How to Create a Zipper Pouch Using a Placemat

Updated: Aug 21

Written by: Rachael Folmar

Zipper pouches are the go to for many quilters and just ladies in general.

Zipper pouches hold your sewing notions, but they can also be beneficial in holding your makeup, gadgets, charging cords and the list goes on and on.

These beauties are simple to make and make some of the best gifts for yourself or someone else.

Below is a great way for you to re-purpose a common household item, placemats (or buy them new).

That’s right! Using just four seams, you have transformed a placemat, into an adorable and useful zippered tote-bag.

The great thing about this project is that your tote’s shape, size, style, pattern, and purpose is all up to you!

If you’re reading this and the word zipper has already made you nervous, keep reading, and fear not, below we have the step-by-step process to guide you through this project and into a successful, satisfactory completion.


· Placemat

· Wide, non-metal zipper

· Sewing machine (We prefer BERNINA)

· Pins & sewing clips

· Scissors

· Vinyl Fuse (if you wish to make a tote with a waterproof inside. Follow the instructions on the package for how to use it).

Let’s get started!

First, lay the zipper face-up.

Lay placemat right side down on the zipper. Sew along the binding at the top of your placemat. For now, don’t worry about the zipper tab that is still sticking out.

Next, you’re going to flip your placemat over so that the right side is facing up again and then fold the placemat in half, making sure to evenly match the sides and top together.

Once the sides and top are perfectly even, pinning or clipping where the top and bottom come together is advised to maintain the even edges. Now sew the top and bottom together.

Once the top and bottom have been sewn together, proceed by unzipping the zipper so that when you sew the sides of your tote you can turn it right-side out.

In this step you can also cut the excess length off your zipper.

Now you can sew the sides!

If you wish to off-set the zipper so that it is on the side of your bag as opposed to opening from the top of your bag, simply fold the top down to your desired position on the side.

Pinning or clipping is once again, a very helpful way to ensure that both pieces are evenly matched as you sew them together.

Make sure you back stitch at the top and bottom corners of your bag as well as at the seam where the zipper connects the top and bottom pieces of the tote.

IMPORTANT: make sure that the zipper is lying flat and pin down the open side as you see pictured below before you make your stay stitch. Now, sew away!

You’re almost done!

Your bag is now ready to be turned right-side out.

Before you do that, one last thing.

Cut off the corners of your tote, this will make the corners less bulky once the tote is turned right-side out.

And there you are!

Your handy placemat, transformed into a stylish tote bag is ready to travel many miles, hold your valuables, and gain you many compliments in the new year.

We hope you found this post helpful and inspirational; let us know in the comments what you’ll be using your new tote for as well as any tips or hints you’d like to share with others!

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About Blog

Stitchin' Heaven Howdy is a blog designed to inspire and draw out the creativity of the quilter, sewer and the crafter. If you love fabric as much as we do, we look forward to building a great community.  

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