Reusable bags are on the rise, but most of us still have a whole bunch of plastic bags hanging around—probably stuffed inside another plastic bag, but there’s a better way. Make an easy DIY bag holder from a kitchen towel for a much nicer way to store them.
Americans use around 100 billion single-use plastic bags in a year. This roughly translates to 1,500 plastic shopping bags used by the average family per year. Sadly, only about one percent of these bags are recycled and it’s getting harder to find recyclers that will take them.
Nonetheless, instead of tossing them into the garbage after emptying them, store them in a custom bag holder for use later. This bag holder is a simple sewing project that takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Using a kitchen towel makes this project so easy. The ends are already hemmed, so all the sewing required is three quick, straight stitches to construct the body of this bag holder. Plus, kitchen towels come in a variety of colors and patterns—your bag holder will be pretty as well as functional!
What You Need to Make a Plastic Bag Holder:
- Kitchen towel
- 11-inch piece of ¼ inch elastic
- 12-inch shoelace or ¼ inch ribbon
- Safety pin
- Sewing machine and matching thread
KAF Home Soho Kitchen Dish Towel Set, 10 for $15.99 from Amazon
Steps to Making a Plastic Bag Holder
1. Lay the kitchen towel down with the right (printed or pretty side of the fabric) facing down lengthwise. Fold the edges on the short ends in about an inch. This will create the channels in which you will thread the elastic and shoelace through. It will be the top and bottom of the bag holder. Pin in place and sew a ¼ inch seam allowance on the side of the channels that is closest to the body of the towel.
2. After the channels are sewn, fold the towel together lengthwise with the wrong (unprinted) side of the fabric on the outside. Sew a ¼ inch seam allowance along the length without going over the channels. You should now have a tube.
3. Turn the tube inside out. The sewing is done and now it’s time to thread the channels with the elastic and shoestring.
4. Attach the safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the channel on one of the ends of the tube.
5. Pull it through and tie the ends of the elastic. Tuck the knot into one end of the channel. Attach the safety pin to one end of the shoelace and thread it through the other end. Bring the ends of the laces together, but do not knot it yet.
6. Now the bag holder is ready to fill. Once it’s full, pull the ends of the laces together and secure with a loose overhand knot (not too tight, you’ll need to untie the knot in order to refill the bag). Hang it on a doorknob and it’s ready to go.
10 Things to Do with Plastic Bags
Most people hang on to plastic bags to reuse, but they can be used for more than just holding stuff. Here are 10 ways to reuse your bags before you toss those totes in the trash:
- Small trash can liner
- Doggie poop bags (or for cat litter messes)
- Car trash bags
- Packing material
- Stuff them in empty purses or shoes to keep their shape
- Protect small plants from frost
- Cover paint rollers or brushes in the middle of a painting project
- Line paint trays
- Tape several of them over an outdoor faucet to insulate in the winter
- Use them in craft projects