Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homemade Gift Ideas grocery bag holders

This is a quick and easy gift to make.  It takes about 15 minutes to zip one out and who doesn't save all those little plastic bags from the store?  

We use them to line our small waste baskets in the bathrooms and office, put them in suitcases for our dirty laundry on trips.  My niece uses them for poop holders when she walks her dog.  You get the idea.  Hang them from a doorknob or hang on the wall with a small nail or tack.

 Supplies needed for 1 holder:
  • Sewing Machine and thread
  • scissors 
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • 1 dish towel (I get mine for $1.00 at Dollar General)
  • approximately 16 inches of 1/4 inch elastic
  • approximately 28 inches of 3/8 inch ribbon or size of your choice.
Lay your towel out flat and find where you would like the bottom and top trim to be.  I measure from the edge of the towel to just where the print starts.

Turn your towel over and draw a line with a pencil across the towel using the measurement you just took.  Repeat for the other end of towel.

Fold your towel in half longways and cut 2 pieces of elastic just about 1/4 to 1/2 inch longer than the folded towel.  Don't stretch the elastic at this point.

Measure your elastic and mark the center by drawing a line. Mark both pieces of elastic.

Find the center of the line you drew on the towel and mark .  Repeat for the other end of towel.

Place your elastic even with the line leaving a small amount hanging over the edge.

Place under pressure foot of sewing machine and using a zig-zag stitch make a few stitches forward and backwards to hold the elastic secure.

Now stretch your elastic until both center lines meet while keeping elastic edge with your pencil line.  Sew all the way across and end with a back stitch to secure.  Repeat on other edge of towel.

Fold towel with right sides together and match edges.  Pin edges if desired.  I have not found a need to do so.

Using a straight stitch sew long edges together with about a 3/8 to 5/8 inch seam. Use a back stitch on both top and bottom to secure your seam.

Turn your tube inside out.  It should now look like this.

Cut a length of ribbon 8 inches long.  Determine which end you want to be the top (with dish towels one half is going to be upside down)  My preference is to put the right side towards the bottom.  

Make the ribbon into a loop and place it on the inside on top of your seam and about 3/8's from the edge and sew it a couple of times back and forth to hold the ribbon.

Your loop should look like this on the inside of the towel.

 Measure another piece of ribbon about 20 inches and mark the center.

On the front side of your towel just below the elastic and opposite the loop sew the ribbon.  Make sure the backside of the towel and loop are out of the way.

Tie the ribbon into a pretty bow and trim the ends if needed.  You could make the bow and then sew it on with a needle and thread but this method is just as easy for me.

Before you give it as a gift you may want to stuff a few plastic bags into it.  Some gift recipients may not know what that strange looking tube is for!

Another finished project!


  1. I love that you made those bags with dish towels. Very nice!

  2. Thank you Sassy... I have seen those made with a fabric but these are E-Z. I am all about working smarter not harder!

  3. Oh thanks so much for this. I didn't think of using a dish towel before.

  4. You are welcome Trish....Dish towels are so much easier!


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