Placemat Purses

Amy Finley
Placemat for making a purse
Colorful placemats can make stylish purses.

Placemat purses can be purchased or made in a huge variety of designs. From simple stripes to fun novelty prints, you can express your personality with these versatile bags.

About Placemat Handbags

Although designer handbags are a coveted accessory, creative crafters and designers have discovered more ways than ever before to create unique handbags. Along with various fabric bags, purses made from recycled candy wrappers, seatbelt purses and cigar box bags, the placemat bag is a unique accessory that has made its way into the handbag genre.

Placemat purses can be made from cloth or quilted placemats. They are also made from vinyl or sealed placemats, which are preferred by some women because they are water-resistant, durable, and can be easily cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth. Cloth versions offer a sense of sophistication, however, and are also popular. Placemat bags are made with individually designed or store-bought placemats, and may include other materials as well. The purse is usually lined and is designed in a boxy or tote style.

Designs and Styles

Placemat purse with a pink ribbon
Contrasting ribbon adds a pretty touch.

There are many different variations on the actual design of the bag -- from the placemat pattern, the use of contrasting or complementary placemats, the incorporation of other fabrics, and the various purse handles. Purse handles may be ribbon, wood, leather, beaded styles, resin, acrylic, or other materials. The most common handle types are medium curved handles, although rounded handles are seen on smaller bags.

Sizes range from mini and small purses to oversize totes utilizing additional materials. Embellishments such as beads, embroidery, fringe accents, charms, ribbon, and other touches add a unique splash.

Where to Buy Placemat Purses

Placemat purses can be so varied; it's almost guaranteed you'll have a highly original or one of a kind bag when you carry a placemat bag on your arm. The following shops sell placemat purses, either in current handmade designs immediately available for purchase, or custom made to your specifications:

  • Basement Bags: A large selection of purses from placemats on this site - the styles are fun and feminine, but still classy. Many handle styles are available, and cute touches like sassy fringe or sweet ribbon embellishment add great touches. This site takes custom orders, and the purse order includes free monogramming.
  • Etsy: Since placemat bags are essentially crafty items, you can fiind dozens of handmade designs on Etsy.

Making Your Own Purse from a Placemat

Even if you're not the craftiest person, placemat purses are one of the simpler designs you can try. This can be a highly affordable way to create purses for different seasons and occasions. The basic supplies you will need include:

  • One or more placemats (depending on the size and style you prefer)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Ribbon or purse handles
  • Fabric for lining the purse
  • A magnetic snap or Velcro enclosure.
  • Beads, buttons, ribbon, or other embellishments are optional.

There are several craft blogs and other sites that offer free patterns for placemat bags. Listed below are a few resources to get you started:

Check out LoveToKnow Crafts for more information on free purse patterns!

Whether you decide to purchase or make your own placemat-inspired purse, you'll have a gorgeous and original accessory at an affordable price.

Placemat Purses