Convertible Translucent Clutch
When I first heard about the new NFL-wide rules for bags this season I thought “who the heck came up with that idea” and then I thought “I know exactly who thought of that… a man.” Here’s the options: a clear bag not exceeding 12″ x 6″ x 12″ in size, a gallon sized ziploc bag (seriously?) or a small wristlet sized clutch that you must put INSIDE a plastic bag… no thank you. I’ve been wanting to make an envelope style clutch for a while now and do I thought I would combine want and necessity by making it clear AND convertible so it can be used for different things. This is a simple design made even simpler because it’s made from plastic but the fact that you can see through it and the choices you make in hardware make it a show-stopper. The cool thing is you can wear it like a clutch as shown in the left picture and it dresses up nicely, or you can add a strap through some grommets and it’s perfect for game days when you don’t want to carry it as shown on the right. I think if you have to follow the rules I stated above, this DIY version is a really chic way to do it plus it’s something no one else will have! This tutorial is done in size regulations for the NFL stadiums but you can tweak it to make this bag as big or small as you like. If the grommets intimidate you (they shouldn’t, I’ll show you how and it’s so easy!) or you don’t want a strap, feel free to leave them off and just use it as a clutch!
You’re going to start of by drawing out your template. I have THESE big rolls of coloring paper from Ikea so that’s what I used, but you can use poster board or tape together pieces of card stock. It’s too big to print onto a standard sheet of paper which is why I haven’t included a downloadable one, but here is the pattern I made for my template. **THIS IS NOT TO SIZE, you have to draw out the template using the measurements shown below:
1. Once you’ve drawn and cut out your template, tape it falt over a piece of super clear PVC vinyl (I used painters tape so no residue got on the PVC). Walmart actually had the best prices on the PVC and a half yard is exactly big enough for this template.
2. Cut the piece of PVC following the template and then punch the holes where you’re going to secure the bottom part of the “envelope” shape. The boxes with the stars in the drawing above show which points are going to connect with one another, just match the colors. I used two-prong metal studs to secure my pieces so I needed two small holes for them to fit through… I used a tiny hole punch but you could also use a bead reamer. To figure out where to punch, fold your paper template, find out where the pieces line up in the spots marked above and punch the holes on the paper. Lay the paper over your cut-out PVC piece and mark the spots, then punch the PVC.
3. Thread the studs through the holes, securing the bottom half of the “envelope” in four spots… the side pieces go on the inside.
4. Next you’re going to install your closure. I got mine off of an old purse that I found for a couple of bucks at a thrift store, but you can use any closure you like which you can find at craft stores. For mine, I lined up the top of the closure where I wanted it on the top flap, punched the screw holes out with a bead reamer and cut out the opening with a box cutter.
5. I screwed the back plate in then folded the top flap (now with the closure screwed in place) down to line up the bottom part of the closure. I marked the spot on the bottom half of the “envelope”, punched holes on with the bead reamer then threaded the bottom half of the closure through and secured. If you’re just using this as a clutch, you’re done… if not, this is where you add the grommets.
6. I simply closed up the “envelope” and then marked the two spots at the top where I wanted my grommets, poked a bead reamer through both layers on each side and used THIS grommet kit to install four grommets (one on each layer on both sides) (6). Clip your strap or handle through these grommets and you’re good to go!