Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tool Time Tuesday...Place Mat Purse

I know, place mats are not tools, but it's Tuesday and this tutorial is cheap, fast and cute. Besides, they sell tools in the store where I bought these...so that counts as a TTT, right!!

See all these place mats? They were $1.00-$1.29 each. I bought them at the Christmas Tree Shop. If you don't know what The Christmas Tree Shop is...you have to experience it yourself. These stores are located in 15 states and I just can't explain it other than to stay...it's a store where you go in, spend too much money on things that have great prices and oh yeah...you really don't need any of it!

I am going to have several tutorials this week turning these place mats into fun and useful items.

Today's tutorial turns these 2 faux crocodile or faux snake skin place mats into the cutest purse.

See cheap, cheap, cheap.

The first step is to fold over the top edge of one of the circles to form the front part of the purse.

Sew a 1/4" seam across the top. I used a regular needle on my machine. The place mat is just made of vinyl, so it was easy to sew through. The vinyl that is gliding across the top of your machine might skid on the metal plate, but you can just push it along.

close up of seam.

Trim to a 1/4" away from the seam.

Here is the finished front piece.

Now take your second full circle and place it right side down.

Place your front section, that you just sewed, down onto the full circle right side up.

Sew, with a 1/4" seam (or follow the original seam line of the place mat), from the top of the folded front section...

all the way around to the other side. Back stitch to reinforce the beginning and the end.

At this point, you could be done and have a cute little clutch, but this next part is for a handle. Take that section that you cut off the first circle.

Measure up 2 1/2" from the flat bottom edge.

Cut on the line.

Fold it in half to clean up the ends.

cut off the ends to straighten it out.

Fold over both long edges 1/4".

I used paper clamps instead of pins.

Once the edges are folded over, fold the whole thing in half.

Now sew that open folded edge with a seam that is close to the edge.

All stitched on the short sides and across the long edge.

Center and place the handle where you would like and sew in place. Sew back and forth a few times to reinforce.

Now for the closure. I used Velcro tabs on the inside for ease of opening and closing.

But I wanted something decorative for the front. I hot glue a vintage wooden button to the front.

I first cut a thin piece of the place mat scraps and threaded it through the button, so it looks like the button is sewed on with the leather.

I had a little piece of place mat scraps left over, so I made a key chain. Cute, huh? The key chain handle is just one long strip folded over and sewn at the top.

and here you have a $2.00 faux crocodile purse all set for fall.

It's really roomy inside too!

This is all I have left from the scraps. Hmmm, I think I see a pair of matching earrings! Where is that covered button kit?

This tutorial is perfect to make just the right purse to match that certain outfit. Can't guarantee how long it will last, but it's fast, easy and cheap. Maybe this is how Louis Vuitton started out! Yeah...I don't think so...LOL

Happy Tuesday and I'll see you in the place mat isle!
I've linked to Somewhat Simple for Strut Your Stuff...button's always in my side bar! Love it.


  1. Super cute! I would have never thought of that!

  2. That's adorable Karen!! I've collected quite a few of those place mats also to make a placemat bag and haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe your tutorials will get me rolling. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I would like to get inside your head just once....is that too much to ask? Great tutorial.

  4. I've seen simple totes made from placemats...but this takes the cake. Wow.

  5. Ditto for what Barb said!!Love it. And I love your Pandora bracelet too. Hugs, Marie

  6. What a clever idea! But you always have clever ideas.

  7. you have great ideas, karen!!!

  8. What a great idea! Thanks so much for the fyi on the christmas tree shops, i just checked and one just opened in the next town, i definitely will be checking it out! Sue

  9. Julia refuses to step foot in Christmas Tree Shop. Especially on a Saturday! The last time we went on a Saturday, she walked all the way down to Stop & Shop to pick something up rather than go in with me. Haha.

  10. How clever! I will never look at a placemat in quite the same way again - lol!

  11. That is a fun idea and with the quilted ones, you could make lots of small purses and cases.


  12. What a great idea and useful tutorial! Sometimes buying cheap items is less expensive than buying materials. I will pay more attention from now on!

  13. Very cute. I have made a lot with the rectangle ones, but never with the circular ones.

  14. gracias por el tutorial, muy bien explicado. Muchas veces con cosas baratas se pueden hacer maravillas!!! Un beso

  15. Hi Karen,

    That is so cool! Thanks so much. I just made grocery bags out of sturdy placemats. When I get the handles on, I'll show them on my blog. I also made cute drawstring bags out of non-fuzzy dish cotten towels. I always say that I specialize in squares and rectangles, lol.

    Have a great day!

  16. Karen we used to make those in the 70's, but used the fabric ones. I have never made one out of the vinyl, cute idea. Honestly your ideas are endless.":O)

  17. Karen, You are just too clever! How do you keep coming up with these great ideas?

  18. That is a really cute idea! I really enjoy your blog--Thank You!!!

  19. Cute idea! I love your Pandora bracelet :-)
    Kathy B
    Yolo, CA

  20. That is so cool! Love the texture! Love that you make a little keychain to match. Well done! Thanks for sharing ... I've posted a link.

  21. So creative and cute!! I love it! I think the shape is adorable. Nice job!
    ~stopping by from Tatertots & Jello :)~

  22. I could never think of something so clever! This is fantastic! I will have to try harder to see things differently this is really amazing!


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