Make a Fabric Car Trash Bag

Tired of picking up wrappers and empty cups strewn across your car floor? Whether you are embarking upon an epic road trip or just trying to keep the kids’ trash contained, maintaining a stylish yet functional car fabric trash bag is the way to go. Although this project may appear to look complicated, it can be extremely easy as long as you have fabric and a little sewing experience.


Gather Supplies

  1. Purchase two different fabrics--one for your binding and one to be used for your bag and handle. You may want to purchase extra fabric so you can make additional bags or to use in case you make an error during stitching or creating.
    • Cut two pieces of fabric to make your bag--front fabric 22" x 13" and lining fabric 22" x 12.5."
    • Cut one piece from the other fabric piece for your binding--22" x 3.5."
    • Create the bag handle from the same material you used for the bag (or you could purchase another style/pattern) that is 22" x 2.5."
  2. Purchase needle and thread the same color as your bag and binding. You can either hand sew your creation or use a sewing machine if you have one.
  3. Have tools on hand such as sewing scissors and pins (to hold bag together while you are sewing).
  4. Purchase Pellon fabric to be used to line and protect the bag. You can pick this up at a local craft or fabric store.

Create the Bag

  1. Fold large section of fabric in half lengthwise and sew the center back seam. When you fold the bag, make sure the pattern is visible on the inside (if the pattern is not apparent on both sides). Trim any hanging thread.
    • Perform the same action with the lining by folding the lining piece of fabric in half and sew the seam. As with the large fabric, make sure the pattern is visible on the inside of the bag if it’s not printed on both sides.
  2. Sew the bottom of the bag’s seam. Keep pins along the seam to hold it in place while you sew. Trim the residual fabric after you’ve sewed the bag.
    • Sew the bottom of the lining’s bag the same way you sewed the bag. Also, trim the additional fabric post sewing.
  3. Open the bag outward so it creates a diamond shape. Using a fabric pencil, draw a line approximately 1 ½ inches from the point. Mark a twin line on the direct opposite corner, 1 ½ inches away from the point.
    • Sew along the marked line on both sides. Use pins to hold your sewing in place along the way.
    • Perform the same action to the lining by using the fabric pencil and drawing a straight line, demarking opposite sides of the bag. Sew along the lines.
  4. Open the bag by turning it inside out. Now the pattern should be visible with the stitching hidden inside the bag.
    • Turn the lining bag inside out and place it inside the main bag. The lining should be slightly smaller than the main bag so it should fit snugly inside.
    • Pin bag and lining together in preparation to receive the binding.

Finish the Bag

  1. Sew the binding to the bag approximately 1” below the top of the bag. The binding should be sewn not only onto the bag but also the lining.
  2. Fold the binding over the top of the bag and pin inside the bag, securing it to the lining. Hand stitch the binding into place.
  3. Fold the handle fabric in half lengthwise and secure the ends with pins.
    • Sew the fabric handle and then pin one end inside the bag, just below the binding fabric.
    • Wrap the other end around so that it joins the original end inside the bag and pin it in order to secure it to the binding.
    • Sew the fabric handle in place. Add any jewels or adornments you’d like to include to personalize the bag.
  4. Cut the Pellon to 8” x 18.” The Pellon will line the inside of the bag, provide sturdiness and an area to hold a plastic bag.
    • Roll Pellon into a circle and sew the edges so it creates a cylinder shape. Consider using a sewing machine for a quick stitch or you can hand sew.
    • Slide Pellon into the bag and sew it into the lower area of the bag. A few stitches will help secure the Pellon in place. Allow some room between the binding and the Pellon so that a plastic bag can be dropped into the bag and fit securely around the Pellon inside the bag.
  5. Finished.


  • Consider using this bag at work or during bike rides for an easy way to keep your area neat and tidy.
  • Consider using Scotch Guarded (or Scotch Guard yourself) fabrics to reduce damage from spills and stains.
  • Hang bag from the stick shift in your car or from the handle on your child’s car seat (for his or her own personal trash receptacle).
  • Use plastic grocery bags to line your car garbage bag. When your bag is full you can remove and neatly tie before disposal.

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