Placemat Repurposing: Car Accessories

Since I’ll be spending the majority of the next 4-5 years commuting kids to and from town to junior high, high school and their various sporting activities, we decided to trade in the minivan for something a little more fuel efficient and, ok, fun! This is my new get-around, a Scion XD, aka: Hot Lava.
Everything about this little car is fantastic, with the exception of space for some items we use often, like tissue and wet wipes. Those tiny travel tissue packages are just not enough for us, and a cardboard tissue box will be smashed in a second with all the back packs and coming and going. So I wanted to make something that would not be damaged if it were to get crushed.
I found two chunky woven placemats that matched my car and went to work on my own tissue and wipe holder.
With no pattern, and a basic understanding of sewing, this is a pretty easy project. The folding may get a bit tricky, but if you take a look at the final piece, it may make a bit more sense as I go along. Keep in mind any hems already stitched into your placemats and place your pieces so the hems fold to the inside when your piece is finished.
Click on any image to enlarge for detail.
Using the first placemat, fold it over a stack of tissue to get the basic shape of the holder. Flip to back side, and place a cut piece from the second placemat on the back for the pocket and pin into place.
Stitch the bottom inside of the pocket to the back of the holder, then fold back up into place.
Flip everything back over and fold up the bottom of the holder over your stack of tissue. Create a bit of a fold-over to the inside to hide the tissue placement opening. Cut off excess width if necessary. Mark the area in the center of the tissue bulk for creating your pull-through hole. Unfold the holder back to flat and with a tight zig-zag stitch, essentially create a big button-hole.
Trim out the center of the pull-through hole. Fold the bottom of the holder up, inside out, with back pocket flap folded in the same direction. Fold and pin the flap edges beginning where the holder seams finish. Stitch along the sides and into the flap area. Because the weave of my placemat unravels easy, I added an additional seam along the flap sides.
Turn right side out, and tuck your stack of tissue into the holder pulling out the first piece through the hole.
I added an additional seam along a fold at the top of the flap to help keep the flap closing naturally. Flip over and tuck in your wet wipe pack.
With the additional placemat scrap, I made little coaster-type liners for my cup holders to keep them from getting mucky.
And with a tissue holder and cup liners made from placemats, I can simply throw them in the wash if they become grimy. Cool, huh?
UPDATE: When cleaning up after my project I realized that there was still enough fabric left from placemat no. 2 to make another small pouch to hold more stuff I like to keep in the car! (I purposely turned the flap velcro strip vertically to allow for best closure depending on the bulk of the contents in the pouch.)

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