Was? Old Shirt. Is? Plastic Grocery Bag Dispenser.

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Sewing

A. The other day I noticed how out of control my grocery bags have gotten without me even noticing. They used to live between the wall and the dryer in the laundry room. Not really a good system.


B. I came across a husband’s shirt with an unfortunate sweat stain around the neck. Gross. But the rest of the shirt is perfect, so how to reuse it???


C. Plastic grocery bag holder made from husband’s old shirt.

I love myself.


  • a woven shirt (long or short sleeved)
  • standard sewing supplies

plastic grocery bag storage

Step 1 With the shirt buttoned, lay it out flat on the table.

plastic grocery bag storage

Step 2 Cut off the sleeves so you have a rectangle. You can cut off some of the bottom if you want it to be shorter.

Step 3 Cut off the collar, right above a seam so you don’t have to finish the edge.

Step 4 Sew the front of the shirt closed. A zipper foot is handy on this step.

Step 5 With right sides together, sew around the shirt to enclose all the sides leaving the only opening at the neck.

plastic grocery bag storage

Step 6 Stuff with plastic grocery bags and hang from that little loop on the back of most men’s shirts.

My laundry room is more organized and I have found a practical use for that old shirt. It’s been a good day.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny McCulloch March 9, 2010 at 6:53 am

Way to repurpose stuff, Kelsey!

Does it not freak you out that he kind of looks like a dismembered torso?

2 Keri March 9, 2010 at 10:09 am

this bag dispenser creeps me out a bit – looks like half a body. :)

3 Kimberly R March 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

Not at all what I was expecting – great idea – but I must admit it made me giggle.

4 Michelle March 9, 2010 at 10:28 am

Ha, so cute and easy. But I’d have to get used to seeing that when I opened up my pantry door… might scare the pants off me! :0)

5 Julie B March 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Very creative and cute when stored in the laundry room

6 Deborah March 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Love this idea. Frugal upcycling. Thanks so much.

7 Laura March 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Totally love this. Funny thing is that I was just thinking I needed a better system myself. Mine are all just stuffed in another grocery bag, and tied to a wire shelf. I’ll be getting on this one right quick…

8 Kelsey March 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm

It looks creepier in the picture than it does in real life. I do think that rounding the corners off on the top would make it look more bag like and less creepy. Maybe I should stick a mannequin head on top!

9 Kimberly R March 10, 2010 at 10:50 am

No mannequin heads you will give the kids nightmares for life – LOL

10 Anne March 11, 2010 at 7:58 am

I like your idea, especially because it is such a large solution. I have tried other ideas advertised as storage solutions, but they fill up so fast I would have to have a bunch of them. This would work for me!!


11 Mae March 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

Nice idea! I looked at it and thought if you leave the bottom one or two buttons unstitched and unbuttoned, you pull bags out the bottom? I gotta make this one. Thanks so much.

12 Marie February 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this idea. A friend called me today. She had a drain put in her lung and has an associated bag and she wanted a cover for it. I saw your pattern, and I bought a little boy’s button down shirt and made a cover for her bag based on your pattern. Her family loved it and I was happy to deliver a creative solution. Thank you!

13 Mavis Jones December 23, 2012 at 10:55 am

Great way to repurpose. I have some old men’s shirts that I had gotten from Goodwill for another project. This is a great idea for a use for the remainder of the shirt. (Only used the sleeves for the other project).

14 Christy March 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I am going to do this with a old work shirt of my husbands to put his rags out in the garage in.

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