How to Make a Garbage or Laundry Bag Holder from PVC Pipe

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One of the greatest skills that you can possess in post-disaster or SHTF living is the ability to improvise, and we can’t stress this enough.  Being able to get creative and make things from items that you happen to have on hand will make it easier to adapt and overcome a wide-range of annoyances and challenges associated with routine or mundane tasks.  Anything that you can do to make life easier in these circumstances will help you to save time, energy and frustration along the way.

One example of a seemingly-benign accessory that can be worth its weight in gold at that time is a bag holder, and you can make your own out of some spare PVC pipe.  Take a look at the steps below, and see how easy it is to create something useful that can also take some of the hassle out of getting routine chores done.

Required Items:

16 feet of ½” diameter PVC pipe

4 1/2” elbow connectors

4 1/2” T connectors

4 end caps (optional)

Getting Started

The first step is to cut the PVC into segments to make the frame, legs and base.  Cut two 10” segments and four 6” pieces for the frame, two 36” long segments for the legs, and four 12” ones for the base.  Next, sand down the edges and organize the segments according to their position in the holder.


To make the frame, connect the elbow joints to both ends of each 10” segment.  Next, join two 6” pieces together with the T connector before repeating the process with the other two pieces.  Finally, join the sections you just made with the elbow joints and you should now have a rectangular frame.

To make the legs, attach a T connector to one end of each 36” segment and attach one 12” inch segment to either side.  Repeat the same steps for the other leg before connecting them to the elbow joints on the left and right side of the frame.   Attach the optional caps to the ends of the legs, and you’re all set.  While the end caps are not necessary, they can help the legs to anchor better on the ground and give you a more-stable unit.

All you need to do now is place a bag in the center of the frame and stretch the material around the sides.  The only real drawback to this stand is that the bags can get snagged on the elbow joints and tear.  However, you can easily fix this problem by either sanding down the rough edges or applying some tape to cover them up instead.   

One of the nice things about this rack is that you can fold it up by sliding one side over the other in order to save space.  You can also lean the rack against the ground in order to use it as an improvised scoop or dust pan.  Best of all, you can dismantle the rack and use the PVC for other projects that come up over the course of time as well.

While this makes for a great accessory to have on-hand in a survival situation, it’s also something that can be useful now.  Consider making one the next time you come across some extra PVC, and think of ways that you can adapt this basic design into something that is more-suited to your particular needs.

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