How To Make A Leather Clutch Bag With Zipper

Most women love clutch bags with zippers because they ensure that their valuables are intact and more secure. At the same time, these clutch bags are also used by men. One of the most wanted clutch bags is made out of leather. Leather clutch bags are fashionable and very handy, thus what makes them high in demand. It is an item often misunderstood by many because it is perceived as luxurious. If you want that clutch bag badly, the simple solution you can do is to make one, and here are the steps. 

Gather the Materials and Tools: Your DIY Buddies

Start right by preparing the materials and tools beforehand, and this will ensure that you have a smooth workflow in doing your leather project. Similar to other leathercrafts, you will need these tools and materials.

For this project, you need to prepare these: Pattern-making tools, including pattern weights, cardboard, pattern paper, and pencils. Cutting materials consisted of scissors, rotary cutter, leather knives, or whatever cutting tools you have. 

Add the sewing materials, namely thread, thimble, stitching pony, and sewing machine (optional). Include also glue for the initial synthesis of leather pieces. Of course, leather and zippers should be included.

Tip: Choose Your Tools and Accessories Wisely

As they say, choose your weapons wisely; the same goes for making your leather clutch bags with zippers. You have to make sure that you have all the tools and materials you need for this project, and choosing the appropriate ones would be best for you.

The most important tool you could have is a universal sewing needle that will surely pierce your leather material properly while you start sewing them. Unlike an all-purpose needle, a leather hide needle has a sharper tip which helps penetrate the leather and forms an evenly nice stitch. 

Note you must use a fresh needle if you’re expecting the best results. For thread, it may be polyester or nylon, and both are built strong. They’re durable and will hold up well through time. Opt for a thicker thread if you think your hide is not soft enough.

In doing a manual stitch, it is encouraged to use a thimble. This is a holy grail for beginners because this will help protect your fingers from getting pricked or poked by the needle. It would help if you remembered that your safety is as important as choosing your tools and materials.

Also, your work will be so much faster, lighter, and easier because pattern weights will help you hold your pattern in place while you cut it out using your rotary cutter. At the same time, make sure the lines or markings you made are visible to avoid common mistakes.

Measure and Calculate Your Clutch Bags Dimensions

You must know how much leather you need for your custom leather clutch zippered bag. You would definitely want to calculate your measurements and dimensions first before getting started because measurements can affect the sizing of your clutch. You have to decide your desired length on your clutch and use your zipper to determine the width. Measure the length of your zipper, use a tape, and you have your width measurement.

If you want your clutch to have a different width, buy a longer zipper and shorten it. You can shorten your zipper just by stitching back and forth over its teeth several times to create a bartack. This bartack is a zipper stop which is unique if you ask me, and it will allow you to have a 100 percent customized leather clutch bag.

The length of your clutch is measured depending on your desired outcome. If you want a shallow clutch, cut it in a shorter length and if you want a deeper clutch, then cut a longer length. Make sure you have room for allowances. Seam allowances are important, too, because these allowances will give you enough space to stitch your leather piece. Once done with your measurements, you can start marking them.

Create and Style In the Pattern

Always make sure to start making the pattern before proceeding to the leather. In your pattern, incorporate the style and design you want so that this will be what you will follow throughout. Consider carefully the dimensions of the leather clutch bag you will make. Of course, you still have the freedom to change it later on, but for newbie leather workers, this is crucial.

Once done, lay the pattern on the leather and cut it carefully. Always adhere to the measurements and cutting lines on your pattern. Execute your design.

Cut and Mark The Leather

It is wise to choose lightweight garment-grade leather for sewing leather clutch bags, especially when you do not have a sewing machine with you. However, the material may vary depending on its availability. Each hide will have subtle differences just likewise with fabrics; they also have their quirks. Here you will completely understand how amazing it would be to make such a complex yet satisfying project. 

Leather hides aren’t perfect. They can have variations in textures and, of course, have imperfections, so my advice would be, check them out first. Carefully inspect your leather material, for this will help you plan out your pattern placement.

I recommend cutting each pattern piece individually instead of laying out your leather hide for best results. Rather than cutting pieces on your fold, trace one side, flipping the pattern piece over, and tracing the other side.

Remember, every time you puncture your leather piece, you leave a permanent hole there. Instead of pinning it, it’s best to use pattern weights and your rotary cutter.

To avoid any accidental marks (stray) on your pattern, just cut your pattern pieces on the wrong side of the leather material and make sure that you transfer all the markings on the wrong side as well.

Tip: Best Leather Choice For Clutch Bags

Leather is the most practical choice amongst all the other materials you could use for bags. It has a natural tone, has a musky or neutral smell. Most of them are waterproof/resistant, and it is a robust material that makes them last longer. 

The leather type of material you can use to make your clutch bag can actually be any leather, but note that your clutch bag’s quality would depend solely on what you choose. 

Among the affordable options in the market, the highest quality material you can find suitable for this project is Cowhide Leather. The cowhide has a natural unbleached skin and is made out of Cattle’s skin; it retains the original coloring of the animal, but it undergoes tanning which ensures the Cowhide’s softness and ensures minimal concerns about its odor. 

Cowhides are greatly produced from these countries Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. They produce the best high-quality cowhides globally because of the humane way they raise these animals and its chromium process of tanning. Cowhide Leather is also extremely durable. It is water-resistant and is aesthetically appealing.

However, you can also use Full Grain Leather or Faux Leather if the Cowhide Leather is unavailable. Full Grain Leather can also be leather of choice because it is taken from the toughest parts of an animal hide. They’re mainly used for heavy-duty items, the last five times longer, and they actually age beautifully through time, unlike poor quality leathers, but they’re really expensive.

Faux leather is made out of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), a candidate because it’s soft leather and is easier to handle and use. Still, it can harm you as it has a toxic component, so be careful in using this type of leather make sure you do not get it burned.

Stitch The Zipper Up

You can pin your zipper while stitching if it’s a lot easier for you, do not forget to use your thimble to avoid getting hurt. Make sure the thread you’re using is thick enough and the needle is sharp enough to penetrate your leather piece to have a clean and desirable outcome.

Thread your needle. Cut about 30’’ of your thread and insert it through the eye of your needle. Pull so that both ends are even and knot them on end. Pin your zipper to the center of one of the 10’’ of the leather. Note that the top side of your leather piece must be facing each other.

Begin now by stitching your zipper to your leather. Insert the needle on the wrong side of your leather about ¼’’ away from the other end of your zipper. You can unzip it because, in my experience, it was way easier that way. 

Make a simple straight stitch along the zipper and then close the teeth. Do not worry if the stitches you’ve made aren’t perfect; there’s always room for practice!

When you’ve already reached the end, knot the thread about ¼’’ on the outside of the other side of the zipper and then insert the needle through a bit of the zipper fabric and pull your thread until there’s a small loop remaining. Now you can insert your needle into that small loop and pull, making you a firm knot and repeat several times for added security. Now do the same for the other side, sew the other side, and secure the zipper.

Tip: Choose The Best Zipper For Your Need

Your clutch, however, must have a zipper since it adds more security to your valuables. However, not all zippers are well-made, so you have to choose the best zipper on the market and make sure that the zipper of your choice is appropriate and suitable for the design of your clutch.

There is no such thing as the best zipper, but there will be a zipper out there best for your leather clutch. Generally, there are three major types of zippers: metal ones, molded plastic zippers, invisible zippers, and coil zippers. For handbags such as clutches, the best option you can choose is a metal zipper.

These metal zippers come in many materials like brass, nickel, aluminum, and others. They are also excellent options for their price, versatility, dependability, and reliability. They’re also used in other heavy-duty items such as jeans, boots, and bags. This zipper can be used in almost anything without breaking your budget. 

Mark and Stitch Up The Sides Of Your Clutch

After you’ve finished doing your zipper, you must mark and stitch the sides of your clutch. The marks will serve as your guide for you to stitch the sides of your clutch flawlessly and ensure that the allowance of each side is evenly stitched.

On each side of your zipper, carefully draw a straight line on the backside of your leather piece, starting about ½’’ outside of both ends of your metal zipper teeth.

Using the same thread, begin stitching down the sides of your clutch, following the drawn line. These lines will serve as your guide.

The first few stitches may be hard for you to do because you’re now stitching to multiple layers. Again use your thimble to be safe and use it to push the needle harder if needed. 

When you’ve reached the end, know the thread in the same way you did previously. Repeat the process on the other side, and you’re about to get things done.

Assemble And Trim Excess Material

You can now assemble your clutch and cut a few excess materials like excess threads, excess leathers, or fabric from the zipper, and then you’re already done! When clutch edges are sewn, trim or cut the excess visible materials to make them look flawless and clean.

Just leave about ½’’ on each side, then cut corners on that angle but be very careful not to get too close to the threads. For sure, you do not want to ruin your work now, do you? Check also the excess threads.

Lastly, flip your clutch right-side out through your zipper hole and arrange them and their corners, and lay them flat, and your leather zippered clutch bag is ready for use!

Other Things To Know in Making a Leather Clutch Bag

Here is other information necessary for your DIY leather clutch bag with a zipper.

The Feels Leather Clutch Bags With Zippers Offer

Leather clutch bags are small and attractive because of their theatricality. They are often used on several occasions such as theatrical shows, classic birthday parties, acquaintance parties (depending on the party’s theme), debuts, weddings, etc. These bags are also worn by models in the fashion industry to add more style to their looks, and they are also used and preferred by many because of how easy it is to carry. The zippers on this specific type of bag add more security to your valuables, thus making them more reliable and safe to use.  

Leather Clutch bags are an all-day or everyday option that one can carry from day tonight. Clutch bags are designed to be handheld. It is a small handbag that is free from handles or straps. They’re commonly or mostly used for evening occasions, as mentioned above. Still, nowadays it has become a fashion trend, and people use it everywhere or even when they’re about to work. 

If you don’t have pockets but need to bring your phone, pen, make-up, cards, or even your money, then having a leather clutch bag with a zipper is right for you. You see, most people do not find the significance of having a clutch bag. They underestimate what it’s actually capable of doing.

Budget Costs of Leather Clutch Bags

In this project, you may want to consider your budget as leather materials can be expensive. However, the rest of the materials and tools you need are way cheaper, so I think you won’t go over budget with this one. 

You have to keep an open mind and spend wisely on your tools and materials because quality should be your utmost priority! For leather, cowhide can cost you roughly $57 to $280, while faux hide is priced at roughly $4 to$ 35. 

Full-grain leather cost more than the other two. It can cost you from $57 to $200, so choose either cowhide or faux leather if you do not have enough budget. For leather tools, if you have yours in your stash, you can use them. 

Suppose you can buy online or from the nearest leather store. Ensure to add threads, needles, and thimbles that can be just about a dollar or so depending on the brand you choose.

And lastly, your rotary cutter and pattern weights. Rotary cutters would only cost $7.55 to $8.75, while Pattern weights only cost about $2. These two can be a good investment, too, because you can use them in your other leather projects.


After doing these steps, you will come up with the ideal clutch bag for you, secured with a zipper nicely done. It will also have polished edges and will indeed appear appealing. Once in use, you will not worry that your things will not be secured while you party.

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