Make a simple DIY red clutch bag…from a buffalo plaid placemat!
I bet you are going to LOVE this little DIY red clutch project!!
Because I’m betting you’re the type of gal who likes to wear a statement piece every once in a while, right? Me too. ESPECIALLY if the statement is something bold and colorful. And BONUS points if it’s something we can make ourselves. That’s why I’m so pumped to share this DIY red clutch bag with you guys!!!
Isn’t it so fun?! And guess what…
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we’re going to make it out of a PLACEMAT.
DO NOT freak out if you aren’t good with a sewing machine. 🙋♀️I’m not either 😂.
If you can sew a simple, somewhat straight stitch…you can make this red clutch bag. I promise. Here’s what you’ll need:
- (1) buffalo plaid placemat (see more options in photos below)
- magnetic snap closure OR wood toggle closure and stretch cording (the thicker, the more sturdy)
- tassels (optional) – I chose tri-color tassels
- sewing machine (or friend who has one)
- fabric liner (I used white denim)
- contrasting pocket detail (optional) – I used a denim pocket
- thread (color(s) of choice)
- fusible interfacing (I’d recommend heavyweight)
*I searched for and found some adorable placemat options for you! Any of these would work great for this DIY clutch. Just CLICK THE IMAGE to go to the source for each:
Other DIY handbags for you to try…
I’ve been on a DIY bag making tear lately!
I’ve made these for not only myself, but friends, my sisters…they make great gifts that hopefully people will love just a little bit more since you put some time and effort into them ❤️.
how to assemble your DIY red clutch bag:
1.) Cut liner fabric.
I have to tell you before I begin this tutorial, my grandmother would have NEVER let me put together a project like this. There is a right way to sew. Then there’s my way.
And while my way may not be right, it’s fast. And if you’re like me and don’t have a ton of extra time on your hands, you may want to run with my tad bit sloppier, but much faster hacker style techniques 😂.
The fastest way to cut your liner fabric is to lay out your liner with your gingham placemat on top. Now just cut around the perimeter of your placemat, giving yourself about 1″ of overhang of the placemat on all sides.
Don’t worry about cutting super straight. It need not be perfect because we’re just going to cut off that overage once we’ve sewn.
2.) Iron on the fusible interfacing.
Grab your iron on fusible interfacing. This is used to give our red clutch (or blue, or yellow or whatever other color you’ve chosen) some structure and stability. It will help our DIY bag feel less like a placemat and more like a handbag.
Cut the interfacing fabric to roughly the same size as your liner. If anything, err on the side of having it a bit bigger, rather than smaller (as you can see I did in the image below).
Follow the instructions on the packaging for your interfacing. For most, it will be to iron the shiny side of the interfacing to the BACK (hidden) side of your lining fabric).
3.) Prepare to hem liner.
Most placemats will not be completely square/straight. So the best way to ensure your liner fabric will fit properly onto your placemat is to pin your liner fabric while it’s positioned on top of the placemat.
In the image above, you can see that I have my liner fabric (white) on top of the BACK of the placemat (the side that will become the interior of our red clutch). I move around the perimeter of the placemat pinning and ironing flat my folds to prepare for hemming.
As long as once you’re done pinning and ironing the liner fabric sits nicely inside the perimeter of your placemat with a tiny bit of the placemat overhanging (around 1/8″ – 1/4″), then you’ve done this step well.
4.) Stitch liner.
Remove the liner/interfacing from the placemat for now. Take your pinned liner to the sewing machine and run a straight stitch around the perimeter (all four sides).
5.) Sew pocket to liner (optional).
If you want to include a pocket inside your red clutch, then now is the time to attach it to your liner. I tend to use old upcycled denim pockets that I have on hand from old pairs of jeans I save.
You could choose to use a fun contrasting fabric, or even more of the white denim/your chosen liner material. Totally up to you. But no matter what, it’s time to sew your pocket detail before we move on.
Find the location you want your pocket to be by folding the placemat in thirds. You could do this in equal thirds, or offset the folds so that your bag is a bit larger, and the flap doesn’t hit the bottom of the front of your clutch.
Play around with the fold (as shown in the image below) to see how you think the clutch looks best.
Once you like the positioning of your pocket, pin, and stitch into place with your machine (ONLY sew pocket ONTO THE LINER, NOT THE PLACEMAT! We have not sewn the liner to the placemat yet!)
6.) Attach button or snap detail to front of placemat.
Regardless of what you’ve decided to use as a closure for your red clutch, now is the time to attach it.
Fold the placemat again in thirds to position the front flap where you want it to be, then place the button, or snap detail where it will need to be positioned to hold the front flap of your clutch in place. You can use tape to hold it there temporarily, if that helps.
The male part of the magnetic snap closure is what you see situated on the plaid front of the red clutch shown above. It is attached by cutting small slits in the placemat for the two metal prong arms on the back of the snap. Simply slide the arms through the placemat, then fold the arms to secure the button.
If you decide to use a button closure, like the wood toggle shown below,
go ahead and hand sew your button in place at this point. *The liner has NOT yet been attached to your placemat at this point.*
7.) Secure other end of closure.
If you’re using a magnetic snap closure, go ahead and secure the female side to your liner. You’ll again place your liner inside the placemat, fold in thirds as desired.
Position the female end appropriately so the bag will close properly, then adhere the female end as you did the male by making two small slits in the liner fabric, slipping the arms through, then folding to secure.
If you’re using a loop closure for a toggle button, then stitch a small loop of stretch cording to the back of the liner material.
Again, making sure it is positioned where you’ll want it when you close the red clutch. You can sew the loop to the front of the liner, as shown below, OR, you could have the loop coming out from what will soon be the two layers of your bag (placemat + liner). Either will work.
8.) Add Tassels (optional).
If you want to add tassels to your red clutch, go ahead and either stitch them onto the top edge of your liner.
Position the ends of the tassels so the stitching will be hidden once you attach the liner to your placemat in the next step.
9.) Stitch liner to placemat.
Now it’s time to stitch your liner to your placemat. Pin the liner to the placemat making sure the back of the placemat is facing the back/interfacing of your liner. The liner should be just a tad smaller and lay inside the perimeter of the placemat.
Straight stitch around the entire perimeter of the placemat.
10.) Sew two sides of red clutch together.
The last step of this project is to stitch together the two sides of your placemat that will create the body or cavity part of the bag. My material was thin enough that I was able to accomplish this using my machine. But if yours is not, you may have to stitch by hand.
And that’s it! Your adorable buffalo plaid red clutch (or yellow or navy, etc) is complete!!
I hope you love it! I think it’s been such a fun clutch to have on hand, and really looks good to use for any season!