It’s about time I did a non birthday themed post! I loved sharing all the tips for decorating your house for a party, but now it’s time for a fun
DIY craft project.
I’ve seen a few fun ideas online for making clutch purses out of placemats and I wanted to get in on the action. I ended up finding two of these bamboo woven placemats and I thought they would make very unique purses.
(ignore the fabric swatches…that idea did not work out!)
The placemats were originally woven together with a plastic string, so the first step was taking the string out without getting the bamboo pieces completely out of order. I found the end of the string, cut off the knot, and slowly removed the string. I starting moving the pieces around to create the handles and getting the right size for a clutch purse.
(You might want to decide on the size before the placemat is unwoven)
Here is the placemat in the final size and arrangement for my purse.
Next I used the plastic sting to re-weave the bamboo pieces into my new shape. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to secure them at this point so I took lots of care to not weave through the openings for the handles. If you are going to follow the rest of my steps you won’t need to worry about that and you can find the quickest way to put the placemat back together.
Once the pieces are woven tightly back together you will need to cover the entire inside of the purse with duct tape. I bought a black roll from Michael’s for about $5, and they had tons of other fun colors.
I would recommend adding at least two layers around the handles because this part will get the most wear and tear.
Once the pieces are locked into place you can remove the plastic string. Next I cut out a piece of cardboard for the bottom of the purse. Once the bamboo pieces are duct taped together you can pick it up like a purse and see what size to make the bottom. My purse seemed to naturally fall into a shape with 5 rows of bamboo as the bottom, so I just went with that. After it’s measured and cut, cover the cardboard with duct tape to help it blend in and to reinforce it.
Use a few pieces of tape to secure the cardboard insert to the purse.
Next you’ll need to make two pieces of overlapping tape to form the sides of the purse. Lay five 4″ pieces of tape in a row with about 1/4″ overlapping to form a ‘sheet’ of tape. Then lay one 7″ piece of tape over the top of all of those pieces with about 1/4″ overhanging on one side. Fold this flap over and that will be the top of the sides of the purse. Cut the bottom two corners about one inch in from the corner at a diagonal to help you get smooth corners (not in the picture, I learned this step the hard way!).
Staring with one of the long sides, install the side piece by pressing the tape firmly to the duct taped side of the purse. Work your way down the side, and secure the bottom piece of the side. Finally work your way back up the other side to finish securing the side of the purse.
Follow the same steps for the other side and you should end up with a purse like this:
I would recommend creasing the duct tape sides into the inside so when you pick up the purse they don’t stick out.
I’m sure this technique can be used with all sorts of woven placemats to create some very fun combinations.
What a quick fun project for a truly unique DIY clutch!
What do you think?
Can you find the time to do this?