Even those of us who strive to remember our reusable shopping bags sometimes make a spur-of-the-moment shopping trip. There we are in the store without our eco-friendly shopping bags, and we end up taking more plastic sacks home. Where to store these extra sacks so we can recycle or reuse them? You can easily sew your own hanging sack holder using a bit of fabric and some elastic.
First, choose your fabric. Cotton works best. You can choose from kitchen, food, or other prints. A fat quarter is enough to make a small holder that will store a surprisingly large number of plastic sacks. A fat quarter is a piece of fabric measuring approximately 17″ X 22″.
First, lay your fabric out on your ironing board right side down. Turn the top down ½ inch and iron it, then turn it again another ½ inch and press. This will be the channel for your elastic. Do the same thing to the bottom of your fabric piece. Sew along each folded edge, forming a hem.
Cut two pieces of elastic, each about 8″ long. Using a safety pin on one end, thread the elastic through the channel. Tack it with a few stitches on both ends. Do the same to the other end. You will now have gathered ends.
Fold the fabric right sides together, line up your elastic channels, and pin into place. It is at this point you will add the loop for hanging. The loop can be made of twine, cord, a strip of elastic, or you can make your loop out of a 4″ x 2″ strip of fabric by folding the ends toward the middle, then folding it in half, and sewing along the length. Whatever you choose for your loop, position it about ½ inch below your top elastic band, with the loop part sticking inside (against the right sides of your fabric) and the raw edges sticking out. When you turn your item right-side out later, the loop will be where it belongs.
Now stitch up the length of your sack holder, double-stitching over the bottom and top where the ends of your elastic come together. It’s a good idea to also zig-zag stitch over these parts as well. Trim off the excess fabric. Turn the item right-side out, and you have a handy sack holder for your kitchen.
These useful items are quick and easy to sew. You can even make them for your family and select fabric prints that coordinate with their color schemes or interests.