How to Make a Plastic Bag Holder Out of Fabric

By Skyler Breeden ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • 20-inch by 25-inch piece of fabric
  • 11-inch piece of elastic (1/4-inch wide)
  • 6 1/2-inch piece of elastic (1/4-inch wide)
  • 2 safety pins
  • 14-inch ribbon
  • Sewing machine
Sew your own grocery bag dispenser to hold all those plastic grocery bags cluttering up your house.

Reusing plastic grocery bags helps out the environment, but finding a convenient way to store all of them can be difficult. One solution is to sew your own fabric grocery bag holder. A grocery bag holder is basically a long, fabric tube with a handle to hang it from and elastic bands on either end keeping the bags from falling out. Lots of plastic bags can go in the larger opening at the top, but only one at a time will come out of the smaller opening at the bottom. You only need minimal sewing experience to sew this simple bag.

Center the fabric, face down, with the shorter end at the top and the longer ends at the sides. Lay the 11-inch piece of elastic down, one end of it on the left hand edge of the fabric and the length of it running 3/4-inch down from the top edge of the fabric. The elastic should run halfway across the width of the fabric.

Pin a safety pin to the end of the elastic laying in the middle of the piece of fabric. Fold 3/4-inch fabric from the top edge down over the elastic. The fabric should cover the elastic with 1/2-inch seam allowance to spare.

Sew the edge of the folded-over fabric onto the free end of the elastic.

Sew the entire length of the folded over fabric closed, without sewing through the rest of the elastic, leaving 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Repeat steps 1-4 at the bottom end of the fabric using the 6 1/2 inch piece of elastic.

Use the safety pins to thread the pieces of elastic through and out the ends on the right hand side of the fabric.

Fold the length of fabric in half like a book and sew its entire vertical length closed, sewing together the ends of the elastic. Make sure the fabric is still inside out when you sew it and be sure to remove the safety pins after you've sewn the entire length of what is now a fabric tube with elastic openings at either end.

Giving yourself 1/4-inch seam allowance, sew the bottom edge of one end of the ribbon halfway around and 1 inch down from the top edge of the inside out fabric tube. Do the same with the other end of the ribbon, spacing it halfway around from the first ribbon end.

Turn the tube right side out.


Use the ribbon to hang the bag holder on a door hook or handle.

You can use a cotton hand towel instead of a length of fabric to make this bag holder.

About the Author

Skyler Breeden lives in Baltimore and has been writing freelance content since 2008. She has written copy for Hampton Roads Publishing Co. and craft articles for eHow. She is a recipient of the Kratz Fellowship and has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing from Goucher College.