Introduction: Plastic Bag Storage Tube

My wife and I have two cats and, while the joys of pet ownership are many, there are also some less than pleasant tasks that come with having animals in the house. My least favorite? Dealing with the poop. And since we are stuck cleaning up after the animals, that means we keep loads of plastic bags that we get from the grocery store to put the poop in. These bags need a place to be corralled and this was accomplished until now by stuffing them all in one of the cabinets in our laundry room. I decided to work out a better solution and to give my wife her shelf back. This quick project accomplished both tasks and all for about $10 (could be more or less depending on what you already have on hand).

Step 1: What You'll Need

The list of required materials and tools is very simple.

- Hack Saw
- Drill w/ Bits
- Duct Tape (that's a tool, right?)

- 4" PVC Tube ($6)
- 4" PVC Adapter or Reducer ($2)
- 4" PVC Cap ($2)
- Screws or Nails

You could use bigger or smaller PVC, but that's the size I wanted. Feel free to get the cheapest kind you can - it's not like we need this thing to be bulletproof, it's only holding plastic bags. As for what type of reducer or adapter, it really isn't a big deal - basically anything that creates a bottleneck at the bottom of the tube will work. You could use a truncated traffic cone for all I care. And the cap is completely optional, I just wanted something to keep sawdust and bugs out of the top of the tube.

Step 2: Build the Tube

First thing you'll need to do is cut the PVC to whatever length you need. I made mine about two feet long - I figured this would give me plenty of storage but was still a manageable size. Set the pipe up on sawhorses or any other stable platform, measure your desired length from one of the ends, and cut with the hacksaw. Don't worry about your cut being perfect, it's going to be hidden anyway.

After you get the pipe cut you're already almost done. Talk about easy! Next, drill a hole big enough to fit over the end of your screws or nails. These will be used to mount the tube. I used a 1/2" bit.

Once you get these holes drilled it's time to get the duct tape out. I made patches with a piece of tape on the adhesive of another piece of tape (see picture). These go over the holes on the inside of the tube. Why, you ask? It's so the screw head doesn't rip holes in the bags. It's not usually a good idea to try to empty a cat's litter box into a bag with holes in it... so this should prevent those holes. The piece of tape covering the adhesive will simply help to allow the tube to come off the wall without messing up the tape.

Step 3: Finishing and Mounting

Now all you have to do is attach the adapter or reducer on the end of your tube. I used this 4" round to 2"x4" adapter because that's what I found at the store. Like I said, as long as you create a bottleneck here you're good to go. And don't worry about chem welding or even gluing the adapter on if it fits snugly like mine does. This doesn't need to be water tight and, if anything, it would be nice to be able to remove the adapter in case you need to get some bags unstuck or something.

Place the adapter over the cut end of the pipe and then the cap (if you decide to use one) on the clean end since it will be more visible. And now you're plastic storage tube is done!

The next step is mounting the tube. This is a simple matter of placing some screws or nails in your wall. Measure the distance between the holes you drilled in the tube and then place your anchors accordingly, keeping them plumb. I already had screws in the wall, so I worked backwards by placing my holes in accordance with the screws.

Step 4: Done!

And now you're finished and ready to stuff it full of plastic bags. I added a nail below the tube so that I'd have somewhere to store the litter scoop as well, but that's it. You can get really creative and artsy if you want (paint the tube, bedazzle the tube, have kids cover it in macaroni, etc.), but this is all I'm doing. It's in the garage, so I'm not too worried about how it looks.

So there you have it. Hopefully that was helpful and will help you get rid of some clutter by storing your plastic bags somewhere other than inside another plastic bag.