Plastic Canvas Clutch Tutorial


Have you seen those nifty plastic canvas purse forms at the craft store and wanted to put one together yourself? It’s a lot of fun and it’s really, really inexpensive to do. Seriously cheap, like about $6 total kind of cheap. And you can knock one out in any kind of pattern you please. I’m all about houndstooth check right now and have been for a while. So I figured it would be pretty awesome to work out a houndstooth check needlepoint pattern to share with you all and make my little plastic canvas clutch with!

To be honest making it up the pattern was a nightmare. It was kind of a whim to do this whole thing. You see I was very sick and went to the craft store to find something to help me sit still. That’s what my doctor said. “Allison, you need to sit still for a while.” Since I had no particular project in mind I just went up and down the aisle finding something that would keep me active but not running up and down a ladder or hammering things or whatever it is I tend to do.


The plastic canvas area was calling to me and when I saw that they finally had little clasps for the clutch form in stock it seemed like fate. Now I prefer the look of cotton yarn through canvas because it doesn’t split and get furry like the acrylic stuff does, but since I couldn’t find a black cotton I went with the craft yarn sold nearby. Unfortunately that means my clutch is fuzzy but I love it so much I don’t even care. Much.

For this project you will need:


Now I’m not going to lie and like I mentioned before this pattern took me AGES to figure out. I just knew I’d get home and knock it out and start stitching that night, but in all honesty I wound up printing out TONS of graph paper and sketching it out that first night. But all of the effort was worth it because here it is! Stitch up your plastic canvas with the pattern you have chosen. I decided to make the bottom solid black so that when I stitched it together the black edges would look nice and not out of place. Plus I wanted to start the pattern over again at the bottom so that when folded closed, the pattern continued. That attempt was only moderately successful but I’m cool with it! If you need help stitching your canvas, it just so happens I did a how to stitch plastic canvas post just yesterday!


When your stitching is complete apply a healthy amount of glue to the underside of the canvas and smooth out a piece of felt. I chose felt because it’s easy to stitch through with the plastic canvas needle so there is a nice finish. Allow the glue to dry, preferably overnight.


Trim the felt closely to the edge of the canvas. Perfection is not a must here so no worries if it is a bit wonky.


Next you’ll start stitching up the sides, using as many stitches as necessary to cover the plastic in each area. Some spots will require only a single stitch while others will need two. It’s not an exact science so you’ll just have to pay attention. Need some help stitching closed? Here’s that post for how to stitch plastic canvas!


Continue to stitch along the edges that are not attached, making sure to go through the felt also for a nice, finished edge.


And there’s seriously no exact science to how these things go together, but they do well enough without any prior experience. Just go however makes sense and you can easily hold the canvas and stitch at the same time. There’s no wrong way!


Find the center of your clutch using a ruler and apply the larger part of  your clasp.


Use a pair of pliers to snap shut, making the prongs take hold into the bag. A piece of scrap felt will keep you from scratching the clasp in the process.


Fold the bag over and find where the catch for the clasp needs to be to hold. Push through and use your pliers to push the prongs down and affix.


And there is that! The whole process takes several days but is a lot of fun and easy to do while watching TV.


The finished bag is small but easily holds a wallet, cell phone and package of gum. Did I mention that it’s super cute? Because it is!

And hopefully you’ll be making your own, soon!

See where I link up.


  1. says

    Super cute pattern! My grandma had a bunch of these in a plastic canvas stache so I thought I’d give one a try and it looks a little silly with the pattern I did (chevron random colors). Nice touch with the fabric inside, too!

  2. teresa says

    thanks for going to all the work and being sooo nice about print out the pattern for us. i was actually looking around the web for some easy patterns to put on my kindle cover (that i am remaking) this will be an awesome design (though i am going to use halloween colors cause i have them on hand.)

  3. anthony hearne says

    I’ve been doing some plastic canvas with my 24 year old autistic daughter, she really loves the repetitive side of stitching, I did make a plastic bag last week which she really enjoyed , so I am going to try the dogs tooth pattern of yours to try an make it a little more complex for her, thanks for the pattern

  4. Mariah Cherie says

    I just started using plastic canvas when I found these forms in the store and I’ve been using them as little wall hanging pockets :) basically the same, I just don’t do anything with the top flap haha great tutorial!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>