Washable Bin Bag Liner 5

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Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial
Make Your Own Washable Bin Liner

How to make a wet bag bin liner

Why is it that to get something clean you have to get something dirty, but you can get lots of things dirty without ever getting something clean? So what is my problem with bins? I can't cope with cleaning them! It doesn't matter how carefully you bag your rubbish, somehow you always end up with bin juice at the bottom! So, rather than double bagging rubbish or hosing it down inside every so often, why not just have a washable liner between the bin and the bin bag of rubbish?! Now the beauty of plan, is that it also doubles up as a giant wet bag. With a newborn on the way and a toddler already in cloth nappies, what better laundry plan than a pedal operated wet bag, which leaves more hands available to pin down wriggly octopus limbs mid poop explosion, or to keep the toddler out of eye poking reach?!!

Here's what you need:

Approx. 1m PUL fabric
Approx. 1m outer fabric e.g. Cotton

I used plain white / cream colours as it'll be going in the white wash with all the white nappies every time I wash them (simply push the nappies in the washing machine and shove the sack in with it!). Feel free to make yours more exciting though. Keep in mind you'll rarely see the outer fabric, so if you want pretty, then pick a patterned PUL. PUL is perfect for this kind of job as it doesn't tend to stain and can be washed up to 60 degrees Celsius. The reason I use an outer fabric though is because I've found that by only having a sack, because it is such a large piece of PUL then anything that damages the laminate layer can over many washes cause it to gradually separate from the fabric (this happened to mine after about a year of washing every 3 days, so it's not quick, but does happen). However if you have a cotton layer protecting the laminate then it should massively increase the durability, as it'll be far harder to catch on bin edges and inside the washing machine.

How to make it:

First, you need to measure up your bin. Take the height of the bin, then add however much extra you want it to fold over the top (too short and it'll fall inside the bin all the time). Now add your preferred seam allowance for top and bottom.

Next, measure across the widest part of the bin. You want your bag to comfortably go over the top of this, so add a bit of slack (couple of centimetres or so) then add 2 seam allowances. That will be your circle diameter.

The last measurement is the circumference of that circle. Either you can rely on maths here or an online calculator, or you can simply make your circle template first, lay thread around the edge then measure your thread! You will then want to add 2 seam allowances. I would also say that it's easier to add a bit extra and trim down excess than to get near the end of your circle and find your fabric has stretched as you sewed and you don't have enough, so add a little more for luck!

To make a perfect circle pattern, the way I do it is to start off with a square of the correct diameter (mine was 35cm). Fold in half, then half again, then half again etc. until you have a thin wedge. Now simply curve off the edge keeping as close to the edge of the paper as you can. Unfold and you have yourself a circle! Cut out 1 in PUL and 1 in your outer fabric.

Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics how to make a perfect circle pattern
Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics how to cut a circle

You now just need to cut a rectangle that is your height measurement by your circumference measurement. Again, cut one in each fabric.

pattern pieces for lined PUL large wet bag bin liner

You are going to sew 2 separate sacks with your 2 different fabrics then join them together after.

To attach your circle to your rectangle, simply line up your circumference edge of the rectangle with the edge of the circle so the fabrics are right side together. I actually find it easier not to pin it, and just to bring the edges together a little at a time as I sew, just sew slowly. Leave enough of your rectangle piece to make a seam allowance at each end.

Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics joining circle to rectangle
Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics how to join circle to rectangle sack

Keeping your fabric right sides together, now sew up the side seam. Any excess material can be trimmed away.

Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics sew side seam
 Repeat with the other material and you should now have 2 sacks.
Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics sew sacks together - PUL and cotton

To join the sacks, leave one fabric inside out, but turn the other right side out. Put the right side out sack inside the other one. This should give you both right sides facing each other. I also like to line the side seams up to make it neater.

My bin has an inner bucket with a handle. To make sure my bin liner would sit over the top without these getting in the way, I simply cut out notches at the corresponding points.

Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics line up sacks and cut out any notches for handles

Now sew all around the top of the 2 sacks, leaving yourself about 3 inches unsewn. It is much easier to finish this neatly if the section you leave is straight with no seams under it.

Bin liner wet bag tutorial - how to join PUL lining to cotton

Pull the 2 sacks through the hole then rejig them so the PUL is on the inside.

Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics Turn right side out
Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics Turned right side out

Now all you need to do is tuck your raw edges under and top stitch around the whole top of the sacks.

Bin liner wet bag tutorial Sewing Bee Fabrics top stitched edge nappy washing

Pop it in your bin, wash every so often and never worry about cleaning bin juice again!! Or, if like me, you are going to use it as a nappy laundry bag, simply push the nappies in to the washing machine by turning the bag inside out and wash the bag along with it!

Bin liner wet bag tutorial - Finished PUL cotton nappy laundry bag
free sewing tutorial PUL waterproof bin liner

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment or send me an email to linda@sewingbeefabrics.co.uk

Happy Sewing!

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5 thoughts on “Washable Bin Bag Liner

  • Troy

    So do you wash the bin liner with the rest of your clothes? That feels kind of gross. And if you wash the liner separately the added water and soap usage would have a negative impact on the environment thereby defeating the purpose of not using a disposable bin liner.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      I personally use mine with cloth nappies so it lines the bin to keep them all contained with no smell, keeps the bin clean, then goes in the wash with them every time. Far better for the environment than hundreds of nappies in landfill 🙂 My mum uses hers for lining her wicker laundry basket. For me I wouldn’t use it instead of a disposable bin liner, but bin bags do split and can leak, and I find it a complete pain to take the bin up to the shower to rinse out, whereas a liner inside can easily be rinsed in the sink then washed instead. So if I were to go back to using a proper bin, that’s what I’d do.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      It stands for Polyurethane Laminate. It is a fabric which is waterproof and machine washable. There is lots more information on it and how to get the best results sewing with it in my guide HERE >>>>