How to make a Plastic Bag Holder

I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of plastic shopping bags that I do not want to throw away.  I know that you are not supposed to put them in the recycling container because it jams up the machines at the recycling plant.  So I try to reuse them.  Unfortunately, I have a lot of bags and I have worn out my last plastic bag holder so I need to make a new one and thought you might like the instructions.

Supplies needed:

1/2 yard of cute cotton fabric 1 yard of 1/2 inch wide elastic
1 yard of 1/2 inch wide ribbon Sewing machine
Serger (optional) Thread
Scissors Pins
1 safety pin Tape measure
Iron and ironing board

Step 1: Unfold your 1/2 yard piece of material length wise.  You are going to cut your material so that it measures 18 inches x 24 1/2 inches.




Step 2: Now we need to press our fabric and get all of the wrinkles out.  Then I will press each short end under about 1/4 inch.  Make sure that you are folding the right side of the fabric over the wrong side of the fabric.  Pressing this edge down is so that your material will not fray, it will also look nicer.  This does not have to be exact because it is a craft item and the end product will be forgiving.  Next we are going to press each short end down about 3/4 inch so we have enough room to thread our elastic through.  Here again it does not have to be exact just make sure there will be enough room for your elastic.


Step 3: Now we are going to sew a straight stitch close to the inside pressed edge of each end of the bag.  This will form a casing for the elastic on each end of the bag.




Step 4: Cut (2) 12 inch pieces of elastic.  Stick a safety pin through one end of the elastic and close up the safety pin.  Now thread the safety pin through the casing of your bag.  When the end of my elastic is even with the inside edge of the fabric I will sew it in place.  I will sew just where the casing is formed.  Make sure that you are sewing the elastic not just the casing.  Finish pulling the elastic through to the other side of the casing and have about 4 inches hanging out of the fabric, sew the elastic in place.  Trim the excess elastic.  Repeat with the other end of the bag.


Step 5: Fold your fabric in half, right sides together,  so you have a nice long tube.  Pin the edge of  your fabric so it stays in place while you sew the seam.  Sew a 1/4 inch seam with your sewing machine or with your serger.  If you sew the seam with your sewing machine I would use a zigzag stitch to help the seam fray less.



Step 6: Cut out a piece of ribbon to your desired length.  This is going to be our loop to hang our bag.  I cut a piece about 14 inches long.  Next make a loop with your ribbon and pin to the top of your bag (pin to the wrong side of the fabric).  Now sew it in place.



Step 7: This is the last step (hooray)!  Trim all of your threads if you have not done so already.  Now turn your bag right side out and stuff with all of your extra shopping bags.





These are basic instructions.  You can adjust this pattern to fit your needs.  You do not need to use cotton, you can use any type of material.  I have seen crocheted bag holders.  You can cut the material longer or shorter.  You could put in a draw sting instead of elastic. You can leave the top of the bag open.  Use your imagination and have fun creating.

These bags are great.  I made a purple one for me and a green one for my friend.  These are great for your kitchen, laundry room, garage, to hang next to your cat litter box or anywhere that you need a quick and handy bag.  I think that these would also make a cute little gift for someone.

Have fun sewing!

beckyA Mom Knows Contributor

About Becky

I am a stay at home mom to 2 teenagers. I have a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, and a husband who is just a big kid at heart. I teach piano lessons from my home. I am going back to college and sometimes wonder if I am crazy for doing this. I absolutely love anything and everything crafty. I especially love to stamp, crochet and sew.

4 Responses to How to make a Plastic Bag Holder

  1. Joyce Dayley says:

    You always were so clever!!!

  2. Becky says:

    Thank you Joyce!

  3. Gail says:


  4. Becky says:

    Thank you Gail. I have seen some really cute bag holders that people have out in their homes as part of their decor.