I was browsing my local thrift shop and came across a lovely placemat-unfortunately there was only one on the shelf. What can you do with just one placemat? Well, I really liked that placemat and I knew I could come up with a project for it, so I bought it.
Here is what I did with it. This bag measures about 9"x 3" x 6" with handles folded down. It was easy and I thought others would like to try making their own recycled placemat bag. Here's what you need:
1 placemat with fringed sides.
2 pieces of lining fabric, one cut to 2"x 10", and another piece cut the same size as the placemat.
1 pair purchased purse handles.
Fold your placemat, right sides and short fringed edges together, and sew the 2 unfringed sides together using 1/2" seam allowance (see photo, left). You now have a flat pouch. Open this pouch up, forming a bag bottom, and sew diagonally across the corner about 1.5" away from the point (see photo, right). Repeat these 2 steps with the larger piece of lining fabric. Fold down 1/2" seam allowance along top edge of lining to the wrong side and press.
Fold 2"x 10" strip of lining fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along the length using 1/2" seam allowance (see photo left). Turn the strip right-side-out (use a chopstick or safety pin to help the process along) and press it flat.
Cut the strip into 4 equal pieces. Fold one piece in half over the ring at the end of one of the purse handles and sew in place on the upper edge of the bag, about 1" in from the corner. Repeat with 3 other strips, anchoring the purse handles to the bag (see photo, right). Tuck lining into place inside the bag and either hand whipstitch or machine topstitch around upper edge to finish.