March 03, 2016 05:40 PM

What It Is: Brit + Co (the DIY mecca) and Rebecca Minkoff teamed up to create a kit that lets you make your own (!!!) black leather clutch
Who Tried It: Jillian Ruffo, Associate Beauty Editor
Why We Tried It: Because who wouldn’t want to make their own bag (and then brag about it to their friends after)?
Level Of Difficulty: 5

Brian Nichols/People

When my boss polled our PeopleStyle team on who would be interested in DIY-ing a super cute leather clutch, my inner 10-year-old was the first to respond — in all caps. Growing up, I was enrolled in every art class possible, and my summers consisted of tie-dyeing t-shirts and selling friendship bracelets that my friends and I crafted at the beach. So, naturally, I was game to revisit my skills with an adult-level arts & crafts project.

Brian Nichols/People

The kit comes with everything you need to create the bag: a large piece of leather (the body of the clutch), a piece of suede (to cut into fringe), scissors, a super strong hole punch that made me feel like a professional crafter and a bunch of other exciting tools.

My first order of business was naturally to bring the kit (along with all of my childlike excitement) to my friends’ apartment on a Saturday afternoon, for what I hoped would be an arts and crafts party. But to my dismay, no one was enthused, so I brought it to work and gave myself a creative clutch-making break on a Wednesday. Ok, now’s when I admit that I was a bit overwhelmed when I took everything out of the box — at first glance, it looks like a daunting amount of work. But with the included instructions and every tool under the sun, it’s much easier than it looks.

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Here’s how it all went down:
I began by cutting out the pattern, which is as annoying as cutting a huge piece of paper will ever be — but that’s the worst of it. Next, I cut the leather according to the pattern, and proceeded to fold it into shape. Here’s where things got tricky — the instructions require measuring where the holes will be punched in order to attach the fringe, but sadly, the kit doesn’t come with a ruler. Luckily, my extensive crafting experience lends to a pretty good eye, and I was able to line up the holes to be somewhat even. Moving on to punching the holes… you need muscles for this task. I have some of those as well, and I quickly made it through all 20 (!!) holes with my mega hole puncher.

Now for the most daunting task of all: cutting the fringe. I should have enlisted my 7-year-old niece to do this for me, being that the second grade has molded her into a mastermind with a pair of scissors. But my trusty co-worker Brian was a great fit for the job as well — he cut, I knotted, and before we knew it, the bag was almost complete.

Last but not least, attaching the clasp — which was only slightly difficult considering the super duper hole puncher didn’t reach that far down the bag, but a pair of scissors poked the hole I needed just fine. I attached the little knob and poked a hole in the top flap, and voila! My very own leather clutch is complete and ready to be taken into the wild.

Brian Nichols/People

The Verdict: Aside from a few minor setbacks, this DIY project was totally easy and fun — and I got a new bag out of it! And friends, if you’re reading this, you now know what your birthday gifts will be from here on out.

Would you want this as a gift? Tell us below!

— Jillian Ruffo

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