Tag Archives: Tote bag

Laces . . . And Another Placemat Tote!


I got the most wonderful gift in the mail today . . . a collection of laces from  Cul de Sac! Thank you, Josée . . . and you’ll be seeing lots of them in future projects and posts! The first one that caught my eye was this bright purple crocheted lace. I remembered that one of the placemats in my stash included this beautiful color, so I paired the mat, lace, and some denim to make another tote bag. I followed the same procedure as the last one (click here for tutorial) except for stitching the lace at both ends of the fabric before attaching it to the placemat halves and handles. I love how it turned out and can’t wait to try another lace on something new! ♥

Clutch and Tote


I am the SO lucky winner of Homespun Haley’s recent giveaway . . . a handmade clutch! It hasn’t arrived quite yet, but isn’t it lovely? Please check out Haley’s blog and her Etsy shop as well. Thank you, Haley! ♥

And then . . . I must have dreamed about the fabric, because this morning I woke up with an idea for a tote bag that includes pink flowers and teal. I patiently waited until after work and dinner to start on it, but here it is! I used a two-sided placemat and some sturdy duck cloth I had in my stash.  The easy-breezy directions are on the photos . . . click if you’d like a larger view.




More Placemat Tote Bags


I posted one of these placemat tote bags awhile back (click here for tutorial), and now I’ve finished the last two. It was fun choosing lining fabrics, and I think they make a great set! I may even do something decorating-wise with them . . . we’ll see! ♥

Placemat Tote Bag


As you know, I’m fond of making things out of placemats I find in the clearance bins at World Market, Bed/Bath/Beyond, and Target. This time I decided to try making a tote bag. It turned out great . . . and it’s even tangerine! Here are the directions:


  • 2 placemats (I used one print and one solid, but any combination is fine.)
  • a coordinating remnant for the lining (I used a piece of retro jersey from a box of fabric my mom-in-law gave me . . . I wish I knew what she made with it!)
  • up to 2 yards of cording for the strap
  • sewing thread and embroidery floss

The "insides" before attaching the lining . . .


1. With right sides of the fabric facing, stitch the sides and bottom of the placemats.

2. Hand stitch the strap inside the two side seams with embroidery floss for sturdiness.

3. Turn the bag right side out and press if needed.

4. Use the bag as a pattern to cut two pieces of the remnant, leaving a little around the edges for the seams.

5. With right sides of the fabric facing, stitch the sides and bottom of the lining. DON’T turn right side out, but do press.

6. Slip the lining inside the bag. Fold it under at the top and pin it along the top edge of the bag, bunching a bit at the straps if needed.

7. Use a slip stitch or decorative embroidery stitch to attach the lining to the bag.  You’re done! ♥

Other placemat projects:

Placemat Pouch

More Placemat Pouches

Roll-Up Pencil Case

“My Family” Felt Letters


My first Year of Homemade Gifts project was for a very special little boy about to turn three years old. I was pondering what to make for him one morning and, while spraying my hair, this idea came to me. (I MUST buy more of that hairspray!) He already knows his ABCs and can recognize and name letters, so I thought a fun next step would be to learn how to spell the names of all his family members. Here’s how to make a “My Family” felt letter set:


  • Felt squares, a different color for each name, all cut the same size (Mine were 6.5 x 6.5 inches.)
  • Embroidery floss and needle
  • Fiberfill stuffing and a chopstick to push it into the letters’ crooks and crannies
  • Fabric for a tote bag to hold the finished letters
  • Fabric, ribbon, cord, or bias tape for drawstring
  • Pencil, pins, and scissors


(1) Draw block letters on the felt squares, two for each letter.  Be sure to use uppercase for the first letter of the name and lowercase for the other letters . . . a kindergarten teacher will thank you someday!

(2) Stitch the front and back of each letter together using a contrasting color of embroidery floss.

(3) Every few stitches, stop and put in a little stuffing until you make it all the way around.

(4) Cut two large rectangles for the tote bag. (Mine is 18 x 16 inches and holds 19 letters.)

(5) Stitch felt letters spelling “My Family” on the front of one piece of the tote bag fabric.

(6) Put the rectangles together, right sides facing, and stitch the sides and bottom.

(7) Turn down the top and stitch around it, leaving a channel and an opening for the drawstring.

(8) Turn the tote bag right side out and press if needed.

(8) Make a drawstring out of the same fabric, or use ribbon, cording, or bias tape folded and stitched. Fasten a safety pin through one end and thread the drawstring through the channel. Tie ends together.

(9) Put the felt letters into the bag, and give it to a little boy or girl you love! ♥

P.S. Besides spelling the family’s names, children can sort the letters by color, letter, or uppercase/lowercase, spell other small words (my letters also work for Mom, Dad, red, mad, lead, dare, name . . . ), and use them to make up fun new names. How about Myler, Dyan, Rommy, and Taddy? 🙂