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How To Make A Recycled Plastic Bag Dispenser

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

I normally use reusable grocery tote bags or my t-shirt bags when I go to the grocery store, but despite my good intentions, sometimes I forget to bring them along. Or I do bring them along, but forget to actually bring them inside the store. (I hope I’m not the only one who does this!) And I hate throwing plastic grocery bags away, so I usually end up stuffing them somewhere in my pantry to reuse later.

It’s not a great system, because no one ever remembers where the bags are when one is needed. I decided to figure out a way to store my grocery bags that was both attractive enough that I wouldn’t mind keeping it in a visible location, and would also make them easily accessible. It took me just a few minutes, and I love how it turned out. Here’s how you can make your very own!

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

Grocery Bag Dispenser

Start by cleaning and prepping your container. Wash and dry the inside of the container, and remove the label. (If the label is stubborn, take a look at my post about successfully removing sticker goo.)

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

Measure the height and circumference of your container. Cut a piece of fabric that matches those dimensions, leaving an extra inch or so of fabric on the width so that it will overlap a bit on your bottle.

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

Spray the back of your fabric generously with your spray adhesive, then place it carefully on your bottle. Wrap it around and smooth out any wrinkles or gaps, and allow the fabric to dry completely.

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

Next you’ll prepare your grocery bags. Fold each grocery bag in half, then layer them so that the handles of each bag lay under the bottom of the next bag.

Roll the bags up into one roll, starting at the bottom of the last bag.

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

When your bags are rolled up, just stick the roll into your decorated container, and pull the handles of the last bag out of the top of the container for easy access.

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

I’m planning on keeping my grocery bag container in the bathroom, because we like to reuse our grocery bags as liners for the small trashcans in the bathrooms. You could also keep one in your car, so you always have a bag handy for trash or dirty shoes or any other car-related messes.

DIY Grocery Bag Storage Dispenser

Or rather than using it as a container for plastic bags, your cute fabric-covered container could also be used to store homemade cleaning wipes or makeup remover wipesThe possibilities are endless!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • i recycle my plastic bags back to the store to be made into other things like benches and such for parks and stuff i try to recycle as much as possible

  • I layer some plastic bags at the bottom of a trash can. Works great for all the trash cans EXCEPT for the large kitchen one, as the bag on occassion might leak. Love all the great ideas from the comment section…………

  • Just want to tell you that I keep my reusable bags in my car and 50% of the time I even forget to take them into the store. So…… You are not the only one!!

  • I made a Grandmother’s Diaper Genie by putting grocery bags on an empty tissue cube. The tissue cubes are already decorated. I also keep one under my kitchen sink. Great idea to put one in the car!!

  • I love this idea for having a MANAGEABLE supply of bags in every place they are needed! We just moved after 20 years in the same place. We always tossed the rolled up bags under the sink, in the general direction of a large overflowing cereal box. (I did occasionally clean it out and toss them) When my Hubby emptied out that cupboard, he filled a whole big recycling bag with hundreds of the pesky little suckers! .. We now try to use fabric bags, but you do occasionally forget, and the odd plastic one can be useful. We live in B.C., and when we visit Washington State and Hawaii, we have to remember our reusable bags, as plastic ones are banned there. Hopefully the notion will spread. … Also, if you need to get rid of some, often dog parks or dog walkers are glad of a free supply – and anyone who uses diapers :-)

  • Clever . . . but Ikea sells a very cheap, very practical plastic bag holder. I’ve screwed it onto the inside of my cupboard under the kitchen sink. Each bag can be rolled up into a small ball: starting at the bottom, squeeze out the air and wrap around two fingers, then tuck the handle end into the centre of your little ring of bag.
    In the UK there is a plague of these plastic bags! They litter the freeways, float up into treetops, end up in rivers and seas . . . Better to buy sturdy fabric bags and keep them in your trunk ready for use, or get a nylon bag that folds into itself and keep in your handbag for unexpected purchases. Plastic bags are a step backwards, please boycott them. Paper is renewable and reusable.

  • Mine aren’t so fancy but are recycled: My bag supply is in the laundry room on top of a cart where animal food is unloaded. I start with half a dz bags in a bag in both bathrooms, enclosed porch where the cats eat, etc…, garage, in the back of the van. One in a small Laundry room wastebasket. One on top of the washer where cat food is prepared, for lids to save for someone to recycle aluminum, (I have a med wastebasket with a hole in the lid in the kitchen for soda cans and rinsed cat food cans). There are plenty of refills. My friend with an aged family member likes my surplus bags.

    Also, I cut or tear the handles before a bag goes to the garbage so they can’t end up on an animal.

  • I’ve been saving grocery bags in a recycled disinfectant wipes container for a few years now. I really appreciate your suggestion to keep one in the car for use at the grocery store.
    Thanks

  • I use a plastic milk container as a bag dispenser as I go through a lot of bags. I slice the bottom up like a pizza. Thus I can stuff milk container with bags and none will fall out. First, I daisy chain the bags by running the bottom of one bag through the handles of the next bag and fold the first bag back on it’s self. Jam all through the bottom of the milk jug and leave one bag hanging out through the pour mouth of the milk jug. They pop up like tissue.

  • When I forget to bring my bags into the store I actually check out and put everything back into my cart without bags, (the most difficult part is saying “no bags” they reply are you sure? EVERYTIME!) anyhow. I leave the bag in my trunk and simply reload sorting according to the locations in my kitchen, refridgerater, pantry, etc. I like the idea of keeping a small container in the trunk as well for those times I forgot to reload my bags, not often but it has happened.

  • It’s a great idea to reuse these plastic bags as much as possible! I’d also suggest making/buying reusable, lightweight mesh bags. They even make ones that are waterproof. They’re washable, so you can keep reusing them without generating more plastic waste with plastic bags.

  • This is so clever. I tried using a small Kleenex box in the trunk of one of cars for the plastic bags for when we’re out and about. I do like this idea for the bathroom. I keep some plastic bags under the sink. They come in hand for discreetly disposing of gross or messy items in the trash can.

    • Great idea. I also think that the Lay’s potato chip containers make great grocery bag holders & a bit easier to work with. Just cut off the label with a scissor (it’s loose so doesn’t stick on to the container – and just fill it with bags you stuff inside. Then put on the cap and to remove a bag, just lift off the cap.

      Arline Zatz

  • decorating the container is too much work for me..lol..i usually n just use an empty kleenex box or an empty coffee can…i usually just keep it under the kitchen sink.

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