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Ever-Open Laundry Bag

Martha Stewart Living, October 2002

A hanging laundry bag saves floor space, but you have to wrestle with the drawstring to deposit dirty clothes. Have it both ways when you prop open the suspended bag with a large embroidery hoop at least 14 inches in diameter.


Comments (37)

  • viviansea 31 Aug, 2013

    Use a Recycling Lawn Leaf Bag metal FRAME (less than $20 in a hardware store)to hold up a bag that you can make from an old top sheet, using the top of the sheet as the top edge, putting a braided fabric rope through its top(open the edges to form the placket). I have one in my kitchen classroom and it is really great. I throw the laundry bag in the laundry too each time, the clean laundry can be put back into the clean bag for transport back to the kitchen.

  • getcleanmom 19 Jun, 2010

    I just implemented this for my boys room as there is no floor space adequate for a laundry hamper. I had a hoop tucked away in my under the bed craft box and a large pillow case that we no longer use. Up on the back of the door in 5 minutes. Will make something more durable when the time comes but for now it works like
    a charm!

  • getcleanmom 19 Jun, 2010

    I just implemented this for my boys room as there is no floor space adequate for a laundry hamper. I had a hoop tucked away in my under the bed craft box and a large pillow case that we no longer use. Up on the back of the door in 5 minutes. Will make something more durable when the time comes but for now it works like
    a charm!

  • melmary 29 Jun, 2009

    I used an oval embroidery hoop (9 X 15) and made the bag myself out of cotton fabric, but I added a lining to it for a little extra durability.

  • lanoosh 24 Jun, 2009

    wow i love smart ideas

  • Mfosterjeweler 23 Jun, 2009

    Fantastic idea!

  • Woodbu 22 Dec, 2008

    A little late off the bat, I know, but for future readers - we have three of these, each with 'whites', 'mediums' or 'darks' embroidered (badly) on the inside back. I also found the hoops wiggled loose after a year of certain menfolk struggling to cram as much as possible in, and then refused to be tightened enough again, so I sewed a channel along the top and ran the adjustable part of the hoop through that.

  • jcjancsik 16 Aug, 2008

    I saw this in a Martha Stewart Catalog years ago and implemented this idea immediately! I love it! I have one hanging in every closet! During the Holidays' I switch the hanging bag part out with ones' I've sewn from Holiday themed material.

  • lollipop18 4 Aug, 2008

    I have been looking for something to fit in my bathroom but I have not found anything small enough. This is prefect because It is off of the floor completely.

  • Anna_Marie 3 Aug, 2008

    This is a GREAT way to use those embroidery hoops that I no longer use, but just couldn't bear to throw happy to get this idea!

  • sweetsiedoll 2 Aug, 2008

    My dry cleaner has given me two bags to bring my cleaning to them. I am going to use one to make a hamper for my cloths that need to go to the dry cleaner. Fabulous. I never would have thought of this.

  • lbkenolover 2 Aug, 2008


  • gaylemae 2 Aug, 2008

    with the large number of school items hitting the stores, there are lots of options for finding a ready made laundry bag. You buy the embroidery hoop to fit the opening. Separate the two rings, pull the bag through inner ring, then roll the drawstring edge over the inner ring. Snap the outer ring over the fabric, allowing
    the bag to hang. It's a great idea!

  • coraldragonfly 1 Aug, 2008

    An embroidery hoop is really two hoops, one just small enough to fit inside the other, with a clamp. If you went to a sewing store and asked where the embroidery hoops were, and got your hands on one, you would see how it worked. It's meant to hold the fabric taut for smooth embroidery. You could use a pillowcase for the bag.

  • paulamarie68 1 Aug, 2008

    I'm going to use a cloth laundry bag with embroidery hoop. It will only cost a couple dollars at the local discount store.

  • spookystyle 1 Aug, 2008

    Come on, people... does this really require instructions?? LOL! Get an embroidery hoop and a pillowcase at a thrift store and you're set.

  • frontierlady 1 Aug, 2008

    An embroidery hoop comes with two parts: an inner hoop which fits inside the fabric and an outer tension hoop that fits on the outside with the fabric sandwiched inside. The hoop can easily be removed. This was a great idea for me as we are taking a long trip in a very small trailer and it will be a great way to make the laundry bag accessible when I want and closed when we travel. Thanks for the great idea.

  • debbiedeb1234 1 Aug, 2008

    Let me see...if you can't figure this one out on your own here is something a 5th grader could, in the thoughts that you can't use a sewing machine I hope you can use sissors to cut the slits . Get a pillow case put in 2 slits about 1-2 inches apart on the hem and mid way from the edge

  • dbspeanut 1 Aug, 2008

    Basically you just find a laundry bag with a drawstring such as you can get for children to take to camp. Bed, Bath and Beyond, Linen and things, maybe even Michael's Craft Store. You can get a large embroidery loop wherever they sell sewing/quilting supplies.

  • goldensun 1 Aug, 2008


  • laurambrogan 1 Aug, 2008

    Very nice for door,saving floor space, and the fabrick is not a net, which is better because sometimes the netting gives way on the hoop...a lightweight fabric of cotton,etc would hold well, and could be laundered when it needs to be fresh.

  • willowtree 1 Aug, 2008

    amethyst42, wing it, girl...martha has thrown us an inside curveball...swing batter!!! it doesn't look like a to much of a challenge...a large bag, with drawsting, that's been stretched over an embroidery hoop. let us know how it turns out..with one 2 year old, and one husband, anything this small in my home would ensure i'd have to do laundry, more than once a week....not in this afternoon is enough. :)

  • wduke2 1 Aug, 2008

    I love this idea, but I would need to make a stronger hanging strap. I don't do laundy until I have a big load and I'm afraid the cord would pull off. I would make it out of wider fabric and go over the stitching several times.

  • amethyst42 1 Aug, 2008

    Is there actual instructions for assembling this, or do we just figure it out from here?

  • terivanhecke 1 Aug, 2008

    How simple, pragmatic, and useful! I'm going to the craft store today!

  • msbutterworth 1 Aug, 2008

    This is a great Idea! I have been thinking about getting one of the over the door type of laudry bags, but I can't beleive how pricey they are so I have just been shopping around. With this idea you could just use a pillow case and make a loop that can be attatched or loop through the seem on the pillow case for the drawstring. This will makes it very inexpensive space saving and you're recycling (pick up everything at you're local thrift store) ,all at the same time. You gotta love it!!!

  • mthc 1 Aug, 2008

    Easy to toss clothes into also; easier to carry back upstairs than a laundry basket. The bags can also be easily laundered which would be fresher after continued use than a basket or hamper.

  • felizycontenta 1 Aug, 2008

    Ii bought one ready made in Target. It is made out of mesh material and has a plastic ring, instead of the embroidery hoop. Also great!!

  • shelovestogarden 1 Aug, 2008


  • bjjm 1 Aug, 2008

    My daughter is going off to university and was looking for something just like this. Thanks!

  • tinkonthebrink 1 Aug, 2008

    this is brilliant. Is the laundry bag handmade? - it's lovely and I've never seen one that attractive. Mine are all plain tan canvas bags.

  • kimpressions 7 Jun, 2008

    I love it!

  • pilgrimichael 29 Apr, 2008

    Am house moving, is a definite space saver and genius of an idea. Thanks so much.

  • CrowFlyer 19 Apr, 2008

    Exactly what I've been looking for. I have been embroidering a lovely peacock onto a laundry bag and have been trying to come up with an idea on how to hang and keep it easily opened. Thank You.

  • auntieup 10 Apr, 2008

    This will be great for my husband's dry cleaing/business shirt. He can just grab and go to drop them off

  • Trostle1 29 Feb, 2008

    Great idea esp. in children's room only a little lower fro them. Trostle1

  • BarbaraSmith 5 Feb, 2008

    simple genius, right here!