Project Restyle: Placemat to Purse

From place mat to handbag-Project Restyle Just wanted to share a random Project Restyle I made recently. In case you don’t know, Project Restyle is a series where we use an old or damaged item and repurpose or restore it into something we love. For many of the DIYs you find on this site, our goal is to share projects that you can easily recreate, so most of the supplies are fairly common or we share where you can get them. Project Restyle is a little different. Our goal is not necessarily to show something that you could easily recreate but rather to encourage the creative online community (which we are proud to be a part of!) to recycle, reuse, and restore when possible.

From place mat to handbag-Project Restyle And we just like sharing stuff we’re making with you. I bet you’ve probably noticed that by now. 🙂

Restyle purse before and after (via I repurposed this mini table runner, or oversized placemat (I’m not sure which it was!) into a purse. I had bought this placemat years ago at a thrift store. I just liked the pattern and muted tones and for a while I used it as a kind of throw under our record player. But then I moved the record player and it didn’t make as much sense, so it got stored in the closet. I pulled it out recently and decided I still loved it, so I thought I’d try to repurpose it into something new.

SuppliesI used scrap leather, embroidery thread and my sewing machine to add two hand-stitched sides and two straps to the purse. I already had some of the supplies, but generally it cost about $12 for me to make this project (in case you’re curious).

How to make leather strapsI had never made leather straps like this before, but I’ve been trying to use my sewing machine at least 2-3 times a month on projects as I’m working to get more confident using it. So I went for it! I don’t think they look like a professional handbag maker sewed them, but I like how they turned out. And, since it’s my purse, I feel good about that. 🙂

Project restyle purseOnce I added the sides, strap and a homemade leather tassel for the front, I thought I was done. But, I wasn’t in love with how slouchy the bag was. It looked cute while I carried it, but once I set it down, it didn’t hold any kind of shape. I like slouchy bags, but in this case it just didn’t look right. So I covered some foam core board with the same black leather and stitched that inside. Then I added a magnetic closure and the purse immediately felt more finished!

From place mat to handbag-Project RestyleFrom place mat to handbag-Project Restyle From place mat to handbag-Project Restyle Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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