How to Make Handbags From Placemats

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Making handbags is a fun craft. Boutique bags are popular among many different age groups of women and girls. If you buy a ready-made boutique bag, it can be expensive. There are many to choose from, but perhaps the price is scaring you away from purchasing a ready-made bag.


If you possess even a modest amount of sewing skills, you could easily make a handbag of your own using a purchased place mat. The materials needed to complete this bag are not extensive and this project could easily be completed in about an hour.

Things You'll Need

  • Place mat
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing notions (scissors, thread, pins)
  • 3.5 yards ribbon
  • 1 yard bead trim
  • Heat/bond adhesive tape

Make Handbags from Placemats

  • Cut four 18-inch lengths of ribbon to make the handbag handles. Make one handle by bonding two lengths of ribbon to each other. You are making a double strength of ribbon for a handle by laying out two lengths of ribbon on top of each other with the bonding adhesive tape sandwiched between the ribbon. Bond them to each other following the manufacturer's instructions on the package. Make the second handle in the same way. Position a ribbon on the wrong side of a width edge of the place mat 1 inch from the edge and stitch to attach. Repeat on the other side of the place mat with the other ribbon.

  • Cut the ribbon that is left into four equal pieces. Cut the bead trim in half.

  • Position the bead trim on the right side of the place mat 2 inches from one width edge. Pin the bead trim in place and stitch it to the place mat.

    Repeat on the other width edge.

  • Position one length of ribbon along the top edge of the bead trim. Pin and stitch into place. Repeat with another length of ribbon above the first length of ribbon.

    Repeat along the other width edge of the place mat above the other length of bead trim.

  • Fold the place mat in half with right sides facing each other. Match up the sides and the ribbon handles and the corners.

    Sew both side seams and the bottom seam with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  • Make the bottom of the hand bag by sewing a gusset on the bottom seam. With the hand bag inside out, line up a side seam with the bottom seam of the hand bag. Pin to secure and sew a seam 1 1/2 inches below the point across the corner.

    Repeat on the other bottom corner. Turn the hand bag right side out to finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose a place mat that has a wrong side that looks similar to the right side. Do not choose a place mat that has loose woven threads going through the wrong side.

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