Tutorial: Chic Clutch a la Placemat

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Now on to the tutorial!

Repurposing is all the rage these days. And what better way to repurpose an old placemat, than to turn it into a chic clutch that looks like it came straight out of the hippest boutique?! Yep. You heard me. Placemat to boutique chic clutch. Here’s how …

Chic Clutch a la Placemat

1 placemat (in good condition), fabric for lining, foam sheet, tape measure, rotary cutter and mat (or scissors and flat surface), magnetic clasp, 1″ x 1″ piece of med. to heavy weight interfacing, embellishments (like lace, ribbon, flowers, etc.), sewing maching, thread, fabric glue


1. Cut lining fabric to exact same size as the placemat. (A placemat measuring 16 1/2″ x 12″ was used for this tutorial. Measurements may need to be modified to scale based on size of placemat being used.)

2. On the right side of the placemat, centered between sides, and 4″ from bottom edge, attach back-side of magnetic clasp.



3. On the wrong side of the lining, centered between sides, and 1/2″ from top edge, iron interfacing square (remember: tacky side down). Turn lining over so right side is facing up. Center magnetic clasp on interfacing square, and attach.

4. Place lining and placemat right-sides together (the magnetic clasp back should be at the bottom, & magnetic clasp front should be at the top). Pin sides and bottom and sew 1/4″ seam along sides and bottom, leaving top edge open.

5. Turn right-side-out and iron seam flat.

6. Cut two pieces of foam sheet measuring 5 1/4″ x 12″, and one piece measuring 4 1/2″ x 12″.

7. Insert one of the 5 1/4″ x 12″ sheets into the clutch, slide to bottom. Secure tightly with pins. Sew a seam along the open edge of the foam (width-wise) to secure hold.

8. Insert the second 5 1/4″ x 12″ piece of foam sheet. Secure open edge with pins. Sew a seam along the open edge of the foam (width-wise) to secure hold.

9. Insert the 4 1/2″ x 12″ piece of foam into the top of clutch. Secure with pins and sew along top edge. (You do not have to turn raw edges under.)

10. With clutch on a flat surface, placemat side down, fold up bottom third at seam line in-between the two lower foam pieces. Due to the thickness of the foam, pinning is difficult, so with a tight hold on the edges (keeping them lined up) sew from top to bottom as close to edge as possible to close clutch sides.

11. Cut a coordinating piece of ribbon (you could also use seam or quilt binding) 2 inches longer than the width of the clutch.

12. Fold in half, lengthwise and iron.

13. Encase ribbon along raw top edge of clutch and glue in place, wrapping sides under before gluing the underside.

14. Embellish the clutch as desired.

15. Never tell a soul that your chic new clutch used to be a placemat!


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