The Art of Darkness

Tutorial: Napkin Clutch

Here’s a fast project for turning a square of fabric into a a clutch purse or jewelry bag.


  • Novelty-print napkin, bandana, or fabric square (the one used here was a 21″ square, but it can be larger or smaller depending upon your needs).
  • Piece of heavy fusible interfacing or thin quilt batting about one-third the width of the square and about one inch shorter in length. (optional)
  • One-inch square piece of Velcro(tm) OR a two-inch piece of thin elastic cording
  • Decorative button
Click the thumbnails for larger images.

Step 1

Press fabric flat.

Step 2

Fold fabric in half with right sides together and stitch the long edge.

Step 3

Adjust so that seam is in the center of the tube you just made, press, and stitch one end. Stitch the corners of the other end, but leave open in the middle for turning.

Step 4

If you’re using fusible interface (it will stiffen the finished product a little), apply it now. Cutting it so that it’s a little shorter than your fabric tube will keep it out of the seams and make them less bulky.If you’re using quilt batting (which adds some padding and is nice if you’re making a jewelry bag), cut it to the length and width of the tube, minus about a half-inch all the way around. Set it aside for now.If you’re not using interfacing or batting, pretend this step never happened.

Step 5

Turn the fabric right-side out through the opening you left, make sure that the corners are nice and square, and press. If you’re using quilt batting, insert it through the opening and smoothe down any wrinkles. Turn in the raw edges and stitch the opening shut, either with a slipstitch (if you want the stitching to be invisible) or with a machine topstitch (if you’re feeling decorative and/or lazy; I always go with the “decorative” option, because I hate slipstitching).

Step 6

Fold one short end of the fabric about two-thirds of the way up, and stitch the sides together.

Step 7

If you’re going to use an elastic loop closure, stitch the elastic cording in a loop in the center of the other short end of the fabric.

Step 8

Fold the two corners of the top edge of the clutch to the center, and stitch. (If you want the top flap of the clutch to just be a square that laps over the bottom, skip this step.)

Finished Clutch

If you’re using an elastic loop as your closure, lap the top edge of the clutch over the bottom, mark the spot where the elastic sits, and sew a button there to loop the elastic around.If you’re using Velcro, stitch one side under the flap and the other side to the clutch so they’ll stick together when the flap is closed. If desired, stitch a decorative button to the point on the flap.