Friday, September 14, 2012

Sponsored post: Make a DIY floral fine art clutch

This project is a review of a new product by Avatrex called Scrapbooking Attitude. Scrapbooking Attitude allows you to print photo quality images onto a clear laminate. You then adhere the laminate to a surface using glue or heat.
I used it to make a zippered pouch clutch and/or case for an iPad mini (or any smaller tablet or eReader) using art from a Dutch master (old with new, get it?)

For those of you who lack time to read to the bottom of this post, here's the summary: Scrapbooking Attitude is a great product for transfering photos or photo-quality images to surfaces you can't normally run through a printer (block of wood, eReader case, etc.)

It's not quite as good for what I used it for - creating photoreal fabric. It has a shiny plastic-y surface that does not look or feel like fabric per se. It's not bad. Just not what I expected.

If you stick around, you'll get the full story of how to use Scrapbooking Attitude. You'll also learn how to sew a lined zippered clutch.
As the name implies, Scrapbooking Attitude is designed primarily with scrapbookers in mind. It lets you transfer a photo to embossed paper. Scrapbooking is, however, tops on my list of Biggest Timewasters on the Planet, falling just below nail art. (And blogging.) So I was definitely going to go another direction.
As readers of this blog know, I have a mild obsession with photoreal digital print fabric and fashion. I also love lush florals. (Who doesn't? Are there really any floral haters out there?)
Think Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2012.
Here's a little tip for you from the high-end design world. There's nothing like the fine arts to add gravitas to your crafts.

After hours of pleasurable online searching, I came across this image of Jan van Huysum's Bouquet of Flowers in an Urn painted in 1724, which I found at Plum leaves' inspiring Flickr photostream.

I cropped it down to a detail image and printed two copies onto the Scrapbooking Attitude paper, flipping one of the images on the computer to create a reverse or mirror image. You have to use an inkjet printer - no laser printers - and set the paper to glossy photo paper. (My cropped and flipped image is available for download here.)

I cut out two pieces of white denim fabric and marked where the photo should line up. Then I thoroughly coated the fabric with glue stick. This is an important step. Be diligent and don't use cheap glue stick.

I partially peeled off the protective backing.

And started laying down the image, smoothing as I went.

I smoothed mostly with my fingers and a little with a plastic spatula. (Be careful not to tear a hole in your laminate.)

I allowed the glue to dry. Then, using a pressing cloth, I went over the image with a dry iron set on medium high.

The laminate smoothed out pretty well with ironing but did not quite take on the texture of the fabric like I though it would. (Note that this product is not an iron-on transfer.) However, I was thrilled with the vivid colors, which was helped by the fact I was using a white surface.

Now for part two, creating a zippered lined clutch. First, I have to credit Katy at Sweet Verbena for her excellent tutorial on making a lined zippered sequined clutch. I had her tutorial right next to me every step of the way because the lining thing was completely beyond me.

What follows is a repeat of her steps but with a few additional detail photos.

You'll need to cut two pieces of lining fabric. I used a felt-type fabric that had no right or wrong side. To start, lay your lining fabric out right side up. Line up the top edge of your zipper with the zipper right side (tab side) up.

Lay your fabric right side down and line with the top edge of the zipper. Pin and sew.

This is how it looks if you peek underneath.

Lay the second lining piece out right side up.

Lay your zipper (and all the sewn-on stuff) on top with the zipper right side (tab side) up.

Here's a detail of the (black) lining being lined up with the top of the (black) zipper.

Then lay your fabric on top, wrong side up.

Here's a detail of the fabric, zipper and liner being lined up. Pin.

When you lay it all flat, here's how it would look.

But before you sew it all together, you can top stitch the lining to help keep from getting caught in the zipper. Katy top stitched through the fabric and lining from the outside, but I wasn't sure how the laminate would handle that so I top stitched from the inside only. Basically you're just laying the lining flat against the zipper.

Here you can sort of see that I just stitched the lining up against the zipper and seam allowance of the fabric.

Now to the easier part. Flatten out the clutch with the outside fabric together and the lining together. Line everything up and sew it together in a big rectangle. Leave a large opening in the lining in order to turn the bag right side out when you are done. (I left the whole bottom seam of the lining unstitched for this purpose since my fabric was stiff.)

Important: Unzip the zipper part way but not all the way.  If you don't unzip part way, you can't turn the bag inside out. If you unzip it all the way, you will sew the tab of the zipper into the lining. Yes, I did both.

As you sew over the zipper, point the teeth toward the outside fabric. Sew very slowly and hand turn the needle over the teeth.

Trim your seam allowance and especially trim the corners so they aren't lumpy when right side out. Also trim the sides of your lining.

Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the lining and the open zipper.

Make sure you like all the seams and the corners. Then sew up the bottom of your lining by hand or with a sewing machine.

And enjoy looking all smart and high-end with your $2 clutch.


As mentioned, the product wasn't really designed for fabric that's being sewn and turned inside out and doesn't really take on the texture of the fabric if it gets moved around. However, it is tough. It did not rip or stretch during all my manipulations even though it separated somewhat from the fabric. If you can get over the shiny, the color is awesome.

I think it would be far better for stiff surfaces like a painter's canvas, leather or wood.

Social media for Scrapbooking Attitude:
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Other projects using this product can be found here.

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Scrapbooking Attitude and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous. This will be my next project--everything else I was planning to do first moves to the back of the line.

  2. This is great!!!

  3. Thank you for the step-out directions on actually making the clutch- I'm going to try it! Lovely....

  4. Brooke @ Inside-Out DesignSeptember 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Oh I love this!!! It's gorgeous!! and what an awesome product- I'll have to try it!

  5. This is amazing! How creative and it looks so high end. Great job.

  6. Stephanie @ henry happenedSeptember 15, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    I find this type of print fascinating and with endless possibilities! thanks for sharing this diy!

  7. This is a really beautfiul clutch bag and the floral print is really pretty and unique. The only bit that I would definitely struggle with when making this little bag would be sewing the zip in, I find it very difficult to sew zips into bags. I think I need to invest in a sewing machine!

  8. Very cool! I have a couple of sheets of film yet that I haven't quite figured out how to use.

  9. Your clutch is very striking - I would never have thought the image you chose would turn out so well.

  10. jules @ The Diversion ProjectSeptember 30, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    love this!

  11. Awesome, I'm going to try this!!

  12. Knuckle ClutchApril 1, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    Its hard to believe that a DIY project can be that much conspicuous..!

  13. Great Great blog. ckutch bags really with fabulous design.

  14. Your are really so just remodelled this clutch amazingly and beautifully..

  15. looks great, nice print:)

    1. Thanks. I hope to make a skirt out of the same print some time soon.