Artisan's Clutch from The Catalog



I haven’t seen any examples of this design having been made up, so I thought I’d show mine. This is one of the first designs I purchased after getting access to the catalog on New Years’ Day (yay!).

I wish I had researched how to dye leather before I did it; my result is very streaky (I used Tandy Leather’s EcoFlow dye, and this was using Proofgrade thick leather plus thick maple plywood). I’ll do better on my next one. (I bought lifetime access to the design).

I have to say that the Glowforge designers are geniuses. The way it goes together is just so clever and the whole thing looks really sharp. I’d love to see a full size cross-body handbag design that looks similar.

Only thing is I had a bit of trouble gluing those finger jointed edges–I kept gluing my fingers to the project with superglue. My husband had to drip acetone on my finger to release me. It was hard to hold all the pieces in at the same time.

So I designed a little jig that I cut out of thick (~1/4") Draftboard to hold all the bits in while gluing. If you put a piece of release paper between the jig and the purse you won’t glue them together:

Here’s the design for the jig in case anybody can use it:


Dye leather before cutting?
Artisan's Clutch completed!
New Dumb Guy Leather Engrave Question

I love the jig idea.


Oh, i didn’t get that one but it looks fantastic made up. (Might have to rectify that.) :grinning::+1:


It depends on what look you are going for but I found that wetting the leather before dyeing worked well for me.

I would dip a cotton ball into water and wipe down the surface until it was evenly wet. Then I would go over the whole piece with a fairly even coat of yellow. After that I would start working with the other one or two colors I had chosen for the piece.

I was really happy with the way it came out but then I wasn’t looking for an even color. This is the dye kit I used:

I have since picked up some of the stain as well but not sure I like it as well. I got it because it has some pearl, silver and gold that you can mix into the other colors. Still a work in progress on that one. I might try top coating the dye with the gold stain and see what that does.

This is the stain:


Great idea on the jig! Superglue is such a necessary evil.

I actually really like how the stain came out on the clutch you made.

I don’t remember if they used a laser or cnc router for the sides, but the Homemade-Modern YouTube channel put up a video a while back with a similar concept. They didn’t finger joint the sides, but the lid closure was interesting using a dowel.


Seriously smart on the jig creation!!!


I was also talking to another customer at the Tandy store that also uses a laser to cut leather. He says that he soaks it first to cut down on the char. It also works better for him but he has a old (10+ years) pulse laser. I haven’t tried it yet.


Thanks for the link! That is a really cool bag as well. I might have to sit down and invent something for myself…


I actually like both worlds…I like the finger joints you did and the notch with the dowel would be cool. However, I really like that buckle on the one you did from the catalog.


It’s beautiful! I like the variation in the dye … But, would like it either way … Lovely design.

The jig is a great idea … Thank you for sharing!


Where can I buy “release paper?”


I looked at the pictures before reading your comments. My first reaction was that the color gradient looked cool.


These are usually silicone papers, parchment paper, etc.

Like this:


I think it looks great…I like the ‘streaky’! And thanks for the jig pattern. Leather work is in my future, but not sure how far ahead.


Thank you! I have parchment. I will go to the link you provided. Much appreciation!


Parchment paper is basically silicone paper. Not much of anything will stick to it!


@cynd11, my first thought on seeing that was “Wow, what a great job with the dye!” Goes to show everyone has a different view. I love it and the jigs are a great idea.

(I wrote that sentence 3 times: ‘what a great dye job’, and ‘what a great job dying’, before settling on the final version)


I’ve been using parchment and so far I’ve found some adhesives will stick to it, but the paper pulls away cleanly.


I really like the way the dye turned out - it looks kind of wood-grainy. Thanks for the generous share with the jig design!


I actually really like how the dye turned out! great job, love the fixture!
I might have to make one of those for some loved ones now.