Making a Clothespin Bag

Category Miscellaneous
If you dry your clothes on the line, a clothespin bag is an essential item. Have fun and make your own. This is a page about making a clothespin bag.


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If you have a leftover toddler's dress or buy one at a garage sale, here's a cute way to recycle it into a clothespin holder.



All you have to do is sew the bottom straight across and and insert the clothes hanger in top and hang on your clothes line, but don't forget to bring in from the bad weather.

By Sandy from Bluff City, TN.

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I've been living frugually most of my life and loving it. Always trying to find ways of saving money. My clothes pin bag was worn out and I found a free sewing pattern on a website.


I bought a tea towel for $1.00 at an estate sale. What is needed to complete the project is a wooden hanger. I had one hanging in my closet so I asked my husband to cut the ends to shorten it for the clothes pin bag.

By Marjorie from NY

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February 17, 2013

You can easily make clothespin bags from recycled childrens' clothing. Use a piece of clothing that opens in the front (dress, shirt, or romper). I find that short sleeves work best.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I need something to hold my wooden clothespins and keep them dry outside. I need to be able to easily open and close it and easily get my hand inside to grab a few clothespins. Any creative ideas, e.g. recycling another item? Thanks.


By Dolna Garbary


August 3, 20110 found this helpful

In the past you could buy them but a large spider hiding in mine made me throw it away. But here is a suggestion. Make an ordinary apron. Turn the hem up on the outside about 8 inches. Stitch pockets every 6 inches or so and put your clothes pins in the pockets. Wear it while you hang clothes or bring them in but do not leave it outside.

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August 3, 20110 found this helpful

I used a large gallon zip lock bag for my pins. I attach one side to the line with some of the pins this leaves the other side open to get your hand in it. Zip it shut when done.

It works well but the bag needs replacing every so often.

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August 3, 20110 found this helpful

Take an empty milk jug, clean it thoroughly, then cut an opening opposite the jug handle large enough to put your hand through. Use an awl or metal kitchen skewer to put holes in the bottom of the jug for drainage.


Put a slit at the bottom of the handle where it meets the jug for hanging on your clothesline. This is the longest lasting and cleanest device I've ever found to hold clothes pins. Bring inside to keep your clothes pins dry.

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful

Lilac beat me to it, lol! I love using an apron for the clothes pins, and have made one using pretty much the same directions she gives in her post:)

I got a carpenter apron as a freebie once about thirty years ago and it occurred to me that this would make a very handy clothes pin holder. When it wore out I bought another one because the aprons were $1.99 at Lowes and cheaper than I could make one myself.

Now that I live in the UK I've made one from an old canvas bag my new husband was about to bin because those aprons cost just a bit more than I'm willing to pay here in northern Scotland!


The apron is the best, most handy help when hanging out the washing. No need to remember to carry it in after you hang out the clothes, no need to push the bag along as you hang out the clothes, and no wicked surprises like spiders taking up residence in those cosy cloth/plastic bags!

I hang mine by the washing machine or set it in the basket between loads.

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August 8, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks everyone for the great ideas! I'm about designate an apron as my clothespin holder. Would like to try the milk jug idea too, but I haven't seen 4L milk jugs lately but will keep an eye out for them. I like the ziploc idea too, but the ones that I buy have too short a lifespan before the zipper stops working.

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December 16, 2010

My mother used to have a clothes bag for clothes pins when she hung her clothes out on the line to dry. Does anyone have a pattern for it? I would really appreciate it.


By jann from Union, OR


December 16, 20100 found this helpful

I don't have a pattern but rather a suggestion I have used for years. I used an old shoulder bag purse. I put the clothes pins in the purse, put the purse on my shoulder and voila. I am ready hang up all the clothes I desire! Great recycling idea for those "green" minded persons.

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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

I used one of my daughter's small dresses she outgrew and sewed the bottom and the sleeves at the shoulders closed. It was really cute and you can modify the skirting to a slimmer appearance if you don't want that much fullness.

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

If you know how to crochet, go to they have a great one to make using plarn(cutting up plastic grocery bags) I made mine a few years ago and its still going strong! I even used the same pattern but using cut up tshirts as "yarn" as well. It came out looking great!

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Does anyone have a pattern for a knitted clothespin bag that hangs on the line!



By Sandy (Guest Post)
March 31, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Canuckmom,

I don't have a crochet pattern, but when my son outgrew his size two button down the front shirts, I save two of them, sewed the short sleeves shut and put them on coat hangers. I unbuttoned a couple of buttons and filled them with clothes pins. When my son married, my Mom gave him the well used clothes pin bag. (It is in use in his home!) This year, my mother-in-law gave up her home and one of her treasures was the clothes pin bag. With Mother's Day coming up, this is a great gift for loving Grandmas!

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April 1, 20050 found this helpful

Thanks Sandy: My mother-in-law would love that, and I'll make one for me OF COURSE! I'm going to post this idea on my mom's group web site to. Thanks again.Pam

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By Betty (Guest Post)
July 13, 20050 found this helpful

Here's a crochet one:

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May 7, 2013

Anyone out there have a easy pattern for a clothes pin holder?

By Cindy


May 9, 20130 found this helpful

Hi, I used a size two boy's shirt. Just stitch up the bottom and you have an adorable clothespin bag.

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October 18, 20150 found this helpful

THIS MAKES A GREAT, LONG-LASTING BAG: The bag is basically a square, with the top shaped to fit over a wire hanger. It's not difficult to make. Start with heavy fabric, such as twill or denim. Cut two pieces about 18" square. Choose a sturdy wire coat hanger. Follow the contours of the top of the hanger to shape the top--adding a 5/8" seam allowance above the hanger to mark your cutting line. Sewing steps: STEP 1.) To create an opening for the hook of the hanger, in the center, where the two sloping sides of the hanger come together, cut a straight line about 2" long (on both pieces). On each piece, turn the raw straight edge under 1/4". Stitch. Turn stitched edge down about 3/8" and stitch again, close to the previously stitched edge. STEP 2.) On one piece of fabric, use a circular object, such as a bowl, to draw a circle of about 4-1/2" centered 3" below the straight opening sewn in Step 1. Cut out. Use double-fold bias tape to finish the opening. (Tip: a small zig-zag stitch works well.) STEP 3.) With right sides of the two pieces of fabric together, stitch from one side of the flat center top opening (Step 1) down one sloped top edge, continuing around the entire bag, and back to the hook opening on the other side. Use a 5/8" seam and a small straight or zig-zag stitch. Backstitch at the beginning and end. For added durability (or if fabric frays easily), you may make a second row of stitching about 1/2" from the raw edge. Clip to the stitching line in each of the four corners. STEP 4.) Press the top (slanted) seams open (or draw the opened seam across the edge of a table to flatten). Turn the bag right-side out. Insert hanger, with the hook through the flat opening. I squeeze the hanger hook slightly so it stays on the clothesline well. I attach clip clothespins to the top edge and keep peg-type inside. I've used several types of clothespin bags, and this works best by far. My 85-year-old mom said the one I made her was the best birthday present she received.


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February 16, 2010

Is it possible to get a pattern for the old fashion dress clothes pin holder? My mother made many of these as gifts years ago, but she said I lost part of her pattern. I don't remember.

I feel crushed because I know how important this pattern was to her. She made hers from a paper bag. If you can let me know where to find one that would be great. Thank you.

By Lori Lopez from Bellflower, CA

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 16, 2010

Does anyone have a pattern for a clothespin cozy or caddy that is sewn as opposed to knitted or crocheted?

Your response is much appreciated!

By craftyonetoo from Brantford, Ontario, Canada


Pattern for Sewing a Clothespin Bag

Try (07/06/2010)

By Marjorie

Pattern for Sewing a Clothespin Bag

For years my grandmother had a clothes pin bag made from a baby girl's dress. It was a simple dress with the bottom sown shut. (07/07/2010)

By Sharon

Pattern for Sewing a Clothespin Bag

For a perfect, no-sew clothes pin bag, purchase an infant blanket sleeper bag (pj's for infants with no feet or legs, almost like a sleeping bag). I hung it on a plastic hanger with a metal rotating top. The snap at the top holds it in place, and the zipper can be opened and closed as needed. I have purchased as many of these as I come across for less that 50 cents each at yard sales and thrift stores. I fill them with clothes pins. They make wonderful shower gifts and prizes. I have been using the same one for about 12 years and just had to replace it! (07/15/2010)

By faye

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February 16, 2010

Little Dress Clothespin Bag
Little Dress Clothespin Bag

I found this in a very old magazine that I bought at the Goodwill store and made a cardboard pattern out of the pattern in the book. I made lots of these clothespin bags which I gave to friends and family as gifts. These were made from fabric scraps, lace, etc. that I had from leftover projects, but you can use whatever you like to make them.

I received lots of compliments on how cute they were. They are very easy to make and I love to make anything easy.

Another way to make these if you don't have a pattern is to use little girl's dresses and sew up the bottom, works best with a "V" neck so you can hang it up with a wire or plastic hanger.

Use a simple dress and take it apart, make a pattern so you can make lots of these clothespins bags.

Hope you enjoy making these as much as I did. Thanks.

Measurements and Instructions for Little Dress Clothespin Bag


Cut 2 or fold and cut 2:

  • 15 inch long, top to bottom
  • 13 inch wide across at waistline
  • 4 1/2 inch width of each sleeve
  • 14 1/2 inch wide halfway between waistband and hem across
  • 19 inch wide sleeve to sleeve across
  • 15 inch bottom of body across

Cut bottom round on each side.

Back Facing:

  • Cut 1 - 9 1/2 x 13 1/2 inch
  • Sew to top of body back (right sides together) even between sleeves.
  • Turn and press to wrong side.

L-shaped piece: (center front facings)

  • Cut 1, reverse and cut another one 7 1/2 x 6 x 3 x 2 x 3 x 5 1/2 inches.
  • Lay (5 1/2 inch sides) facing each other) sides together onto front body at the top at the fold in middle of body.
  • Sew across top and down each 5 1/2 inch side.
  • Cut down between the two facings to end of facings.
  • Make a small cut each side at the bottom so you can turn it.
  • Cut corners, turn to wrong side and press.

Ruffle skirt:

  • 11 1/4 x 8 inch, cut 1 on fold (fold is 8 inch side).
  • Hem edges and bottom of skirt.
  • Add lace to hem.
  • Gather long edge starting about an inch in on each end.
  • Pin gathered skirt to waistline.
  • Sew across.


  • Cut 1, 14 x 2 inch.
  • Press under both long edges.
  • Lay on top of skirt to cover gathers.
  • Sew across both long edges.

After you attach everything to body pieces. Pin both bodies right sides together and sew around (starting 4 inches in at shoulder). I sew mine twice for strength. Turn bag right side out and press. Fold over each facing and press down then add a button to each side.

You're done.

I hope this makes sense to you. I'm trying very hard to get this info to all who inquired about these bags.


By Marian from Danville, VA

Editor's Note: Thanks so much for the instructions. We look forward to seeing photos of the completed projects from our crafty readers.



Little Dress Clothspin Bag

I have done that as well, but used an infant sleeper with zipper front and sewed the bottom shut. The sleeper is the kind with no legs, just a straight bottom. (08/15/2007)

By shirlee

Little Dress Clothspin Bag

A real baby or toddler dress hung on a child's hanger makes a cute clothespin bag. Just stitch the hem closed and hang it up. Since I have all boys I used to take a small shirt, no larger than size 6, button the front then topstitch on either side of the button opening. Then stitch the hem closed and hang it on a kid sized hanger. (08/15/2007)

By Marty Dick

Little Dress Clothspin Bag

I made a clothespin bag from a child's blouse I got at a garage sale. I sewed that bottom of the blouse closed and I had my clothespin bag.
I love it how simple it was to make and how many clothespins it holds.

Zig (08/17/2007)

By Athena

Little Dress Clothspin Bag

I am 65 years old and I remember my mother making these when I was a child. We always used one, as we never left the clothes pins on the line because they would get dirty and leave marks on the clean clothes. Nice to see a little part of my childhood return. It brings back many memories. Thank you for sharing your cute little clothes pin bag. (08/24/2007)

By Danialle

Little Dress Clothspin Bag

Do not have a dress? How about a mans shirt? Works great. Just cut it off and hem. Also, sew the sleeves shut. A short sleeve shirt is what I used. Also, you have the pocket you can use for other things.

Rosemary in OH (04/30/2008)

By Rosemary

Little Dress Clothspin Bag

This brings back memories. I will be 71 years old this year and I remember when I was growing up that my mother had one of these. She did not like to leave the clothes pins out in all kind of weather to get dirty. We would hang it on the clothes line and slide it along and put the clothes pins in it as we removed the clothes from the line.
Thanks for the memories. (04/30/2008)

By Lula

Little Dress Clothspin Bag

OK here are the measurements:


  • (cut 2)15 inches long top to hem
  • 13 inches wide at waist
  • 4 1/2 inch L sleeve
  • 14 1/2 inches wide halfway between waistband and hem
  • 19 inches wide sleeve to sleeve, across
  • 15 inches bottom of body (cut bottom round on each end)

Back facing

  • (cut 1) 9 1/2 inches x 13 1/2inches, lay this piece on top of back body right sides together. Sew across, turn, and press

L shaped piece, center front facing

  • cut 1 reverse and cut another one, 7 1/2 inches x 6 inches x 3 inches x 2 inches x 3 inches x 5 1/2 inches
  • lay each piece in center of front body (5 1/2 inch sides to meet at center) right sides together
  • sew across top and down each center to end of piece
  • split down the middle between the two pieces
  • clip corners, turn, and press to wrong side

Ruffle skirt

  • cut 1 on fold (fold is short end) 11 1/4inches x 8 inches
  • gather at 11 1/4 inch edge
  • lay on body at waistline
  • pin and sew across


  • 14 inches x 2 inches
  • press both long edges
  • lay on top of gathered skirt to hide gathers
  • pin
  • sew across top and bottom

Sew two bodies together starting at 4 inches from end of sleeve; sew all way around (twice for strength). Turn and press. Turn back top facing pieces and press. Add a button to each side.

You are done!

If you are a guest on here I can't reply back to you. Please sign up first. Thanks. (05/01/2008)

By Marian Poke

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