DIY Rag or Laundry Bag Tutorial

I collect rags, fine, now you know this about me. I use them for all kinds of different nasty little jobs. Even better is deciding that a towel or other item can no longer be used in any way. I then cut it up and add it to the rag bag. My Mother had a rag bag as well. If you don't have a rag bag you might have a laundry bag. It's the same kind of bag. Want to make a new one? You're in luck, this is a DIY Rag or Laundry Bag Tutorial.

rag bag re 1Here is my rag bag.

In my utility closet.

And no, I did not clean it up before I took the pic.

Now you know all my dirty little secrets!

Making a rag bag is very similar to making a pillow case except there are two button holes.Laundry bag re 1

You need:

  • 2 yards fabric or more or less (how long do you want it?)
  • 45" of ribbon
  • thread
  • Sewing machine that can make buttonholes.

I made a laundry bag for my youngest daughter when she went off to college in 2007.  I used this same method. Here it is, 7 years later after having been used in Illinois, Oregon, Spain and Italy.

laundry bag re 3Shelby still loves it!

I had a yard and a half of this stripe.

First, I just ironed it so it was nice and flat. I kept it wrong sides together and pinned the side and back.

The other side was the fold, no need to sew.

I stitched a quarter inch seam and turned it so right sides were together. I stitched the same again, encasing the raw seam. That is why this laundry bag, and my rag bag, have lasted. No raw seam to unravel.

Now at the top you have to decide how much of a casing you want. I think 2 inches in a minimum.

Iron over about a quarter inch all around the top, pressing wrong sides together.

Now  fold it again to the inside about 2 inches and press. Do not stitch.plastic b re 12

Make two button holes a bit longer than the width of the ribbon. Put them in the part of fabric that irons down about an inch from each other. Here are the two in the rag bag.

Once buttonholes are done, stitch the folded fabric down. You can double stitch to reinforce or even stitch along the top.

plastic b re 10Pin a safety pin in ribbon and thread it through the casing to the opposite button hole. Tie knots on end so ribbon won't slip through.

Fill it with rags or dirty laundry.

Pull up on the ribbon and you can tie or sew it together.

Hang it on a hook and you're done.

It will last a really long time and keep you organized.

DIY sewing projects really make me sew darn happy!

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You can use this same method to make a plastic bag holder, it's just smaller and the button hole is in the non folded part. Click here.

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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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