placemat clutch...with a nautical twist - TUTORIAL

I have a really fun (and really easy!) tutorial to share with you today. And it's just perfect for summer...

Here's all you'll need to make this little clutch:

*one placemat...choose one that is fairly'll need to fold it.
*acrylic paint, small paint brushes & a paint sponge
*painter's tape
*sewing machine & coordinating thread (or a needle & thread)
*straight pins
*sewable hook-and-loop tape (like Velcro)

This is the placemat I's from the Privet House collection at Target...just plain canvas with a gorgeous coral-colored trim. I think it was $3.99.

I loved the look of placemat just the way it was, but I wanted to dress it up a little. So I decided to paint on some chevrons. I used 1" painter's tape and just eyeballed the stripes...

If you decide to paint your mat, make sure to tape off the sides, too...

Next I took my acrylic paint and a paint sponge & I dabbed white paint on the un-taped areas.

I removed my tape as soon as the paint had dried for a couple of minutes. I wanted the paint to be dry enough to not seep into the un-painted areas, but not so dry that it would be pulled up when I removed the tape.

I love love love the subtlety of the white chevrons on the natural canvas...oooh, it just makes me so happy!

I found that the paint made the fabric slightly stiff, but it's still flexible...

When your paint is completely dry, lie your placemat striped-side-down and fold up one short end. When you are deciding where to make your folds, remember that you will be adding items to your clutch, so you want to leave enough room for the top flap to fold over and still be able to have the hooks and loops attach to each other.

I made a small pencil mark on my mat where I wanted the fold to be...

Now we're going to apply the hook-and-loop tape.

Cut a piece of the tape almost as long as the side of the mat. Pin one side of the tape to the "inside" of what will become the clutch's top flap, and pin the other side of the tape to the "outside" of the piece you just folded up...(confusing?) - this photo should help...

Sew down your hook-and-loop tape...making sure to stay close to the tape's edges (it will just look cleaner that way)...

Next, using the small mark you made for your fold, re-fold your mat and pin the sides together, just from the hem of the folded-up piece down to the bottom...make sure to leave the flap un-sewn...

Sew down your pinned sides (I sewed mine on the canvas just inside the coral hem).

You could stop right here...the clutch is completely done (ok, seriously...wasn't that the easiest sewing project ever???)...but I wanted to add just a little something extra.

 I really love the nautical items that are EVERYWHERE this summer, so I decided to add a little bit of meaningful nautical-ness to my clutch. I came across this nautical flag alphabet (awesome) and decided to add a few flags to the front of my little bag.

Now, I've seen this alphabet with the letters oriented as above (like there is a pole running up their left sides), but I've also seen them rotated clockwise 90 degrees as if they are hanging down from the pole.

I chose the "letters" I wanted (our last name) and taped off an area in which to paint them. I also marked off the areas between the flags...each of my flags are roughly 1"x1". First I painted over the entire area in white (the marked areas still showed up, but they weren't as noticable...which was good).

*Stick a random sheet of thick paper (mine was actually a sticker) between the flap the the rest of the clutch in case the paint bleed through*

Then I took the painter's tape (again) and marked the lines of the individual flags. I did this one or two flags at a time and waited until the paint was dry before moving on to another flag...I painted my flags as if they were hanging down from the pole, and I also took some creative license with the colors that I used for my flags...just so they would look cooler on my clutch.

Once all of the flags were painted and dry, I took a ruler and blue marker and filled in the lines between the flags so that they looked like individual pieces...

Just look at how much this little beauty holds!

Wouldn't this be perfect to throw into the beach bag or just into the car to keep all of your bug spray/sunscreen organized? I think I'll be using it when we go swimming or out to the park...

So what do you think? Does this look like something you'd try?

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