Tag Archives: plastic bags

Guest Post: Plastic Shopping Bag Dispenser

14 Mar

 Hi All! So my sister Theresa, or “B” as my nephews call her wanted to try her hand at writing a couple posts. Of course I couldn’t refuse! So here she is. Take it away B!

 While I try to bring reusable totes with me when I go to a store every time, life often gets in the way and sometimes plastic happens.  In fact, I’ve never discouraged my husband from using them when he does the shopping because there are so many uses for them around the house. Trash can liners, wet swimsuit travel bags, or impromptu boot covers, plastic bags have a multitude of uses in the home, car, and workplace. If I ever have a surplus of plastics bags, I’d love to find a fun way to reuse them like this neat trashcan I saw at instructable.com here 

 Does anyone have any other suggestions for extra plastic bags? Needless to say, my current favorite use of plastic bags is for wrapping up dirty disposable diapers to keep odor to a minimum. (Place diaper in bottom corner of bag, twist, cover over diaper again, twist, recover a third time and tie handles together. So easy and way less smelly!)  Since I use them daily for diaper changes, I wanted a more convenient source of bags than under the kitchen sink. So, inspired by what I have seen countless others do online, I gathered my materials and set to work! 
Shopping bags and container with easy to cut lid


To easily flatten and smooth the bags I used my finger to hold the crease at the bottom of the bag and pulled the handle taut. I folded the bags in half and then half again, but the particular fold would matter on what your container looks like. The taller the canister, the less folding required but I would keep the bag horizontal like above so you can use the bag’s handle as a pull tab. The handle is shown folded up on the first overlapped bag in the second picture below. Basically you over-lap the folded bags and then begin rolling. I would suggest the bags over-lap less than shown here because I’ve noticed sometimes the next bag begins coming out too soon.

 I used a 4” diameter, 3.5” tall canister (I do recommend a round container) and I rolled 20 bags, the last 5 of which are a different color so I’ll know when I’m about to run out. This might seem silly and rather particular but for somethings I’d rather not be surprised. 🙂

Anyway, I plan to experiment with rolling techniques because I bet I could fit a few more bags in there if they were rolled tighter, but to finish I used a razor blade to cut a small “x” in the lid and fed the handle of the first (center) bag through. Well of course I couldn’t just stop there, so I decided to add a couple of coats of spray paint on the lid and some left-over scrap book paper to the outside of the can. I also decided to make a second jar for changing table odds-n-ends and at some point I’m sure I will make a bag dispenser for the car. Hope you enjoy this pleasing way to store plastic shopping bags!