17 July 2011

DIY: foam clutch

reblog on tumblr

reblog on tumblr

m e d i u m ][ 2 hours
cost: about $4 per clutch
shop at: your house, craft or fabric stores
read: the instructions once though before you get started
I wanted a neon clutch this summer, but I didn't feel like dishing out $50+ for one, and I didn't feel like sewing. This is what happened.
- template pieces and guide, printed
click here to view/download the template

- 2 sheets of 12x18" craft foam for one clutch
(I use "Foamies" brand. Their value packs are sweet, haha.)
[note: if all you can find is 9x12", get 4 sheets. you will have to rearrange the template but it's totally possible]
- 1 roll of double sided tape
(makes about 3 clutches. I use the kind 1/4" kind they put in the craft foam section. You cut it, place it, then when you're ready, peel up the paper to make it sticky on both sides)
- experience with with scissors or xacto knife
- scissors or xacto knife
- ruler
- scotch tape
- pencil
- cutting mat or hard surface to work on


1. Cut the blue part of the template pieces off, leaving the white and grey. You will have 6 rectangles, which we will make into 2 bigger rectangles.

2. The last page has loose shapes, cut those out individually and set aside.

3. Tape the first 4 rectangles pieces together, a little bit of tape on the front to help you align, and lots of tape on the back to hold things together. You may need to trim the inner gray edges to align things correctly.

4. Repeat for the other two rectangle pieces.

5. Cut out all the shapes like you did in step 2. Be careful not to cut piece A in half! It has a fold line near the middle, not a cut.


6. Arrange the templates on the foam, using the guide for reference. (The D's in the photo will look slightly thicker than what you have in front of you, I had to adjust the template. No worries!)

7. Trace the shapes lightly in pencil.

8. Cut out all the shapes.


9. Get all the A, C, and D pieces.

10. Put double sided tape on both sides of all the D pieces.

11. Take piece C and attach D3, placing it along the top edge, like you're stacking papers neatly. Flip piece C over, and place double sided tape on the top and bottom.

12. Attach C to the top of Ai, again, lining it up.

13. Now to give the clutch thickness. Attach D1 and D2 to the upper sides, lining them up like you did with piece C.

14. Fold the bottom of Aii up to the lower edge of C. Can you see the clutch forming?

15. Find piece B, E1, and E2. Place piece B at the top, right over D3, keeping it lined up.

16. On E1, put two pieces of double sided tape on either end. On E2, put one long strip.

17. Place E1 on the front of the clutch, under B. I like to line up the bottom of E1 with the bottom of B.

18. Place E2 on the back, in about the same place as E1 on the other side.

19. Grab F1 and F2. These are the closure straps. Arrange double sided tape in a T formation at the top of both.

20. Place both F1 and F2 about 1.5" from either side, lining up their tops with the top of the clutch.

21. I used G1 to make a funky little pocket at the front.

22. You can also apply a little more tape and create little loops on F1 and F2, which help them stay in place.

23. Done!

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TIP: Flatten your clutch under a heavy book overnight to help the double sided tape really adhere.

EXTRA PIECES: I imagined G1/G2/H to be buckles and pockets and corners, then didn't end up using most of them, but you can! Play with the extra shapes and scraps to style your clutch uniquely. I like the minimalist look, but you could definitely add stickers or drawings if you felt like it!

ALTERNATIVE IDEA: Tuck a necklace in, and voila, it's a purse!

BEHIND THE SCENES: I didn't dream up this exact design all at once. Here's the practice clutch and sketches I played with for hours on end:

Be sure to check out my other projects!
If you make one, feel free to post a photo on the September Girls Do So Much fan page!

DIY #14
♥ I worked really hard on this tutorial. It took a long time to prepare.
I wrote out these instructions and took the photos.
So if you see this anywhere else, it's not the original.

another bright flower in the yard

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reblog on tumblr

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02 July 2011

First Same-Day Blog, haha

I packed my bag and picked my outfit the last night, to maximize efficiency. Charlotte and I got on the Intercity at 8:55 AM. Yes, I actually have the ability to wake up early enough to do so. Waking up for a routine is not nearly as exciting as waking up for chocolate! We had to stand for part of the ride, as the train was very full. We ate our respective packed breakfasts quite successfully, despite having to deal with people swishing past us frequently. We kept laughing at the open mouth sleeping passenger behind us, so that perked us up. A not half-bad looking gentleman gave up his seat for us about midway through the ride. We greatly appreciated it, and we both really liked the detailing on his trousers, but didn't mention it.

Staring at the signs as we rolled in, we pushed and shoved our way off at Brussels Central Station. Wandering down the hill and wondering what we were looking at, we found a cafe near an outdoor market. People slowly milled in, tourists are always fun to watch. The coffee was not my favorite but the food soon improved. We continued wandering, and throughout the day I had freshly fried french fries by a man clearly dedicated to his work and a chewy (Belgian!) waffle with sugary strawberries and powdered sugar.

The center was almost too much to take in. I adored absorbing the architecture and patterns, and having a good long look at the dressed up Mannequin Pis. We stopped at a jewelry shop with lots of rings on display, cleverly attached to a table with chains and washers, so you could try them on without theft. However, this really was a food day! Mostly, a sweet day, literally and slangularly. Some shops offered free samples, which is definitely a good idea, as good samples usually result in a sale. I was given a marvelous cone shaped jelly candy, and later, a small square of wonderful chocolate.

We got seats for the ride home, munched a bit, and I reconnected with Rotterdam by photographing graffiti through the window before we arrived at Rotterdam Centraal again. It was a solid 10 hour day out.

I still can't get over the fact that it is possible to hop on a train right in town, and in 2 hours, be in a new country. To simplify hours of thoughts I've had: I've learned a lot living in Europe but, for the next few years, I'd like to think of it as a vacation destination. There is a big difference between living and visiting. My time here has made me appreciate home, the comforts, and the familiarities which allow me to pursue my dreams. And, I like the idea of Europe remaining a magical place.

people waiting for the ol' 8:55am train

cafe view

some old friends

where the chocolate and lace hangs out

great image

I love handpainted letters

buildings in the center of town

jelly cone candy

crazy candy shop

Beth and the little guy who saved the town

necklace inspiration

giant green parking cone, no big deal

huge vending machine!

the outfit, had to add a sweater

the loot

my favorite design