Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY Plastic Bag Holder

My mom has had the same bag holder for all of her plastic WalMart bags for as long as I can remember. The other day I was talking about making a bag holder and she said, "Oh, I need a new one!" I liked the fabric from her old one so I decided to use fabric from my scrap pile for a new bag holder for her and then I'd take the old bag and add new elastic to the top and bottom so it would hold bags again. This project really didn't take that long AND it was pretty easy! The most difficult part is sewing the "casing" (step 5) shut after you put the elastic in the ends, but just take your time and you will get it!

What You Need
~Less than 1/2 a yard of your choice fabric
~Thread to compliment the fabric (I chose a tan to go with my brown fabric)
~10-12 inches of Elastic (I used 11 inches since that's what I had left over from a skirt project)
~A safety pin


1. Measure your fabric for the main part of the bag holder. Cut it 15 inches wide by 34 inches long.

2. Once you have the fabric cut, fold it in half with the shortest sides being at the top and bottom. Pin in place and sew to create a seam. I used a large zigzag stitch followed by a straight stitch on top of the zigzag.

3. Cut your elastic into two even pieces.

4. With the bag still inside out fold down part of one end to make a place for the elastic to slide through. I folded mine a little wider than my elastic, tucked the raw edge under and then pinned it in place. As I pinned I kept my elastic handy so that I could be sure there was plenty of room for it to fit in the casing.

5. Start by sewing a little space before the seam of the bag and then stop sewing a little before you come back to the seam. This leaves you enough room to put the elastic into its casing.

6. Using a safety pin, feed the elastic through the casing. I used my teeth to hold one end and then fed the pin through with my hands. This seemed to be the easiest way for me to get the job done.

8. Overlap the ends of the elastic so they will lay straight inside the casing later.

The first run with the zigzag stitch on the overlapped elastic.

9. Start sewing the elastic together. Make sure that you don't sew over any other part of the bag. The space is tight so this is easy to do. I like to use the zigzag stich and do three rows. I always start in the middle of the overlap. I usually run the zigzag forward and backwards 4-5 times to make it very secure.

10. Now finish the edges of the elastic.

11. Repeat steps 6-10 for the other end of your bag.

12. Make sure to cut off all hanging strings!

13. This is perhaps the trickiest part...and I totally forgot to take a pic...so hopefully you will be able to figure this out on your own... anyway... Stitch up the open space on each end of the bag where you inserted the elastic. It is tricky to get the elastic to cooperate, and you have to be careful not to sew over any part that you aren't supposed to, but you can do it!!

14. Okay the last part!! Yay! Cut a piece of the fabric 3 inches wide by 10 inches long. This will be made into your "hook" for the bag. Fold it in half, pin if you wish (I didn't but that just depends on how comfortable you are sewing without the pins).

15. Now we need to inside this out. Using the safety pin you can easily flip the fabric inside out so the pretty side is showing!

16. I didn't want the seam to show so I put it where it would be on the inside of the hook.

17. Now fold the piece of fabric for the hook in half so that both the raw edges are next to each other and the seam is hidden.

18. Using the zigzag stitch for the final time run over the seam about 5 times total. Either going forward then backwards or going forward, lifting the presser foot, turning the fabric, and sewing again. This will keep the raw edges from coming undone later.

19. Pick an end of the bag to be the top. Place the hook piece against the part where the elastic is. Line the bottom of the hook with the bottom of the fabric casing.

20. Sew in place with a lot of straight stitching.

I actually took this pic before I finished the bag because I thought it would be easier to sew from the outside...I was wrong.

21. Inside out your bag. I found it pretty easy to slide my arm into the bag, grab the other end and then pull it out.

22. Stuff your new bag holder with all those plastic bags!

Although this is a lengthy tutorial, it is very detailed so that you can easily create this bag holder yourself! Leave questions in the comments and I will get back to you a.s.a.p.!

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