Wooden Clutch Front
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Parson’s Wooden Clutch Cost Assignment

During a recent assignment for the Parson’s Certificate program we were assign to create a product based off of the things that inspire us from our mood board and cost out the production of the product we made. I chose to do an interpretation of my favorite cigar box in the form of a clutch.

Creation of the Clutch

There is just a level of sophistication and elegance that is displayed through classic cigar boxes and I wanted to express. So to keep with the box theme I decided to do something uncharacteristic for a clutch, which is to make the outer shell of the bag out of wood.

Thankfully my husband is a wood worker and I enlisted his help in acquiring, cutting and staining the wood pieces for this project. We ended up using some 1/8” oak ply wood with a red oak stain that he had lying around his shop. I originally wanted to just leave the wood raw but he suggested using the stain so that it resembled the wood of the cigar box a little better. The three sides were assembled using painter’s tape but ideally I would love to use some box hinges on the inside of the clutch. These hinges would be ultimately be hidden by the lining.

I then took the assembled exterior to my sewing room and created a black satin lining for the interior. The black stain was used to represent the black glossy label on the top of the box. The lining was then attached to the exterior using hot glue. To conceal the seams of the wood, I used a black organdy ribbon attached with more hot glue. For a way to keep the clutch closed, more of the organdy ribbon was attached to the top of one side and wrapped around the bag. A large button was attached at the end to weigh down the ribbon once it was wrapped around the clutch.

Cost break Down

The next assignment was to create a cost break down of our product based off of the materials we used, adding in our time and desired profit margin.

Below is a break down of the cost of production for the wooden clutch discussed above.

Products Used Item Price Qty Total Cost per unit Amount Materials Used for 1 Clutch
Red Oak by the Piece, 1/8″ x 5″ x 48″ $19.99 1 $19.99 $0.42 $9.37
1 yard Black Satin Fabric $8.99 0.5 $4.50 $0.56 $1.12
7/8In Black Solid Organdy-8Yd $2.39 1 $2.39 $0.30 $0.60
2″ Brass-Plated Small Box Stop Hinge – Pair $4.99 2 $9.98 $2.50 $9.98
Guterman Black Thread $3.99 1 $3.99 $0.50 $0.50
Steampunk Heart Buttons 1 1/8″-Antique Gold 13 $2.99 1 $2.99 $0.23 $0.23
Minwax 8 oz. Wood Finish Red Oak Oil-Based Interior Stain $4.78 1 $4.78 $0.60 $0.60
50 Hot Glue $7.99 1 $7.99 $0.16 $0.32
Total Materials Cost $22.72
1 hr at $12 $12.00
Total Production Costs $34.72
20% Profit $6.94
Total Cost plus Profit $41.66
Estimated Retail Price $65.00

All the materials that I used to create this project were already available to me but I went online and looked for the same materials used. If I was asked to cut my material costs I would say the best way to that would be to find cheaper box hinges which could be purchased in bulk like much of the other supplies. I could also assembly line the creation of the product to cut the about of time spent on the box down as well.

After doing some research online I found other sellers on Etsy selling their wooden clutches for $80+ dollars. These clutches were a little more intricate than my simple design, therefor I determine that I could easily sell the clutch for $65 making a $30 profit.

What I Learned from this Assignment

Breaking out the cost of the clutch was a good exercise to do, as I was able to clearly see how much creating an item is worth. Not only should I account for the cost of the materials but also account for my time spent as well.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this little assignment project of mine. I know I will be back with other blog posts and assignments from Parsons.

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