I am so very excited to share this D.I.Y. project with all of you! But since I've only had the pleasure of talking to a few of you, I should properly introduce myself before we get started. My name is Cori. I was born, raised and still currently residing right in the middle of New Jersey with an abundance of clothing that refuses to fit in my closet. I firmly believe that you do not have to have an unlimited budget to purchase great pieces or create a stylish outfit, which is exactly why I chose the DIY route for this transparent clutch/chain bag.
Recently, I've become obsessed with the transparent look because of how versatile the pieces can be depending on the accessories you place in them. After reading plenty of tutorials and watching several videos I felt that I had gathered enough information to make one myself- but with my own special twist. So, rather than showing you a complete re-make of what's already out there, I decided to change up a couple of elements, re-think the measurements and incorporate some other ideas of my own. Before I decided to take on this D.I.Y. project, I scouted the internet just to see what the going rate was for one of these bad boys. Some were as low as $10, some were $40, some for $100 and even one for close to $1,000 (no thank you!). Determined to stick to a very low budget, I set out to the local craft store to pick up my supplies so I could get to work In total all of my supplies came to about $30 (minus the tools, I borrowed them from my Dad's garage).
I did opt to buy the bigger pack of each supply because I knew that I wanted to make more than one clutch, so when I broke down what I did use for one, my total came out to around $10.
Here's what you'll need:
1. Double Polished Clear Vinyl (typically near the fabric section- it's used for covering furniture. Tip: choose the thickest)
2. 1/4" grommets (4)
3. Rivets (10)
4. 42" of chain (optional)
5. 6 studs of your choice (optional)
6. Masking Tape
Now, let's get started!
1. First, I made myself a template with the measurements below. I did fall in love with once specific template by A Pair & a Spair, which is where I got the shape from. I did use slightly different measurements because I wanted mine a bit smaller.
Once you've made a template, tape it over your vinyl (you'll only need a couple of pieces). Cut around it to imitate the shape of the paper, be sure to save your scraps for later. Once you've done that, it's a good idea to fold your vinyl up just to make sure everything falls into place before heading on to the next step. Fold the two smaller side flaps inward first, thn fold the bottom flap up and the top flap down. If it all matches up, you're almost half way there!
2. While your clutch is folded (with the larger flap on the outside of the two smaller flaps), mark where you'll place your rivets. It's a good idea to use a small piece of tape on each side to hold it together while you are marking the spots. Since only the larger flap is exposed, you will only be able to mark that portion for now.
Now, use the hole punch to knock out those markings and fold your vinyl back up to it's original state to mark the smaller flaps. Using the marker once again, make a marking right through the holes you just punched so that everything matches up for the next step.
3. Now, it's time to get in touch with your inner construction worker and start hammering in your rivets. The reason I chose these specifically is because once you hammer them together, there's no turning back. Therefore, there's absolutely no chance that your clutch with disassemble in the middle of a dinner party and spill your contents all over the floor.
The rivets will come with a concise, three-step instruction manual for hammering them together properly along with the other tools pictured.
It should look like this when you're finished!
4. One thing that I've noticed is that a lot of the tutorials that I've read were missing a way to close the clutch. Rather than investing in any more hardware pieces, I took some of my scrap vinyl that was left over after cutting the main piece and made a closure device. I cut two rectangular pieces that were 2.5'' long & .5" wide. I attached the first one right above the bottom of the top flap, and in case that was as confusing to read as it was to type, there are two pictures below. This is also where I decided to attach some skull studs to make my clutch more "me". I attached one over the middle rivet on each side of the bottom, and one on the bottom corners of the top flap. I also used another stud over the rivet that I used to attached the closure flap (as shown below).
Next, I installed another rivet on the bottom of the closure flap but didn't hammer it in ALL the way so that it would secure on the other closure flap.
After that, I installed my other rectangular piece about one inch below the top flap (when the clutch is closed). I secured each side with a rivet and put a skull stud over each of those as well.
5. For me, carrying a clutch isn't always practical.. especially if I'm shopping, which is why I took it upon myself to install a chain. While your clutch is closed, make a small marking on the right side of the clutch (about one 1&1/2" to the left & 1" down). Repeat this on the left side of the clutch and use the hole punch over both of these markings. (Since the hole punch might not make a large enough hole for the grommet to fit through, make another one right next to it to make the hole a little bigger). Install the grommets according to the directions they come with (they will also come with the necessary tools).
To make the holes the same on the back of the bag, fold it back up and make the markings through the grommets as you did for the rivets & repeat the same steps as you did for the front. It should look like the picture below after all four grommets are installed.
Since I purchased enough chain to make several bags, I measured out 42" and used the plyers to open up one of the links and separated it from the reel. Then, I put one end of the chain through the grommets on the left and one end of the chain through the grommets on the right and reattached the end of the chain with the pliers.
One your chain is installed, you're done! Hooray! It should look something like the picture all the way at the top. Of course, the skulls studs & chains are completely optional but I felt that they worked well for me, so, if you want to see how I wore it you can check out my personal blog here.
If you guys have any questions at all please feel free to let me know and I will answer them ASAP.
I would also absolutely love to see pictures of your D.I.Ys so please share them with all of us!