DIY Up-Cycled Plastic Container

4 Materials
2 Hours
Turn plastic container into a cute plastic bag dispenser
 Dry Completely and paint it white – by painting the outer exterior this gives the tape a rough surface to stick upon. For me, the drying time was quick, but this will depend on the temperature and conditions in your area.
Choose your washi tape colors – I chose to do a rainbow theme of tape consisting of a  , since color is all around me. I would recommend choosing at least 3-4 varieties to keep the pattern visually interesting but this is really up to you
Find the “seam” on the plastic container and place your tape end on that line and wrap the tape around your container, making sure it is level and adhered as you go. For the size container I used, I needed about a 11 inch piece of tape for the circumference of the container of each color, but you can use a piece of ribbon or tape to measure this.
Once you are pleased with the design, get a clear varnish – I used the   – this gave me a nice solid protector coat and a no gloss finish. I knew that this would be inside and away from water and dirts, I wanted a protector for the dust and general dirt particles.
While the container dries from the varnish, gather your plastic bags and begin the flattening and folding process.
To fold the bags for easy dispensing first, flatten the bag the best you can on a flat surface such as a counter, and then fold in half meeting the handles together. I found it easier to fold numerous bags and stack them together and set aside.
Lay the bag back on the counter, and starting with the handles begin the roll the bag left to right, When you are half way through rolling the bag, grab another plastic bag and repeat the folding you did to the previous bag, and place it handle side to the left and with the body sticking out past the previous bag. Continue the rolling until you have a collection of about 25 bags.
Once you have completed your 25 bag roll, either measure or place the bags in the container to make sure it fits – this can be a snug fit or loose – either way works. You should have a handle sticking up from the middle of the roll.
Get the container that you had set aside and place the handle that is sticking up through the hole and snap the top down.
As a finishing, I got a contrasting piece of washi tap and placed in vertical down the seam of the side of the container. I made sure this was darker so it would cover the torn edges of my wash tape. I then used a plastic covered label and placed in on the top of the seam coverage piece.
Suggested materials:
  • Plastic container   (Around house /store)
  • Washi tape   (Craft Store)
  • Clear Coat Varnish   (Craft Store)
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Bethany Pearce Bethany Pearce on Nov 15, 2017
    I saw this a couple weeks ago and gave it a try. How do you keep them from filling up the end with air as you roll? I flattened them down as much as I could, but I still ended up with them having a lot of air in the bottom, so was continually having the squeeze all the air out and ended with a "poofy-looking" wad of plastic bags, but it still works good.

    Also, I don't have an empty dispenser, so just wrapped a couple of large rubber bands around it. Works great. We use plastic grocery sacks to put the cat's litter items in - much cheaper than buying trash can sacks.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  • Mary Marino Mary Marino on Jan 24, 2019

    what kind of plastic container is that?

Join the conversation
2 of 31 comments
  • LaDonna Galloway LaDonna Galloway on Nov 24, 2018

    Absolutely this is a great idea! I collect plastic bags and constantly look for great recycling tips. Thank you. 😁

  • TBrady26 TBrady26 on Nov 05, 2022

    The first bag: How did you get the handles to stick out and roll it from the handles at the same time. I had to find the handles over, 90° to the buddy off the bag, Asha then roll from there. I dunno if it will work or not. Just finishing up.