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How to Turn a Vintage Book into a Clutch

Listen up readers! We’ve got an awesome way for you to display your favorite antique book covers. Now I know some of you might be shaking your head about the thought of ruining a book, but this DIY clutch allows you rock that beautifully embossed cover and the pages still stay intact! (Just coverless.) Of course we were inspired by our favorite girl, Kate Spade, but our version won’t break the bank!

Materials:
- book : Any dimensions preferable 8.5” x 5”.  Make sure it has a thick spine. Bigger the better, about 1-1.5”
- fabric
- Heat + Bond
- hot glue sticks
- metal zipper – depends on dimension of book. Needs to run around all three sides. 18-24”
- cardboard

Tools:
- pen
- scissors
- ruler
- hot glue gun
- iron

Instructions:
1. Cut pages out of your book.
2. Measure height and width of spine and cut out of cardboard.
3. Time to measure and cut fabric.
- Measure the outside cover of your book and add a 1 1/2 inches to both the height and width. Cut your new dimensions out of the fabric.
- Subtract an inch from height and width of the cover, this will be your inside measurements. Measure and cut two pieces at this dimension.
- Measure the height and width of the spine, then cut out of fabric.
4. Trace the outside panel of fabric on the Heat and Bond. Cut and iron the Heat and Bond onto the fabric. Once the fabric and Heat and Bond are attached, iron the fabric to the outside of the book. Fold and corner the fabric on inside and iron down.
5. Cut four 2 inch x 2 inch squares for zipper.
6. Sandwich both zipper ends between 2 fabric squares.  Glue together.
7. Cut four strips as long as zipper + fabric ends and 2 inches wide.
8. Glue fabric to the zipper. Encase all sides of the zipper.
9. Start at the top of the book, fold 1/2 inch under and glue to spine. Following the edge of the book, glue the zipper along the inside, about 1/2 inch from the edge of the book.
10. Round the zipper around the corners of the book, still staying 1/2 inch from the edge.
11. Unzip and glue the other side of the zipper to the book.
12. Glue down the already cut panels to the inside of the book.

As you can see by the instructions list, there are a LOT of steps to this project. But we promise, it’s actually easy as long as you follow each step.

First, let’s disassemble this book. If you hold the book in your hand, slide the edge of the scissor in the gap formed between the pages and cover of the book. This will detach the pages from the cover, but will keep the stitching of the pages intact.

Our book didn’t have a hard spine, if this is the case cut one out of cardboard and hot glue it in.

Now it is time to measure and cut all of the pieces for your new book clutch. Add about a 1 1/2 inch border to the height and width of your book, this will cover the outside of the book. Cut this new measurement out of the fabric.

Cut one rectangle of fabric to cover the outside of the book, cut one rectangle to cover the inside spine of the book, and two rectangles to cover the inside panels of the book. For the inside panels, measure and subtract an inch from the height and width of the book.

Trace the panel for the outside of the book on the Heat and Bond. Cut out and iron the Heat and Bond to the fabric. Make sure you are ironing on top of the paper side. Keep the iron on a medium setting and move in circular motions until the materials are bonded. Next, place the fabric on the book and hold in place for about eight  seconds.

Is the fabric adhered to the cover? Check! Now it is time to square the fabric on the inside. We found that it was easiest to cut diagonal lines that would then fit together to form a crisp square edge.

Time to assemble the zipper! First things first, more cutting. Cut out four 2 inch squares to encase the ends of the zipper.

Using hot glue, sandwich the zipper in between two of the square pieces of fabric.

Once you have your zipper all sandwiched, use it to measure out strips to incase the sides. You want these strips to be as long as the zipper, sandwich ends included, and 2 inches wide. You will need to cut four of these strips.

Using hot glue, glue the fabric to the edge of the zipper. Try not to glue the fabric too close or the zipper will have a hard time unzipping. However, don’t glue the fabric too far back or the fabric and zipper won’t stay attached.

Once you’ve glued all four pieces onto the zipper you are ready to start assembling your clutch.

Now here is where it gets tricky. Start by gluing the end of the zipper to the top of the book. Fold ½ inch under, center the zipper with the middle of the spine and hot glue that thing!

Following the perimeter of the book, glue the zipper leaving about 1/2 inch margin. The corners get tricky, try to round the zipper instead of creating corners.

You’re halfway there! Now time to unzip the zipper and glue the other side.

Look at that! The hard part is over. Now it is time to glue in the panels and cover up that unwanted fabric.

Get ready to turn heads with your cute book clutch!

Here’s a tip! If you want an extra sturdy book clutch use a fabric that has a heavier weight. These fabrics tend to fray more so you might want to also purchase Fray Check.

We can promise you that you will never have to worry about having the same clutch as the girl next to you ;)

Whoops! Held it as a book. That’s okay. Still chic!

What do you think of turning a vintage book into a clutch? Would you rock it out and about or use it as make-up case? Tell us in the comments below!

Kelly Bryden

Kelly Bryden, an east coast native, is stoked to be a part of the Brit + Co team. Design, DIY, and fashion are her passions. If she isn't crafting you can catch her on the dance floor or wrapped up in aerial silks.