It’s funny how my frustration over a broken beach bag turned into this tutorial on how to make handbags out of placemats! The type of placemats that usually reside on your dining room table. Little did we know that these rather average household items could easily be made into such stylish handbags and purses!
Over on my Instagram feed, I have been featuring this bag a lot lately in my photos but did you know that it was actually handmade?! I made it myself and it cost less than £3! Last year I purchased a very chic beach bag with a very Parisian style image on the front. It was a very classy looking beach bag which also served well as a “holds everything” type of handbag. Most likely due to its practicality and consequential overuse, the bag broke and I was left with just the chunky rope straps which (unlike some beach bag straps) rest very comfortably on my shoulder. So, I decided to upcycle the chunky rope straps and make my own DIY beach bag et viola: the placemat handbag was born!
In this DIY tutorial I am going to show you how I made my very own placemats handbag, using two large black placemats. Depending on the size of the placemats, you can make handbags of varying sizes. If you use cup-size placemats you can easily turn them into a cute and unique purse to hold your money or your lipstick and other “on-the-go” make-up essentials.
Please note: in this “how to make handbags out of placemats” I did not use a sewing machine. I stitched the entire bag by hand. You can of course use a sewing machine to sew the bag together.
How to Make Handbags out of Placemats
You Will Need:
- 2 soft, woven placemats in the size and colour of your choice
- Cotton thread
- A large sewing needle (or appropriate settings if using sewing machine)
- 2 bag handles – these can be any kind you like, such as long straps, a cross-body strap, short handles if you would prefer to create a clutch style bag, the choice is yours. Tip: you could use large bracelet bangles if you would like shorter handles.
How to Make Your Placemats Handbag:
- Take your two placemats and fold over the top edge on each placemat. Pin these parts down and sew them.
- Before sewing the two placemats/the two sides of the bag together, you will need to sew on the handles. I sewed my rope handles on to the inside of each side – on the folded down side.
- Making sure that the folded and stitched sides of the bag are facing each other, sew the two sides together but do not sew past the top flat side that you have folded over.
- Your DIY placemat handbag is complete! You can also use this method to make a purse out of placemats too.
Extra: I used a white flower that I took from a hair clip to add to my bag as a handbag charm. Feel free to add additional decoration to your bag to style it how you like.