Introduction: Messy Car Solution

Now you can’t tell me that you’ve never had a problem with keeping your car clean. I feel like I am constantly embarrassed when people step in my car and there is trash on the floor, toys on the seats, empty cups in the doors. You know what I mean! Besides those three… (ok, maybe two) times a year that I give my car a real “deep cleaning”, I am always feeling a little ashamed of the inside of my car. Once the weather started warming up I got straight to cleaning my messy car! Don’t worry.. I won’t give you a list of everything I found under the seats and hidden in the pockets ;) . The thing I found most surprising was how much trash had made it’s home in my car!

I needed a solution.. a trash bag!

Not just any trash bag mind you.. a very, very cute trash bag

Step 1: Gather Materials

Here’s the supplies you’ll need:

1/2 yard of home decor fabric (for the outside)
1/2 yard of home decor fabric (for the inside)
3/4 yard of 1″ webbing or ribbon
5 in. of velcro
matching thread

What to cut:

4 pieces – 10″ x 13″ (2 from the inside and 2 from the outside fabrics)
2 pieces – 9″ long of the webbing or ribbon
4″ of velcro

*NOTE: If you want a bigger or smaller bag it’s simple! I have made this bag in sizes 10 x 13, 12 x 15 and 8 x 11. Decide what your needs are and make a bag the size you want! ** The heavier weight fabric helps the bag to hold its shape and not “flop” while it’s hanging in your car, plus it’s more durable!

Step 2: Stitch

Now for those of you who hate pinning.. I am right there with you. I understand how seriously important it can be, but when you’re sewing 2 small squares together… how much can you really mess up? I skipped the pinning for this part ;) Line up the two “exterior” bag pieces and sew around 3 sides (2 long and 1 short side). Making it into a bag with an open top. Sew at 5/8″ and back stitch at each end. Go back to where you started and sew a line of zig-zag stitching (into the seam allowance) next to the straight line you just sewed. This is just to add stability to the seam, you can skip that step if you want. Repeat the process for the “interior” part of the bag.

Step 3: Trim

Trim the extra fabric off the three edges on both bags, cutting close to the zig-zag stitching. Then clip the corners to allow them to turn smoothly.

Step 4: Turn and Pin

Turn one of the bags right side out, it doesn’t matter which one. Stuff it inside the other bag so the right sides are facing each other.

Here’s where you have to pin {gag}. Line up each of the side seams and pin them together. Add a few more pins in between so you get a nice seam.

Step 5: Sew Together

Sew the two bags together at 5/8″, don’t forget to back stitch! Leave a 2-3 inch opening so you can turn the bag right side out. Zig-zag stitch around the edge just like before (or you can skip that step). Then trim close to the zig zag stitching, DON’T trim where you leave the opening.

Step 6: Turn Right Side Out

Before attempting to turn the bags right side out, it helps to pull them apart from each other. Then turn one bag at a time. They will probably look really wrinkly so make sure you press them nice and smooth!

Step 7: Press

Fold the “interior” bag so it becomes the lining. YAY! It’s starting to look good! Press the seam edge making sure to press the small opening so it matches the rest of the bag top.

Step 8: Top Stitch

Top stitch between 1/8″ and 1/4″. This will close the small opening you left and give a nice decorative edge.

*TIP: If you have 2 different colors of fabric for the inside and outside of the bag using one color of thread may show up looking funny on one side. In my case I had a white exterior and dark navy interior. Thread the bobbin with a thread color matching the interior of your bag. Then thread the machine with a thread color that matches the exterior of the bag.Then sew. Viola!

Step 9: Melt Straps

You are done with the bag! Now for the straps.

With ribbon or webbing they tend to fray…. let me rephrase: They will fray. Unless you have a cotton webbing you need to seal the edge of your straps. Once they are cut take a lighter or match and gently melt the ends of each piece. This will keep them from fraying and give them a nice clean edge to work with.

Step 10: Pin Straps

Fold under 1″ of each strap piece before pinning it to the bag. Pin them the same distance from the edge of the bag. I pinned mine about 2 1/2″ in on each side.

Step 11: Stitch Straps

Sew each strap on by sewing a square with an X in the middle. Sew on top of the ribbon or webbing, the picture below is just to show you the box and X pattern.

Step 12: Add Velcro

Sew one strip of velcro to each strap. Sew them on opposite sides of the straps so they will fit together without needing to twist the strap. Sew close to the edge of the velcro and back stitch!

Step 13: Done!

AND….. you’re done! Now quick and run out the car to test out your new creation!

Hang it anywhere it fits. The gear shifter, headrest, middle console. I love having mine on the headrest where it is easy for my toddler to throw his trash.

The best part about this bag is: It’s washable! So If you don’t want to put a plastic bag inside then it is no problem to throw it in the wash when it gets dirty. If you do want to add a plastic bag here’s my trick: thread the handles of a plastic grocery bag over the 2 straps then tie it in a knot behind the bag. It keeps it from falling down inside and it’s easy to take out the trash! You can even stuff a few extra bags in the bottom for replacing.