I’m no Louis girl. You can take your labels and shove ’em as far as I’m concerned. No conning this girl into spending her hard earned coin on a handbag just because it has some highly coveted initials. Nope. I’d rather save my hard-earned dollars for a dream vacation where I will happily dish some dough on fruity drinks with paper umbrellas, purchased from a swim-up bar. We all have our vices, right? Mine just happen to be “miami vices”, “lava flows”, and “strawberry daquiris.”
So if you’re a Louis gal, just skip right over this post. No hard feelings. I love my Louis tote-ing girlfriends more than I love my (also non-designer) luggage…yes, that’s a Steel Magnolias reference. But my Louis gals aren’t gonna be down with this particular post. Because we’re gonna take a $2 rug from Five Below, and turn into a pretty chic, no-label-necessary, DIY clutch. This legit little carpet bag turned out SO cute. That said, RUN…do not walk, to your nearest Five Below while I know these things are still there! *This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure policy HERE.*
small cotton rug (mine was 20″ x 26″ from Five Below)
liner material (I used a neutral, scrap fabric I had on hand)
iron-on interfacing (I used medium weight)
**Note: If you don’t have a Five Below nearby, check your Dollar Store. I also found a couple cool online alternatives for you, although NONE come close to the $2 price tag from Five Below!
DIY clutch carpet bag – how to assemble:
Before we begin, I need to give a whole bunch of credit for this idea to a blogger I recently ran across, Holly from Love the Tompkins. She took this rug and turned it into a pillow cover. And I adored it! So I ran to Five Below, and luckily, these $2 rugs were in stock. I also looked for some tutorials on turning similar items into handbags, since I have NEVER made a handbag before. I’d HIGHLY recommend any of these tutorials, because yours truly has NO illusions that I am A) an expert with the sewing machine or B) know interfacing from an intercontinental breakfast (I don’t even think that’s a thing, right?). Here are the ones I referenced for this project:
Modern Bohemian Lifestyle (she makes one from a placemat)
1. Decide on the size you’d like your bag to be.
Once you’ve collected your materials, decide on the size and shape you’d like your bag to be. I decided I wanted mine to be approximately 14″ x 9″. I figured this out by folding the rug in different ways until I decided what size looked the best. Very scientific.
2. Cut rug.
Are you dancing? If you are, we should be friends. Back to tutorial-mode for now though. I wanted to maximize the tassel-look on my handbag, so as I dissected the bag, I kept the section of fringe from the unused area of fabric. I ran a stitch down that area before cutting it so that it would be less likely to fray.
For a 14″ x 9″ bag using this particular rug (which was 20″ x 26″), I removed 3″ from both sides (of the 20″ dimension). Now, in reality, what I did was fold and iron those sides, rather than cutting them. In my mind, that was both easier, and would prevent fraying. In actuality, what that did was make this thing IMPOSSIBLE to fit under the sewing machine. So save yourself some time and effort by running a stitch down both sides of your rug, then go ahead and cut the rug before moving on.
The only length I cut off of the 26″ dimension of the rug was the fringe, as seen below.
3. Make pocket.
Adding a little pocket inside your bag isn’t required, but it sure is cute. And it makes the bag look kind of “official”, you know? The dimensions of my pocket are about 4″ x 6″. I made mine out of the liner material. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance all around. Iron down 1/4″ around the perimeter. Sew the seam for the TOP of the pocket now. The other three sides will be stitched in shortly.
4. Make liner.
I made a liner for this bag out of some neutral colored, scrap fabric I had on hand. It’s nothing fancy. Cut the liner material to the same size as the outside dimensions of your bag. Cut interfacing material to this same dimension.
Fold and iron 1/4″ (fold away from the “good side” of your fabric) along all 4 sides. Iron your interfacing onto the “bad” side of your fabric. Then, run a straight stitch along the perimeter of your liner fabric. Now you’ll have a clean-sewn line around the whole liner. Cut off any excess interfacing and liner material from the back.
5. Sew in pocket.
Now sew both the sides and bottom seams of your pocket onto your liner. Make sure to position this in the right spot. You’ll want it dead center width-wise. Fold your rug as it will be when completed, and make sure that you’re positioning the pocket so that it’s on what will be the backside of the purse, once complete. I just eyeballed it.
6. Sew on additional fringe.
Once again, this is not necessary, but I wanted my bag to have as much fringe as possible. So I took that scrap piece I salvaged from the other end of the rug, and sewed it on top of the existing fringe. I staggered it slightly so that the tassels didn’t lay on top of one another, but rather side by side.
7. Sew in liner.
Sew in your liner using a straight stitch along the whole perimeter of your liner fabric. Remember you’ll be sewing the liner to the backside, or inside of your rug!! It should look like the image below when complete.
8. Fold DIY clutch and sew sides.
Last step! Now, for me, this part was torture because by this time, my material was SO THICK I couldn’t use the machine for the most part. I ended up hand-stitching much of the sides. If you were wise though, and cut most of the bulk from your rug/cut the excess, it should still work on your machine without too many expletives being required.
Fold you bag in thirds (almost) so that your top flap will land where you want it to land when the bag is closed. For mine, that was about 3″ shy of the bottom. You should fold the bag inside out so that the liner is on the outside. Stitch the sides of the bag together. You’re done!!
And PLEASE, if ANY OF THESE instructions was confusing, click over to the referenced tutorials! Those gals are MUCH better at explaining the process. My seamstress skills are very limited. But bottom line, is that this is a pretty easy project,
and I think this $2 rug makes SUCH an adorable boho DIY clutch, doesn’t it?!
I’m pretty sure this little gal could hold her own in a room of Louies, Kates and Hermes, Pradas, Torys and Michael Kors. I’ll take my little $2 handbag over those jokers any day.
Catch you cats later. Mama’s tired. I think it’s time for a Miami Vice.