Sunday, 22 September 2013

Tutorial: How to Make a Plastic Bag Dispenser

I try so hard not to bring home plastic carrier bags and always try to take a canvas shopper but it seems that no matter how hard I try I still find plastic bags tucked in cupboards taking up space. So, I decided enough was enough! I often reuse the bags as bin liners so I needed a way of storing them so that I can still get a bag when I need one.

I've seen these fabric tube dispensers before so I decided to have a go and make one myself out of scrap fabric I had lying around (btw plaid is HUGE this season!). I love this tartan but its not easy to photograph a tutorial with so if you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Things you'll need:
  • Fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Plastic carrier bags!

  1. You're gonna start out with your fabric. I was using a scrap so I cute mine to 24" long x 11" wide (61cm x 28cm) but you can change these measurements around slightly as long as you have a long rectangle shape.

  2. Place the fabric together (right side to right side if your fabric has a clear right side) and pin together if necessary.

  3. Start by sewing the sides straight down until you're a few inches from the bottom.

  4.  Then you want to start sewing in a curve to form the rounded end. Make sure to leave an opening in the bottom for the bags to dispense from.

  5. If you have an overlocker finish all the edges but don't join the seam allowances together - overlock seperately because you'll close up the opening if you don't. If you don't have an overlocker most sewing machines can do an "overlock stitch" or just use a tight zig-zag stitch.

  6. Next we're going to put the drawstring opening in. Take some ribbon, mine was about 30" long (76cm), keep the bag inside out and place the top edge under the machine.

  7. Line the ribbon up with the overlocking stitch, not the fabric edge, and then turn over the edge and ribbon together. I find this technique easier than trying to feed the ribbon through. If anyone can suggest another method please do!

  8. Sew the edge down staying within the overlocking stitches so that you don't catch the ribbon. As you start to come back round make sure to stop short of the first stitches to leave an opening for the ribbon to pull through

  9. Pull the ribbon through to make sure you haven't caught it with the stitching.

  10. Now tie a double knot at the end of the ribbon, this will form the hook and also prevent the ribbon from going back inside. Trim it down if necessary and use a lighter to finish the edges and prevent them from fraying (See this post for tips on finishing ribbon).

  11. Head back down to the bottom, turn inside out, turn back the edges of the opening and stitch down both sides.

  12.  You should now have a nice, neat opening at the bottom of the dispenser.

And now you're done! Just fill it with all those plastic carrier bags and hang it up somewhere! Its certainly a lot more stylish than a cupboard full of loose bags!

What did you think of this tutorial? Show me your creations!

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