October 27, 2011

DIY Patterned Snakeskin Clutch

When I saw this clutch (in the photo below) in the past issue of InStyle, I got so excited. It's a whole lot to take in, I understand. The colors, the snakeskin, the pattern? I love it. Unfortunately, I can't find a better picture of the Carlos Falchi clutch online, but it looks magical.

As I've mentioned before, I'm often commitment-phobic with my DIYs. I picked up a grey faux-snakeskin clutch at the Gap at the end of the summer, which was a perfect canvas to recreate the Carlos Falchi clutch. I can't bring myself to paint it though. What if I got sick of the design or messed it up? I thought duct tape would be the perfect removable way to add pattern and color.

To make things even easier, at Michael's I found Duck Tape sheets. With the gridded, peel-off backing, it's perfect for pre-tracing a pattern and cutting out shapes.

Keep reading for the how-to!
Tools and Materials:
Pencil and pen
Paper cutter (optional, but helpful for straight cuts)
Scrap paper

Begin by sketching patterns and designs (true to size) on paper. I found that when I layered plain printer paper over the the grid side of the ducktape sheets, I could still see the grid and use it to help with my drawing.

Use the paper cutter to cut strips of varying widths and colors from the ducktape.

I cut out the sketch of my most elaborate design so I could trace it on to the gridded ducktape backing and cut it out. I traced and cut out two, one for each side of the clutch.

Save any scraps; you could incorporate them into your design later!

I trimmed down the paper template to get the shape of the next layer. I traced it on a new color and cut out, again making two. I trimmed the template one more time, tracing and cutting out two shapes from blue this time. To make the final design, I peeled off the backing and stuck the shapes together, layering from largest to smallest.

More cut out shapes in diamonds and triangles.

I spread out the pieces on the clutch, playing with patterns and arrangements.

Once happy with a design, I peeled off the back and began sticking down the ducktape. I trimmed away around the hardware of the clutch...

...and added small pieces underneath the flap to continue the design.

Make sure to cut tape just long enough to wrap over the edges to give a clean look, and wrapped the design over and onto the back.

These ducktape sheets come in a range of colors (and patterns!), so you can play with all sorts of color combinations. The gridded backing to the tape makes it easy to come up with all sorts of designs and shapes. Way easier than trying to trim tape off the roll! 

I think my favorite part of the clutch is that it's not permanent. If I ever get inspired by a different pattern, or just want a simpler look, I can easily update it.

P.S.-- I love it when people link back to my projects (as long as it's properly credited). Let me know if you do! -Erin


  1. Absolutely gorgeous! What a fantastic way to use duct tape. :)

    I have to admit, I'm a tapeaholic. I use gaffer tape in some of my projects, and also sparkly tape from this place: identi-tape.com Just in case you have use for glitter tape!!!

  2. Awesome. I wanted to do that Falchi clutch, too. And you can't find anything about it online anywhere (stupid magazines.)

    I love your interpretation of it.

  3. Cute!

    - Sara @ Gameday Stylist

  4. It turned out so well! It reminds me of the DIY envelop bag on Swellmayde, except that was painted on. I never would have thought to use duct tape, very cool.



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