Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hulking Plastic Bag Caddy

Hello shoppers! :)

Do you have a pile of unsightly plastic grocery sacks currently hiding in your cabinets, at the bottom of your pantry, or under your sink?


That's after I threw about 150 of them away...ugh.

I have been looking at grocery sack dispensers on Pinterest and elsewhere for a long time, but I never quite could figure out how they're supposed to work. It wouldn't exactly be like Kleenex - how could you guarantee that pulling one bag out didn't result in three or four more spilling out as well? It just DIDN'T MAKE SENSE.

But I figured they looked pretty easy to make, and frankly anything is better than having a big pile of sacks spilling out from my pantry every time I open the door. So I decided to give it a shot.

Click "Read More" for the step-by-step tutorial, including lots of Hulk goodness and my continued doubts...

Going through my fabric stash, I thought about the task at hand. I needed something strong, something large, and something...


I had quite a bit of this Hulk sheet (Goodwill find FTW!) leftover after making this skirt for my daughter:

And I couldn't think of a better character to represent what I needed. So Hulk it is.

This is my favorite Hulk on the sheet, so I wanted to make sure he was front and center:

I cut a piece from the sheet that was around 26" long and 18" wide. Since it was a sheet, there was already a hemmed edge at the top, so I just cut from there to avoid having to sew a new hem:

Then I flipped the fabric upside down and sewed a channel in the bottom for my elastic:

At first I wasn't sure how long to make the elastic. I thought about looking it up (bah!) but after a moment's thought I figured as long as I could reach my hand through the hole to readjust bags or pull them out if they got stuck, that would be good enough.

After sewing up the long end of the caddy (right sides together of course), I snipped a small slit in the elastic channel at the bottom.

Then I used a paper clip (couldn't find any safety pins) and threaded it through one end of my elastic...

And started pushing the paper clip through the channel...

Before the other end got sucked into the channel inadvertently, I pinned the end in place so it would stay put.

Then gathered the channel around the elastic as I pulled it the rest of the way through.

The two ends of the elastic got sewn together, and...oh hey I'm done! :)

Well, all except the handle.

I returned to my sheet and focused again on the upper hemmed edge:

Then cut a strip around 18" long from that.

I folded it in half, sewed up the raw edge, and turned it inside out.

Then I sewed each end to the top opening of the bag, making lots of back and forth seams with my sewing machine since I knew this thing was probably going to take a beating in its life (JUST LIKE THE HULK!).

And here it is done, and empty:

And here it is done and full! (You can see my favorite Hulk down there towards the opening at the bottom.)

I realized I needed to test it. I had put the bags in one at a time, still not sure that this was going to work. I grabbed the plastic sack that was sticking out of the bottom, and pulled gently...

Out it popped! Perfect!

The little bit of wall inside my pantry was the perfect size for my new Hulk bag.

Truth be told, I won't know just how useful this thing is until I've used it for a while. But for now, I'm just glad to get these grocery sacks off my pantry floor. And I'm always happy for an opportunity to incorporate some nerdy bit of goodness into my kitchen.

I still have a lot of that Hulk sheet left...I wonder what else I can do with it...



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