I'm trying hard to recycle/repurpose when I do sewing projects, as fabric remains fabric, and usually something can be made with part of, if not the whole item, even if the designs on it are outdated, even if there are marks or stains, holes or fading. So, this project puts my new mantra to work!
Go to the charity shop of your choice. Find 2 matching (or not matching if you're adventurous!) pre-loved fabric placemats (.25c each in this case).
Iron them, then get out your ribbon stash and choose a color palette to play with. I chose blues, greens and browns for this one (for my DIL's sister as she wears denim a lot.) Lay your chosen ribbons onto the placemats and rearrange them until you're happy with the color and pattern mix.
Sew the ribbons onto the placemats (I used different ribbons on each side), trim the ends, put them right sides together, and sew around 3 sides (leaving top end open). Fold the top (open) end over and iron flat. Use a heavy cord or trim for the 2 straps/handles, and pin them in place with the ends tucked in under the edge like this:
Sew the whole way around the folded edge, making sure the strap ends are sewn securely. Fold the straps up and out of the bag opening and sew right around the top edge, again making sure the straps are sewn down well. Turn your bag inside out, and there you have it:
I added the co-ordinating ribbon flower pin (which can be removed and worn as a brooch). There are lots of ribbon flower tutorials on the web, so if you decide to dress your bag up a little, do a Google search and find a pattern/tutorial that you like. This one is a simple gathered ribbon sewn onto a round piece of blue felt, then onto a cut-out of green felt leaves, with a button in the middle and a brooch pin sewn onto the back.