Make: Orla Kiely Tote

by Cat on April 28, 2009

Vanessa who writes a blog called Maxx Silly let me know about a great tote she created out of Orla Kiely placemats!

I finally did it – my own little Orla Kiely tote. I was so inspired by
Becky and Jill’s creations that I finally put my sewing skills to the test. It is hard to find time to sit down and sew but someone decided to take an extra long nap one day to help mommy out!

This is made from the reversible placemat that I got for $4.99. I plan on using it as a lunch tote or a little summer bag. It was super easy to make. Since the bag is reversible it did not need a lining – which is good because I am not a great sewer!

Here is a quick tutorial of how I made it: Choose what side you want inside and what side you want out. Fold with the future outside sides facing each other – in my case the flower side. Iron in the fold.

Since the placemat is already hemmed on all sides I used that as my guide. If you want a smaller bag you can sew in further – it’s up to you! Sew both sides.

Turn your bag right side out…oooo you’re almost done!

Now for the straps – I was lucky enough to have an old brown tote that I just cut the straps off of. You can buy cheap totes at any craft store or you can buy straps or webbing at a fabric store. Ribbon might work – but would probably not be too sturdy. You could also but a second placemat and make straps that match – it would look really cute with the inside fabric as the straps.

I used my seam ripper – hands down one of my most used sewing tools – to pull the hem out about two inches in from the edge of the bag. Do this for each strap and then stitch over where the strap is a couple of times. You don’t want your bag to break in the middle of the mall and have all your unmentionables fall out – not that this has ever happened to me (blushing…).

Hey look – your bag is done and your daughter already wants to borrow it! Throw in your sunblock or sippy cup and hit the beach!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

libbydibby April 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

this is great!
i recently wrote a similar tutorial, but it includes how to make gussets – which give your bag a sturdy square bottom – even when you use placemats…


jackie April 29, 2009 at 4:08 am



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