This week on Show Me How, we look at what we can do with Shweshwe fabrics. Jennifer Todd of Spirit sandals & bags shows us how to make some fun items with this vibrant material.

Shweshwe Notebook
By Jennifer Todd

Spirit Sandals & Bags
081 015 7695


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Shweshwe Clutch Bag

  • 1 x Spirit Clutch Bag shell
  • 4 pieces of fabric (you will use different fabric on the inside and outside)
  • Tacky Glue (I like Upikit or Heritage)
  • Prym or Gütermann Glue
  • 1 piece of sandpaper, makeup sponges, lots of clothes pegs & cloth
  • A good cup of tea or a glass of wine
  1. Sand all uneven edges of the inside of both shells until they are smooth. Lightly sand both the inside and outside of the shells.
  2. The Outside
    Using a paintbrush or sponge (I use a make-up wedge), coat the outside of one shell with tacky glue. The glue should not be applied in a thick layer or it will show through the fabric. As the glue dries, it should become sticky.
  3. Once the glue has become tacky, apply one piece of fabric to the outside of the shell and smooth in place. The notch on the shell is the top of the bag.
    Fold the excess fabric at the corners of the case. (We recommend applying an extra bit of glue here, and then rolling the corners on a flat surface to smooth the corners down). Use the clothes peg to secure the fabric all the way around the edges and allow to dry. While it dries, repeat step 2 and 3 on the other shell.
  4. Once dry, trim the outer fabric as close to the edge as possible.
  5. The Inside
    The inside is a little bit more tricky as the fabric has a tendency to bubble in the corners. Coat the inside of the shell with tacky glue, and apply one piece of fabric once tacky. Starting on the flat section in the middle, smooth the fabric towards the sides. Smooth the fabric along the edges until it creates a fold in the corners.
  6. (Optional)
    Cover the inside of the shell with cling wrap and fill with rice/beans or anything heavy and maleable. Press the rice all the way into the corners, and weigh down, this helps to prevent the fabric from bubbling.
    Once you’ve done both shells, this would be a good time to take a half hour break while the glue sets.
    Make a fresh cup of tea or top up your wine glass!
  7. You may need to reapply glue to the inner edges and corners. Press the fabric down and fold in at the corners. Fold the fabric over the edges towards the outside, and secure all around with clothes pegs. By the time you finish the second shell, the first should have set.
  8. Remove the pegs, and trim the fabric to about 3mm all around. Keep the fabric folded to the outside.
  9. Apply the glue all around the inside of one half of the frame. (Prym glue dries clear)
  10. Fit one half of the shell securely into the glued half of the frame. The side with the notch (the top) will fit under the clasp.
  11. Using a knife or a flat nosed screwdriver, push in any fabric that is extending from either the outside or inside of the frame.
  12. Allow to dry before scraping the excess glue from the frame.
  13. Add a strap of your choice, and you bag is now ready to be used.
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Shweshwe Notebook

  • Hardcover notebook
  • Shweshwe
  • Tacky Glue
  • Glossy white paper or cardboard
  • Elastic, Beads, Brad (split pin) & Pin
  1. Using a pin, make a small hole in the back cover of the book
  2. Cover the outside front of the book in tacky glue
  3. Apply Shweshwe and push out any bubbles in the fabric
  4. Repeat step 2 and 3 for the outside back cover
  5. Trim the fabric diagonally at the corners and at the spine of the book
  6. Fold the fabric and stick down on the inside of the front and back covers
  7. Make a small hole in the Shweshwe over the hole in the back cover. This is where you will insert the brad.
  8. Measure your elastic to fit around the book. Thread your desired beads onto the elastic and tie the ends tightly together. Trim the ends of the knot and place the knot between the two pins on the brad.
  9. Insert the brad into the whole and press the 2 pins down to secure.
  10. Cover the inside front cover in tacky glue and allow to dry until tacky. Trim card to size and stick down over the inside front cover. Repeat for inside back cover.
  11. Place elastic around the book, your notebook is now complete.
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