Plastic Grocery Bag Origami

Here is where we keep our plastic grocery bags.  We’ve got loads of it!  This little cabinet used to be filled with plastic bags that we can no longer see the back.  We even forgot that we kept phone directories here!  It was just packed!

It was transformed to this when relatives came to visit us last month.

Tito (Uncle) Kit, hubby’s uncle priest, taught us a method of neatly folding the grocery bags, something he learned from the seminary.  And this cabinet looking like this now is his handy work.  He folded most of the plastic bags all by himself with very little help from hubby and me.  Hee hee. :)  Do we follow this method now?  As much as we can.  :)  Or, we simply keep the bags somewhere else.  Hahaha!

Here’s the step by step guide to plastic bag folding:

1.  Lay the plastic bag likeso on a flat surface with the print on top.

2.  Fold it in half.

3.  Fold it in half again.

4.  Pull up the lower left corner of the bag and fold it in an angle likeso…making a triangle.

5.  Work your way up keeping the traingle pattern that you’ve already got going until you reach the bag handles. :)

6.  Tuck the bag handles in the pocket on one side of the triangle.

7.  Tadaaa!

 There.  You can do this while watching tv.  Or ask your kids to do it when you ground them or for time-out! ;)  Happy folding! :)

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58 Responses to “Plastic Grocery Bag Origami”

  1. […] This was cross-posted from HERE. […]

  2. Nicole says:

    Great post! I’m going to try and neatly fold my plastic bag collection. Right now mine are stuffed in a bin under the kitchen sink, not too pretty.


  3. Karly says:

    Cute idea! I have a cabinet that is filled to the brim with plastic bags!


  4. Sarah says:

    Great idea to save space. I read about one (in Real Simple, I think) that my fiance and I use that is even easier.

    When we use a box of tissues, we hold on to the empty box and simply shove the bags in there. It stores a lot of bags in a very small space and is even easier to do! I suppose you could even decorate the box if you wanted :).


  5. DaCheNe says:

    Best thing ever!!


  6. sharon says:

    wow, this is a fantastic idea! Thanks


  7. […] surreal behavior yesterday.  And the visitors all land on one particular entry, Plastic Grocery Bag Origami and they’re all coming from a site, which I haven’t ever heard of, Stumble […]

  8. saba says:

    Very nice, but it doesn’t work brilliantly on the heavier-quality bags we get here in Bosnia, and needs adapting if one is folding bags with rigid handles. Still, with a bit of ingenuity I managed to reduce half a cupboard-full to one small brown paper bag’s worth. Thanks.


  9. […] Plastic Bag Origami by Cafe Munchkin – How to fold plastic bags so you can store them without taking over half of your pantry. […]

  10. Kelly says:

    Good idea… alternatively, of course, you can buy some re-usable cloth grocery bags and save some of that plastic waste (because honestly, if we really re-used those plastic bags as much as we planned to, we wouldn’t have a cabinet full of them to begin with)


  11. Kathy says:

    Don’t you folks have anything better to do than sit around folding plastic bags?
    If you have so many extra bags why not just return them to the grocery store for recycling? All of the chains have recycling bins at their entrances, and they accept bags from any store as well as dry cleaning bags and plastic sleeves that newspapers come in.
    Or take Kelly’s good advice and get some reusable cloth bags. They are inexpensive and versatile. Have a great day!


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Kathy! Thank you for your comment. May I just say that I don’t sit around all day folding plastic bags. Oh and there are loads of better things that I do, thank you for asking. :) What we read from people’s blogs are but a glimpse of who and what they are that it’s next to impossible to judge them simply by what they’ve written.

    We use the plastic bags as liners for our smaller trash bins. We also put meal-time trash and other food wastes, includiing left-over food, in these plastic bags to contain the smell. We don’t just dump food waste straight in the bigger trash bin because the smell often becomes offensive.

    I know that stores collect plastic bags for recycling as I have brought a lot of my plastic bags to my favorite grocery store already. Thank you for sharing the information just the same. My daughter’s school also collects plastic bags for the children’s use. It’s where they put clothes that have been soiled because of potty accidents.

    Again, thank you for making your opinion known. I feel you could have said it a little more nicely without offending people who appreciated the entry and thought it was informative. But hey, we all have our ways of sharing our thoughts. Have a great day, too! ;)


  12. Joe says:

    Does this really save any space? I keep my plastic grocery bags contained in a big bag too, but I don’t fold them, I just squish them all in, and I can easily fit so many that way that I can’t imagine I’d ever want to keep more on hand than that


  13. Kathy says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend anyone with my post. I guess I should have used a little smiley face after that first sentence, because I meant it to be humorous, not insulting. Personally, I do use plastic bags for many things, like trash can liners, cat litter box liners, and my sons like me to pack their lunches in them because they have a hard time remembering to collect their lunch boxes from the playground … the list goes on. I think they are more versatile than paper. Honestly, I hardly have any leftover bags to store. But I might try the folding method on those I do have; it looks easy and fun.
    Best wishes,


  14. Rudy says:

    My Mom taught me this already, and it’s very handy indeed. Good job with the illustrations!

    Rudys last blog post..Technology and Being Connected


  15. […] plastic grocery bags taking over your kitchen? Why not fold them origami-style so that they take up less […]

  16. ummelbanat says:

    What a neat idea…I love the way it transformed the space you had…
    I have loads of plastic bags & usually stuff them in a huge bag…but it’s not neat at all
    I will be trying this
    Thanks for sharing


  17. Valerie says:

    Why don’t you just try using cloth bags instead !!!!
    Save a whole heck of a lot of time “folding” plastic bags, use the
    storage area for storing your cloth bags instead.

    To help change your minds to using cloth bags, find out how
    many people lose their lives so that we may have the oil to produce
    these bags in the first place; the bags that ar convenient to carry
    our wares, but cause so much frustration in the storage of them, that
    we need to learn origami …

    Just another thought process for you !


  18. Marlies says:

    Cool post, thanks. My mom taught me that after she learned it from a
    friend from South Africa. I will link to it from my blog.


  19. Tammy says:

    I let my boyfriend help fold some of them while he was watching TV


  20. staci says:

    BRILLIANT! :) Made me smile reading this, thank you!


  21. Jonathan says:

    H-E-B!!! Are you from Texas?


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Jonathan! As a matter of fact, I am. ;)


  22. That is so neat, it would make them easy to carry in your purse so
    that you can reuse them on your next trip.

    Clothdiapermamas last blog post..Great Cloth Diaper Business Resources


  23. What a cute idea. Visiting you from a link on Mizfit’s page.


  24. […] Plastic Grocery Bag Origami (17,605 Views) […]

  25. cecile says:

    really, will try this since we have lots of plastic bag in the kitchen, Niko said it was therapeutic :-)


  26. ria c says:

    wow, this is one great way of saving space and minimizing clutter. my plastic bags are just dumped in one big bag and they look so awful. your technique is really easy to follow and do. i’ll do this on the weekend! buhbye clutter! hello origami plastic bags! thanks for sharing this.


    It’s My Party
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  27. bang says:

    this is a great idea! will try this at home. :)

    bangs last blog post..Time flies


  28. just jokin says:

    You can re-use them? We just throw them outside and let them be urban tumbleweed.


  29. Angela says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Now I won’t be fighting bags to get to the stuff under my sink.

    As for the naysayers… If we’re still using plastic bags, hearing one. more. time. how we shouldn’t, isn’t going to change us. I actually do reuse mine as often as I say – I have a cabinet full because I will request them one or two grocery trips in a row when I’m running low. Then I’ll use my cute cloth bags until I’m running low again and need more for the various uses.

    Angelas last blog post..Weekly Winners 03.22-28.2009


  30. AE says:


    Now the plastic bags need less then a third of the space.


  31. John says:

    Hey! Nice job here! I’ll be dropping by from time to time :)


  32. Julie says:

    This is an awesome post. I hope you don’t mind if I link to it on my blog. Thanks Laura Williams’ Musings for linking to this, I’m glad I saw it. I really don’t understand why people still don’t understand the meaning of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”… my toddlers understand this already.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Check Your Receipts =-.


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Julie! Thanks for dropping by! Go ahead and link up! :)


  33. David Lister says:

    We have the same problem with supermarket plastic bags here in England and there are strenuous attempts to persuade people to use their own more substantial bags. instead Unfortunately plastic bags take centuries to decompose. I remember thirty years ago we took a holiday on the Algarve in Portugal and the whole place was littered with yellow plastic bags from the local supermarket. Some of our supermarkets are now charging for plastic bags nd may people provide their own bags. But still they accumulate.

    My wife Marggaret has for many years folded up plastic bags in a similar manner to that shown and has kept one or two in her handbag where they don’t take up much room. Friends have been astonished when there has been an unexpected neeed for a bag and Margaret has been able to produce one, as, it were from nowhere!

    David Lister


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi David! I think getting rid of plastic bags requires commitment from all parties concerned, sellers and consumers alike. If people aren’t given the option to use plastic bags, then they wouldn’t be using them in the first place. Some do have the paper or plastic option, then again, some will say that we’re harming trees of we opt for paper. :D I like that in wholesale/warehouse clubs, they don’t offer plastic bags. Then again, people are buying in bulk, things that don’t really fit in plastic bags, so they use cartons instead. Haha. Oh well. Let’s all just try our best to make a conscious effort to be kind to the environment.


  34. Tammy (another one) says:

    Large plastic footballs! This is what we used to make out of notebook paper to flick at each other. Neat idea.


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Tammy! Thanks for dropping by! :)


  35. isha says:

    Interesting idea!

    I just stuff mine in a trash can near all my other recycle items, and folding them up actually isn’t good for me b/c of what I do with them once they accumulate–a local used bookstore is always needing bags. There may be places like that in other areas too, no telling?

    In addition to that, we use them for any number of things, small trash container liners, hubby’s lunch bag, etc… I find reuseable bags often get messed up from grocery store stuff–sticky this or leaking that, but they are particularly useful for small purchases of dry goods.

    Funny how commenters assume it’s only plastic or resuseable–we definitely use a blend of both in our lives.
    .-= isha´s last blog ..Duck Duck Goose Consignment Sale =-.


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Isha! Thanks so much for dropping a word. :) I totally agree that we use a blend of both in our lives. ;)


  36. Rhonda says:

    We use our plastic bags for car trips. The kids get car sick alot. This will be alot neater and alot easier than searching for scrunched up bags. Also, if we have bags in the car it is easier for us to remember to clean out the trash every time we get out of the car. Thanks alot!


  37. cima says:

    stumbled upon ur blog!
    nice tute~ i learn a lot!



  38. auschick says:

    my grandma taught me this trick when i was a little kid! we would spend our sunday afternoon’s (me and my 3 sisters) folding up all of our grocery bags! (i still fold my bags like this, and i even trained my husband to do it this way too!)
    .-= auschick´s last blog ..Jen and Dans Wedding =-.


  39. LindaJ says:

    Wonderful! never thought of doing that with plastic bags. It’s the way we fold our American Flag. This will be a nice way to store the zillions of bags I’ve collected to use for plastic yarn (plarn) for tote bags! But, it’s going to be a while before I can get around to cut them all up. Much much neater! Thank you for sharing this!


  40. Vie says:

    Very good, I too was just shoving them in a bag, I had a friends show me something similar , we have craft shows and saved the bags and just folder them like yours till the bottom and then just fold over to a littl3 square shape and put them in a tissue box to hold them , I like yours the handles are tucked away.
    Good job..


  41. Annie says:

    Thanks for the neat idea! Am going to get my grandaughter busy!


  42. Angie Riley says:

    I used to fold my plastic bags into squares but unless you have something lodged against them they pop open again. This is a brilliant idea, will try it. Wonder if my domestic can learn it
    .-= Angie Riley´s last blog ..String Quilt Pattern: Vintage =-.


  43. Patty says:

    I love this! I’m going to fold one right away to put in my purse.


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