Placemat Panels – they aren’t just for placemats!

Learn to create a cute and handy tote bin using the designs on the Homestead Life placemat panels. You can use the center designs for anything from pillows to quilt blocks, tote bags and TOTE BINS.


  • Homestead Life Placemat Panel (choose 2 designs)
  • 1/3 yard exterior fabric (fabric A)
  • Pellon Peltex® 71F – Single-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer
  • 1 yard lining fabric (fabric B)


2 panel designs – cut to 11″ squares

Fabric A (outside pattern):

  • 32″ x 11″
  • 2″ x 24″ for handles

Pellon Peltex® 71F:

  • 32″ x 11″
  • two 11″ squares

Fabric B (lining fabric):

  • five 11″ squares
  • 2″ x 24″ for handles


Step 1:

Choose your placemat panel designs and trim to 11” squares.

Step 2:

Follow manufacturer instructions and apply the firm stabilizer to the back of the panel squares and fabric A.

Step 3:

Clip or pin panels to fabric A, 10.5” from the edge to center. Be sure to put bottom of the panel designs to fabric A so they will be right side up when sewn together.

Sew with 1/4” seams and press panel pieces out.

Step 4:

Clip or pin basket sides – right sides together.

Sew all four sides with 1/2” seams.

NOTE: They aren’t kidding when they say “firm stabilizer” – it’s a little hard to sew with but it’s what gives your bin it’s shape so it’s worth it!

Step 5:

Turn bin right side out.

Press all four seams and the baselines to define the basket edges and shape.


Step 6:

Sew the five squares of fabric B (lining fabric) together with 1/4” seams to create the “plus sign” shape as shown on the Fabric to Cut page.

Clip or pin lining sides – right sides together. Sew all four sides with 5/8” seams. (The extra 1/8” seam makes the liner slightly smaller than the outside so it won’t be loose.)


Step 7:

Press each 2” x 24” handle fabric in half to create a centerline.

Open the strips and then press each side in to the center line as shown.

Cut each piece in half to form two 2” x 12” pieces for the handles.

Step 8:

Place one strip of fabric A and one strip of fabric B together, raw edges facing in.

Edge stitch both sides. Add more stitching or a decorative stitch down the middle too to create a firmer handle if desired.

Repeat to create second handle.


Step 9:

Fold the exterior fabric in 1/2” and the lining out 1/2”.

Place the lining inside the exterior, wrong sides together, and clip or pin in place.

Step 10:

Add handles to the sides with the patterned fabric. Starting 2 1/2” from the corner, place the handle end in between the outside and lining layers, putting about 1” of the handle inside the seam.

Step 11:

Edge stitch around the top of the bin either by hand or machine.

Just like that YOU ARE DONE.

What plans do you have for your bin? Leave a comment and let me know!

Have a happy & creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. If you make this pattern I’d love to see it and hear how you used it!

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P.P.S. Want to see more FREE patterns and projects using the Homestead Life Placemat Panel and fabrics? CLICK HERE >

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