Your daily essentials don’t have to be scattered and uncontrollable. In fact, Hallmark Designer Lauren H. came up with these adorable no-sew clutches to help you wrangle all your necessities in style. Read on for step-by-step instructions—and a free printable—so you can make your very own set. Happy clutter control!
Most everyone has heard Thomas Edison’s famous quote about failure: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Well, that statement perfectly describes my history with creating no-sew bags. I don’t own a sewing machine, but the idea of having perfectly labeled, custom-sized bags to organize my life (or to keep my car charger separate and untangled from my work headphones) sounded like something I could easily pull off.
After many failed attempts my mood changed. I ended up frustrated and covered in fabric glue, with only wadded balls of fabric and zippers to show for my effort.
That’s when I discovered iron-on adhesive tape and had my own light bulb moment. Iron-on tape is easy to work with and creates crisp, straight lines. I’d finally found a way to make my organizational dreams come true!
Below is my step-by-step guide to creating your own no-sew bags that are sturdy, budget friendly and absolutely adorable. Grab your supplies and follow along—we’ll have you organized in no time!
- Thick piece of material cut into an 8.5 x 11” rectangle
- 7” zipper
- Faux leather for labels
- Iron-on adhesive tape (I used 3/8” Heat ’n Bond brand)
- Leather or fabric glue
- X-Acto knife
- Stencil printables
First we’re going to make some nice “seams” along the shorter edges of your fabric. Cut a strip of iron-on adhesive tape 8.5” long. Peel the backing off of one side and place, adhesive side down, along the top edge of your material. Now iron across the tape so that the adhesive melts into the fabric. Once cooled, peel the remaining backing off of the tape.
Fold the exposed adhesive edge down to create a kind of fabric and adhesive sandwich. Iron the edge flat and you have a perfectly straight seam, no sewing necessary! Repeat on the other side.
Now onto the zipper! Cut two strips of adhesive tape and thoroughly iron onto each side of the zipper. Let cool and then peel off the backing.
Place one edge of your fabric onto the zipper, seam side down. Pressing firmly, iron together. Let cool to ensure a solid bond between the materials.
Bring the other end of the fabric around and iron it onto the zipper in the same way. Your bag should now look like a fabric burrito (I like food analogies).
Next unzip your zipper and fold inside out. Cut strips of adhesive tape for the side edges and iron together as before.
TIP: I like to be absolutely sure that the adhesive where the zipper and materials meet holds together securely. Do this by clipping a clothespin or binder clip (I used a chip clip) to the edge after ironing, while the adhesive dries.
Here comes the best part! Once the material has cooled, turn everything right side out and carefully push out the edges to form your bag. TA DA! You have a lovely, sturdy, zippered pouch! (Cue confetti guns and applause.)
To add labels to your bags, start by printing out the stencils and cutting away the letters with your X-Acto blade. Trace the letters with a pen onto your faux leather material—I flipped the stencil around backwards and wrote on the backside of the leather so that I could see my lines clearly.
Cut out your letters and adhere to your bag with GENEROUS amounts of leather or fabric glue. Let it dry and you’re done!
Got any great ideas for controlling the clutter? We would love to hear about them. Tag us on Instagram @think.make.share
Photographer: Lindsay Tippett