A few years ago, I bought a simple yet stylish leather envelope clutch from American Apparel. I used it until it fell apart and as expected, AA stopped selling them before I could buy a replacement. Being a then-Maker in the Making, I bought some pieces of leather and learned how to make one myself. So if you’re looking for a classic accessory, look no further!
You will need:
2. 7mm metal button stud (Equivalent to about .25 inches)
4. Ballpoint pen
5. Leather glue (Optional)
7. Knife/box cutter
Step 1 – Place and Trace
Place and trace the pattern on the back of the leather. The back is the side that looks like suede.
Step 2 – Cut
Be really careful while cutting the top and bottom flaps because those will be visible.
Step 3 – Punch
Punch holes in the left and right flap about 1/4 in from the corner. Then, punch a whole at the middle-top of the bottom flap about 1/2 inch from the top. The hole where the button will go through is a bit more tricky. The hole in the top flap needs to be big enough for the button to go through, but small enough for it sit securely without your wallet flying open.
DIY Flashback: When I first started working with leather, I wasn’t keen on spending too much money on tools I knew I wouldn’t use that often. I needed two sizes of punches, but only bought the smaller one because I knew I could just punch several holes to make a bigger sized hole. That’s the trick you’ll use here.
Punch a hole 1/2 inch from the bottom point of the top flap. Place your punch on part of the edge of the hole you just punched and punch again. Make an even .25 inch circle. Now try putting the stud through it. Does it only almost go through but not completely? If so, then it’s perfect.
Finally, make a 1/8 inch incision on the top of the hole. Does the stud go through now? If so, you can move on to the next step.
Step 4 – Screw
Screw the bottom part of the stud through the left flap hole, then the right and then hole in the bottom flap. Screw in the button as tight as possible.
Step 5 (Optional) – Glue
If you want your wallet to be bit more secure (always a good thing), you can glue the left and right flaps to the bottom flap.
Use a toothpick to apply glue to the bottom of the left and right flaps and the bottom flap. Just be sure to follow the directions on the glue.
Enjoy your new favorite accessory!
All photos by Gabrielle Peñaranda