We are in the dog days of summer, and something about the heat and the sun makes me want to add a straw accessory into just about any outfit I own. Especially these days as my outfits are consisting merely of dresses, I am in need of outfit interest from elsewhere.
I saw a curved straw clutch online a couple of weeks ago and was this close to putting it in The List for that week, but then stared at the $40 (on sale) price tag and thought… nope. It’s the end of July, nobody wants to spend a bunch on a piece that will be around for merely another month. So I decided that we could just as easily get the same look with a surprising household product.
Enter, the straw placemat. They’re super easy to find (mine are from World Market) and they’re inexpensive ($4 each). I also saw a similar style at Walmart for $1.99 each. I had pom trim on hand, but you can get some for a few bucks at the craft store or on Amazon as well. All in all, you can get this whole clutch for between $5-10
Let’s take a break right here for a second. I try to be very honest with you guys in terms of what projects take a lot of effort (but are worth it!) versus the projects that are literally so easy you could whip it up with your eyes closed. If you have a sewing machine, this project falls into the latter category. It took me all of 10 minutes. If you don’t have a sewing machine, this could very very easily be done by hand and still only take you about an hour. I think that is 100% worth it.
Here’s how to do it.
First, measure about 1″ above the center of the placemat and mark that spot on either side of the placemat. This is the spot where your seam will start and stop. Stack the placemats on top of one another and sew the long way around the placemats from one mark to the other mark. Follow the dotted line in the photo below.
Then, take one of the short open sides and tuck it into the inside of the pouch. This will be the hem of the bag opening. Sew the hem down and cut off any excess straw on the inside.
You’re almost there! Align the pom trim along the inside top flap and pin into place. Then, sew the trim on securely.
Lastly, you can add some velcro as a closure if you’d like, or you can really just do a fold over. I sat a few heavy books on top of my clutch for an hour or so to bend the straw and make the fold pronounced.
See how easy the straw and pom pom clutch is to make! I challenge you now… if this is a little out of your comfort zone, give it a try – even with the hand sewing. You’ll be so proud of yourself and when friends are asking you WHERE you got such a cute clutch, you can hold your head high and say, “I made it”. I just love that feeling.