Monday, March 5, 2012

Plastic Bag Organizer Tutorial

Ok, I know this is not a recipe but it does have to do with the kitchen so I thought I would post it just for fun. 

I've seen this plastic bag organizer tutorial pinned on Pinterest a ton of times and each time I see it I tell myself that I'm going to make it. We have a big overflowing stash of plastic grocery bags under our sink and with two little bums in diapers we pretty much use grocery bags daily for one reason or another. Well I finally took the time to make it and let me tell you, it is so easy to do. If you can sew a straight line, you can make this bag.

The original Martha Stewart instructions tell you to use a dish towel to make the bag but I decided to use material that I already had on hand instead of making a trip to the store to buy a new towel. Also, I found that the instructions on the Martha Stewart tutorial were worded kind of weirdly and might be a little confusing for begining sewers. I've made up my own step-by-step instructions with pictures of each step for this bag so hopefully this will be easier for you if you do decide to make it. And it looks like there are a lot of steps but I literally spelled out each step and tried to make it as detailed and easy as possible.

Plastic Bag Organizer Tutorial

Materials and Tools Needed:
  • fabric and thread (fabric measurements listed below)
  • 8 inch strip of 1/4 inch elastic
  • scissors and pins
  • large saftey pin

1. Cut a 16 inch x 28 inch rectangle out of fabric for the bag

2. Cut a 3 inch x 10 inch rectangle out of fabric for the handle

*I highly recommend ironing your fabrics so that they lay flat. I always do this and it really helps make the cutting and sewing process a lot more smooth.*

3. With right sides together, pin the long edges of the handle fabric together. Sew a 1/4 inch seam from the edge to create a tube.

4. Turn handle tube out so that the right side is out. Iron flat with the seam going down one of the edges of the handle.

5. Fold the bottom edge of the bag up 1 inch so that the wrong sides are touching. Iron flat. Sew a 1/2 inch seam from the folded edge. (This creates your bottom hem)

6. Fold the top edge of the bag down 1/2 inch so that the wrong sides are touching. Iron flat. Sew a 1/4 inch seam from the folded edge.

(I folded my edge over a little more than 1/2 inch but you don't need more than 1/2 inch)

7. Fold the bag in half the long way with the right sides touching. Pin. Sew a 1/4 inch seam from the edge.

(this seam is the one going up and down on the right side of the fabric in this picture)

8. With the bag laying flat, pin one end of the handle in the middle of one side of the top of the bag. The handle should overlap the bag about 1/2 inch. Repeat with the other end of the handle on the other side of the bag.

9. Sew each end of the handle to the bag. (Make sure you are careful and only sew each end of the handle to only one side of the bag.)

10. At the bottom of the bag, carefully make two cuts through the hem on each side of the seam. Make sure you only cut the material on the inside of the bag, do not go the whole way through.

11. Tie a large knot at one end of the elastic. Pin the saftey pin on the other end of the elastic.

12. Pull the elastic through the bottom hem. Tie both ends of the elastic together tightly to secure.

13. Turn bag right side out and iron. You're all done!

I hope these instructions are easy to follow. If you have any questions please let me know!

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