A snap-shut, clicky, purse tutorial

I feel a bit bold putting ‘tutorial’ in the title of this post but I’ll do my best to live up to the expectations that may be aroused!  This little project was brought about by necessity.  My birthday gift, an 8″ tablet has been well used and I planned to buy a one of those covers that protects the screen and also folds into a stand.  Unfortunately the tablet model I have is not the same size as one of those ‘fruit named’ devices and so none of the covers I tried provided a good fit.  The compromise was to buy a stand from Amazon (works well, does the job, excellent for watching tutorials on You Tube) and then make a soft cover to provide protection from scratches and light bumps.


Back in February 2014 North Hampshire Quilters had a mini-workshop evening.  I joined Sara’s corner to learn how to make a quilted ‘clicky bag/purse’.  So the following instructions owe much to Sara’s clever workshop.

Requirements:  Fabric for back and front of purse; fabric for lining; wadding; 2″ fabric strips for snap fastener pockets; a ¾” wide retractable metal ruler.

First determine the size of the purse needed.  I measured my tablet as 6¼” wide and 9¼” long.  I decided to have the opening along one of the long edges so knew I’d need to add an extra 2¼” to the width of my fabric to allow for the fastening.  I then allowed a bit extra for the depth of the tablet and for seam allowances, coming to fabric dimensions of 9″ wide by 10½” long.

Make the outer front and back .  I opened up my little stash of 2½” wide strips and chose my favourite Autumn coloured fabrics and did some quick to strip piecing.  A quick look through my wadding scraps and I found a piece of Quilters Dream Poly (this 100% polyester wadding is soft and feels the nearest to cotton wadding of any polyester wadding I’ve used – I love it!).  I pinned the two patchwork pieces to the wadding (no backing required at this stage) and decided to do a bit of learning by having a go at wavy line quilting using a walking foot.

The front and back of my purse quilted on the same piece of wadding - this saved a bit of time starting and finishing each row of stitching!
The front and back pieces of my purse quilted on one wadding ‘scrap’- this saved a bit of time starting and finishing each row of stitching!

I really enjoyed doing this quilting stitch.  I know it would be much more difficult on a bigger piece of fabric but this was an ideal sized project to practice on and I’m really pleased with the result 🙂  and keen to use it again. Trim the excess wadding off and square the two quilted pieces.  At this stage I lost a bit of width so my pieces ended up measuring 8¾” by 10½” but no matter as I’d allowed for some wriggle room in my original measurements.

Add the pockets for the snap fastenings.  Cut two 2″ strips of fabric the length of the open side of your purse (in my case 10½”).  These strips will be hidden from view so the fabric choice isn’t critical! Fold and press the long edges ¼” under.  Pin them to the wadding 1″ from the top edge of the purse.  Stitch down the long edges on each strip using the same thread used to do the quilting stitches as these seams will show on the right side of the fabric.

Pocket sewn to the back of one of the outer fabrics – ready for the metal ruler ‘snap fastener’. You can see my wavy line quilt stitches too!

Prepare the lining.  Cut two pieces of fabric for the lining.  I cut mine slightly shorter, 8¼” rather than the 8¾” width of the outer pieces to stop there being too much excess fabric inside the purse and to encourage the outer fabrics to ‘roll’ to the inside of the opening to give a neater edge when the purse was completed.   Next, sew one edge of a lining fabric to the top edge of an outer piece, right sides to right sides, using ¼” seam. Repeat.


Add the snap fastenings. First, a quick trip to a thrift shop for a retractable metal ruler (I would say, ‘a quick trip to husbands tool cupboard’ but marriages are precious and shouldn’t be put under undue strain!).  Use scissors to cut two lengths from the ruler, about 1¼” shorter than the size of the purse opening – my strips were 9¼” long. *Beware of very sharp edges; and remember to sellotape the end piece back onto the remaining ruler before pressing the retract button!*  

SONY DSCUse masking tape to wrap around the ends of the ruler pieces to stop the sharp corners tearing the purse.  Now slide the ruler pieces into their pockets. Make sure the rounded, convex, side is facing upwards, away from the wadding. The rulers should be shorter than the pockets leaving just over ¼” room at either end to sew the seams.

Front and back and two linings pinned together ready for sewing. Just need to finish sliding that ‘snap fastener’ in place!

Sew the purse together. Put the two fabric pieces right sides together, lining to lining and outer back to outer front. Pin, making sure that the joins between the outers and linings match. Stitch together using a ¼” seam, leaving an opening in the lining to turn the purse right side out. Once turned, stitch down the opening in the lining, and the purse is ready to use!


These snap purses are very practical and can be adapted for any size tablet, phone, e-reader etc.  They can also be used as a ‘bag tidy’, making it easy to keep together and find all the little things that get lost in the bottom of a big bag!  They are quick to make too! There aren’t many projects I finish in less than one day but this was completed in and around a normal day’s routine!

Please ask any questions you may have about how to make a clicky purse.  And I’d also welcome any comments which would help me make my tutorials easier to understand!

Thank you!


23 thoughts on “A snap-shut, clicky, purse tutorial

  1. Thanks for sharing! This actually looks like a small bag I could finish. I have to admit I haven’t had much luck in the past. I’m a 2D kinda girl 🙂

  2. nice tutorial, Allison and quite clear. I like your quilting too, something I had in mind for a quilt but I think your idea of practicing on a smaller piece would be prudent !

  3. I enjoyed reading your tutorial and had an Oprah lightbulb moment when I read you used curved metal rulers to make the snap closure! What a GREAT idea! Here in NZ we are rather bereft of fancy closures and hardware (think lobster claws, magnetic snaps etc etc) and the ones we have are pricey and offer little choice. So this kind of approach would be great. I need to make a soft sunglasses case and this would work nicely. Thank you

  4. Yes to the name (New Every Morning). Beautiful are His daily mercies. I like your resulting purse. I generally steer clear of those colors, but your purse is stunning. The tutorial earned its name, and you are clever to use the small project for your experiment with a new-to-you quilting approach. Thanks. I may try this, too.

  5. I have made several of these snap bags and mostly in multiple fabrics like you did. I love them. I wish I could show you a picture but the comments won’t let me 🙁

  6. I made a snap bag for my daughter before Christmas. I found several tutorials (but not yours!) when I was trying to figure out how to do it. When the bag was finished I was disappointed that it didn’t stay open. I just assumed it would because those metal measuring tapes are sometimes so squirrely that they won’t rewind because of a slight bend or twist.

    Anyway, your tutorial is great, Allison. I made mine a slightly different way but I’ll try your way the next time.


    • Thanks for the thumbs up Nancy 🙂 I usually find I use techniques and tips from several similar tutorials when I’m trying new things and gradually blend them until I’m doing it the way that works for me!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to the newsletter to receive: 

  • Links into the Worldwide Quilting Community.
  • Links to tutorials and patterns.
  • And be the first to see new listings in my Folksy and Etsy shops 
%d bloggers like this: