It is easy to embellish flat pieces of fabric with applique patches, beads and sequins before sewing, but often placemats are already tricked out by the manufacturer. It's like having a ready-made template for your new purses and bags. Here are a few of the ways that I've turned placemats into purses.
You can use a bamboo handle, like I did, for a summer look, or go with something of a darker handle to match those jewel-toned placemats that arrive in stores for holiday place settings.
You will need two round placemats for this project, at the bare minimum. I didn't add a closure to mine, but a swatch of velcro at the top would work just fine for this casual bag.
This placemat clutch uses a clever folding technique to turn a single round placemat into a small bag. I took mine on an adventure in Kentucky, and it was perfect for holding my lip gloss and lots of tourist trap brochures. Since this is a light purse, you can add a wispy scarf as a strap to turn it into a mini handbag.
I created this flat-bottomed bag to hold our fruits and veggies for us while on a camping trip. It made the perfect bag/bowl at the picnic table. While mine doesn't have a strap, you can add one to make this a bag that works at the grocery store, or just add a zipper to make a hefty purse.
You will need two thick placemats for this project.
5. Laptop Tote
These large placemats are ideal for decorating with patches before you sew them together. Mine already came patched up, but I think next time I'll make a big patch that looks like... a laptop.
Sturdy placemats and double stitching are a must for this bag. and don't skip out on the zipper. Security and durability is key here.