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Pretty Plastic Bag Organizer

Created By: Johnny Miller




Plastic bags seem to multiply, even if you try to take fewer of them from stores. Make sure you reuse them; its easy when they're in a handy holder that  matches your kitchen decor.


  • 15-inch-wide dish towel (ours has a 1/2-inch hem)
  • Pins and scissors
  • 10-inch strip of 3/4-inch twill tape
  • 7 1/2-inch strip of 1/4-inch elastic
  • 1 1/2-inch safety pin


  1. Step 1

    Fold dish towel in half lengthwise, wrong side out; pin along the edge that's opposite the fold. Pin twill-tape ends to one open end to form hanger.

  2. Step 2

    Sew a seam 7 inches from the folded edge to make a tube. Stitch twill tape in place.

  3. Step 3


    Thread elastic through the towel's existing hem: Snip one small slit in the towel's hem. Flip tube over and repeat, making a second slit.

  4. Step 4


    Tie a large knot at one end of elastic; attach safety pin to other end. Slide safety pin through 1 slit, and ease through hem and out other slit. Tie elastic ends to gather. Turn bag right side out. Snip line.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2009



Reviews (23)

  • Cindy2001 12 Jan, 2013

    This is a nice looking plastic bag holder. For some of us that do not sew, may I suggest a large cardboard tube. You can glue a plastic cap or lid on one end, punch holes on both sides of the top, use grommets on the holes if you like, and attach a ribbon or string for a hanger The large plastic wrap container from the big box stores is a good size and already has a plastic cap on the end. You could also apply spray glue and cover the cardboard tube in fabric or paper to match your decor.

  • GirlE 10 Jul, 2012

    I made one of these when I saw it on Martha Stewart's web site a couple of years ago. At one point I decided to give it to my sister because I figured I could make another one and she really liked it. It was really easy to make but I lost the pattern and was hoping to come across it again, so thanks...

  • scrapyj 9 Jul, 2012

    I made one when you had it online last year, I love it, have made many.. Thanks.

  • knohren 4 Nov, 2011

    Very pretty idea. What I do is crunch the bags and stuff them into an empty tissue box. They are available just like a tissue! and I recycle the tissue box to something useful!

  • Nani671 27 Jul, 2010

    This was a very simple project to do. After sewing the seam, I trimmed the fabric and used the scraps to make simple handles to mathc. I will definitely used this idea to help get my family and friends organized. Thanks!

  • lettyletty 10 Mar, 2010

    is fantastic for christmas gifts I am going start right now! very good GIFT!

  • mkgraces 7 Mar, 2010

    can't wait to try this. far less bulky than the stainless simple human bin i have!

  • mkgraces 7 Mar, 2010

    can't wait to try this. far less bulky than the stainless simple human bin i have!

  • grannyj3 6 Mar, 2010

    I too have been using these for years. A good friend bought some at a bazaar and passed them out. I have passed them on, as well. Everyone wants to know if I came up with the idea and why didn't I make them commercially! I just sew up the side and run elastic around both ends, with a large key chain loop attached. Towels with fringe make especially pretty ones.

  • Glitteratii 6 Mar, 2010

    Cute idea - try as I might, we still end up with plastic bags! sometimes from produce, or that occasional shopping trip where I forgot my bags. Also, the newspaper still comes in a plastic bag, although now it's labeled as "recyclable" - and I tend to have trouble finding the right place to store them where it's handy and I will remember to take them to be recycled when I go shopping - definitely plan to make this!

  • esmeeliz1 6 Mar, 2010

    Timewaster- Some of us use the plastic bags for cleaning out the litterbox, or as a small trashbag for a small wastebasket. Make sense? It's a great idea...better than the empty kleenex box I was stuffing them into. I use my reusable bags for shopping, library books and other less messy ventures.

  • claygirl53 6 Mar, 2010

    We shop with reusable bags except for when we buy cat food. Then we save and reuse the plastic bags to carry the clumps of waste, from cleaning out the cat boxes, to the garbage. Then we recycle the bags after the waste has been dumped into the can ~ and all is picked up every Thursday! This will be a cute addition to the cat room.

  • timewaster 6 Mar, 2010

    Ummmmm . . . what about avoiding the collection og plastic bags all together by shopping with a reusable bag?

  • cphipps 6 Mar, 2010

    To Dinamm 11
    You sew the entire length of the towel. The 7 inches is measured from the folded edge over, to make the new seam.

  • Dinamm11 6 Mar, 2010

    I don't understand why you only sew it 7 inches up the side. I am assuming that leaves about another 7-8 inches open on the upper part. Is this correct?

  • RhondaRitt 6 Mar, 2010

    My grandmother made a similar item for me over 15 years ago and it's great!

  • jackieschwartz 17 Nov, 2009

    Homegoods often has beautiful dishtowels; less pricey than Williams Sonoma...

  • khender711 17 Nov, 2009

    Compliments to Martha Stewart Living staff. These directions and photographs are NICE and CLEAR. Great project for bags that can be pesky sometimes.

  • carolrogers 17 Nov, 2009

    It can be made with any heavy fabric. Also, I use elastic on the top opening as well.

  • Katie_Cohagen 17 Nov, 2009

    She said that its a dish towel. Maybe a store like William Sonoma would have prints like that.

  • IHeartDonDraper 6 Nov, 2009

    does anyone know where can I buy that fabric? or a similar print?

  • Caitlin_Losey 6 Nov, 2009

    i love that fabric!

  • tmayhugh 6 Nov, 2009

    cool idea!