This is a little tote bag which I use for my scriptures and it's made out of a placemat. I find the best ones at places like Ross, Marshall's, and T.J. Max. You can usually find cute ones for under $2.
There are so many different ways to decorate it and this time I decided to make ruffles from fabric that I sewed in half like below.
Here they are gathered below to the same width as the placemat.
I then sew on all four pieces and mirrored them to each other because later I will fold and sew the placemat in half.
I then used satin ribbon for handles about 20 inches long each, and pinned them to the opposite side of the placemat. I'm going to sew them to a spot that will not be noticeable once I turn it back around. You can see below that I attached it to the spot in between the ruffles.
And on the other side I had to pin the ruffle up so it wouldn't get sewn over.
I sewed an x and a square to reinforce it.
Then I added one more layer of trim which was black lace on top to cover my ruffle's sewn edge.
Now this is the part that is most important because this is how you turn the placemat into a bag. Fold it in half with right sides together and pin in place.
Next, sew along both sides and carefully because the fabric should be very thick because of all the layers.
Below is a sewn side and I'm getting ready to pull it open...
to a point like below.
Then pin the edges open and flat and I measure about 2 inches down and ...
sew a straight line from end to end.
It should look like the picture below. Do this to both sides.
Now push it back out til the right sides are out again and you are done!
Underneath view, now it makes a rectangle shape.
Here are a couple of other bags I've done for ideas.
I added a satin flower, and you can learn how to make one Here.
You know it's cute when you want to keep it and it's for someone else :).