PVC Pipe Frame Laundry Hamper




Build a sturdy laundry hamper out of PVC pipe and a drawstring bag.

Sure you can buy one just like it in the store but PVC pipe is fun to build with.

Step 1: The Bag

I bought my laundry bags from bed bath and beyond for pretty cheap but you can make them pretty cheap too.

The bags are sturdy cotton and are roughly 32 inches long and 27 inches wide. They have a drawstring in the top and a little spring loaded barrel tie. They're nothing fancy.

If you were to make these, you would need 2 panels 35 inches long and 28 inches wide. You would sew both panels together around 3 sides approximately 1/2 inch in from the edge leaving ond of the 28 inch sides open. You would then fold the edges of the open side down 2 1/2 inches and sew around the circumfrence of the opening 1/2 inch in from the edge of the fabric (2 inches in from the fold if you are so inclined. After that you turn the whole thing inside out and cut a little hole to thread your drawstring through and get to threading.

Step 2: The Frame

The frame is made out of 1/2 inch PVC pipe from the local home improvement store.

You will need the following pieces of pipe and fittings:

8 1/2 inch T Fittings
8 1/2 inch 90 Elbows
4 15 1/2 inch long pieces of 1/2 inch pipe
4 13 1/2 inch long pieces of 1/2 inch pipe
4 7 1/2 inch long pieces of 1/2 inch pipe
8 3 1/2 inch long pieces of 1/2 inch pipe

I added labels to the image to show which pieces go where. The fittings are obvious as are most of the pieces. The 15 1/2 is the vertical piece and the 13 1/2 is the horizontal piece.

I made the circumfrence of my frame at the top a bit smaller than the circumfrence of the opening of my laundry bag so that I could fold the top of the bag over the top of the frame to secure it.

I also made the frame a bit shorter than my laundry bag so that the bag actually sits on the ground and is not suspended from the frame. This keeps the bag opening on the frame. Were it suspended the bag would just pull from the frame and wind up on the ground. You may need to adjust the dimensions of your frame if your laundry bag is significantly larger or smaller than mine. When making your adjustments, remember to account for the length your fittings add.

The wide side of the frame has a large opening. When the laundry bag is full, I want to be able to pull it out of the frame. With the side supports up high and low, it leaves me alot of room to pull the bag right out of the frame.

Step 3: The Finished Product and Tips

Last thing to do when you have your frame is put the bag in the center and fold the bags edges over the top sides of the frame. Pull the drawstrings tight and you're ready to start getting some laundry dirty.

Here are both of my hampers. They took about 30 minutes to build while chatting and sitting on the garage floor with my dad and my dog. Without a dog, your build time my vary.


If you don't have a PVC pipe cutter you should buy one. Mine was $10 bucks. Even if you aren't doing any irrigation, PVC pipe is just plain fun to build stuff with. I'm sure you're already thinking of other stuff you can build. A cutter will make your builds more fun and easier.

I didn't glue anything. I may go back and do that later if a joint pops open. I did use a dead blow mallet to pound things together a little.

I noticed my two frames didn't look exactly the same though the cuts were. A little difference is to be expected because PVC fittings aren't perfect but I was off by a vary noticable amount. A couple gentle taps from my mallet made all the joints snug and made the frames look much closer to eachother in dimension.



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    12 Discussions

    It was less than $20 USD for everything. The bags were on sale, PVC is cheap, and I buy fittings in bulk to use in our garden.

    I've noticed the laundry hampers in stores seem to use thinner pipes. These have outlasted several store bought laundry baskets and are still in daily use in our home.


    8 years ago on Step 3

    How much did this project cost you?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    very nice i have to walk about a block to do my laundry this will help  


    9 years ago on Step 2

    That was fun! I just made one this evening - $7.00 of materials from Lowe's and about 30 minutes of work. We have a factory so I have access to a chop saw which made cutting a breeze. The longest stretch of time was spent trying to get the ink markings off the pipe (acetone worked). I plan to spray paint it, but the SO was concerned that the markings would show through. Next, making a laundry bag - whoo hoo! Thanks for the instructions!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a good idea that I went down & brought the pvc & had them cut the sizes that you gave & then realized that I needed two more 13 1/2 for the bottom! Is this right or did I put it together wrong?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This looks cool and it's explained well, but PVC is hard to recycle, and manufacturing it is an environmental nightmare. I encourage anyone reading this instructable to consider using metal (which is infinitely recyclable, of course) or wood, which is renewable and biodegradable. Metal pipe is easy to build with, whether you use conduit fittings or plumbing parts. There are also "adult erector sets" like 8020 extrusions and unistrut, which are appropriate for larger projects. Wood, of course, is the oldest building material and still a good one. A nicely stained piece of furniture looks better than PVC, too.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for posting this comment. There are numerous things my 3 sons and I have wanted to build and PVC always seemed unavoidable. Up to this point we have refrained because I didn't want to expose us to the toxins during the cutting process. Never heard of "8020 extrusions and unistrut" until now! Just checked them out online and am so excited to have an alternative! Thanks so much!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I been looking for a site to make these hamper, happy found this one. If goes well in making it i mite make my friend one lol


    11 years ago on Introduction

    There are elegant. I like them. Why not use a single piece of fabric 62 inches wide and fold it in half? I have never seen, in a fabric store or Woolco a barrel fitting, although they are on many jackets, etc. any ideas?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I like this and will make it but i think i'll make an extra and use it for a kitchen garbage bag holder.This design would be ideal for that, maby for a camp site as well,hmmmm.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I like it, may do it. It'd be cool to build a single stand that would hold three bags for White, Color, and Dark clothes. Yakster