These were inspired by the super fun and cute book clutches from Olympia Le-Tan. I love how at first glance it looks like you’re carrying a book, but upon closer inspection you see an intricately embroidered felt and fabric clutch. I’d love to own all of her designs, but they’re a bit expensive for me so I’ll have to settle on my homemade version for now.
This is part 1 of a 2 part series. I’ll show you the beginner and intermediate methods in this post and the advanced method in an upcoming post! (Click here to see part 2!)
— Click thru to see the tutorial and download the free templates! —
* BEGINNER *
Materials: An 8×10″ piece of cream linen-like fabric; Wonder Under, olive, pink and gold felt, green and pink embroidery thread, needle, mod podge, paint brush, fabric scissors, a pre-made book box
I found my box at Michaels on sale for about $5 and it was totally finished, complete with a magnetic closure so all I had to do was decorate the cover. If you can’t find it at your local store, you can browse pre-made books online here. I also saw some at JoAnns for $5 that are unfinished so you’d have to totally cover it and add a closure.
Since this method is the easiest, all you have to do is make two fabric pieces to glue onto the cover. For the back, I cut out an olive green felt shape to fit my box and glued it on (one side down one to go!). Tailor this design to suit your needs if your box doesn’t have fancy corners. Now, on to the front…
In the free template you can download below, trace the book title words onto the back of the fabric. The design is backward so you can lay the fabric on the paper and trace the letters. That way when you embroider the words, the pen mark won’t show on the front. (Remember to place the title in the middle of your fabric!)
Trace, cut out and glue down (with mod podge) the felt pieces to complete the main portion of the design. When it’s fully dry, embroider around the inside of the key hole with light pink thread. Using the template as a guide (or by tracing it), embroider the vines with the light green thread.
Now you’re going to get fancy and turn this into something similar to book cloth to make it easier to glue to the book cover. All you need to do is iron Wonder Under onto the back of the fabric, peel the backing off, place a piece of tissue paper on top and iron again. You can see this video for more detailed instructions but this makes it a nice neat surface to glue onto your book. Now glue on the pieces and you’re done!
* INTERMEDIATE *
Materials used: A hardcover book, chipboard, E6000 glue, Wonder Under, white and maroon felt, maroon embroidery thread, white & gold acrylic paint, white fabric, awl, elastic, button, needle, mod podge, paint brush, fabric scissors
I wasn’t too thrilled with how this method turned out because I felt that the sides of the box were having a hard time stick to the spine of the book. It turned out fine though, but I’d consider using this method which may also be easier.
My book was 8.5 x 5.5″ so I cut chipboard into two pieces 8 x 1.5″ and two pieces 5.5 x 1.5″. I covered these pieces with white fabric and painted them gold and let dry. Then I glued them on a piece of maroon felt, cut to fit the book cover. Follow directions in the above photo and then cover the other side of the inside cover with another piece of maroon felt. Your book should be built, now it’s time to decorate it.
Cut out the shapes in the design and make your bat. Using this method, make your applique with wonder under. With mod podge, glue your bat onto the front of your book and then hand paint the author name.
To attach the button, use an awl and poke two holes in the long side of your book. Tie on the button with embroidery thread. On the opposite side, attach a loop of elastic under the felt piece with the E600. Let everything dry and you’re all done!
Be sure to check back soon for the second part of this series. The advanced book is coming up next!
*UPDATE: The second post is up now! See it here.