Turn an old book into a clutch for your belongings!
Step 1: Materials
-hardback book that is big enough to hold your belongings
-zipper a little longer than the total of three sides of your book (not the spine)
-1/4 yard of material or less
-sewing machine and/or needle and thread
-hot glue gun and glue and/or e6000 glue
-exacto knife (optional)
-white glue to seal fraying edges of material
Step 2: Prepping the Zipper
First I prepared my zipper by sewing material around it. I cut small squares of material to attach to the ends of the zipper. On one side I easily sewed the material right on the end of the zipper with my machine. The other end, however is a little trickier since it ends in with the metal part and doesn't have a nylon end to sew the material on. So I cut out a notch for the zipper end and hand sewed the material onto either side of the zipper end. I hemmed most of my ends so that the material wouldn't fray, the notch at the zipper end can be sealed with white glue to prevent fraying.
Next you will cut long strips of material for either side of the zipper. Make these go at least to the end of the zipper if not all the way to the end of the material squares. Pin down one side with the material upside down and across the zipper. Then when you are finished sewing, you can fold it back over to create a nice edge with the material the right way up. Then do the same to the other side so that you zipper is completely framed in material!
Step 3: Attaching the Zipper to the Book
First take an exacto or scissors and remove the pages from your book. You can do this by cutting the thin piece of paper attaching the front/back pages to the spine. I just used scissors, but an exacto is easier and cleaner. You can save the book to read later or reuse the pages with another craft project!
Next you want to unzip the zipper. I attached one side of the zipper on first. This is probably the trickiest part of the project. Take your time and play with the shape of the zipper to make sure it is going to be where you want it. If your zipper is slightly longer than the three sides of the book, then you can get your book to open flat. To do this, you will glue the ends of the zipper further in the spine towards the middle of the book so that the zipper can open all the way.
My zipper was the exact size of the three sides of the book. This means I had to choose between opening the book all the way flat or having a larger compartment area with the zipper closer to the edges of the book. I went for the larger compartment, so I stretched my corners out as far as they could go which made the end of the zippers be closer to the edge than the middle of the spine.
I put glue on the ends of the zippers and each corner and then glued down the rest of the material, folding in at the corners to make it flat. All of this is going to get covered so you don't have to worry about how nice it looks.
Go ahead and zip the zipper back up for the next part- attaching the other side of the zipper to the book.
Step 4: Glueing Down the Other Side of the Book
This next part can also be tricky. You want to glue the other side of the zipper with the zipper closed. I tried to open the zipper and measure out/label points to match up, but it just didn't seem to work for me. If you glue it down with the zipper open and don't get the zipper sides matched up just right, then you won't be able to get the zipper to work.
So I close the zipper, and then position the zipper and practice closing the book on the zipper to get it lined up. Then I simply put glue on the material and close the book to get an initial stick. I examine the edges and see which spots need fixed or reglued and work from there. Usually if you are careful enough, only minor glueing on the outside while zipped will fix most imperfections. It is also easy to pull up a section of hot glue and reglue.
Once it is glued where you want it from the outside, unzip and glue down all the material from the inside like on the other half; folding down corners to lay flat.
Step 5: Inside Liner
Next I make an inside liner to cover all the glueing and make it look nice. I had enough material left to make one solid piece. I cut it a little bigger than the size of the inside and then hemmed it. You can also just fold down the edges. If you don't have a big enough piece, you can have two pieces on each side and center them covering the book cover and edges of the material from the zipper.
I then glued it down and pulled tight as I went, trying to go to the very edges.
To make it look nicer, you can put heat n bond on the back to make it smoother! Just iron the material to the heat n bond and then leave the paper backing on it for the glue to stick to.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Book Clutch
Clean it up, cut loose threads, pull away hot glue cobwebs, test the zipper out...you are good to go!
Step 7: Alternate Book Clutch
If you have a book that you don't care for the cover, you can also cover it with material!
You will do this after cutting the pages out of the book and before glueing in the zipper. Cut two pieces slightly larger than the covers so that the excess can be glued over the edge on the inside covers. I used heat n bond on the material to make it smooth, but you don't have to. I used the red package of heat n bond, ironed the material onto the glue side, and then used the paper backing to make the glue stick better to the book cover.
After that, you just continue the rest of the instructions- adding the zipper and the inner liner.
Step 8: Enjoy Your Books!
Enjoy! Add pockets and pen slots to make it even better. Use it for a wallet, clutch, secret storage on your book shelf, sketching kit, tool kit, iPad holder, or just about anything you can think of!!
Check out already made Zipper books for sale at http://www.retalebooks.etsy.com
Runner Up in the
Unusual Uses Challenge