Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DIY: old placemat, new purse

Friends, I cannot even express to you how excited I am about this purse. It's the first thing I've made with my sewing machine that I'm actually full-on, super duper, out of control excited about! Now, I should admit that I've only made two other things: another purse and a cushion. But still. I'm just happy that I was motivated enough to sit down at the machine, re-learn how to thread the needle and put thread on a bobbin and then make something.

I'm also really excited that this purse was made from thrift finds that cost me less than a dollar! What you're looking at are two old placemats and a denim belt that has been folded over and sewn together to become the strap. I bought the placemats and the belt at the same time with intention of turning them into something, but I wasn't quite sure what, and then on Sunday, I sat down at the machine and the light bulb started flashing and sparking and shorting out with excitement when I came up with this idea.

I honestly had so little faith in my ability to pull this off that I didn't take step-by-step photos because I didn't think this little gem would ever make it on the ol' blog. My apologies. But just in case you're wondering how I made this ridiculously simple bag, here's a word heavy explanation.

1. Find two placemats that you adore.
2. Cut 1/3 off one of the mats.
3. Sew the top of that mat, so it has a seam rather than an a frayed edge.
4. Sew the two mats together so that the large one can fold over the small one.
5. Sew a strap, in my case an old denim belt, on the corner of each side of the purse.
6. Find an adorable button and sew it on the front.
7. Wear your lovely new bag!

Have you ever surprised yourself with a DIY project? Or have you turned any thrifted items into something new and amazing? If yes, please share!


  1. That's super adorable! I really wish I owned a sewing machine so I could do stuff like this.

  2. That is so fantastically awesome! I love it!

  3. This is super cute! Well done! I'll admit, though, I had to read your post like four times because the first three times I read "yoga mat" instead of "place mat" and I kept scrolling up to look at the photos because I could not figure out how on earth you did that with a yoga mat. I was all, "Did she recover the yoga mat with fabric and quilt it down? Why would she do that? That seems like so much work!"

    I get it now. And it's cute. And much less complicated than my yoga mat-turned-bag concept. Let's stick with yours.
    C Marcia (Sequins)

  4. freakin' love this. just found your blog and i'm in love!

  5. Whoa. Pretty clever there! I love the little tree button. Adds such a nice touch. Lovely tutorial :)

  6. genius! love the fabric combo. You did a great job. I love remaking things, the only down side is I hardly throw anything away just in case I can do something with it!

  7. love this! i adore the fabrics :)