How to Recycle an Old Sweater into a Plastic Bag Organizer

comments (6) March 21st, 2009     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Now my plastic bags are neat and organized—hanging with the leash ready to go!
Here is my unkempt drawer full of plastic grocery bags.
Instead of the standard proclamation to Go Green, I decided on a subtler hint!
Now my plastic bags are neat and organized—hanging with the leash ready to go!

Now my plastic bags are neat and organized—hanging with the leash ready to go!

Photo: Jen Stern
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I have a collection of reusable bags I take to the grocery store, but every few trips I leave them at home in favor of the plastic bags at the store. I take those lucky bags with me when I walk the dog! The other day, I opened the drawer I keep them in to grab one to take on a sprint around the block and about five fell out onto the floor. I decided right then it was time to make an organizer to put them in. This project is a super win-win—I freed up a drawer in the kitchen for other stuff, I used a piece of sweater I had from a previous project, and last but not least, the plastic bags are now hanging in the mudroom with the leash, ready for action! You can make this project out of almost anything. I used a piece of sweater because I had it on hand. You could also use one of those reusable grocery bags that has gotten worn out (maybe it has a split seam), or an old T-shirt or scraps of fabric.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A piece of sweater (or whatever you're using) that measures 10 inches wide x 22 inches long
  • A 7-inch piece of elastic for the top opening
  • A 5-inch piece of elastic for the bottom opening
  • An 8-inch piece of elastic for the loop to hang your organizer from
  • All-purpose thread
  • A pile of plastic bags to stuff it with!

I decided to embroider on my piece of sweater before I cut it out. If you would like to embroider your fabric first and it has a nap (such as a sweater, towel, or fleece), check out my post on how to monogram fleece slippers for some tips.

Walk the dog!
Here's the first part of my grocery bag recycle message...I embroidered it down the side of my plastic bag organizer.

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Comments (6)

limonene writes: Great organizer! BTW, I have the same problem of needing plastic bags for dog duty but wanting to use cloth (reusable) bags for shopping. My solution is to pilfer the plastic bag recycling bin at the grocery store whenever I need more bags. That way, I can stay "green" and avoid using new plastic bags. Hope this tip helps.
Posted: 6:20 pm on July 16th
lisalady161 writes: I love it, I own cats but I use my bags for recycled soda bottles and small trash can liners. I have a bunch of bags that need a tidy home!
Posted: 5:25 pm on March 28th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks for the comments...and yes, the sleeve is perfect for this project (I used the front section, because that's what I had left!)
Posted: 7:57 pm on March 21st
hemidemisemiquaver writes: This is fantastic!
Posted: 6:44 pm on March 21st
trishpatsy02 writes: Sounds like the sleeve would be the perfect part of the sweater to use. Already in a tube shape, has a strechy part at the wrist, and is wider at the top. Just insert elastic at the top and put a strap to hang it with

Posted: 2:45 pm on March 21st
Tina_Hilton writes: Love the idea and your delightful use of embroidery on recycled wool. I use the plastic bags for kitty litter hygiene and will create one to wrangle my unmanageable bags.

Posted: 2:01 pm on March 21st
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