Good Vibes: How to Add Instant Character to a Basic Clutch in 5 Minutes

By Brittni • posted on 02/14/2024

Good Vibes: how to add instant character to a basic clutch in 5 minutes

One of the things that has me the most excited about fall at the moment, aside from the slight drop in temperature, is the wardrobe change. Maybe it’s from our time living in Seattle that has me all nostalgic, but cozy sweaters and layering have me doing all kinds of cartwheels right now.

And don’t get me started on the accessories. You know I’m always up for a new hat or a good bag. Which actually brings me to today’s DIY. The folks over at Painters (an Elmer’s product) sent me an amazing stash of paint markers to try out on different surfaces (they work on metal, wood, leather, fabric, glass, etc without rubbing off) and so naturally, I decided to play around with something involving a bag…well, a clutch, really (but close enough, right?). And as a result, have a super easy project idea for dressing up a wallet, clutch, bag, or backpack with a hand lettered message.

If you’re not terribly skilled in the lettering / calligraphy department, don’t worry, this project is still totally doable for you. I promise! These paint markers are so, so easy to work with, it’s like writing on a piece of paper with a regular pen or pencil. And everyone can do that!

So, let’s get to it. Here’s what you’ll need to hand letter your own leather accessories. Hint: You’ll only need 2 items!

Good Vibes: How to Add Instant Character to a Basic Clutch in 5 Minutes

How to hand letter a clutch in 5 minutes


– Painters (there are TONS of colors and various thicknesses for the tips too)
– leather clutch or other accessory of your choosing (mine is from Madewell)

How to:

1. Decide on a phrase or word for your clutch. We went with ‘good vibes’ but also liked bonjour, super duper, je t’aime, ¡Hola!, killing it…I could go on and on.

2. Next, cut a sheet of paper the same size as the item that you are lettering. So you can practice and get the size of the letters and the placement just right.

3. When you’re ready, simply write your word directly on the clutch, in cursive. Try to keep a loose, even flow and don’t pick up the paint marker from the surface until the first word is complete. Then, finish the rest of your phrase the same way. Give the paint a few minutes to dry before moving on to the next step.

4. Now it’s time to thicken up some areas to create more of a bold (and easy to read) statement. Any down strokes (parts of a letter that your marker moves downward on) draw a parallel line. See image for reference. *At this point, you can choose to very the width of the lines or keep them all the same width, based on your preference. Again, give the paint a few minutes to dry before moving on to the next step.

5. Once step 4 is complete and the paint is dry to the touch, fill in between each set of lines that you drew in step 4. And touch up any areas as needed. Wait for the paint to dry and  it’s ready to use! So simple. Right?

How to hand letter a clutch (the easy way) with a paint marker specially made for writing on leather and fabrics.

How to hand letter a clutch in 5 minutes

I told you it was easy. And now that you know just how simple it is to tackle a project like this one, I’m curious to know if you’ll give it a try? If you want to join in on the Painters fun there’s a fun monthly Painters contest going on, now through the end of the year. Each month is a different theme (based on based on different store ‘aisles’) and each monthly winner will receive a prize valued at $500! This month’s theme (October) is clothing, accessories, and shoes. And I would love to see what you come up with!

There are so many uses for these paint fact, after we photographed this clutch, I realized painting colorful details on the metal bracelets I had just bought would be another fun way to use these guys.

Anyway, you can submit your projects to, download a coupon for Painters products, and share your creations on social media with #StyleByAisle and #PaintersStyle.

How to hand letter a clutch in 5 minutes

How to hand letter a clutch in 5 minutes

How to hand letter a clutch in 5 minutes

Photography and hand lettering by Rachel Anne Brewer
Concept and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Think you’ll give this clutch revamp a try? What saying would you choose?

This post is in partnership with Painters. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.

25 comments | Click here to reply

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Have a wonderful day //


Hi Kathie. I bought it in store with the black stripe on it (I didn’t paint that part on), but I could only find the plain colored one online. So, I’d recommend trying a local store if you can. Hope that helps.


The clutch you used was from Madwell – cannot find the one w/ black stripe. Did you paint the black stripe?


This is such a great idea. I don’t have beautiful handwriting like you do but if I did I would so do this.


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Wow, well that’s easy enough!! I thought it was a printout at first! Super cute!


What a great idea, love it!!

Taste for Elegance

I wish that i could write like you! these are beautiful!


[…] this DIY clutch is […]

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Just amazing. Love it!

Courtney @ Pizzazzerie

So cool and chic. I’ve never even heard of painters! Now I need to go find a cute clutch at the thrift store!


What a great idea! I would have to find someone with great handwriting to do this for me. Very cute.


Keri Blair

I wish I had fabulous handwriting like you!



Wow this is so cute and simple! Can’t decide if I want to do it for myself or give as a gift…maybe both !

Carolyn Selheim-Miller | Boxes and Jars

Wow this is an incredible idea, really chic looking x


Brittni, Love the way the clutch looks. I wish I could write freehand and have it look so good.

Pat Schwab

Gor-geous! Love this! Also it looks like great minds think alike with the bonjour text 😉

Rachel | The Crafted Life

Thanks Michelle. Yes, the Painters are awesome to use. I can’t even believe all of the surfaces that they work on. I’ve been a painting machine with these things. So fun. 🙂


This is a wonderful project! Those painters are awesome, I wonder what things you can do with them…

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