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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here