Introduction: 15-Minute DIY Dog Waste Bag Dispenser

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Let's cut the crap. Literally. Sometimes it's tempting to leave your dog's poo where it falls, especially if it's your own yard or you are in the wild. It may seem harmless enough, but in actuality, a whole host of nasty bugs, microscopic and regular, are attracted to or live in that poo. And when the rain comes, the parasites wash into the water system. According to an article by, quoting

"In a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology, [US Environmental Protection Agency researcher Hyatt C. Green] and colleagues examine the public health risks associated with what might be called the poo problem.

"Here's the issue, according to Green. "Canine fecal waste," he writes, "may represent one of the largest unregulated sources of aquatic fecal contaminants with zoonotic potential in areas impacted by urban runoff." Let's unpack that. There are nearly 70 million domestic dogs in the United States. Nearly two in five human diseases can also infect domestic pets, which means that dogs can act as reservoirs for nasty bugs like E. coli, Campylobacter bacteria, and the parasite Giardia duodenalis. And it's mainly on the honor system that owners pick up after their dogs.

"And those infections can travel in both directions – from human to dog, from dog to human.

You can read the rest of that article here. Basically, not only does Dog poop contain hook and roundworms that kids, among others, can get by stepping in a hidden patch while running around barefoot, but we can get really bad diseases even if we don't have a dog.

But it's so hard to remember bags, you say? And commercially available dog waste bag dispensers are so commercial and cost upwards of $5?

Not anymore you don't.

Introducing the 15-Minute Dog Waste Bag Dispenser.

Not only is this puppy nearly free to make, but it's a cinch! Not only that, but by using it and looking so fly, you'll send a message to all the other owners out there that they should follow suit.

You see, DIY sends a message. And this time that message is, no excuses. It also shows non-dog-companions that dog companions are going to pick up the poo, that we are responsible and not pests ourselves. It makes us all better.

But I'm preaching to the choir. You wouldn't be reading this still if you didn't agree. My people!

So with that said, here's the project:

Step 1: What You'll Need


1. Two aluminum cans. One should be larger than the other. I used an Arizona Tea can and a regular soda-pop can.

2. A screw, small bolt, and washer. I used a 1/4" bolt, nut, and washer I had. Use whatever would fit in the circle created by a paper hole punch.

3. Foam paper (available at most craft stores).

4. Something to attach the can to a leash or your pants belt loop. This could be a piece of paracord, some twine, string, or my choice, a carabiner I had collecting dust.


1. Paper hole punch

2. Heavy-duty scisors or sheers. Do not use your mother's/father's/friend's sewing scissors. I'm pretty sure using sewing scissors for this is legal grounds for self-defense homicide. Maybe not, but I wouldn't be surprised.

3. Marker

4. Needle-nosed pliers

5. (optional) Sand paper or metal file

Step 2: Cut the Cans

After washing and drying both cans, cut the larger can about 1 1/2 to 2" (3.7 to 5 cm) from the top. This can be accomplished by removing and saving the tab, placing the can upside down on a flat surface, and rotating it while holding a marker at the correct height.

Cut the smaller can about the same length, but from the bottom.

Here there be sharps. If you've never worked with aluminum or aluminum this thin before, you should wear gloves. You can cut yourself pretty good on the aluminum if you don't know what you're doing. You can cut yourself even better on the aluminum if you THINK you do know what you're doing.

Carefully plunge those sheers into the middle of each can and cut almost down to your line. You'll notice your line is scraggly. Turn the can and cut the other way (reverse the direction of your cut, so if you cut clockwise the first time, cut counter- the second time) down to your line. Now the lines should be smooth.

You can sand this line if you like. Personally, as long as the line is smooth, it doesn't seem to bother me.

Step 3: Install Tab Ring

Using the pliers, bend the tab you saved into a 90 degree angle, or thereabouts.

Using the hole punch, punch a hole into the aluminum about half-way between the ridge of the can and where you cut it.

Run the bolt through a washer and the hole on the can. On the other side of the can wall, place the end of the tab you had to break off onto the bolt and secure with a nut.

Yippee! Now you have a perfect way to attach the dispenser, once done, so your dog's leash or your pants' belt loop.

Step 4: Install the Two Foam Inserts

We'll need two foam inserts to hold everything together. The first can be made from a strip of foam-paper or more than one strip. With these two cans, I found layering a strip that circled the inside of the larger can twice provided the perfect fit. You might use more or less depending on the two cans.

For the over 21 crowd, a Foster's can might make an adorable one of these, and paired with a Saporo can, it would be adorable. And with beige or white bags, it would really be cute.


Use some adhesive of some kind to fix the foam to the inside of the lager can. The foam strip should be wide enough to just peek over the edge of can. Now the smaller can should fit inside the larger one nice and snug, but not so snug that you can't get it off when it's time for a refill.

Take some of that leftover foam and cut out a piece well larger than the mouth of the can. Use (abuse once more) the paper hole-punch to make a small hole approximately centered with the mouth of the can.

Cut four slits in an "x" or "+" just long enough to almost reach the sides of the mouth. Don't fret if you mess up, It will work once the glue dries.

Glue this piece on the BACK SIDE of the mouth. This piece keeps the can from ripping up your bag as you dispense it.

Optionally, you can and probably should at any time remove the rest of the tab that stays behind when you tear it off, because this is the sharp part responsible for bag rippage, usually.

Step 5: Fill With Bags and Attach to Something

You can attach the dispenser to your dog's leash so you don't forget it, or to your belt loops for the ultimate in ease of use. In the pic above, I have it fixed to my Double-Four-Strand Mega-Bracelet with DIY Buckle. Maybe if you want, I could show you how I made that? Let me know in the comments.

Whatever you attach your new dispenser to, rock it in style. Fill it with dog bags sold most everywhere these days, or with grocery bags that just sit in your pantry closet. Or you could even triple-bag your veggies and fruits when you go grocery shopping for free and perfect bags.

Whatever you do, make sure to bag that poo.

Fun fact, the time it took me to write up this I'ble was five times longer + than it took me to make this thing. This is a super-easy project that cuts out excuses and provides a really great DIY look for your dog-walking wardrobe.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable and that you feel inspired to make one of these. Let me know how it goes in the comments.

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