buy + diy: zipper book clutch tutorial!

This post was created in partnership with Bing. With a type or a swipe you can search the web, the cloud, apps, and your PC or tablet, all in one place using Smart Search on Windows 8.1. DIY zipper book clutch //

Bing recently encouraged me to try out their new Smart Search to inspire a DIY project! I’ve been wanting to make more book clutches for a while now, so I used the app to gather inspiration and source supplies. I made one a long time ago by upcycling a purse, but I wanted to try another way…using a zipper and fabric!

DIY book clutch with instructions!


I love Kate Spade’s book clutches, they are SO cute. I was definitely inspired by those books. A quick search on the Bing Smart Search App showed me some amazing pictures to help me decide how to recreate them. I love how you can make the images really big or index size so you can see them all.


I love that the search can be photo based, because that’s all I really want sometimes. Aren’t these books the cutest? bing-smart-search-kate-spade


I really wanted a gold zipper to mimic the gold clasp on the Kate Spade book. I have a lot of zippers in my stash but I needed a thicker one. I did another search to find one. I was hoping to find it at a store locally so I added Joann to the search. And sure enough it came up! So I went and grabbed a few. I got the reversible zippers because they were the right size, about 22″ and also have a pretty thick metal portion that is very visible, like a clasp.

I felt like this was a good splurge project, so I ordered myself some Liberty of London fabric online. I have never sewn with Liberty and I wanted the perfect floral. Liberty of London basically invented floral and I love all of them! Check out this search screen….drooling.


I found this great print at Ordered that and when it got here, I made some clutches! I also used a few other fabrics from my stash because I felt like making more than one clutch.

The books are from the thrift store. I love how clever the one titled “Possessions” is! Cute, right?

book made into a clutch with tutorial!

A book clutch makes a super cute gift, and you can fill it with different items to create a gift within a gift! I turned the book clutch into a stationary set and a baking kit. I think there are endless things you could use these books for though. You can pretty much stuff any gift inside!

zipper book clutch


-one old hardcover book, about 8.5″ by 5″ with a 1″ to 1.25″ spine is the size I am using
-heat n bond (red package)
-fabric, scraps or 1/4 yard
-archival glue, (pva is great!)
-brush for glue
-thick metal zipper, 20-24″
-x-acto knife
-e6000 glue (open your windows or buy the fume-free kind)


diy book clutch

1. Gut your book. This is usually done by simply slicing down the inside cover where the cover meets the pages. Simply cut out the page block with an X-acto knife. Of course, you can save this for more projects, read it or recycle it!
2. Cut out rectangles of fabric and heat and bond. They will need to be about 1-1.5″ wide and long than the front of your book that you will be covering with fabric.
3. Iron heat-n-bond to fabric. Then square one of the long edges.
4. Glue fabric to front of book, then flip it over and trim the corners. You will leave a little bit more than 1/8″ on the corner.
5. Flip over top and side flaps to finish your book cover. Repeat on the other side.
6. Let dry.

book clutch tutorial

While the book is drying, create the zipper insert.


7.  Cut four squares of fabric that are about 2″ by 2″.

8. Sandwich the zipper between these two layers of fabric with the end of the zipper peeking out. Then sew along the line indicated.

9. Fold over the two flaps and press. Repeat with other side. And trim to width of zipper.

10. Cut four strips as long as your zipper piece (including the fabric ends) and 2″ wide. Sew these onto the zipper like so:

zipper book clutch

11. Repeat with the other side and you’ll have a fully encased zipper with fabric all around. Now you’re ready to glue it in.

DIY zipper clutch

12. Start by gluing the end of the zipper. Fold over 1/2″ and glue underneath the fold. Then curve the fabric and start glueing one side of the fabric to the book. When you reach the corners, pivot and fold your fabric to fit.

13. When you get to the end let it dry. Then open the zipper and repeat with the other side.

DIY book clutch

14. Cover the inside spine with fabric. Turn under the raw edges at the top and bottom and glue it down.

15. Now cut two pastedowns from fabric backed with heat n bond. They should be about 1/2″ smaller than the inside of the cover. Glue and press firmly.

16. Let dry and you are done!

book clutch tutorial //

Make it into a kit to give as a gift:

Add sprinkles, chocolate, baking cups and cupcake toppers to make a cute little baking kit! I got the little clear cases in the bead storage section of Michaels.


Or add stationary supplies, like paper, notepads, pens, confetti, envelopes and card and stamps for a perfect little stationary set (supplies from Target and Michaels):

book clutch with stationary supplies stationary-kit

stationary kit

Some other ideas are:

-make a detective kit for kids (magnifying glass, disguise, notepad and pen)
-add makeup for a makeup storage solution for women
-fill it with aftershave/cologne samples for men
-stuff it with jewlery for women

Check out the Bing Smart Search on your Windows 8.1 device today!

Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

If you make your own version of the book clutch, add it to my flickr group! I would love to see it!

fabric and supply sources:
-brown fabric,  Fashion Fabrics Club
-gold polka dot, Girl Charlee



  1. calinai says

    I have been thinking about making a little bag for my nursing stuff that just ends up in my scrub pockets….maybe this should be it

  2. says

    I think this is one of my favorite tutorials you’ve ever done. I love it so so much!

  3. Cari says

    Oh. My. Gosh. This is my absolute favorite thing you’ve ever posted! And that’s saying something because I love pretty much everything that you put up! This is an UH-MAY-ZING gift idea!

    • kate says

      Nicest comment ever!! :) Thanks Cari, so glad you like it!

    • kate says

      That would be amazing Sabra! Great idea!! I think you’d just need a longer zipper.

  4. susan says

    this is great and so surreptitious as i just took apart a book for us in some kusudama flowers
    thanks so much. one question tho, step ten doesnt seem to be there?? how do you sew the long strips onto the zipper?

  5. says

    I love this idea! I would also glue together pages of a book and cut out a square in the middle for storing stuff, but the book would come open and everything would spill out often. I still loved my storage book though! It would have been much better with a zipper, I may have to try this out!
    F. K. recently posted…Amazing Crochet and Knitting Patterns!My Profile

  6. Debra Neiman says

    wow! Merry Christmas from Oklahoma, USA. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  7. lauren says

    I love your tutorial! Seriously going to try this DIY. I’ve got a couple yards of oil cloth that will work out nicely, I hope.
    keep sewing Kate!


  8. says

    Does anyone know where I could get the heat n bond or the metal zipper? I was thinking of just buying the book at Goodwill then taking fabric scraps out of old covers but I have no idea where I’d get a heat n bond, what that is. Could I just take a zipper from an old coat?

    • Sarah Long says

      I found my heat n bond at Hobby Lobby. It was in the shirt bedazzling section. There are other kinds in the fabric section, but not the red package. I also found the metal zippers at Hobby Lobby in the fabric section. You could find either of these at any craft or fabric store.

      I am excited to start mine today! I am an English teacher and am making them for members of my department for Christmas! I got my books at Goodwill!

  9. says

    This is AMAZING. I’ve been wanting to make one of these but have been at a loss as to how – now I know and am SO excited to try it!!

  10. Amy says

    Love this idea! I have a question: It is hard for me to tell from the pictures how you sew the 2 x 2 tabs on the end of the zipper. Do you sew the right side toward the zipper & then fold it back? Do you sew it across the zipper to connect the two sides or along the length of the zipper? Why use heat & bond on the fabric & then glue it?

  11. Peta says

    Hi. I so love this! I’m going to make one from a Winnie the Pooh book or Alice in Wonderland for my daughter. SHe’s 33. Says to read them reminds her of having a childs mind & sense of wonder.

  12. colette says

    géniale l’idée!!!bravo il faut une colle forte pour tissu ? c’est trés bien !!merçi pour l’idée je vais essayer,c’est sur!!!!

  13. Winter Boomershine says

    I just did the same thing!! Only two minor differences, I added a bit of cardboard covered with fabric on the spine to add stability and I used clothespins as glue clamps. Your tutorial is amazing. Took me a bit of trial and error to figure it all out. Btw “Readers Digest Condensed” book covers make a chunkier book, adds a few possibilities. :)

  14. Ashley Cole says

    Hi, I’m having trouble with gluing the zipper in, I keep ending up with a really long tail, even after I measure it!
    I think I’m gluing it in the wrong spot but you don’t really have a picture to show exactly where you glue it. Any hints, tips?

    Please email me at Thank you!

    Btw, This is sooo amazing. Great tutorial, although I wasn’t sure at first what a paste down was until I realized it was the heat and bond you were taking about.

    Take care!

  15. says

    Wow..lovely pics , story of your inspiration and a great tutorial for a wonderful item. I think I WILL make this for my gift to give at my stitching group Christmas party next year! I have some time to make more than one!

  16. Susan says

    I LOVE this idea, concept and thought……and until about half way through the project and tutorial. That is where it all falls apart for me. “like so” has to be among the worst words ever given in a tutorial. Here are the steps that are missing about how to sew the zipper:
    1. Place the two two inch squares at the very ends of the zippers (as you see in the pictures, the ‘tabs’ will still hang out beyond this) with the good sides facing each other. You should see the wrong side of the fabrics on the outside.
    2. Sew a straight line at the very top or end of these and the fold up so you can now see the good sides of the fabric. Do not iron, fold or sew anything else with JUST these pieces.
    3. Now add your first long strip. Sew it wrong side of fabric to wrong side of zipper, then unfold and sew the zipper to the fabric looking at the right side.
    4. Repeat on the other side of the zipper.
    5. Then repeat to add the two more strips, one on each side.
    6. I ironed and then sewed these strips together to make a nice looking “pocket for the zipper”

    This is where it fell apart. Gluing the zipper to the book. I got the right side, it looks great. I unzipped the zipper, not so easy to glue the other side……but after many tries and fails I THOUGHT I had it. Let it dry over night. Now when I try to zip it up the book is lopsided and looks AWFUL. Any advice on how to best accomplish this last step successfully?


  1. [...] This gorgeous Zipper Book Clutch from See Kate Sew is the kind of present I’d love someone to sew for me! Of course, I’d love to gift these too – so fun, you can completely personalize them to the recipient! Fill it with stationery and pretty pens. Make it into a little mending kit. Or maybe make it for a child, and create a mobile drawing center. You can make one or many of your own with this beautiful photographic tutorial at See Kate Sew! [...]