Upcycling Idea: Painting A Thrift Store Clutch

Upcycling Idea Painted Thrift Store Clutch
It’s time for a new DIY, and this one was inspired by sunshine and summer. Easy-to-create painted details (I promise) on a thrift store leather clutch. Upcycled and ready for summer parties.


Am I the only one who could watch Heather Ross sketch and paint all day? I’ve been so inspired by her Drawing and Illustrating Basics series. The other day I gave a few of her simple techniques for capturing ranunculus flowers and strawberries a try. I’d found a silver leather clutch while thrift shopping for $2. It was in good shape and for that price if I ruined it, no big deal. This whole project took an afternoon coffee break to complete, and was such a relaxing thing to do! But don’t limit your design inspiration to flowers, what about geometrics, triangles, some inspiring painterly quotes?

Upcycling a Thrift Store Clutch

upcycling idea

  • Purse or clutch from the thrift store- you could use canvas, but a smooth leather is easy to paint on.
  • Acrylic paints in assorted colors
  • Large and small paintbrushes
  • Pencil
  • Water
  • Scrap paper to mix your colors on
  • Inspiration flowers

upcycling idea
1- Make sure the bag you’ll be painting is clean, wipe with a damp cloth if needed. Use a pencil to make light marks to establish where you’ll be painting. I didn’t erase these marks when I was done, most of them were painted over, so keep them light and you won’t have a problem.
2- Squeeze out a little of each paint color you plan to use on scrap paper, a paper plate, or wax paper. Leave a little space in between them to allow room to mix them together.
upcycing idea
3- I started my flowers by painting a base shade over the whole area of each flower (using some flowers I had at home for reference, I chose yellow-orange, pink, and a red for the strawberries). In a few cases, I did a second coat to get the right intensity of color.
Painted Thrift Store Clutch
4- Mix up darker and lighter versions of the base color to add shading. (Don’t get too caught up in making this perfect, have fun with it.)
Painted Thrift Store Clutch
5- If you decided to paint on a specific image rather than flowers, use transfer paper to trace the image onto the bag (lightly). Be sure to paint over the lines or rub them away when you’re done with them.

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