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Easy DIY Plastic Bag Holder (VIDEO + FREE pattern)

The plastic bag holder is not a new idea BUT sewing your own using our grocery bag holder pattern, means you can coordinate your neat little DIY plastic bag holder to your kitchen color scheme and make it look super smart. Just think of sleek black or grey fabric, or a pop of red for a sophisticated kitchen, a natural hessian type bag if you are into the country-look, or ocean colors in keeping with the beach-house look. We’re into saving our planet from plastic, so most of us dutifully keep grocery bags to repurpose, but they certainly can get untidy when stuffed into a drawer or in a cupboard.

a plastic bag taken from the plastic bags holder

The fabric plastic bag dispenser hangs up neatly in the kitchen, and you can even make one for the garage, to enable you to grab a bag or two when heading out grocery shopping. I moved recently and could only pack certain items. One of the first things that drove me insane in my new place was the lack of a DIY plastic bag holder as I rummaged around in the cupboard under the sink for bags which seemed to unfold all on their own and get mixed up with packets of dog food and extra rolls of paper towel. It was time to get organised  so as soon as my  sewing machine arrived, I started on the grocery bag holder pattern included here. It’s really easy and once you have it hanging up it will be one more step to getting organized. The fabric plastic bag dispenser takes loads of plastic bags and holds them neatly so you can pull out one at a time from the bottom instead of a volcano of bags erupting from a cupboard

view from the bottom of the grocery bag dispenser

The cloth plastic bag holder only takes 10 minutes to make and is made from a home décor fabric for the best results as you need a firm opaque fabric to hold those unruly bags in place, ready to be neatly dispensed. You certainly don’t want a see-through fabric or one that is so thick your machine needle will have difficulty getting through it.

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How to make a grocery bag dispenser

Supplies and tools

plastic bag holder supplies


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How To Sew a Plastic Bag Holder

Watch the diy plastic bag holder  video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and SUBSCRIBE over on YouTube to be kept up to date with new videos as they come out.

Plastic Bag Dispenser VIDEO TUTORIAL


STEP 1: Cut the fabric, elastic and ribbon

Cut the fabric or use a fat quarter piece 18 x 22-inch piece of fabric (metric size 45.7 x 55.9 cm).

Cut one piece of ribbon and one piece of elastic 9 inches (23cm) long each

cut fabric, elastic and ribbon

STEP 2: Fold over twice top and bottom edges

Take your piece of fabric and fold over ½ an inch (1.2 cm) on both of the short sides and pin into place

Press flat with your iron and remove pins.

Fold over those short sides once again with another ½ inch (1.2 cm) seam and press again

STEP 3: Sew

Stitch along the edge of the seams at both ends to create a casing.

STEP 4: Insert the elastic

If you have a fabric with a pattern on it, like birds for instance, make sure they are the right way up and choose the lower end of the fabric to make your elastic casing (you don’t want upside down birds!)

If your fabric is plain or doesn’t have a marked ‘this way up’ type of pattern then any end seam will do for you to insert your elastic either using a bodkin (pictured below) or a safety pin.

STEP 5: Stitch both sides of the elastic casing

Once elastic is inserted and the end of the elastic is level with the start of the seam, stitch it into place with your machine.

Now pull the elastic through to the end using the safety pin, and pin the end into place before removing the safety pin.

Stitch elastic into place. You will now have a gathered/ruffled seam at the bottom which is where you will pull out the plastic bags from the dispenser once it is finished.

masking of plastic bag dispenser- elastic stitched on both sides

STEP 6: Fold and pin the long side

With the right sides of the fabric facing each other pin the side seams along the length of the fabric, taking care with pinning the gathered end to make sure the pieces lie flat.

long side of the plastic bag holder pinned with marked stitching line

STEP 7: Stitch the long side

Stitch down the length with a ½ inch (12mm) seam. If you have an overlocker, then overlock the raw edges. If not do a second row ¼ inch(6mm) for the raw edges for strength, or use pinking shears on the seam edges to prevent fraying.

finishing the edges of the plastic bag holder with pinking shears

STEP 8: Pin ribbon to the top edge

Fold the piece of ribbon, used to hang the bag, in half, and pin into place either over the seam where the sides join, or close to the edge where they join at the opposite end to the gathered end.

ribbon holder loop pinned to the top edge of the plastic bag holder

STEP 9: Stitch the hanging loop

Stitch the ribbon into place, going back and forth three times for strength, in line with the seam you stitched, taking care not to catch the fabric underneath – you need an open top into which you can stuff the plastic bags.

STEP 10: Turn the grocery bag dispenser inside out

Turn the cylinder you have created the right way out. You’re done!

The DIY plastic bag holder is ready to hang and use. Your kitchen will be more organized and you’ll be doing your bit for the planet by reusing plastic bags rather than binning them. Yay!

empty grocery bag dispenser turned inside out

Now you can start making fabric plastic bag holders for your friends and family members – taking care that the fabric colors coordinate with their kitchens. We would love to see how yours looks. Share photos of your DIY plastic bag holder on Pinterest and social media so everyone can see what you created. And don’t keep a good thing to yourself – share the grocery bag holder pattern supplied here, so other can DIY their plastic bag holders.


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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 16 comments
Linda on All Things Kitchen - February 12, 2021

These come in handy and I am so in need of one. Thank you for sharing on the Classy Flamingos blog party.

    Helen - February 15, 2021

    They are very handy. I hated how the loose grocery bags kept piling up. No more mess now

Michele Morin - February 12, 2021

Indispensable piece of kitchen equipment!

    Helen - February 12, 2021

    Yes, it is! I love how beautiful and useful it is

Shelbee on the Edge - February 15, 2021

I love this idea for storing plastic bags! What a pretty fabric you used as well. I live in NY where single use plastic bags have been banned so I longer collect and store them for second time use which is a bummer because I always used the bags for things like bathroom trash cans and cleaning litter boxes. Now I have to buy boxes of small bags for that stuff…making them single use plastic bags! Oh the irony of it all. Thanks for sharing and linking with me.


Stephanie 139a - February 15, 2021

So simple, but so so useful. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

Sarita - February 17, 2021

Another simple but useful pattern – thanks so much for sharing at The Homestead Blog Hop this week!

    Helen - February 17, 2021

    This grocery bags holder pun an end to the mess in my pantry! It’s lovely you liked it

NINA LEWIS - February 23, 2021

I need to make one of these to corral all of those pesky plastic bags!

Thanks so much for sharing this at our Party in Your PJs link party.

Janet C Nichols - September 6, 2021

Can I see this by hand? I do not own a sewing machine.

    Helen - September 6, 2021

    Yes, you certainly can. It will take a bit more time, though

jk - February 9, 2022

love this, where might I find one of those handy devices to thread through the elastic?

    Helen - February 10, 2022

    Thank you, JK. It’s called a bodkin and I liked to it in the supplies and tools section above. Hope that helps

K G - September 22, 2022

I have lots of 1/8” elastic leftover from my mask making days. Can I use that instead of buying 1/4” elastic?

    Helen - September 22, 2022

    I’m not sure it would work. It’s way too thin

GrandmaSue10 - January 28, 2023

Now that grocery stores here in Colorado are charging 10c a bag, we should keep one in our cars. Reuse those bags or use cloth.


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