Bridle leather has a beautiful finish on both sides, making it a great choice for this simple clutch handbag. This clutch is assembled with minimal rivets due to its envelope-style construction. The magnetic closure is easy to use and a good choice for quick opening and closing.
5×8 inches (12.7×20.3cm)
1 piece 7–8 ounce (2.8–3.2mm) bridle leather, 13×12 inches (33×30.5cm)
2 double cap rivets
1 prong-back magnetic clasp
Waxed nylon thread
Envelope Clutch (idiotsguides.com/leather)
Hole punch, #2
Edge beveler, #2
Adjustable stitching groover
Single-prong pricking iron
2 harness needles, #00
Mini sledge hammer
Working with Templates
Cutting: Using a Straightedge
Cutting: Using Leather Shears
Cutting: Using a Precision Knife Freehand
Edge Finishing: Edge Beveling
Edge Finishing: Edge Burnishing
Punching: Using Rotary Punches
Hardware: Attaching a Magnetic Clasp
Shaping Leather: Folding with a Channel
1 Prepare the template and trace it. Transfer the paper template pattern to chipboard and cut it out. Trace the chipboard template onto the bridle leather.
2 Cut out the project pieces. Cut out each piece of leather, using a precision knife and straightedge for the straight sides and leather shears or the precision knife freehand for curved edges. Punch the holes where indicated using the #2 hole punch.
3 Mark the fold lines. Using the mechanical pencil and straightedge, mark the fold lines on the rough side of the leather, as shown on the template.
4 Gouge the fold lines. Set the adjustable U-gouge to approximately half the depth of the leather thickness. Clamp the work to the work surface. Gouge the fold lines marked in Step 3 using the adjustable U-gouge.
5 Bevel the edges. Bevel the edges of the front flap where indicated on the template on the finished and rough sides, and the circle on the finished side only.
6 Burnish the leather circle. Wax and burnish just the circle.
7 Install the magnetic closure. Using the single-prong pricking iron and flathead screwdriver, install the magnetic closure on the base and front flap, as shown on the template.
8 Lay out the leather circle and front flap for stitching. Place the leather circle on top of the flap, lining up its edge with the edge of the flap. Make sure it is evenly centered on the magnetic closure, and trace the edge of the circle on the flap with the mechanical pencil.
9 Groove the Circle for stitching. Using the adjustable stitching groover, mark the stitching groove around the leather circle ⅛ inch (0.3cm) from the edge.
10 Cement the leather circle. Apply a thin coat of cement to the back of the leather circle and to the area inside the mark made in Step 8. Let the cement dry for 30 seconds.
11 Adhere the leather circle and front flap. Press together the two glued pieces from Step 10 and hold tightly for 1 minute. Let dry completely before moving on to the next step, at least 30 minutes.
12 Mark the stitch holes on the circle. Using the awl and ruler, make a small mark every ¼ inch (0.6cm) around the stitching groove created in Step 9.
13 Prepare the front flap for stitching. Using the single-prong pricking iron, punch a hole at every mark made by the awl in Step 12.
14 Open the stitch holes. Secure the work in the stitching horse and open each hole with the awl.
15 Hand stitch the circle to the front flap. Using a saddle stitch, sew the leather circle to the front flap and tie off.
16 Burnish the edges. Apply wax to the edge of the front flap and burnish to a glossy finish.
17 Rivet the body. Insert a double cap rivet into the side of the clutch where marked on the template, then fold the bottom flap up so the corresponding hole lines up. Insert the top cap of the rivet and set the rivet into place using the mini sledge. Repeat on the opposite side.
Place something hard and thin, like a wood board, inside the clutch to prevent any damage to the back of the clutch during riveting.