Monday, November 23, 2015

The Perfect Clutch for the Bookish Gal

It’s a book? It’s a purse? It’s both! My book club met recently for a night of wine and crafting (we sometimes also read books!).

Under the expert tutelage of my friend Michele, we created clutch purses out of hardcover books. I used “Elements of Botany” by Joseph Bergen, Revised Edition (because only a loser would use the original), copyright 1906.

The first thing I did was slice right through the book’s beautiful cover, accidentally, while trying to gut the pages with a very sharp knife. This is an old, brittle book, but luckily it was nothing some duct tape couldn’t fix.

I won’t lie. This project was a bit complicated. It also revealed one of my key weaknesses. I don’t sew. I struggle with putting a button on. I use the iron-on stuff to affix badges to the kids’ scout uniforms. I really should learn. This deficiency all goes back to some very complicated baggage concerning my mother and admonitions to be an expert at sewing and cleaning and cooking or no man would ever want me (don’t tell my husband!) and I’d become an old crone. But let’s save all that for a future post...

So my friend did the sewing parts, and I did all the cutting and gluing, and unfortunately, the very key parts of the cutting and gluing came well after 10 p.m. and two glasses of wine.

Consequently, the edges are a bit wonky. But it’s still pretty cool. If you’re interested in trying your hand at this project, you can find full instructions on the blog, “A Beautiful Mess” http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2015/01/turn-an-old-book-into-a-new-purse.html


Now, I need to find something to do with the “guts” of this book, which are full of beautiful illustrations. Ideas anyone?

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