Creating personalized gifts for family and friends is almost always at the top of my to-do list when the holidays roll around. I’ve tackled so many fun, DIY gift ideas in the past I wanted to keep the fun going by creating something super unique, very personal and easy-to-execute this year. The DIY Clutch is a great gift that allows you to interject your personality or customize to your friends’ aesthesis. It’s also incredibly easy to create during the often very busy holiday season.
The “fabric” I used for the clutch is actually a canvas print from FedEx Office. I began the project by creating my own design by painting an abstract image on a large piece of paper. Once my painting was finished, I photographed it from above, uploaded the photograph to my computer and then uploaded the photo file to fedex.com/office to have it printed on canvas. I then used the printed canvas as my fabric for the clutch. I liked
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using the canvas as fabric for the clutch because it’s a perfectly-durable material and the colors really popped with such a high-quality print.
You can actually get 50% off canvas prints now through November 30th in FedEx Office locations and online by visiting fedex.com/photo.
Here’s how to make your own DIY canvas clutch for the holidays:
First, you’ll need to assemble your materials which I’ve listed below.
- Large printed canvas (16”x20”)
- Tissue paper
- Chalk or disappearing ink pen
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Your chosen image or graphic (high-res .jpg or .jpeg file)
- Create a painting, collage, or photograph that you’d like to use as the design for your canvas. Or select a photo, pattern, or design you already have. If you’re creating your design, make sure to take a high-res photo of it. The higher resolution of the image, the better the print will be. I recommend at least 1400 x 1120 pixels.
- Go to fedex.com/photo and start your project by selecting a 16×20 inch canvas print and uploading your photo. Order and print and then pick up at a FedEx Office location near you.
- Once you have your canvas, you’re ready to get started. Using the tissue paper, create a template for your clutch. You’ll do that by laying the zipper onto the tissue paper and then tracing a half circle from each side of the zipper down and around to the other side. Make sure the top edge of the template is the same length as the teeth of your zipper. Cut the template out.
- Using chalk or disappearing ink pen, trace the template onto the wrong side of the canvas. Then, draw the shape again – this time with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
- Using this larger shape, cut out the canvas. Repeat this step one more time so that you have two identically-shaped pieces of canvas.
- Now that you have the front and back pieces of the canvas clutch, you’ll want to sew the zipper on.
Align the fabric edge of the zipper (right sides together) to the top edge of the clutch so the design and the zipper pull are on the same side. Pin together the zipper and the canvas using straight pins. Using your sewing machine, sew them together. Back-tack (stitch backwards for a few stitches to anchor the stitch) at the beginning and end to prevent unraveling. Repeat this for the opposite zipper edge and the other piece of canvas.
- Open the zipper halfway. This part is very important because if the clutch is sewn with the zipper shut, it will be very difficult to turn it right side out at the end.
- Pin the clutch with the right sides together. Sew the clutch along the shape that you initially traced (which will give you a 1/2″ seam allowance). Back-tack at both the beginning and end to prevent unraveling.
- Cut small vents along the sewn edge of the clutch, especially at curves and corners. The spacing between the cut vents will depend on the size of your clutch. I cut vents about every half inch for this size clutch. Be careful to not cut through the sewn line.
- Now turn the clutch right side out and it’s ready to use.
You now have a completely customized (and handmade) gift for friends and family!
The clutch could also be used as a unique form of gift wrap by adding something small inside like a jewelry dish or necklace. Want to send this to someone who lives far away? Then head to FedEx Office and have a packing specialist get everything ready to go to make sure your package gets to the recipient safely and on time.
Happy crafting and happy holidays!
Photography by Amelia Tatnall and Rachel Brewer
Concept and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff