Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Button Clutch Bag

Cover an old clutch bag with buttons for a whole new look.
Clutch Bag covered inbuttons
I am SO excited to have this ready to share with you all today. This has been a long old time in the making! 
I first thought I'd like to cover a bag wth buttons several years ago. I keep my eyes open in charity shops thinking I might see something suitable, then thought maybe I should just make a cloth bag myself. Then in April 2015 I took a long haul flight in premium economy. Premium economy was fab, well worth the small amount extra it worked out....but this is not a travel review. On the overnight flight we were given little bags with a few toiletries. Very nice, very handy and a nice little clutch bag to take home and transform!
button clutch bag before
It was a grey felt with a button fastening and fully lined on the inside.
button clutch bag before

Next I needed to decide what buttons to use. I thought about nice bright ones.

Then maybe metallic buttons, which I liked but I didn't have anything like enough. Also most were buttons with shanks which would make the little clutch bag too bulky.
So I settled on pastel coloured pearl type buttons. I had loads and most are the inexpensive kind that had come off old shirts. 

This is a pretty simple makeover / refashion.
You simply sew the buttons on.

Ha ha! So quick to type, SO time consuming to do!
Button bag refashion
The main things I learnt, ie my top tips are: 
  • You will need WAY more buttons than you would think. I thought I had loads but ran out and had to wait to source some more from old garments and charity shop purchases. 
  • Use regular sewing thread but have it double for strength.
  • Don't have your thread too long, it will catch on the buttons. Just accept you will have to cast off and start a new length of thread often. 


Button Clutch Bag

  • It's a little tedious, so sew the buttons on whilst watching tv. 
  • This is not a quick craft, it will take ages. That's ok, not everything has to be instant, not all crafts are quick.
  • My bag had an elastic loop to secure it. I simply swapped the button it fastened to for one with a shank.
  • Your bag will be significantly heavier with all those buttons attached.
Button Clutch Bag
Just the right size for my phone, lippy, cash and keys. Perfect for a night out.
I did cover both sides of the bag, the back is the same as the front. I think I've mentioned before I like the back to have pattern or design too otherwise I feel cheated. I guess that may be why it took so long and used so many buttons! I guess if you are not so fussy and are happy with a plain back then this would be both quicker and use less buttons.
Even quicker would be to just cover part of a bag, maybe just the flap, or a panel if your bag had one. Or you could just add buttons in a strip either to one side or down the centre. 
Button Clutch Bag
After all this time, and it's been about 2 years in all, I am super pleased with my button clutch bag. It's very reminiscent of the amazing outfits of Pearly Kings and Queens from London.
Julia Nyanyo
Julia Nyanyo

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.

33 comments:

  1. Your bag is wonderful! I ove what yu did, bravo.

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  2. Well I sounded like a moron in my last comment, darn spell check!

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    1. I think I love you! I'm normally the queen of the typo's so I'm happy you have joined the club!

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  3. Brilliant idea and so handy you were 'given' the bag to start it. Perfect K xXx

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    1. Thanks, it really was a perfect free/included blank canvas, just what I was searching for.

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  4. Such a quirky and original idea. It looks great and will definitely brighten up your outfits! It was certainly worth the time and hard work x

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    1. That's what I'm telling myself Caroline, it was worth the time and effort! I feel like it will go with everything too, which is a bonus.

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  5. Oh like I haven't already got enough buttons to do this! I am now on the two year hunt for a clutch bag. I think it is great. Jo x

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    1. Good luck with your hunt, maybe you'll get lucky and find something straight away - or make something fabulous!

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  6. This is funky and cute. I look for buttons in thrift stores all the time, especially old buttons they can be really really pretty. I know this must have taken hours to do, but it was fun to put together wasn't it?

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    1. It was loads of fun Leanna, maybe another reason it took so long was because I keep stopping to admire how nicely it was coming along!

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  7. Super cute idea! You can dress it up or down. Visiting from Pretty Pintastic Party.

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  8. This is so cute! I love buttons and actually have some vintage ones from my grandmother that would make an adorable clutch. Thanks for the great idea!

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    1. That sounds like a lovely idea. Some of the buttons in my button box were from my Grandma, she never let a thing go to waste so even when clothes fell apart she would rescue the fastening to be used again.

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  9. It looks fabulous! I can only imagine how long it took to make up. Well worth it.

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    1. Ha ha, yes, not quick but great to feel like watching tv wasn't a waste of time, I do live a good bit of multitasking!

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  10. Fit for a pearly queen. I have so many vintage buttons and love them

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  11. Watching tv while sewing on buttons has to be the best sewing tip ever! I also thought of pearly kings and queens when I saw it, although when I was a little girl I thought these were people who came from Purley!

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    1. That's brilliant, those famous Purley royals! My nan's name was Pearl so I always thought maybe she was a pearly queen when I was little. Bless!
      I do all my hand sewing whilst watching tv (actually I'm more listening to tv, just glancing up when no one is talking so I know what's going on) #multitasking

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  12. How fun! I have bins and bins of buttons. Pinning and sharing. Thanks for linking up to #HomeMattersParty

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    1. It's a fun way to make good use of at least part of a button collection :-)

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  13. oh my goodness, I was thinking how you must have the patience of a saint to sew all those buttons on and then you mentioned that it's 'tedious'! Such a relief, now I know you're perfectly normal. A fab finish though, well worth the tedium! :D #handmademonday

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    1. Yes, I don't want to put anyone off but better to be forewarned. It was a long old project, luckily I had other things to do inbetween! It is worth it though, I'm loving my little button clutch.

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  14. What a fun idea! I'd love to have you share it at the Pleasures of the NW's DIY Party!
    http://www.pleasuresofthenw.com/do-it-yourself-crafty-party-47/

    Thanks!

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  15. Such a lovely idea Julie and I have the buttons to do it !! Thank you for sharing with I am Pinnable Julie

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    1. Thanks Amber, so many sewers and crafters have a big stash of buttons, it's a fun way to use them.

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  16. Love this! So original and so much respect that you took the time to actually do all this. I know it's a lot of work but it looks so cool!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks Mary. It was a slog but worth it! And by doing other things in between it was not too onerous at all.

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  17. Great idea....so glad I have found your blog.

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  18. What a great idea and makeover Julie. Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays last week, you are one of this weeks featured blogs :)

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  19. So pretty, I just love button crafts! Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

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  20. This is so stinkin' adorable! I've always wanted to make a tote bag like this but haven't (ahem) found the time. :)

    Found you via SITS girls. Love your purse!

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  21. Oh my ! I'm looking for my felt leftovers and checking out my button supply !!
    I can see this with white felt and white, cream and silver buttons for Easter !!
    So glad I found you .

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