DIY Book Clutch

I love things that are quirky, and if they boarder on the nerdy side of quirky I love them even more. Olympia Le-Tan’s handmade embroidered book clutches are so perfectly and quaintly quirky that I immediately fell in love. If the clutches alone hadn’t already woo-ed me sufficiently, the film she made with Spike Jonze for Nowness definitely would have tipped me over the edge into obsession. The real thing starts around $1,300, but you can DIY for about $15! I used one of  these newly reprinted classics from Barnes & Noble, they’re perfect for this with whimsical hardcovers and sturdy pages.

 


118 Comments

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118 responses to “DIY Book Clutch

  1. SO. WONDERFUL! Thanks thanks!

  2. CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love love love love this idea:)))))))
    you are a real artist!
    ilovedoityourself.blogspot.com

  3. this is amazing amazing amazing! A DIY I will definitely try once I get all the materials I need for the project.
    Your blog is amazing- one of the DIY blogs that features DIYs that I would actually buy from a shop. Please make a DIY kit for this, I’m sure your readers would love it, I know I would! xxx

  4. not practical but very cute!

  5. just featured your DIY on my blog! don’t worry…all credit has been given to you :)

  6. I have been looking for the perfect thing to do with my vintage grays anatomy book I picked up for $2. I wonder if it would be easy to add some sort of a handle for a little purse style?

  7. Nice! But what glue did you use and where did you find the clasp? :)

    • The glue is ph neutral book glue- I always use this when working with paper because it’s clear, strong and hardly wrinkles at all. You can see a pic of it in the supplies image. Clasps you can get anywhere- try home depot or lowes!

  8. Tünde

    It is amazing. I have to try to make it. All I need is a book that can be tramsferred into a clutch. I would never dare to ruin my old or new ones. I try to buy one for cheap and turn it into a clutch.
    Love your blog by the way :D

  9. This is gorgeous and the best DIY version of Olympia’s clutches that I’ve ever seen. I’ve been searching online for months looking for a tutorial but nothing was quite as awesome as this! So inspiring – I just bought the Barnes & Noble copy of Alice in Wonderland after reading your post. Fingers crossed!

  10. mskristiina

    This is such a good idea! I’m very impressed with your tutorials lately. I’m definitely going to try this one out.

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  12. I love the way you used the title page as the primary interior of the clutch— definitely upped the class-level from the traditional book safe! I never want to cut up a good book, but I feel like this is a project to venerate a favorite. Perhaps A Picture of Dorian Gray with a handle?

  13. Megan

    After dreaming about a DIY book clutch for weeks I accidentally stumbled upon a stack of bestsellers from the 1960s today, in my appartment staircase…totally meant to be mine <3

  14. elizabeth

    Absolutely ADORED this project…so much that I have placed an order for the leather barnes and noble jane eyre!
    One thing, though-how did you attach the clasp to the book pages? did you nail it in or glue it?

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  18. Amber

    Bought Twilight off of half.com for 75 cents I am transforming this book because it is BY far one of my favorite books/movies!!! Good conversation piece when you like the book!

  19. Debbie

    I thought hitting the minus sign above would make the picture I was viewing smaller… apparently I voted a negative!
    So not true… love this!!

  20. becky derry

    This is absolutley adorable. I love your bullet necklace also mine only has one “cartridge” but I am definitly remaking one similiar to your. Thank-you for the ideas and diy’s Becky

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  22. DIYDitz

    What do I click to get to the instructions
    ???? I can’t find them

  23. Michelle S

    I love this DIY, and it seems easy at first until you get to the clasp part. Where can you even buy clasps? They’re impossible for me to find!

      • Evgeniya

        Hello, i love this tutorial and I have actually almost done a clutch from the Pictue of Dorian Gray. I am stuck with the clasp. How did you nail it? (apologies for the naive question, this is the first time i am doing such a thing myself).

  24. I could get away with some much if I had one of these…

  25. missflamboyante

    It’s mean how expensive the Olympia Le Tan clutches are…well done on your job here!
    http://missflamboyante.wordpress.com/

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  28. I love your site, not sure how I found it, but I’m loving it.

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  30. I hope you still answer questions! :) I just want to ask how big is the book and how much can it store? I don’t know if the book I want to do is too small ):

  31. mandy nicolee

    I LOVE THIS! This is really cool… great idea! :) I am trying to restrain myself from writing a five page post about how cool this is.

  32. Honestly, you are a GENIUS and an artist. You have totally inspired me, and I’m sooo excited. I have a question for you- does it have to be the same exact glue you used? the lineco neutral ph glue in the pic costs 20-30 dollars online. Can it be another type of neutral ph glue? some only cost 8! Thank you so much!!!

  33. Carly

    is the book clasp already attached when you bougt it?

  34. Nooo, not Pride and Predjudice. How do you dare to ruin that lovely novel, hope you have a copy of that one ;) Nice clutch!

  35. G

    Do you glue between every single page?? To hold it all together?

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  37. Carly

    i’m doing it right now put glue in the outside of the pages but i’m still confuse, how do you nail the book clasp?? please explain

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  39. WOW! Great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  40. Is there any other kind of glue that would work? PVA for example? Definitely going to try this at the weekend!

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  42. Amanda

    Just ordered a book to try this out with! so much better than paying $325 for the Kate spade version as well!

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  44. Cecilia

    i can’t wait to try this <3

  45. Selena

    Hi, this is the most helpful tutorial. But do you know whether there’s a specific name for that type of clasp?

  46. Joanna

    I just followed your link to the Barnes&Nobles Hardcovers and I’ve already seen at least 5 I’m actually dying to make. I might just go broke anyways, oh well!

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  49. stefie

    i can’t find a clasp anywhere… i’ve tried lowe’s and michael’s, but after searching all over, the employees simply told me they don’t carry those kind of clasps at all. where exactly in the lowe’s or home depot are you getting these clasps?

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  52. Sierra

    This is super cute! I got so excited to make this clutch and a bought a random book from an antique store, but it seems like such a good book that now I don’t think I want to cut it up!

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  56. Lindsey

    This is an awesome idea! My dad is helping me make one ! However, we noticed that you left out instructions for the back cover- we glued it to the last page I hope that’s what you did!

  57. I love it, it’s sooo original :D

  58. MD

    are the last pages glued to the back side of the cover :) ?
    if not, doesn’t the book get open ?

  59. Lizzy

    Where did you get your clasp?

  60. Jo

    I really admire you taste, handiwork and imagination and would love a few of these clutch bags. I’m a booklover so this is perfect for me. However, I am not very good with my hands, I’ve always been terrible at craft. Would you consider making some clutch bags for me? : )

  61. Featuring this amazing tutorial in my post today, LOVE IT!

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  67. Priyanka

    This is complete genius. Good on you for making this and if you have anymore FAB DIY ideas i would LOVE to hear them! thanks for the cheap/puuuuurfect idea! x x x x

  68. Looks great and I am so tempted to make one! I’m just confused as to what I’d wear it with? Any ideas?

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  70. Jennifer

    Where did you find such a pretty version of Pride and Prejudice? I just keep finding the green one. Thats my favorite book as well, and I thought this just looks awesome!

  71. lily

    I love this idea. My only question is could you create it as a shoulder bag and if so how would you put in the straps?

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  75. this is awesome, i love this blog!

  76. nicole

    is there a specific name for this type of clasp? i cant find it anywhere!

  77. freshbeezy

    this idea is done so beautifully! is there a specific name for this type of clasp? i cant find it anywhere!

  78. Jodi

    Does the book completely close when the clasp is attached? I’m on the last step, but it seems like once I attach it, I’ll have a 1/4 in gap. Is that right?

  79. Sarah Hairston

    I’m using the book about Tupac “holler if you hear me” and I’m going to put kente cloth in the inside..EXCITED!

  80. This Is really awesome. Would You mind if I did this DIY for my Youtube channel? ( All “Creativity” copyright “shout out” i guess and what not, will go out to you).

  81. Super cute! I might make it as a jewelry box, if I find an awesome book like yours!

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  85. Kay

    One of the best DIY on the net – well done!
    Can you elaborate more on how you attached the clasp?

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  88. First off, I love this so much that I found the exact book you used. It’s so cute. Question: I am sure someone already asked this, but did you use very short nails or screws to attach the clasp to the front of the book? I bought a clasp at ye old home depot, but the nails look a bit too long for the book cover and I don’t want to ruin it.

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