from its open edge widthwise. (The burlap side now will be visible on top of the fabric-covered side.)
20. Measure the folded over piece so it is 4 1/2 inches from the center of the bias taped edge to the folded over portion of the bag.
21. Connect the upper and lower center portions of the folded over section using one pin at the top and one at the bottom.
22. Starting at the lower right edge, pin bias tape along the entire U-shaped edge of the bag.
23. Sew the bias tape so it covers the edges of both sides of the bag.
24. Place the bag so the fabric is facing toward you on the work surface, and fold over the curved end so only the burlap is visible.
25. Place the decorative button in the bottom center of the upper burlap flap.
26. Thread the needle with the rope twine, and sew the button onto the bag flap by hand. Start by bringing the needle through the back of the flap and sewing the button onto its front.
27. Knot the twine and cut away any excess with scissors.
28. Measure and cut a piece of elastic that’s about 4 inches long.
29. Thread it through the needle.
30. Push the needle through the bottom center portion of the interior of the bag, and bring the needle back inside the purse again. (This creates an elastic loop that will fit around the button to hold the bag closed.)
31. Knot the elastic inside the purse, and cut away any excess with scissors.
32. Give the elastic a pull from the outside of the bag so the loop is fully exposed.