Introduction: PVC Pipe Laundry Hamper

I really enjoy going through the Instructables site to see the creativity of other people. So, tonight I figured that I would give it a try with my very first instructable by creating a laundry hamper framed out of pvc pipe. The idea started from an older laundry hamper that was on wheels. This particular hamper could hold three laundry bags, but we wanted to put one in every room (ours and two kids). Unfortunately, our kids could put clothes everywhere but in the bags, so my wife figured we needed something that would stand up, so that the cloths would have a shot at making it into the bag.

I took the old laundry hamper, cut it in half, and reframed it to create two separate hampers for each of our kids (I don't have an instructable for that one). This left us (the parents) without one, but I figured why not make one from scratch! So, off to the Home Depot I went to pick up a couple of pieces of PVC 1/2" pipe for my build!

Step 1: Tools

For this, the tools are pretty simple.

  • Marker
  • Measuring Tape
  • PVC Pipe Cutter

Step 2: Materials Needed

The materials needed for this build are really simple.

  • 1 Laundry Bag (with drawstring)
  • 2 - 10' x 1/2" PVC Pipes

    The two PVC Pipes give you enough to make all the cuts needed to build the frames. I realize that this is the materials page, but I figured I would provide the cut pieces needed here as well (this is where you get to have fun with your PVC Pipe cutter).
    • 4 - 25" cut pieces
    • 8 - 10" cut pieces
    • 8 - 1.5" cut pieces
  • 8 - 1/2" 90-degree Elbows Soc x Soc (PVC)
  • 8 - 1/2" TEE All Soc (PVC)

Step 3: Build Top and Bottom Frames - the TEEs

The first thing you will need to do is attach a TEE to each end of four of the 10" pipes (See the images above). Push them in as far as you can by hand just in case you need to disassemble the pieces at some time down the road. You will need to do this for each of the TEEs so that you have four assembled pieces when you are done.

Step 4: Build Top and Bottom Frames - the Elbows

In this step, we will assemble all of the elbows to each of the 1.5" cut pieces of PVC Pipe. This, of course, will be the corners of our laundry hamper.

Step 5: Build Top and Bottom Frames - Elbows to Elbows

Now that we have all of our elbows joined together, we can attach them together by using the remaining 4 - 10" cut pieces of pipe. When you attach them, make sure you have the elbows in the same direction and push them in as far as you can by hand. When completed, you should have four assembled arms as shown in the second photo above.

Step 6: Completing Top and Bottom Frames

At this point, we have our 4 arms with two TEEs attached to each end and we have our 4 arms with the two elbows attached to each end. Now, it is a matter of putting them together to create a top frame and a bottom frame.

  1. Take one TEE arm and push it into an Elbow arm.
  2. Take another TEE arm and push it into the other side of the same Elbow arm.
  3. At this point you should have a U-shape with the TEEs sticking upward and aligned.
  4. Take another Elbow arm and attach it to the ends of the U-shape. This should give you a complete frame as in the first image.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 to complete the other frame.
You will want to make sure that all of the TEEs for both frames are pointing upward, if laid down on a table (see second image above). Also, try to make sure that the open holes of each TEE appear to be perpendicular when looking straight down one of the TEE arms (I just eye balled it).

Step 7: Attaching Legs to Frame

Lay one of the assembled frames on the ground/floor and insert each of the 4 - 25" cut pieces into the open TEE holes. Push down as much as you can by hand. Now, attach the other frame to the four legs in the same manner.

To ensure that the frame is pushed together tightly, you may have to place the frame on a solid surface and push down on each of the joints. Do this on all eight corners of the frame. Also, you may find that when you stand the frame upright, that it is uneven. This is caused by either some TEEs or Elbows not being in the proper position. You will have to twist the frame a little at the corners until you get it standing flat.

Step 8: Add the Laundry Bag

All that's left to do is to add the laundry bag. Just stretch the bag over each of the 4 corners and pull the draw string tight and your done!