Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DIY Corner: How to Adorn a Clutch with Swarovski Crystal

How many times have you ooo’d and ahhh’d upon seeing a Judith Leiber clutch? Yeah, me too. I love her ideas and designs, but not the price tag. So I decided to make my own version above! I just needed to find the right shape to make it out of and took to eBay to find it.

It took me a few to find this hard case one shown here. It’s a vintage Estee Lauder clutch and I just did a search and see quite a few of the one I used selling on eBay right now. Measuring 7 ½” long x 4” x 1 ¾” at its deepest in the middle, I got it for a steal at $14! While I actually liked the deep brown when it arrived in the mail, I tried  not to rethink the project because of that and get to what I set out to do.

Click the link to find out how to make this and what color stones those are! Aren't they everything??



First up was to prime the plastic. I used the ColorMaster Plastic Primer spray paint from Krylon and applied it to both the inside and outside. While I had to wait for that to dry, I hit CVS to check out their Wet N Wild nail polishes. I knew I wanted purple but just didn’t know what shade yet. I decided on a darker shade that would go with the stones I wanted to use and bought 3 bottles for $3.98 total. Cha-ching bargain!

Now whenever I take on a project like this that’s going to take me a long time to complete, or that I have to do in stages, I find it quite Zen and I really do enjoy the repetitiveness of it. So I prop myself up on the couch with anything that I’ll need within arms reach like a glass of ice tea, the phone, the remote, and maybe a snack; anything that will prevent me from having to get up mid-way. And I like watching a marathon of a show on TV! It’s funny because I can look at most projects around the house and remember exactly what I was watching when I did most of the work on it. But I digress.


I started painting the inside and then the outside of the clutch with the purple nail polish and end up doing 2 full coats. I tried to get the finish as smooth as possible since I would be lying flat back stones on top and it’s not the easiest with how skinny the nail polish brush is, but I managed.

Next I laid out my color of choice, the Crystal Volcano sizes ss12 and ss16 flat backs from Swarvoski. I have a few places I get them on – either in downtown LA at Bohemian Crystal or online at firemountaingem.com and harmanbeads.com. I decided to use this color because of the effect of the stone and how you are looking at it. I can go from deep purple to tangerine to yellow just by turning it around. Gorgeous!


Using e6000 glue, I smeared some in an area I was looking to cover with stones with my finger, and then I used a wax-tipped pencil like this one to pick up each stone and lay it in place on the plastic over the glue. And it’s important to always be working from the outside in since the edges should look perfect.

Since the inside is pretty small, I decided to just use some felt I had laying around and used e6000 to glue it in.

From start to finish I think this took me about 4 hours total and here is the breakdown of the cost:

Approximately 2,214 total (I used an old cut of the stone that Bohemian Crystal was selling on sale so these are not the Xillion or new Xirius cut stones). I can’t recall how much I paid but let’s just take the Xillon cut stone Harman carries. They sell 10 gross for $53.43 so at about 16 gross of stones, the cost comes out to about $85 + tax.

$14 – clutch

$3.98 – nail polish

Total $102.98

Next Swarovski project? I think I’m going to make another clutch with nude stones to go with some heels I just bought. 

Is this something you would like to make? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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