DIY Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

We subscribe to the Chicago Tribune which comes in a protective plastic bag.  Those bags collect and some of them we recycle while others we use. In fact, they will be my new shoe bags thanks to suggestions on my Facebook page. In the meantime, I have to keep them somewhere. We used to have one bag function as the bag collector but it's not very attractive, now is it? A couple of years ago I made a plastic bag holder and today, I will tell you how I did it.

Materials needed for the DIY Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

  • 2 pieces of fabric 22" by 10" 
  • 1 yard ribbon
  • 1/2 yard .25" elastic
  • thread

plastic b re 1

Here is the finished product.

The decorative ribbon can be eliminated but the top one allows you to hang it.

Pin the two pieces of fabric wrong sides together and stitch both sides and the bottom. Make this seam about 1/4".  I know, this is odd. But you are creating a French seam all around as you did to make the pillowcaseplastic b re 3

Turn right sides together and encase that first seam. This will mean that this seam will probably be 5/8" or possibly wider. The seams will look like those in the picture on the right.

Now let's do the top of the bag.

There is one raw edge, press that top edge under about a quarter an inch.

Fold that entire top into the bag for a measurement of  1.5 inches. Press. Do not stitch down.

Fold that 1.5 inches up, keeping the pressed line.

In the middle of the fabric that the folded fabric would cover, mark two dots about a half an inch apart. By middle I mean equidistant from both seams and the pressed line.

plastic b re 4Make a buttonhole on each dot. The buttonholes will be slightly longer than the width of your ribbon. The buttonholes will be in the body of the fabric, not on the folded piece that goes inside to create the casing.

If you put in in the inside, no biggie. You just can't have the decorative bow.

You are creating a way of getting the elastic in and out of casing once it is sewn down.

When the buttonholes are made, fold the fabric down and under each edge pin one of the ends of about 14" of ribbon under the fold.  Place them exactly across from each other and equidistant from the elastic which shows. You will secure the ribbon ends as you sew this piece down. plastic b re 6

Sew a line all round making sure to catch the ribbon ends.

Using a safety pin on the end, snake the elastic in the first buttonhole, pulling it around and out the second buttonhole.  Make it as loose or as tight as you want it, clipping if necessary. Overlap and sew the two elastic edges together.

You have almost finished the DIY Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial .

plastic b re 8Tie the remaining ribbon on the piece of elastic which shows. Or if you don't want one then don't, it's your bag.

Hang it up and you're done! Go get some plastic bags and shove them in!

A quick project that straightens things up makes me sew happy!

Want to learn more new things? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. That's all, you're done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Here is another tutorial you might enjoy for a small zippered bag.

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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