Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Gift

I wanted to make a little something for our relatives when they came to visit from the UK this summer. I wanted it to be handmade - useful - and still small enough to not create a problem when they traveled home (because they pack light - unlike me).

(photo from eighteen25 blog)

I remembered this idea for an emergency clutch and thought it would be perfect (you can read the full instructions here).

What makes this so clever - is that they are made from an ordinary potholder - and zip lock bags. How simple is that?

Emergency Wallets

Here is how mine turned out.

I started by going shopping to get the cutest potholders I could find.

...and I looked - and looked - and looked...

Too kitcheny - wrong shape - only sold in a set

I could not find a cute potholder anywhere to save my life.

But I did find some really cute fabrics.

Colorful Fabrics

I'll just whip up my own potholders. How hard could it be? It's just a quilted square!

Think again - they are much harder to make that it looks - so don't look at my wonky corners and uneven quilted stitching. It's the thought that counts.

Emergency Clutch Coral

I made a set in coral.

Emergency Clutch Blue

And another set in Blue.

Emergency Clutch Orange

And a third set in Orange and Green (that's my favorite).

Each one has a different coordinating pattern on the inside.

The zip lock bags are just zig zag stitched down the middle to create those great re-sealable pockets.

Emergency Clutch Inside

I started out by adding a contrasting tape to cover the center seam.

Emergency Clutch Inside Option

That step was quickly eliminated after just a few.

Emergency Clutches

In the end - they turned out great. We filled them with gum, mints, band-aids, moist towelettes, mini tooth brushes, and other travel aids.

It really is a great idea - so if you come across some adorable pot holders - pick them up. They would be super easy to make with pre-purchased potholders.
Not so easy if you do it the way I did.

Story of my life.


  1. Whoa - this is a really smart idea! ^^

  2. I just love all of these Karina...too cute and functional too! They look and sound easy...but I probably still couldn't figure it out! I love all the fun fabric you used!

  3. Love the orange and green together! I think you need to sell them! :)

  4. i'm so glad you linked these up!! they turned out so dang cute. i love all of the fun color combinations.

  5. You are so darned creative! Love, love, love the fabrics you picked out. Why can't we be neighbors??!?!

  6. what fabulousness...look forward to seeing more of your blog!!

  7. So sweet and cute!
    I thyink I need one of those in my purse even when I'm not traveling!
    I agree with Kerri...sell those babies!:)
    have a happy day

  8. these turned out amazingly! i don't know what you are talking about! they look PROFESH. and super fun fabrics. i think you win!

  9. Clever and so colorful! You inspired me to post an idea I did years ago with a potholder! Yours is a very thoughtful craft!

  10. Love the fabrics and the idea. What made you eliminate the contrasting tape over the center seam? Just didn't care for it or was there a problem?

    1. The tape across the center was hard to manage sewing through the bags and tape at the same time (I didn't want extra rows if sewing to show on the outside). Plus the ends if the tape looked unfinished not being tucked into the outer binding. Hope that helps.

  11. Hi Karina! I know this post was from quite a while ago but I'm hoping you could help me. I tried making one of these and I cannot seem to get the baggies to stay lined up. Could you tell me how you kept them from slipping? Thanks! I love yours. They are adorable!!

    1. Hi Chrissie, I remember them slipping also. I used small spring clips to hold the baggies in place on all sides while I sewed. I also remember having to overlap the edges of the bags on the inside more than I would have liked, to allow for some slippage while sewing - to be sure each edge was caught in the sewing line. Hope it helps. Sew slowly and adjust as you go. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. great idea---lov lov lov it. thank u

  13. Hi Karina, my name is Rosemary K I want to make these beautiful, oh so useful bags, but I do not have a sewing machine. Any suggestions or what I can use in place of the sewing part? Thanks.

    1. Hi Rosemary, I'm sure you could hand sew them. Much the way books were bound by hand sewing. I'm afraid any sort of glue would not hold very well. Good Luck

  14. I want to make some for graduation presents. Terrrrific idea.. Thank You so much for posting it.

  15. Hi. Just finished making one. Sewed pretty lace on outside in centre with ends caught in inside. Sewed lace onto centre of ziplock bags separately also catching ends then lined them up and zig zag through all layers sewing on outside. Turned out beautifully. Gift for friend travelling so included sewing and basic meds. Lovely idea. Xxx

  16. I am making these for school teacher gifts. Throw in a few bandaids, tissues, and some sort of gift card. Cute idea?

  17. How do you get the zip locks to stay on each side other than the zigzag stitch in the middle?