Placemat purses

I find that when I don’t make purses for a while I tend to make mistakes when I try to make one.  What kind of bagaholic am I if I  makes mistakes when making a bag?  So to brush up on my purse-making skills, I decided to make a couple of purses out of clearanced placemats that I picked up at Target a while ago.  I cut off the edge seams, squared up the pieces and got 2 pieces of coordinating fabric – one from the front and one from the back.

This one was made out of 2 placemats plus another back of a placemat for the inside pocket.  This is a good sized purse and I like the way the reddish tone in the leather goes with the fabric of the purse.  I wanted to keep it for myself but alas, I had made it for a friend and she liked it.  And besides, I really don’t need another purse, do I?


This one was made out of just one placemat.  I used some stash fabric for a pocket inside.  I’ve never used the plastic handles before and had a bit of a hard time putting them on.  Is there a secret here?  I used grosgrain ribbon to attatch them to the purse.


That’s all the sewing I have to show – I’m working on the boy’s quilts so it might be a while until I post again…

30 Responses to “Placemat purses”

  1. 1 Susan November 6, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    I love the pink one. It is so cute.

  2. 3 beki November 6, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    I love easy, quick projects like that. I’m always on the look out for cute placemats just for that purpose.

  3. 4 Monica November 6, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    Very clever! I love your idea using the handles! Very elegant!!! I love those handles… holding a purse with handles like that reminds me of being a kid and playing dress-up with my mom’s purses.

  4. 5 Lori November 7, 2006 at 12:02 am

    Very cute purses, great idea with the placemats.

  5. 6 sueb November 7, 2006 at 5:06 am

    nicely done! no secret to those types of plastic handles. I’m not a fan of using them myself and prefer to use the types that have the rings that come off so you can just put them on after the fact. Makes it a little easier plus you can just unscrew them and use them on another purse when you want.

  6. 7 autum November 7, 2006 at 7:30 am

    Beautiful!! When I use those type handles, I first put the tabs through the slots on the handles and secure them with a zig zag, then pin (or secure with a zig zag) the handles to the bag like you would regular handles before sewing the bag and lining together. The turning part can be tough. I try to remember to leave the opening for turning bigger than usual.

  7. 8 kirsten November 7, 2006 at 8:39 am

    linda, those turned out great! I especially like the one with handles – i’m going to have to come back and check these commments again when I attempt them! 🙂

  8. 9 deb November 7, 2006 at 10:16 am

    Wow – what a great idea and seems so quick and easy. Very nice!

  9. 10 capello November 7, 2006 at 10:53 am

    those are some fancy pants purses. i can’t believe they make placemats so fancy pants now. who wants to spill maranara sauce on fabric that pretty?

  10. 11 Ali November 7, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    Ooh – that pink one is soooo cute.

  11. 12 Kimberly November 7, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    I too adore that second one. I know how it is when you’re working on a big project-sew away.
    Hey, who has enough purses??? Never!!!

  12. 13 Debbie November 7, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Perfect fabric for purses. They look super.
    I have a set of plastic handles but haven’t used them yet.

    And those leather straps remind me that I wanted to look into that — I love the way they look. Great idea oh Creative One!!

  13. 14 randomcontemplations November 7, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Those are really cute, very good idea to use on sale mats!! You’re getting all fancy with the pictures too, I see they have borders around them, looks good. What kind of handles are those on the top purse?

  14. 15 Monica November 7, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    what a great idea! And I’ll never believe Linda making mistakes when sewing bags… they always look so polished and professional.

    I think they’re spledid.

  15. 16 Coryn November 7, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    They look like they are out of a designer bag catalogue. Beautiful.

    Thanks for showing us these beauties. Don’t worry if you don’t post for a while. It’ll feel great to get the boy’s quilts done in time for Christmas.

  16. 17 Wendi November 7, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    Oh, I love the bottom one! I’ve heard of the placemat purse idea, but I’ve never seen one. They’re great!

  17. 18 lera November 7, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    i like the placemat purse. that turned out great.

    the pink fabric is wonderful. and i love the shape and style of the bag.

  18. 19 Karyn November 7, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Only you could make a placemat into a GREAT purse! Way to go!

  19. 20 Angie November 7, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    How creative!!! Cant wait to see your quilts!!

  20. 21 LoriB. November 8, 2006 at 8:57 am

    Those are the best looking placemat purses I’ve seen. You are so talented!!

  21. 22 essieandeisbar November 8, 2006 at 11:41 am

    You are so clever! And jeez, your Tar-Jay has the BEST clearance 😀

    so… can I see the inside ??!

  22. 23 rebecca November 8, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    What can I say……they are attractive and I do like the leather handle with those reds too! I would never have guessed they were placemats. Recycling at its finest. :o)

  23. 24 Sarah November 8, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    Great purses! I can’t wait to see what the boys’ quilts look like. The first one was fantastic.

  24. 25 lizzie November 9, 2006 at 9:29 am

    From one purseaholic to another, those are fabulous! I need to show you the purse my Mom brought me from Vietnam. It’s made out of silk….very elegant. Have you ever used silk? I wonder if it would be fussy to work with. We’ll see you later today. I’ll call if we decide to leave town early. I’m thinking not right now.

  25. 26 Allie November 9, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, those are so beautiful!
    You make it sound easy, but I know it’s not really!

  26. 27 Lauri November 12, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    LOVE the placements at Target! They are always great for purses or pillows-I just take the ‘heavy’ stuff out/take off the fabric top, to make the pillows, so they aren’t so stiff.

    These purses came out great…I also have a few of those plastic and wood handles, but I’ve never used them.

  27. 28 Joey December 7, 2006 at 11:11 am

    Thats just fab!!!

    My family is doing a “home made Christmas” and I was running out of idea!!

    Thank you thank you!

  28. 29 Kelley November 22, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    I am making several placemat purses for Christmas and I would like to know where you picked up the white and pink placemat above. It turned out really nice. Thanks,

  29. 30 Paula December 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I have made quite a few placemat purses. It is a lot of fun. I have used matching cloth napkins to make compartments for the inside.

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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