Make a shopping bag dispenser. Bid on this to support the Make-A-Wish...

Make a shopping bag dispenser. Bid on this to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Pallet wood shopping bag dispenserInspiration for this project came from Tim Sluder, who suggested I come up with some way of storing those plastic grocery bags we all seem to save and reuse. (At least for now: many municipalities where I live are banning them!)

This dispenser is a good way to keep the bags handy and I’ve included a couple of shaker pegs (which Tim sent me a long time ago) to hold a bag to use as a waste basket. This would be a nice project for a pantry or laundry room.

I made mine out of pallet wood, this time cleaning it up with a planer and revealing its pristine state. It still retains nail holes and other marks, so it has character, but is not as rustic as my bath cabinet, for instance.

I also included an engraved and painted rose on the front. It’s an easy process but you’ll need a Dremel tool. The trick to making a transfer from an ink-jet printer is to print it on something slick. I used the backing paper from a sheet of shipping labels. The ink will stay on it, but not dry. You can then press this onto your wood.

Free plans:

Own this dispenser. 

I am going to start auctioning off some of my projects for charity. Since I make a new project every week, I have a lot of things I can do without. I thought about selling them, but I’d rather my projects be used to make a small difference in the world.

More specifically, I hope to improve the life of at least one child who has a life-threatening medical condition by donating 100% of the winning bid to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If you (or someone you know!) would like to bid on this dispenser, the auction runs until next Friday. Please share the link to any non-woodworkers too.

I’ve signed and dated the back of this piece. If you are the winning bidder, I’ll also throw in a couple Woodworking for Mere Mortals buttons. And I’ll mention you in an upcoming episode. (Unless you prefer not, of course.)


  1. Steve, I have the same Porter-Cable planer. Do you have any issues with snipe? I can’t seem to get it minimized. I’ve adjusted the in/outfeed tables, tried holding the wood up and tried shallower cuts. Any tips?

  2. Hey Steve, love to see you auction off your chess board. That is one project that I would be there for. Interesting story that goes with this. One day many years ago I goggled how to make a chess board and came up with your project. I liked it so much that I saved it to my fav’s hoping to make one some day. Many years later, after setting up a workshop, I was surfing the net for wood working tips, that I came across your web site and didn’t have a clue that you were the guy that made this chess board. After watching your site week after week, wasn’t I surprised to learn that it was you that made that board. So what do you say? Put it on the auction block.

    One of your biggest fan

    Claus Hohne.

Leave a Reply