I made this version of a placemat purse when I was in high school for a home economics class project. My homemade placemat purse class project also worked well as a combo school bag and purse. I was able to carry my calculator for math class, pencils, pens, library books for book reports, and smaller items for classes.
Teaching Kids to Sew During the Winter at Home
One reason this would make a great winter craft project is you can teach the kids the basics of sewing. They will learn the basic sewing machine stitch for seams and hems. They will also learn how to sew on buttons. For parents who have teens going to college in the next couple of years, knowing how to hem pants, jeans, skirts, and shirts can save both them and you a bundle of money.
The guys may balk at making the purse at first, but they won’t have to carry it. They can give it to you or their girlfriend to use as a bag for class or something else.
Gift Giving Idea from Making the Winter Craft Project Homemade Placemat Purse
Like I mentioned above, the guys can give their homemade placemat purse as a gift. While they may think it’s a lame idea as a gift by itself, other items can be placed in the homemade purse. For example, a bottle of perfume, a gift card, a wallet or something small their girlfriend has been hinting about.
For the girls, making a few of the placemat purses for friends with pens, pencils, notepads, or other useful or fun items for an overnight stay or upcoming trip can be something to consider.
Tips for Buying Placemats for Making Homemade Purses
If you find placemats on clearance at the end of each season, buy as many in the different colors, styles, and shapes as possible. This way you will be able to create a new purse with a smaller out of pocket cost.
Be sure to check out all the retail stores in your area, including dollar type stores. Each store carries different brands, styles, shapes, colors, and patterns of placemats.
Recycling Placemats for Making Homemade Purses
If you are changing out the theme of your kitchen or dining room, consider making a purse from your used placemats. You will have a new fashion item from old home decor.
Go to yard sales or thrift shops? You may be surprised to find some retro placemats at yard sales or thrift shops. The cost of the placemats will be far cheaper than buying new ones for this winter craft project especially if your tween is wanting to make one for themselves. It would be a cheap and easy way for them to practice sewing the basic stitches.
Tips for Buying Purse Handles
While some stores may not carry a large supply of purse handles for making your own purses, check out the different styles they have on hand. Each brand will have a slightly different aspect to the handles. For example, curved bamboo purse handles versus square bamboo purse handles.
Make Your Own Purse Handles and Straps
There are several tutorials on the web for making purse straps and handles. If you have already made another type of purse from a pattern, consider using the strap or handle part of the pattern to make your own for this placemat purse.
Recycling Purse Handles, Straps, and Handles
If you have a purse where the lining has came out or other problems, remove the straps and use them instead of buying new ones.
Pattern for the Homemade Placemat Purse Winter Craft Project
Level of Expertise: Beginner to Intermediate – 13 years of age and older
Materials Needed for the Homemade Placemat Purse
Two Placemats – Cloth or plastic placemats in any color, shape or style will work.
Set of Purse Handles – You will need a set of purse handles with wide enough slots for the placemats to fit through.
Two Large Buttons for a decorative touch.
Instructions for the Homemade Placemat Purse
Slide one end through one of the purse handles with wrong sides together and pin. Sew across, just below the pins and handle, with the use of a sewing machine back stitching at the beginning and end of the line. You will need to repeat this step again on the other placemat.
TIP: If you are using reversible placemats, reverse the placemats after sewing the handles in place. This will give you a different effect for the purse.
Pin the placemats together two-thirds of the way up from the bottom.
Using a sewing machine, stitch around the inner side of the bound area (if your placemat has a bound outer edge) of the placemat from one straight pin to the other. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end so the seam doesn’t come apart.
NOTE: If your placemats don’t have an outer bound edge, use the standard half inch seam allowance. The outer area of the placemats when sewn together will be left open.
Now that you have the base of the purse sewn together, sew one button in the middle of the flap from the handle area. Repeat the process.