PVC pipes aren't just for plumbing repairs. With the right tools and know-how, this versatile material can be transformed into a sturdy, stylish laundry bin. For this project, we fit lengths of PVC pipe into a box shape using elbows at the corners and tees for the side supports. We then used hook-and-loop tape to fasten the laundry bag tabs over the top horizontal supports. Our how-to shows you how to make both the frame and the fabric bag.
What You Need
For the Frame:
- Twelve 17-1/2 -inch lengths of 1-inch diameter PVC pipe
- Six 26-1/2-inch lengths of 1-inch-diameter PVC pipe
- Eight 1-inch 90-degree PVC side outlet elbows
- Four 1-inch 90-degree PVC tees
- Wiping cloth
- Mineral spirits
- PVC cement
- Plastic primer
- Spray paint
For the Bags:
- 4-3/4 yards main fabric
- 4-1/4 yards lining fabric
- 36 inches of hook-and-loop tape
How to Make the Frame
Step 1: Degloss Pipes
Using a cloth and working in a well-ventilated area, wipe each piece of PVC pipe with mineral spirits to remove the lettering and to degloss the pipe. Allow to dry.
Step 2: Join PVC Pieces
Dry-fit PVC pipes to create the rectangular box shape, using the 17-1/2-inch-long pieces for the horizontal supports and the 26-1/2-inch-long pieces for the vertical supports. Join the pieces using elbows at the corners and tees at the centers of the side supports.
Step 3: Apply PVC Cement
Working one joint at a time, remove an elbow or tee and apply a thick layer of PVC cement to the inside of the fitting (follow the manufacturer's directions on the cement). Push a length of pipe into the opening, and wipe away any excess PVC cement if necessary. Repeat until all pieces have been cemented together, and allow the cement to dry.
Step 4: Prime and Paint
Spray PVC framework with plastic primer and spray paint, allowing to dry between coats. Work in a well-ventilated area.
How to Make the Laundry Bag
Step 1: Cut Fabric and Lining
From the main fabric, cut two 19×29-inch side panels, two 39×29-inch body panels, one 19×39-inch bottom panel, and 24 tabs using the Tab Pattern. From the lining fabric, cut two 19×29-inch side panels, four 20×29-inch body panels, one 19×39- inch bottom panel, and two 19×29-inch divider panels.
Step 2: Cut and Sew Tabs
Cut the hook-and loop tape into twelve 3-inch long pieces. Sew a loop piece to the right side of a tab piece 1 inch up from bottom curved edge. Repeat for 12 tab pieces.
Step 3: Sew Loops and Non-Loops
With right sides together, sew together a tab that has a loop piece and a tab that does not have a loop piece along the curved edges. Clip the curves, turn, and press. Repeat for all tabs.
Step 4: Sew Main Panels
Use a 1/2-inch seam allowance for all seams. With right sides together, sew the main fabric side panels to main fabric body panels. Press the seams open. With right sides together, sew the main fabric bottom panel to the bottom edge of the side and body panel unit, matching the corners. Press the seams and turn right side out.
Step 5: Sew Lining Panels
With right sides together, sew the lining divider panels together across both short ends. Turn right side out and press. With right sides together, pin the lining divider between two lining body panels, centering it from top to bottom (there will be room at the top and bottom for stitching to main fabric). Repeat for other side. Sew the pieces together. Press open.
Step 6: Make a Box
With right sides together, sew a lining side panel to the divider unit from step 5 to make a box.
Step 7: Attach Pieces
With right sides together, sew the lining fabric bottom panel to the bottom edge of the unit from step 6, being careful not to catch divider and leaving an opening for turning.
Step 8: Connect Lining
Aligning raw edges, pin tabs to top right side of lining with the loop tape side up. Baste in place. Turn lining and main body pieces so right sides are together. Sew the top raw edges of the lining and the main body pieces together, backstitching over tabs. Turn right side out through opening in lining.
Step 9: Sew Closed
Whipstitch lining opening closed. Press top seam and tabs. Topstitch close to fold, being careful not to catch tabs.
Step 10: Attach to Base
Pin hook pieces from hook-and-loop tape 3 inches below top edge of body to align with the corresponding loop on tabs. Sew hook pieces in place. Attach laundry bag to base made from PVC pipes.