This purse is inspired by juicy oranges, which are very refreshing on these hot summer days. I found two orange placemats at a dollar store and knew they were perfect for a project. I love making quirky bags. This one would be perfect for a summer cookout or cocktail party. It’s a funky way to incorporate a statement piece into your outfit. You need basic sewing and painting skills to make this bag. You can use other colors of placemats for other fruit, but the directions are the same.
- 2 Orange circle straw placemats – I found mine at Dollar Tree
- Tulip Soft fabric paint in Glacier White matte
- Oly-Fun Craft Pack in Orange Crush
- Orange thread
- 1″ Square of hook and loop tape
- Wax paper
- Small flat paint brush
- Small detail paint brush
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Heavy book
1) Lay a couple large pieces of wax paper down on your work surface. Using the white fabric paint and small flat paint brush, paint around the 2nd outer circle of one orange placemat. Push the paint in the crevices of the placemat. Circle placemats are made in a spiral, so there will be a transition section. Carefully, paint over this transition section, so the white circle looks even all around. Let the 1st coat dry. Add more coats until the white is opaque.
2) With the white paint and detail paint brush, paint the orange segment lines. The center is a circle, which conveniently is the awkward center where the spiral starts. I tried to make the segments as symmetrical as possible, for a total of 10 line segments, radiating from the center. Let the 1st coat dry and repeat coats until the white is opaque.
3) On the other circle placemat, use the sewing machine to stitch a straight line about 1″ down from the center. Cut the placemat in half slightly about that sewn line. You can save that larger half for a different project.
4) Cut a strip of Orange Crush OlyFun about 2″ wide by 2″ longer than the straight line of that freshly cut placemat. OlyFun doesn’t fray, making it great for binding the cut edge. Fold the OlyFun strip over the straight edge of the cut placemat. Invert fold the ends, to fully bind the cut edge. Use straight pins to secure if needed.
5) At the sewing machine, stitch the OlyFun strip into place, making sure to catch both long edges and the folded over ends of the OlyFun.
6) Back to the painted orange placemat. Fold it in half, along one long painted line. I tried folding along the different lines softly, until I found the one where the circle edges met up evenly enough to my liking. Press the fold in place hard with your hands. Fold a piece of wax paper over the folded placemat. Sit a heavy large book on top of the folded placemat, to press it the fold hard and permanently in place. I find the complete works of Shakespeare to be handy for this. Give it an hour or so to set the fold. Then, remove it from the book and wax paper.
7) Slip the half circle into the folded circle. Find the center of half circle’s curve and mark it with a straight pin. On the folded circle, use a straight pin to mark the corresponding center of one folded half. These are for hook and loop tape placement.
8) Separate the hook and loop tape pieces. At the sewing machine, stitch around the edge of one piece of hook and loop tape, where each straight pin mark was.
9) At the sewing machine, stitch the half circle and folded circle together around the half circle’s edge.
10) Fold the purse flap back down, closing it with the hook and loop tape.
When you’ve finished your purse, it might look so luscious, you’ll want to take a bite. While I chose an orange slice, this would look equally great in different colors for grapefruit, blood orange, lemon, limes, and any other segmented citrus fruit. My straw placemats are artificial, meaning they’re a plastic. You can certainly use real straw if you can find them, but they might be pricey compared to my dollar store version. What ever fruit you choose, have fun with this project and keep it kitchy. To see what else I’m making, head to my blog, Crafty Lady Abby.