This is our last week of school till Summer Break!
I really can’t believe it.
Just like that, Owen is done with Kindergarten, Lucy knows multiplication, Owen can read, and Clara is happy to have her playmates back on the homefront.
And with the last days of school, come Thank You gifts for the teachers—who truly, deserve more than just a bag. But every handmade thought counts.
And when I walked by the placemat aisle the other day at the store, I paused and realized….those would make really cute bags!
Really EASY cute bags.
So let’s add one more to our TOTE BAG series.
Here’s what we’ve made so far (click a photo for detailed steps):
We’ll use ONE placemat to make a purse-sized bag, with a pocket inside:
Then we’ll turn TWO placemats into a sturdy beach tote:
Whether it’s for you to enjoy or to give away as a gift, the summer just got way more colorful.
Let’s start with the full-sized bag.
Here’s what you do:
Then fill it with your favorite mag and a towel…and you’re off to the pool!
Now if you’re more a purse-sized gal here’s another simple idea:
This time around we’ll use only one placemat and sew the handles on as one continuous strap.
First, decide if you’re going to add a pocket inside or just leave it plain.
You’ll find a very detailed tutorial on pocket totes HERE.
And for this project I used a dishtowel for my fabric (from the same placemat aisle at the store). But you can use whatever fabric scraps you have lying around. The best way to position the pocket is to fold the placemat in half to find the center point (which will become the bottom of the bag) and then line up the bottom of your pocket with this center line. Also, make sure the size of the pocket will fit within the space between the straps….otherwise you’ll be sewing over the pocket when you sew the straps to the placemat….which will make more sense with the images below.
You can always make the handles as long (or as short) as you like, but I find that 24 inches for a handle (meaning JUST the handle part, from one top of the bag to the other top of the bag) is a good standard length. Then you need to add the lengths of your bag sides to get the full measurement of your trim piece. OR, you can simple sew handles separately as we’ve done in other tutorials here and here. The choice is yours!