How to Make a Sewing Clapper

By Robert Gurley
A sewing clapper is one of many tools necessary for quality sewing.

There are a lot of tools out there designed to make sewing easier, but few have the functionality of a clapper, and this design will also function as a point presser. A clapper allows you to flatten points in clothing to have a more professional look. They are almost essential when ironing collar edges, button holes, cuffs, and belts. While you may have been able to get by without one, you will find having a clapper will make your ironing jobs quicker and better looking.

Cut the plywood into two rectangles, each 8 by 4 inches. One rectangle will make the top piece, the other rectangle will make the bottom piece. Avoid damaging the sides or tops of either piece.

Round the corners of the bottom piece of wood with the router. The rounded shape not only makes the entire clapper/point presser more attractive, it will add functionality. If a router is not an option, sand the edges to to take off sharp corners.

Cut the basic shape out of the top piece. There are a few shapes used for clappers, but the traditional shape is that of a coffin, with a tapered top and a smaller bottom edge. For this step, you will need a router, or at the very least, a jigsaw. The easiest way to cut the outline is to use a pencil to mark the outline, then go over this with a fine tip permanent marker once you’re satisfied with your pencil lines.

Cut the semicircle bottom to the top piece. A router will be extremely helpful when creating the semicircular bottom, but it is possible to do this with a jigsaw, a fine blade, and a steady hand. Once again, you’ll want to pencil in the shape that you’re making, and go over with a permanent marker when you’re satisfied with the shape. For best results, use a compass for your pencil line. Alternately, turn a cup upside down and trace around the outside.

Screw the two rectangles together. Screws will provide a little more stability and make the final piece more durable. First, mark the spots that you will screw with small penciled Xs, ensuring that it will go through both pieces without any part of the screw sticking through. Drill a pilot hole before you screw. A screw without a guide hole can split the wood and ruin the whole piece.

Seal the wood with a heat-resistant sealer. Before you iron your favorite shirt with your new clapper, iron a small piece of fabric you don’t care about to test if the sealer is heat resistant.

About the Author

Robert Gurley has been writing since 2008. He began writing for Rochester area interfaith organizations and is now working to launch a website for military personnel to explore and discuss faith and spirituality. He has a Bachelor of Arts in religion and history from the University of Rochester.