BN Do It Yourself: Give That Old Clutch the Va-Va-Voom!

I love pretty little things. However, I find that there are many times that I can’t shell out bundles of cash to purchase these items if they’re particularly pricey. There are other times when I feel like the things on the rack are either not the right piece or the right style. It doesn’t exactly define who I am.  I know I’m not alone in this and I have found that sometimes all it takes is a little do-it-yourself and you can get that item you want; that item that is unique to just YOU!

So if you are a die – hard fashionista but often at a loss on how you can score on the latest trends and designer treasures without flattening out your wallet (ok, seeing that we are ‘gearing’ towards a cashless economy, I should say ‘without having our bank accounts flashing red’?) or you just never seem to find a piece of clothing or jewelry that really defines your style?

Well, you’re in the right place, because we are going to be doing just that together. From thrift shopping ‘bend down select’ and garnishing/transforming our thrift buys and other fashion staples into one – of – a kind pieces; to getting ‘crafty’ and having our very own hands – on fashion experience, we are going to be doing all these and more together every step of the way!

For starters, we are going to re – vamp a thrifted clutch into something more exciting and stylish so get your tools ready and work with me!

To make the tutorial easy to follow, I created three collages showing what tools we would be using,the basic steps to be taken and the different angles of our finished and unfinished clutch.

What You’ll Need:

1. A perforator or any puncher 2. Ankara fabric (half a yard would do) 3. Aluminum chain or jewelry 4. Coral beads (the spiky ones) 5. Office pins 6. Glue (E6000 or UHU would do just fine) 7. Fabric stay 8. A pair of scissors


1. Tape measure 2. Embroidery yarn 3. Chalk


1. Spread open your clutch, position the fabric whatever way you want (here I chose to work with the diagonal shapes and positioned them evenly on both sides.) Do same for sides of the clutch.

2. With a chalk or pen mark out the edges of you clutch on the fabric.

3. Cut out, but leave about an extra inch of fabric around the marking so you have something to fold later (you’ll need that!)

4.  Fold neatly along your markings and press with a hot iron to hold in place, and with the same hot iron, press your fabric stay to the fabric to ensure thickness. (don’t forget to cut out a hole for the clasp or you’l’ find that you wont be able to snap your clutch in place.) Do same for the sides of the clutch.

5. Spread glue evenly across the surface of your clutch, and place you fabric over it, pressing gently. Smoothen out the fabric so there are no folds glued in place.

6. Puncture holes on the flap to insert your jewelry into.

7. Sew in (with a needle and thread) your spikes – here i used coral beads to achieve a ‘spiky’ look because I wanted an overall african look.

(optional – sew the clutch all round with a decorative, embroidered stitch.)

You should have something like this:

Readers can write in to let me know what they would like to see created and the most requests for a  piece would be treated.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Onnari is a fashion and lifestyle DIY blogger on weeknights and weekends. She is an unpublished poet/fiction writer who studied business Administration at the University of Lagos. She is an independent fashion/accessories designer who loves designing while listening to ‘mood’ music…or otherwise! She is obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology. You can contact her email: or visit her blog:

46 Comments on BN Do It Yourself: Give That Old Clutch the Va-Va-Voom!
  • julit November 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

    crap! buy a purse if u want a different look abeg.

    • Partyrider November 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm


    • Abiola November 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      If you were not interested, you really didn’t have to leave a negative comment, or even read the article at that, did anyone force you?

    • Farin Jini November 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Hian! you sef. the title is “Do it your self”. shebi you get the gist?

    • Jossey November 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

      lol… that was rather too harsh nah..

  • purplepearl November 22, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I am so going to try this, thank you for the tips

  • cathy November 22, 2012 at 11:24 am


  • pynk November 22, 2012 at 11:30 am

    this is for if you have a whole lotta time

  • Teris November 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    what is that thing ’round her neck?!

  • olabisi November 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Nice 1 .Revamp ur old clutch 2 new one.

  • ola November 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    @ teris- sounds like Chimamanda’s novel or rather short story compilation. I don’t think that’s d writer. The article says ‘photo credit-’ so u myt hav to go there to find out. This is a great post tho, DIYs r so in and cost saving 2

  • onnari November 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    @ teris- sounds like Chimamanda’s novel or rather short story compilation. I don’t think that’s d writer. The article says ‘photo credit-’ so u myt hav to go there to find out. This is a great post tho, DIYs r so in and cost saving 2

  • Simya November 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I like the concept, but the red spikes at the side looks like witchcraft

  • Nne ‘Onnari’ Osemene November 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Thanx Simya- was going for spikes but decided to use the coral beads as against studs. Lol @ witchcraft 🙂

  • feisty chic November 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    @julit thats d mentality that kills nigerians. DIYs are a hot trend abroad and videos abound on youtube. its only a poor man mentality that will make one buy a million purses. love this post. will really try it out

  • Brendz November 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Can this work for a bigger bag? i have this bag i didnt really use but the humidity go it and its ruined but its got a classy wooden handle that shouldnt go to waste. Can i get more tips for a bigger bag, thankies 🙂

  • Chi November 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Very creatively written piece but em nothing for men??

  • Gina November 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Luvly idea,I wll do it in my spare time

  • Berry Choco-Latté November 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I knew it had to be you!!! Yay, I hope this becomes a regular feature on BN!

  • Nne ‘Onnari’ Osemene November 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Thnx fr the lovely comments n appreciation y’all
    @ brendz- sure it works on a big bag. The bigger the better as you’ll even have a wider space to work on! The wooden handle works perfectly too. Good thing is, u don’t need to have any sewing skill for this unless you need the embroidery stitches which is easy2. All you need to do is measure out ur bag,fabric, and get glueing. Feel free to email me as u go along if u encounter any hitches.
    @chi- something for the guys??soon!u’l jus have to keep visiting to find out 🙂
    @berry- thanks dear. So much. N congrats on ur blog win! Super xcited for u,u deserve it 🙂

  • iamfascinating November 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I love DIYs. will give it a go. thanks

  • tribalwest November 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Bn posr my comment nw, nice post nne, @judit ur jst a hater gosh, save money and diy, nigeriams can b wasteful

  • habba! November 23, 2012 at 3:16 am


  • Diamond November 23, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for the tips am so gonna try this. please how do you re-vamp or make ankara designed shoes.

  • TallChica November 23, 2012 at 9:32 am

    There are too many haters on this post. I love the idea, and I love DIY projects. To buy at full retail price is not by force jarey!

  • Tessa November 23, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I can do it for a fee
    This comes naturally for me.

  • vanessa November 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    thanks for the article,getting to know that one can do these purses that in now with purses that people have seen with us for million of times.more articles like this

  • hanie November 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    But really!! Its high time most Nigerians appreciate crafts!! I love 😀

  • Bisola Olonade November 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Nice piece i Love it…plus this is my first time to drop a comment on Bella Naija…i would like to see the DIY for Shoes and Slippers.
    Thank you

  • nne onnari osemene November 25, 2012 at 10:01 am

    thanx! and thanx Bisola for dropping a comment, we appreciate that this is your first comment. keep visiting for that shoe/slipper post 🙂

  • diamond November 26, 2012 at 12:07 am

    This makes a lot of sense,creativity @ its best,pls nne keep me posted on some more,great stuff!

  • ChiboyChuks November 26, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I love the creativity… Big sis.,

    Kindly, visit >>

  • juliet December 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    girl u look good but this ur …………………….is lazy creativity,that thing is rubbish.u can do better pls call me for something better,

  • Idak Reloaded December 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    @ julit/juliet: u came back! And with a double dose of bitterness! Wow! U may not know wht DIY is so please girl, google it up ok? And when u ‘revamp’ or reconstruct, u don’t necessarily remake. Please drop your contact so we can see creativity @ it’s peak *winks*

  • lola December 6, 2012 at 7:01 am

    yeah …those stitches alone could take hours. this isnt what i’ll call ‘lazy’ though. i tried it out and after putting in a couple of hours, i’m still not done lol. the chain and spikes are unexpected and give the clutch some edge

  • nne onnari osemene December 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Hello all! So happy and thot to share this! A reader was inspired by this post and created her own revamped purse using ankara:

  • ipheellusion January 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Always looking forward to this post… Love the revamped bag …the good thing about DIYs ..they each have their uniqueness . I totally love this one..will love mine on a solid neon colour though

  • ipheellusion January 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    beautiful and nice ….will try mine out but with a solid neon color…

  • ada beke January 18, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    @ipheelussion me too. Today’s friday. Was already rubbing my palms together in anticipation to see this week’s feature, bella I hope u havnt killed this feature o! We loooove it and onnari don’t mind d haters dear, u’v got more fans than haters. Do ur thang girl!

  • tapsat February 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Dis is 9yc, imma try it, thk u

  • mommabella February 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

    wow! its so ‘bella’…lots of crazy badbelles here, its called DIY haters…and its nt easy sharing ur knowledge with some1 bt she did Abegi bad belle comot for road…u’re good to go girl!!! i’m lookin 4ward to more DIY’s

  • jamylah December 9, 2013 at 7:41 am

    W000w am so luvin come I never saw it? Would
    experiment right away..but I dont know wat a fabric stay looks
    like! Can sm1 help with a picture asap

  • kaycee1 April 29, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    hi jamylah, dis is definitely late but it could help another. fabric stay is what our local tailors call gum-stay. it is used to define collar, sleeves, waist, etc, to make them defined. There are two types, one you use iron to attach (fusible) and the other type you sew to the fabric (non -fusible(i think). Oyibo dem call it interfacing.
    hope i helped someone else. cheers.

  • naomi May 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    It came out well but your illustration for it is sort of poor.

  • Neonzy June 1, 2014 at 9:23 am

    wow! I jst got 2 see ds nw, & its lyk Im kinda late…….buh wuld u pls rite also on hw 2 make shoes……

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