DIY: Nerdy Chic Book Clutch


Alright, you nerds, it's time for another 'book'torial.  The whole reason I created the first two 'book'torials (here and here) was so that I could create this nerdy chic book clutch.  I'm completely smitten with how it turned out. Carrying a library card never looked so fashionable.  ;)


Wanna make your own?


HERE'S THE HOW TO:

Stuff You'll Need:



Book

Matte Mod Podge

Fabric

Needle and Thread

Clasp (This is the one I used.)

Wax paper

Wooden paint stirrer

Wood glue

Epoxy glue (I used J.B. Weld)

Note: Make sure the book you choose is big enough to hold the items you'd like to carry.  For instance, your cell phone, keys, lipstick, etc.


Method:

1. Cover a book with fabric using the DIY: Fabric Covered Book Tutorial.

2. Hollow the book out using the DIY: Book Safe Tutorial.  Note:  Don't glue the pages together just yet. We'll get to that later.

3. Cut a piece of fabric to fit the inside cover of the book and glue it in place using the Mod Podge.  Do this on each side. We want the inside to look pretty too!

4. Now, we'll prep to glue the pages together with Mod Podge. Place wax paper in three different sections to keep these pages from being glued together. Place one piece in the middle of the book. This is where the opening of the book clutch will be.  Place the other two on each end leaving out about 10 pages on each side. The pages on each side need to be free so that we can sew in fabric inserts later. 

5. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge along the page edges in the two middle sections between the wax paper only. Be sure to do the edges inside the hole in the book too. You'll need several thin coats to thoroughly seal the pages together. Place a stack of heavy books on top as you wait for it to dry. When you are finished, the outer 10 pages on each side should be unglued.  The middle should also be unglued. Your book should now look like this:

5. Using a needle poke through the outer pages.  This is where we will sew in the fabric inserts.

6. To make the pattern for the fabric insert, open the book as wide as you'd like the clutch to open and trace the basic shape.  You'll then need to add an extra inch or so allowance on both sides.  The allowance at the bottom should be a quarter inch longer than the width of the hole inside the book.

7. Once you have that basic shape, you'll need to create a mirror image as shown below. (Note: I practiced my pattern on a paper towel first to be sure it fit the dimensions of my book. I also used this pattern as the template for cutting my fabric.)

8. After you have the fabric cut outs (you'll need two), fold each one in half.

9. You should have the wrong side of the fabric facing out.  Now, sew the bottom edge together like so...

10. Flip the fabric so that the right side is now facing out. Iron a crease down the middle so that they will fold nicely when you insert them into your book.

11. Next, stitch the insert into the pages through the holes you punched out earlier.  The narrowest part of the fabric insert will be closest to the spine of the book.  The crease in the fabric should point into the book.

12. After you've sewn the inserts into both sides of the book, use the Mod Podge to glue together those last few pages that were previously left free to the rest of the pages. Then, do the same to the book cover. Remember to use wax paper to prevent the opening in the middle from becoming glued shut. 

13. Finally, glue the clasp to the front. First, I added small wooden risers to the book with wood glue so that the latch would stick out over the edge of the book. (Hint: I created the wooden risers by cutting a paint stirrer I had lying around the house.) Then, I glued the clasp these wooden risers with the epoxy glue. Be extra careful not to glue the opening shut in this step.  Wax paper can help make sure that this doesn't happen.

And that's all there is to it.  Grab your phone, keys and library card and you are good to go....


So, will you guys be sporting the nerdy chic look?

109 comments:

  1. This is so genius! I love how it turned out!

    Wren

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  2. AHH!!! **Does happy dance**

    I saw one of these online somewhere a while ago & thought about making it but never got past the idea. I will totally be making this for someone's Christmas gift! Thanks Erica ^.^

    ~Caleisha

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  3. love this diy project! i'm your newest follower on gfc! feel free to visit my blog and follow me too? :) i think you'll like my outfits.

    www.dailydisguise.com

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  4. This is amazing!! I wish I could be creative enough to actually do this project. I might need to direct my sister to your page so that she can make it for me :)

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  5. Brilliant! I'm making this immediately! Love it.

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  6. I love this! This is such a great idea. You should totally sell these. Pretty fantastic!

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  7. Ah!! Love it! It's definitely going on my list of "to make someday!" And I'll have to check out your other 'book'torials!
    Kate :}

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  8. Oh. My. Gosh! SO amazingly cute. I adore this!
    Definitely going on my Xmas gift to make list.
    Nicely done Erica!
    Trish

    www.jellybonesblog.blogspot.com

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  9. That's so cool, I've never seen anything like it before! You're so clever :D

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  10. AHH!!! so cute! and it would be really cute if you had an old book too - you wouldn't need to cover it - just do the gusset. i LOVE this idea - it's like a DIY version of those kate spade clutches. SO COOL


    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

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  11. Thanks for the comment in my Blog, this is a lovely idea, I start following on GFC, hope you'll follow me back!!! xoxo

    www.rockandfrock.com

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  12. I love this one so much! I should make this as well :)

    x

    Marielle

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  13. This is SO cute! I love the floral patterns you chose. So librarian chic!

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  14. oh my goodness, this is so cute!! I'm all about nerdy chic & have been wanting a book clutch & am so excited to learn how, yay!!

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  15. ERICA!!! That is about the cutest thing I have ever seen! Now if only I were brave enough to try it.... :-). I am thoroughly impressed with your skill my dear - and very detailed tutorial as well. Hope you've been enjoying this amazing taste of fall we've been getting here in VA!

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  16. This is my favorite tutorial so far! I've literally never seen a book turned into a clutch... great job!

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  17. oh my gawd this is so adorable. Would you believe that I have had the same DIY idea...a bookcover for my smartphone as a matter of fact. But yours look waaaay prettier!!! I was thinking of ripping all those pages and substitute a pretty fabric instead...but gluing and stitching the pages together made it all the more pretty sideways. Thank you for sharing!!!!

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  18. I've been wondering how to make this into a clutch, yayy for the tutorial (again!^^) Love these.

    Satu
    Indie by heart

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  19. This. Is. Brilliant!!!!! Wow, Erica, turned out amazing!!!

    Stephanie
    owlsinmyheart.blogspot.com

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  20. I love it! :) I actually have a little book tutorial in the making too! nothing this awesome, though!

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  21. this is great!!!! I am definitely trying this out when I have some free time :)

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  22. ah - you never stop amazing me with your diy projects! what a cool idea...such an awesomely nerdy fashion statement! seriously love it!!

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  23. wow..it's amazing how creative you are!!! A book clutch!!! awesome:) Love the print:) And hey....you are very pretty :;)))

    EDGYMIX-TRAVEL FOR FASHION

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  24. Oh my gosh your tutorials are so fantastic!! I want one of these right now. So cute.

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  25. You´re so creative!!!!! all your projects are WOW! this one is so great... I want one =)

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  26. This is beyond adorable. So creative!

    -Alyssa
    The Glossy Life

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  27. This is your best tutorial yet! It looks much better that the ones everyone had on the red carpet(s) a little while back (Were they McQueen?- I can't remember). Yours looks vintage and gorgeous. Why do I feel like I'll mess mine up?

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  28. How cute! I never would have thought of this on my own.

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  29. oh my WORD!!! You are one crafty gal! I have never even thought of using a book as a purse. You are so creative! Definitely just pinned this :) I can't wait to see what you create next!


    The House of Shoes

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  30. How creative. I never would have thought of something like that!

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. This is ADORABLE! You are so clever!

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  33. this is so cute! and unique!
    love the floral fabrics you used too! :)

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  34. This is the cutest thing! Love it! :-)

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  35. I'll definetely have to try this!!
    LOve fabrics and the result, hope I will get the right clasp

    Big kisses
    Marta
    2ndfunniestthing.blogspot.com
    DIY & unique pieces

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  36. ok that's pretty brilliant! i thought you bought that clutch, not made it. this is such a cute idea :))

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  37. really brilliant, many thanks for sharing! :) oh, by the way I just become your follower on Pinterest :D
    big hugs from an Italian girl in Sweden! :)

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  38. Oh gosh
    that looks really cute
    and I want one too
    but I'm afraid I can't make one
    like that on my own.

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  39. I love these book tutorials!! This is SUPER cute... i love it! You are a DIY genius. I must try!

    xo everything-pretty.com

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  40. OMG! This is sooooo chic! You are AWESOME!

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  41. Erica, this is so pretty and awesome! haha
    already added it to favorites and must do list *-*

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  42. So adorable and completely clever. You are so talented Erica!

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  43. Love this! Don't know if I would have enough patience to make one but I would definitely carry it!

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  44. I am officially jealous of your floral fabrics. I will be stealing them, just so you know.

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  45. Are you kidding me?? This is amazing. I think this is my favorite tutorial I've ever seen! Makes me a book nerd (and also explains that I found you through the Book of Love blog... commenting on one of her Story/Book tutorials). Hah.

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  46. P.S. Just added you to my blog roll. Love your blog!

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  47. I've wanted to do something like this for ages but wasn't sure how. Now I have the tutorial to do it! Thanks!

    x Lisa
    http://thecraftartykid.blogspot.co.uk/

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  48. HOLY COW! Where do you come up with this stuff???? This is amazing... Please... COME LIVE WITH ME AND MAKE ME STUFF!!! lol... Okay now I must be honest, I do actually cringe when I see a book that's been destroyed, BUT... there are so many books out there that have pages ripped or whatever and people are just throwing them away, so heck... why not make a purse instead? I'm all about the upcycle... Books like old dictionaries and things are always being thrown away, and though I don't want a purse that big, I think you know what I mean... I'm such a lover of books and you completely made my day with this post! Thank you!

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  49. This is an amazing DIY! Chic indeed! So glad to have found you via Elle :)

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  50. Wow. That looks great. I always fail at the "cutting out the pages" section.

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  51. What a fab idea, haven't seen anything like it before!

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  52. Replies
    1. Here's where I got my clasp...

      http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2003743/2061/small-catch.aspx

      :)

      Delete
  53. I just pinned this right away with the tag, "this is pure awesomeness" because it just made me jump for joy! Really great and original DIY! Thank you!

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  54. Where can you get mod podge from?:)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sadia! You can find Mod Podge in your local craft store.

      Also, here it is on Amazon:
      http://www.amazon.com/Podge-CS11302-Original-16-Ounce-Finish/dp/B001IKES5O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357312078&sr=8-2&keywords=mod+podge

      I used the Matte formula.

      Delete
  55. Just saw this on Craft Gawker. Love it!!

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  56. Such a cool idea! I'll make me look like a complete smartypants ^^

    Xx Lore, sweetaslime.be

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  57. Nothing nerdy about this chic clutch! I love it! I don't sew, but I think I can brave the simple hand stitch there. I must try this! Thanks!

    http://reuse---revamp---upcycle.blogspot.com

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  58. This is great! I wouldn't even cover the book but instead would use one I don't want to read but which has a cover I like. Perhaps I could even find a large book that is big enough to hold a smaller book next to my other stuff! :-)

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  59. super awesome :) but I am not sure if I have enough patience to hollow out the book and then glue the pages together...but looks fabulous!!

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  60. That is so creative and clever! As an English major and former English teacher, I particularly love this! Thanks for sharing! {Saw you on Earth 911...I'm the creator of the sheet music ring}.
    Have a great day!!

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  61. This is my fave book clutch DIY by far! Love it!!!!!
    www.cuppa-tea-and-a-biscuit.blogspo.com

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  62. Hi - I love this remake of an old book. This is really a one of a kind tutorial. I hope you don't mind but I posted a link to this tute on our Facebook page at RefashionCoop.

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  63. I'm a big book nerd, so this is right up my alley. I've seen several of these types of tutorials, but I like this one the best because it's a clutch - there aren't handles, so it still looks like a regular book. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oh, I'm so excited you like the tutorial. I was really wanting it to look like a book, but then.... surprise it's a clutch!! I'd love to see a photo if you get a chance to make it. :)

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  64. What a great idea! I shared it on my website, here's the link: http://www.lescreateliers.com/Les_Createliers/Idees_Ideas/Entries/2013/3/4_Livre_porte-monnaieBook_wallet.html#
    Cheers,
    Marie-Eve

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like this project. I'm wanting to make a few more of these for myself. Thanks for sharing!

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  65. I just discovered your blog and this one is my ABSOLUTE favorite! I'm thinking of making a laptop case this way (something like this http://pinterest.com/pin/299700550172196523/ ). I would be very happy if you came to visit my own DIY blog once:
    www.mangelmoes.blogspot.be

    love from Belgium x

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    Replies
    1. That is a fun laptop case for sure!! Let me know how yours turns out.

      My sister even suggested making a cover for a Kindle or Nook this way... that way it looks like you are reading a real book when you are reading and electronic one!

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  66. Hi Erica. I just came across your blog after reading this tutorial in cloth magazine. I couldn't wait to try it. I created my own variation and would live it if you could check it out at www.52creations.blogspot.com. I hope you like it and thank you for this awesome ideas! Rach.

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  67. Super cute! How is it holding up after all these months? Is the clasp still attached? I worry that the clutch might fall apart since the clasp is glued on. Any updates in that respect? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sara! Thanks for asking. So far, it's held up really well. I don't use the clutch everyday, so I'm not sure how it would do as an everyday bag. We really did stick the clasp on there tightly with the epoxy glue. It has a really strong hold, so I don't think the clasp is going anywhere. I'll be sure to update if I notice any problems or figure out other ways to attach the clasp. I'll keep you posted. :)

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  68. I found this yesterday and I am so excited to get started on my own! But I also came up with a different way to clasp the clutch, and I thought I'd share it with you. I plan to use a purse magnet (like this one: http://cdn05.yarn.weblinc.com//resources/Yarn/images/products/processed/CLOSUREMAG.black.zoom.1.jpg) and cut holes in the paper deep enough for each side to fit comfortably. That way when I close the clutch, it automatically clasps and the connection is not visible from the outside, giving it a more authentic book-feel. Now, the magnet is still shipping, so this is all just what I plan to do, but I believe it can work. Oh, and thank you for this amazing post! I am SO pumped to make this!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so excited you are going to make one! I'd love to see how yours turns out, so please share some pics with me if you get a chance. I love how you are going to make it look more like a book by using the magnets rather than the clasp. It's going to look so sleek and cool! :)

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  69. Heyy! This tutorial is brilliant! I add it to my blog in page "inspirations" if you allow ;)

    http://curiouscreativeness.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Hi Aleksa! Glad you like the tutorial! I hope you give it a try. I'm fine if you'd like to share a photo and link back to the full post on my blog. :)

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  70. Hello. Just had to stop by and say that is absolutely fabulous. I would love to get around to making this one day. Thanks for a great tutorial. Found you through etsy dot com.

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  71. I made this the other day, with a few alterations!

    I wanted it to really look like a book, so instead of covering it with fabric I chose a book that had a pretty cover and had decorative pages on the inside of the cover. Then, for the clasp I sewed on two little pieces of lace trim (since I used lace for the triangle inserts) and made a little tie! It wouldn't hold it shut if I was tossing it around, but it does keep it together!

    Overall I think it's really cute- and since it looks like a book I can leave it in my car and not have to worry about someone breaking in ;) haha!

    Thanks for the tutorial! Loved it :)

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    Replies
    1. Rachel, I'm so excited you made one! The lace details sound so pretty! I love how you kept yours like a book. That is definitely perfect for hiding valuables... who would think to steal a book??!! :)

      I'd love to see pics of your clutch if you'd like to share.

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  72. I love this idea. Do you sell these anywhere? I'm not too crafty, but I am a writer.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rekaya! So glad you like the book clutch. I don't have a shop that I sell these in right now, although a lot of people have been asking about that. Maybe someday I'll open a shop up. A book clutch would be the perfect accessory for an author like yourself! :)

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  73. Me rechifla!!! Es super original!! Gracias por este tutorial
    Confeti en los bolsillos

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  74. I want to try to make this, but the book I want to use is pretty long, so it's about 2" thick. Do you think this size book would work? If so, do you have any idea where I could find a clasp that would fit such a thick book? I found one that's 1 1/4" when closed, but I don't know if that would work well. Thank you for your help!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Meghan!

      I think any book would work, even a thick one. :)

      Finding the perfect clasp was definitely the hardest part for me when I made my clutch. The clasp I used wasn't even a perfect fit. You can see from my photos that I had to insert bits of wood under it to raise it up a tad higher so that it would sit over the book edges. There are always ways to make things work if you get creative!

      I got my clasp at WoodCraft, a woodworking store, you could also check out hardware stores, craft stores, and Etsy. You might even be able to thrift an old jewelry box or something and use the clasp from that.

      Hope that helps. I'd love to see how your clutch turns out.

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  75. So cute, what a fantastic idea! =)

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  76. I love this idea. I am soo making this! But I'm not sure what kind of book to use. What book did you use to make this with??

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    Replies
    1. Hi Taylor! I used hardback book that I found at a thrift store. They are cheap and a great way to put an old book to good use. Just find a book that is big enough to hold everything you'd like to carry with you like your phone, keys, etc. Have fun making your own clutch!

      Delete
  77. Hi, I send you some photo's and story of my DIY book clutch. I hope you received it.

    Greetings, Tamara

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tamara! Thanks for your sweet e-mail. I love how you turned the book clutch into a ring cussion for your wedding. I can't wait to share it with everyone on my blog's Facebook page. I know everyone will love it as much as I do! :)

      Delete
  78. I LOVE this! I started making one right away. Ran into some trouble though. :( When I mod podge the pages together they don't bend open well, they want to bend and split apart. Is there a trick to this? I want it to look as pretty as yours when the clutch is open. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hey there CraftyCat! (Cool name, btw.)

      I'm so excited you're making a book clutch for yourself! Sorry you had some trouble with it on your first go. I only put mod podge on the outer edges of the pages and not between each of the pages, if that makes sense.

      Also, here are some things you might try...

      -Try gluing the pages together a little bit at a time and letting it dry between coats. After each coat check to be sure the pages open nicely and hold together well. Stop once you achieve this goal. This might keep you from getting too much mod podge on the pages and making them too stiff.

      -You could also try putting something in between the two sets of glued pages to hold the book open a little bit as it dries. That might give it more wiggle room.

      -Maybe a different book would work better? If your book has a stiff spine or thick pages it might not be flexible enough to open easily.

      -You could also experiment with different formulas of mod podge to see if another one works better for you.

      Hope these tips help! Happy crafting!

      Delete
  79. Awesome idea, totally going to try this out.

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