Button Clutch Bag

Cover an old clutch bag with buttons for a whole new look.

button clutch bag

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!

before bag

It was a grey felt with a button fastening and fully lined on the inside.

inside the bag.jpg

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

bright buttons.jpg

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.

metal buttons.jpg

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!

clutch bag with buttons.jpg

The main things I learnt, i.e. 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.

finished button bag.jpg
  • 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.jpg

Just the right size for my phone, lippy, cash and keys. Perfect for a night out.

bag with buttons.jpg

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. 

before and after button 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.

new sig 1.png

I’ll be sharing this project at these link ups