by Craftbits (shellie wilson)
What you need
Fabric Napkin to match or ribbon
1.Fold your placemat in half so that the long side is folded. Put the two edges right next to each other and sew a very short zigzag stitch down as far as your machine can go. There will probably be about 1-2 inches not sewn, this is ok. Do this on both sides.
2.Turn inside out. It should be a rectangular shape with a fold on the bottom. Fold one side down so that the seam lays against the bottom fold. This will form a triangle at the bottom of the seam. You want to sew across this from one side to another about 2 inches from the tip. The distance from one side to the other is going to be how wide your purse is.
3.Turn your purse right side out and take the tip of the triangle and push the corner of the purse out and tack the tip of the triangle down to the bottom of the purse. I use a zigzag stitch to do this and just go back and forth a few times to hold it down. It’s important to make sure that the edges are pulled out as far as they can go and you sew this tightly because it hold your purse open so the corners don’t fold in.
4.I like to use a matching napkin to make the straps but ribbons are a lot easier way to go. To make the straps cut the napkin into 2 strips about 5′ wide. On this purse I used 2 colors so the strips only had to be about 2-3′. Using one color: fold the rough edges in and then fold in half so the 2 folded edges meet. It’s much easier if you use an iron for this part. You may need to play around with this so you get the width that you like. Sew along each edge. I’ve also used a different color thread and/or a decorative stitch to add a cool effect to the strap.
For two tone strap: Fold the rough edges in making it as wide as you want the strap. Make sure both colors are the exact same width. Sew along edges to hold them together.
5.To attach the strap it looks best if you are using a place mat that has 2 layers sewn together on the sides. You can open the edge up with a seam ripper, sandwich the strap inside and sew closed again. If you do not have this option you can just use a zig zag stitch to attach it to the inside of the purse.
6.I also sewed a pocket for a cell phone in this one. Just cut out a a rectangle of fabric out of a napkin , fold over the edges and sew it into the purse. I hand sewed it to the inside layer so it wouldn’t show on the outside.
7.I also got a magnetic snap from the store and added this so the purse will close on the top. You can buy these at most sewing/fabric stores for a couple dollars.
8.Put your stuff in and you’re ready to go.
You can also experiment with different purse straps sold at craft stores. Have fun with it and make it your own. I get compliments on mine everywhere I go and I’ve had many friends have me make them one or ask me how. Its a great easy and very cheap way to make a fun purse. Enjoy!