Tuesday, April 21, 2020

'Keep It Clean' Car Trash Container

‘Keep It Clean’ Car Trash Container

It’s been said that, “Necessity is the mother of invention” and being a quilter from the beginning certainly influences my need to create “useful” things. Many new cars have center consoles that house the gear shift and cup holders but no place to put trash and little room anywhere else to facilitate a trash receptacle. Some designers have come up with beautiful patterns however none of them suited my specific need and maybe yours too. Here’s my solution, a Kraft-Tex trash receptacle that hangs off the gear shift and out of the way but within easy reach. Kraft-tex is the perfect material to use because: it’s lightweight, holds its shape and can be washed.. And yes, I am a self defined Kraft-tex junkie and this is just one more way for Kraft-tex to be my “go to” project product. I love the upscale leather look and supple hand of this prewashed product. It lends itself well to this project and there are so many colors to choose from that you are sure to find one to complement your car's upholstery. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Prewashed Kraft-tex - Cut sizes and the Kraft-tex colors are in ( )
Bag base - 9”x18” (Linen)
Decorative panel- Bottom  3”x18” (Denim)
Decorative Rectangle-Middle   2”x5” (Chocolate)
Decorative Rectangle -Top 1”x4” (Natural)

Strap base - 1 ¼””x18” (Linen)
Decorative strip for strap ¾”x 18” (Denim)

Top casing 1 ¾”x18” (Natural)

Fabric for lining 9”x18” (I used a blue batik)

Grommets or large eyelets - 2 (large enough to slip a book ring through) and a grommet setter

Metal book ring - 1 (I used the 1” size)

Other - Clips or clothespins to hold the Kraft-Tex together while sewing. Good quality sewing thread
(I use cotton general purpose) matching or contrasting colors. Sewing machine. Also a cutting mat,
rotary cutter and a clear quilters ruler for precise cutting is very helpful. 


The decorative panel on the bag is both decorative and gives the bag added support. This needs to
be added first before the bag is constructed. Begin by connecting the two smaller decorative panels
first to the large panel then stitch the large panel to the bag base. 
*Center the smallest 1”x 4” panel on top of the 2”x 5” rectangle clip in place and top stitch together. 
*Add this section to the 3"x18"decorative panel base by measuring down from top of the long rectangle base 1 ½” and center between the sides. Clip in place and top stitch together. 
*Finally, center and clip this finished panel on the 9”x18” bag base and top stitch in place. 

Bag base - Use ½” seam allowance 
*Bring the right sides together and fold the base so it measures 9”x9”. Use clips or clothespins to
hold the Kraft-Tex together to stitch (do not use pins). 
*Stitch the side seams and back stitch to secure at the beginnings and ends. 
*Square the corners of the bag by bringing each corner up to create a point and stitching from
side to side 1 ½” from the point (back stitching at the beginning and end to secure). This will form
the bag bottom. (There are loads of YouTube videos on how to create a tote bag bottom if you
have questions on how to do this.) 
*Turn the bag inside out encouraging the corners out with a chopstick. 

Bag Lining - Use ½” seam allowance
*Make the fabric bag lining the same way you made your bag base except you do not need to turn
it right side out. 
*Place the liner inside the bag so that the right side of the fabric forms the inside of your bag,
now and temporarily clip in place to hold it to the top rim.

Top Casing 
*Fold  the 1 ¾”x18” top casing strip and leave one side a fraction longer on one side. 
*Iron to encourage the Kraft-tex to stay. 
*Keeping the slightly longer side to the inside of the bag clip the strip around the rim of the bag
encasing the bag and lining tops and overlap slightly at the end. Note: Begin and end slightly
away from the center of the bag so that you do not have 4 layers of  Kraft-tex bulk in the center
back as this is where your grommet will be placed. 
*Top stitch the casing in place going slowly.

*Center the decorative  ¾”x 18” strip on top of the 1 ½”x18” strap base. Hold in place with clips
and top stitch.
*Round the corners on the ends and cross one end over the other. Clip to hold. 
*Make an appropriate size hole through both overlapped straps and install the grommet so that
the nice side of the grommet is facing out. 

Grommet and Ring
*Create an appropriate size hole in the center back for your grommet. Install the grommet so that
the right side is on the inside of the bag back and the crimped part is on the outside.
(Yes this sounds backwards, just trust me on this one.)
*Slide the notebook ring into the grommets on both the strap and bag. 

You're done! Place on the gear shift of your car for disposal of trash. 

*You may wish to place a small plastic bag (the one my newspaper comes in is perfect or a paper
lunch sack) into the receptacle to facilitate easy disposal or you can simply launder the bag when
it’s soiled. As long as your grommets are fastened securely the bag and strap can be laundered
but be sure to remove the ring before washing (I slip my bag into a laundry bag before placing in

*Use common sense: Care should be taken to not overload the bag with heavy items as the gear shift is not designed to hold heavy objects or be moved once the car is in motion.

Here's the ones that I made for both our cars. There is such a wonderful array of Kraft-Tex colors that the hardest part of this project is picking which combo of colors to use!

You can buy Kraft-tex in a gorgeous array of colors at ctpub.com and find loads of ingenious ideas on ways to use this amazing supple and cruelty free leather. There are two books dedicated to just Kraft-tex projects, Kraft-tex Style and Kraft-tex Creations that you can purchase as well... and YES I am a featured artist in BOTH books. I hope that you will join me on my Kraft-tex journey.