Bag Dispenser Tutorial

Bag dispenser tutorial

I’ve been using a broken plastic bag dispenser for the last year or so. I’ve been meaning to make myself one for a while now but just never got round to it. I’m glad I finally did, no more catching my fingers on that sharp plastic and much more room at the bottom of my cupboard.

Although I made a couple of mistakes – which you won’t make as I’ll tell you what not to do – I decided not to remake it as it’s only for me and it’s going in a cupboard – once I get a hook on the kitchen wall then I’ll make a new – mistake free (OK maybe not a mistake free) one.


This bag took me less than an hour to make, it’s so easy, I didn’t bother lining mine as I didn’t feel it needed it but lining is easily added!

First decide how big you want it to be.

I’d consider my bag a “Large” if I were to make different sizes, we tend to accumulate a lot of bags here and we use them often. I’d say the width is spot on but of course you may disagree. The strap  you may want the width a little thinner depending on the hook you’re going to be using. I’ve just given the measurements I used but really, anything goes.

Materials needed –

  • Main fabric approx 23″ x 15″
  • Strap fabric approx 10″ x 3″
  • 1/4″ elastic approx 7″

Get your piece of fabric for the strap press it in half right sides together, sew down the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn right side out and press so the seam is in the centre rather than to one side.

On the top edge of the bag fold over a 1/2 inch and press, then 1/2 inch again, unfold the hem so it is only folded over the once. Fabric right side up, position the strap so that is on the top edge of one side, rather than in the centre as shown in the picture. Pin the strap so that the bottom is lined up with the bottom of the hem. Have the seam go up around the loop on the outside, rather than on the inside like the picture shows. Stitch the straps in place. Fold the hem back over and sew in place. ( I prefer to sew the hem before joining the bag as I find it easier – would work fine to hem in the normal way though of course.)

If you prefer, you can always do this step after sewing the bag together, so that you can have the bag seam right at the back behind the handle, rather than have it to the side of it. I just hate hemming so anything to make my life easier ;).

Bag dispenser tutorial

Fold over fabric in half, length ways, right sides together and sew or serge the long edge.


Bag dispenser tutorial

Turn your fabric right sides out and fold your bottom edge 1/2 inch and press, fold over another 1/2 inch – adjust to fit the elastic you are using, and press again. Sew the hem in place leaving an inch or 2 to insert the elastic.

Thread the elastic through using a safety pin and sew the gap closed.

That’s it, you’re done! You could, if you wanted to, add elastic to the top also – I decided not to as having it open makes it less of a hassle getting the bags in!

Bag dispenser tutorial


Bag dispenser tutorial

So you’ve probably noticed my many mistakes but hey, I’m still learning and I love how it turned out anyway! I might even make a wider one and use it as a crisp holder! Now there’s an idea!

If there’s anything you don’t understand please just ask in the comment section, I have a bad habit of over explaining things when really, they’re pretty simple.

Simple plastic bag dispenser tutorial, makes a great beginner project.

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