13/01/15 - DIY Book Clutch Bag

As an avid reader and an accessory junkie, I have to admit that any kind of literary-themed clothing or jewellery is a winner for me.  Thankfully, there are a lot of options out there on the interwebs for anyone with a similar fixation (Out Of Print is a personal favourite of mine, and Etsy is a haven for creative little bits and pieces), but some things might be a little too niche to be found even online or else they can sport a pretty hefty price tag.  So when I saw this tutorial for turning a hardback book into a clutch bag, I simply couldn't resist getting my craft cap on.  I'm not the most visually creative person, but I do love a little project.

I am a huge Gatsby lover and so naturally that is the book I decided to immortalise as a fashion piece.  I quite like the idea of people believing that I love the book so much that I couldn't resist bringing it along to whatever soirĂ©e I might be attending, only to be amazed when I bust it open to reveal my phone and lipstick safely inside.  I also feel that F. Scott Fitzgerald would heartily approve of his most seminal work being at my side as I sip cocktails and socialise.

Nails: 'Vintage Violet' by Barry M

The tutorial is reasonably straightforward and although the process is a little fiddly in parts, the end result is definitely worth the time that goes into it.  You don't need an awful lot of stuff in order to do this project and everything is fairly standard so you may already have a lot of it.  I found that a clasp is not the easiest thing in the world to source, but this problem was solved by a cheap trinket box and the fastening is actually pretty sturdy and practical.

I opted for the beautiful Penguin Hardback Classics edition of The Great Gatsby, but was disappointed to find that it was a little thin to be made into a functioning bag - it's not exactly a long book, so it's not really surprising.  Rather than give up or try to find another edition that was quite as attractive, I found that The Beautiful and the Damned was just thick enough to work for the project.  With a little reshaping, the Gatsby dust jacket covered the fact that I was actually using a different book and I doubt anyone would look closely enough at the words that you can just about see to realise it.  I also transferred the title page of The Great Gatsby into the bag as a little finishing touch.

Why yes, I am rocking a Pharrell Williams T-shirt.  No judgement.
If you're like me, you'll want to get some 'adult supervision' (aka. boyfriend
help) for the knifey parts.

Slicing into the pages of a book was an odd sensation, having spent so much of my life taking care of books rather than destroying them.  I made sure to recycle the pages that I cut out so at least they weren't just cast off, unwanted.  That makes me feel a bit better.

I'm pretty flipping happy with the finished product, if I do say so myself!  It helps that the book is beautiful to start with, but I think it is definitely an accessory I will be proud to show off at parties.

If you have a go at this DIY project or you have any other crafty ideas, let me know!

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