Google+ wunderbar: Anthro Inspired Polka Dot Clutch

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anthro Inspired Polka Dot Clutch

In case you haven't noticed, I love drawing inspiration from Anthro. They combine and use fabrics in such imaginative ways. But being the poor teacher that I am, it's not like I can afford to drop $68 on things like this. But I can refashion a forlorn black purse doomed to the bottom of my closet into something chic and fun. 

This isn't a proper tutorial....I realize not everyone an old black purse in the back of their closet that they're willing to sacrifice. I think, however, the leather (or faux leather) could be easily purchased at a fabric store. Just sayin'.

Enter old purse. I don't remember what it originally cost me, but it was 1) definitely from Kohls and 2) definitely on sale. I can't tell if it's real leather or nice faux. It's so old that the leathery smell is very, very faint. 

On the backside (sans pockets) I cut until I had a large rectangle.

This was the nastiness clinging to the backside. Disintegrating padding. Just lovely.
 I decided to put in a lining just to cover up this mess.

Using my stiffest interfacing, I cut and adhered a piece of equal size to the back of the leather.

Now the fun part! With a pencil eraser, Martha Stewart "Grey Wolf" acrylic paint, and mad polka-dotting skills, I spent about 20 minutes coving the leather in dots.

After the paint dried, I cut a piece of coordinating fabric for lining (cut from an old khaki skirt - refashioning ftw!) and pinned the two with right sides together.

Then I sewed around three sides, leaving one edge open for turning...

....and trimmed the corners.

After turning right sides out (probably the part I was most worried about - glad my leather wasn't too stiff!), I folded under the raw edges and hand-stitched together. 

With right sides together again, I folded up the bottom half of the clutch and pinned in place....

....stitching down the edges to complete the pouch.

Though you could do any kind of closure you wanted (and a magnetic one would be way fancier), I wanted to use materials I already had on hand. Forgive my lame basic snaps.

Add two cute buttons for detail and done.

Here is where I realized why the original has rounded edges on the flap - the overhang. Bah. I decided it's kinda cute. Like puppy ears.

I think this baby deserves to be taken out on a date.


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  1. Very cute.. so impressed with your perfect circles!

  2. Very Cute! I love the painted on polka dots...rounded corners would also eliminate the "extra" stuff in your corners when you turn it right side out. Great idea though...everyone has the random handbag floating somewhere in their closet!

  3. That's an amazing project! Love the way you painted polka dots! Pinned! Thanks so much for sharing the great tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous weekend!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  4. Wow does that every look fabulous! Nicely done! I love how you cut apart an old purse to make this one.

  5. This is gorgeous! I can't believe you made something so wonderful from something so ugly originally :)

    Thanks so much for linking up :)

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  6. Up-Cycling at its finest! Brilliant.

  7. Great repurposing idea. Turned out just like the original!

  8. Totally adorbs! You gotta link this up to our blog hop!! This was an example of some perfectly adventurous, crafting!

    xoxo, Jordan.

  9. That's super cute! Makes me wanna bust out my sewing machine and destroy a few pieces of cloth! LOL Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Wow, what a creative mind you have! I am impressed with your purse! Thanks for sharing.

  11. This is gorgeous and very professional looking! Consider this idea stolen :)

  12. so cute! i want to run to thrift a leather purse right now

  13. Very Cute! You know I am trying this one!!

    Following and found you through The Winthrop Chronicles Link Party...

    ~ Darlene

  14. Cute! Great way to refashion and repurpose.

  15. wow! I am amazed how you can repurpose! I have to start thinking that way! It turned out great! Thanks for sharing at Tell Me Tuesdays!

  16. What a fabulous clutch! Fantastic job!! Love it :*)

  17. I love the overhang! It gives it fun character. I love the polka dots. I'm considering putting some polka dots on one of my shirts. How well does the paint stay on the leather?
    Thanks for linking up!

    1. The paint is doing great! It comes off if you scratch really hard, but I think it will hold up under general usage.

  18. love it! what a great upcycle! so cute. love the polka dots too. and i think it's called a slouch clutch ;)

  19. That baby definitely needs to get taken out on a date! So cute! I love seeing the inspiration picture first. You did such a great job mimicking your desired piece. I love how all the materials were from discarded items from your closet. Thank you for sharing with us!

  20. You have so many great ideas! We are hosting our 1st link party. It is live today!! We would love for you to come and join the party!!
    Joye & Myrna @ The Busy Bee's

  21. Yours is much better than the one from Anthro! Just my opinion.

  22. I absolutely adore this totally love how it turned out! I hope you'll stop by and add this and any other post you're proud of to my <a href="" target=">What We Wore and Made Wednesday Link party</a>

  23. Wow! I cannot believe you turned that old purse into such a cute clutch! Very creative and talented!

  24. It’s a new Linky Party to create more buzz for your blog and connect with others! If you haven’t joined Creative Crafts Thursday yet, please share your projects at each and every week and check out what other creative divas are up to.

  25. Loved ur tutorial! Thats my kind of refashion. Money always the issue. I have soo many ugly off to see what i can dig up. Thx

  26. Adorable clutch and great repurpose!
    LOve the polka dots!
    Thanks for sharing - have a blessed week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  27. Featuring you today!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  28. Great up cycle!!! Stop over

  29. I think it's a great tutorial! Beautiful job. I like your blog. Lynaea @

  30. This is such a great idea! Love the polka dots! :)
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  31. Well, if we look at the bag in first picture then it feels that these little buttons at the opening edge looks little bit awkward because these buttons are not get highlighted among so many dots,so it doesn't make any difference whether these buttons are there or not. I think some another kind of decorative piece should be there rather than these buttons.

  32. wow!! what a gr8 idea....i have same black purse....i will try...thanks



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