Have you ever made a purse out of a placemat? I have, but I didn't have instructions, so mine aren't quite as cute as those from Sew Beautiful Magazine. I found some instructions for you on the www and they are at Sew Beautiful Magazine's website. Try it out and let me know what you think.
Rance loves to have his picture taken and he snuck in. I just had to include it (because from a mommy's perspective - he's cuter than any ol' purse).
This purse or tote is a little large because it is made from 2 identical placemats. It was one of my Christmas purses (can ya tell?). Actually I liked this a little better than a Christmas purse (because of the snowmen you can carry it all winter and not just at Christmas - some of them had Santa Clause on them - Christmas only). [Can you see the top of Rance's head?]
This is an upclose shot of the gromet and cording (that I used for the handles).
I didn't line the purses (you could), I wanted something quick and easy. Here is an inside look at the gromet and the cording tied in a knot. This is so if I want to change out ribbons/cording to have different 'handles/straps' I can do that or if the handles become damaged, the whole purse doesn't have to be scrapped.
Here is a red placemat that has gold thread running through it and it had beads along 2 sides. I folded it in half and the beads became a decoration across the top. I used red grosgrain ribbon for the handles.
The gold gromet brought out the gold metallic thread and now becomes an accent.
Here is an inside view of the gromet and knotted ribbon.
This was a green suade placemat that I folded in half. I had a very lightweight green ribbon that went well with the suade and I used that (along with gromets again) for the handles.
The ribbon was so delicate and lightweight that I thought the knot might pull through the gromet, so I tied a bead into the knot. It works great, the ribbon doesn't pull through the gromet. Just make sure the bead is slightly larger than the hole in the gromet.
Deciding how long you need the ribbon is strictly preference. If you want it to be a handbag, use shorter ribbon, if you want it to be a shoulder bag, place the bag on your side where you want it to hang and measure for your ribbons.
I look for inexpensive placemats at T.J. Maxx, Dollar General, etc. I did a few for Christmas gifts for my nieces a few years ago (with Christmas placemats). After holidays, check out the clearance aisles (often they don't have enough for a whole set as a place setting, but it only takes one or two for a purse). Check out places like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Dollar Stores, Hancock Fabrics, JoAnn Fabrics, Michael's, TJ Maxx or anywhere that might sell placemats. Hey, you might even check out thrift stores.