How to Make a DIY Cross Body Bag for Under $10

How to make a budget-friendly DIY cross body bag with 2 five dollar placemats?! Click through for the step by step tutorial.

Placemats! I bought some thick, colorful placemats a while back from Anthro, on sale for $4.95 each. And until last week they sat folded up in my craft closet basically just collecting dust.

But then Amelia got a hold of them and whipped ’em into this cool little cross body bag and I’m wondering why we didn’t tackle this project sooner. It was so easy and super budget-friendly, since all of the materials combined cost less than $10.

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

Click through for the step by step tutorial.

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10


  • 2 matching placemats (preferably woven for thickness, texture, and easy hand stitching – mine are from the Anthro sale section)
  • embroidery floss in coordinating color
  • large needle
  • leather purse strap (I had an extra lying around from a cross body purse turned clutch)
  • scissors


1. Lay placemats one on top of the other, with the insides facing out and thread a large needle with embroidery floss.

2. Starting along the bottom seam, begin stitching the two placemats together using either a blanket or backstitch. I did a blanket stitch, FYI. See Apartment Therapy for instructions on various stitching techniques (including a blanket stitch).

Note: Be careful that the placemats stay aligned. Your seam should be around 1 inch in from the edge of the placemat.

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

3. Continue along the sides of the placemats, but stop your stitch about 8 inches from the top of the bag. This is where you will attach the loops for your strap.

4. Once you have the three sides sewn together, gently turn your bag rightside out.

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

5. For the strap, cut 2 3-inch strips of fabric (I used some trimmings from the interior of the bag, but you can also use small leather pieces, or other fabric you have lying around). The width of the fabric strip doesn’t need to be super thick, just durable, since it’ll essentially be responsible for holding the strap on.

6. Form a loop with the first strip of fabric and tuck it between the open seams of the placemats. Make sure it sits right above where your seam ended (about 8 inches from the top of your bag). This way you can fold the top portion of your bag over and the strap will sit correctly.

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

7. Pull the loop so that it barely shows on the exterior of the bag. Carefully stitch over the fabric loop (I doubled up on my backstitching to ensure its strength), and continue your blanket or backstitch up to the top of the bag. This can be tricky, as you will have to stitch from the inside of the bag so the stitching matches what you already did.*

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

8. Once the loops are securely attached, and the bag is stitched up, string your purse strap through the loops and button or buckle.

How to make a DIY cross body bag for under $10

9. Push out the corners in the bottom of the bag to help it lay flat, fold over, and you’re ready to go!

*If your purse strap does not have a button, like mine, you may have to attach the purse to the fabric loops prior to stitching them into the purse. Just make sure you plan that out before you attach the loops.

**Note: Different types of fabric may require a different technique. You could easily use a sewing machine for thinner placemats, add a liner, a clasp, you name it!



Craft production and photography by Amelia Tatnall

28 comments | Click here to reply

That’s adorable! And so simple to make. 🙂

Pearl R Meaker

Glad you like it Pearl.


This is such a wonderful idea, now I just have to get a pair of such beautiful placemats!


Fun idea for a handbag! You remind me about how I used a placemat for the cover to sew up a blank journal inside. I’ll have to blog about it soon.

Anne Rita Taylor

What a cute idea! Sewing a leather bag has been on my to do list for a while but this mat looks much simpler to deal with… not to mention cheaper. Great project!


Awesome. Such a great idea.


Great inspiration, very good idea! I want to try it myself!


So creative! Never have enough purses!


What a great idea! Really cute bag.


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Brilliant! And oh so cute…can I just say, too, how much I love the clean, crisp and bright look of your photos and blog.


Welch wunderbare Idee. Einfach & klar ohne viel Aufwand. Wenn ich den passenden kleinen Teppich finde (evtl. Ikea) muss ich mir den mitnehmen. Für mich ist das so eine richtige Sommertasche.
Danke für die Inspiration.
Liebste Grüße,
What a wonderful idea. Simple & clear without much effort. If I find the right rug (possibly Ikea) I need to bring to me. For me, this is a real summer bag.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Dearest greetings,


love this x a million

Emmy Jake NYC


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Awesome!!! I have a few at home but they are not matched. I think even that would be fun!!! Very easy tutorial.

Nafisa ahmed

It’s beautiful ! I would love to try this with some old (fake) persian
tablecloths from the second-hand-shop !


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That’s so cool! Thank you for tip. 😉

have a nice day xx


Great idea… I will try for sure… It’s very easy tutorial, thanks for sharing….

Jelena Ristic

wow great idea, i’ll make one 😀


I will try this very soon. Going to the dollar store to look for those place mats tomorrow. I made a similar bag out of an old sweater. Also sewn by hand


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When I was married my mother in law and I used a quilted placemat to make a curling iron holder for traveling. That was 22 yrs ago and I still use it when I travel. Placemats who knew? 😉


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I bought a similar-looking purse in Mexico oh so many yrs., ago, but lost it in moving….. It had loops partway down like this one, but had another set at the top, so you could attach the strap to either set to get a bigger/smaller bag. Just a thought.


mary nmakara

So cute. Put this bag to my to-make-list. Thanks for sharing this as a free tutorial.


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