Handmade grocery bag holder tutorial.

A few years ago, Grandma Vicki gifted a wonderful Brawny grocery bag holder to me. Since then, we have used it religiously to store our re-usable plastic grocery bags. But Grandma Vicki’s grocery bag holder (pictured below) never quite matched our kitchen colors and I finally decided to do something about it.

After staring at the grocery bag holder for what felt like hours, I caught an inkling of how I might create my own. Here is the finished product, followed by the tutorial.


  • one 2-inch strip of thin 1/4-inch, stretchy elastic
  • a 1-inch strip of thin 1/4-inch, stretchy elastic
  • an 18 x 12 inch piece of sturdy, thick fabric for body
  • two 12 x 4 inch pieces of softer fabric for edges
  • needle and thread or sewing machine
  • a 6-inch piece of ribbon


Pour yourself a tea or a beer and put it on a table that does not include electronic equipment. Go ahead and cut your fabric pieces, elastic, and ribbon. Line up your three pieces of fabric right-side up to get a sense of how they will look together. For sewing purposes, there will be no top end or bottom end. However, the shorter piece of elastic will be sewn into the bottom casing because the bottom only needs to be large enough for one plastic bag to come out, while the top needs to be slightly larger so your children can stuff the grocery bags into the holder.

I started with a dark blue and brown pattern but decided midway that the colors were not giving me goosebumps. (Some of the photos were taken with the blue and brown fabric, so don’t worry about hallucinating.) Instead, I wanted a clean, crisp look so I decided to use a light turquoise thread to accent the natural linen. Be wise and be sure of your colors before you start stitching; this is a lesson I never seem to learn.

Sew your edge fabric to the main fabric by folding over the main fabric about 1/2 an inch and then placing the rough edge fabric about 1/4 inch away from the fold. Stitch down. Repeat on the other piece of edge fabric at the other end of your main fabric. Then turn it over to see how it looks.

Now you are going to sew down the fold in the main fabric. Get as close as you can to the edge of the fold and sew it down. This gives the bag a nice, smooth appearance.

Time to make a casing for your elastic at each end. Turn over the fabric about an 1/4 of an inch and then fold it over again about 1/3 of an inch. Sew really close to the fold so that your 1/4 inch elastic can still fit. I kept my short elastic attached to the end with a safety pin so I wouldn’t lose it while sewing. Do this to both ends. Go ahead and stitch the elastic to end fabric at the seam.

Now turn it over and stitch the two sides long sides together inside out. When you have done this, turn your holder right side out and pin the folded ribbon into place just inside the top (about 1/2 an inch from top edge) over the seam. Stitch twice and backstitch to secure.

You should now have a finished hanging grocery bag holder. Please share any suggestions, ideas, or links that you think are related.

For more grocery bag holder tutorials and inspirations from beautiful folks:

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