How to Make a Pop-Up Hamper

Written by tara lightfoot
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How to Make a Pop-Up Hamper
There are a number of different styles of pop-up hampers. (half laundry basket image by Snowball from

Pop-up hampers have become substitutes for regular box hampers due to their portability and affordability. These hampers, typically made of a breathable mesh material, fold onto themselves. Not only do they take up virtually no space when empty, but the fabric allows the hampers to expand and hold more dirty clothes than the average hamper. The material also enables the dirty laundry to air out, which eliminates the concern of a stinky hamper if "laundry day" was skipped. Creating a custom pop-up hamper is simple, and the materials are budget-friendly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3 yards of polyester mesh
  • 20 feet of steel wire
  • Wire cutter
  • 1/2-inch wide hem ribbon
  • Fabric glue
  • 24-by-24-inch polyester fabric square
  • Needle
  • Thread

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  1. 1

    Cut two pieces of mesh into 24 1/2-by-36 1/2-inch rectangles to form the sturdy sides of your pop-up hamper.

  2. 2

    Sew a 1/4-inch hem along all sides of the mesh, but leave a small opening at the end. Leave enough space within this hem to feed through a piece of steel wire.

  3. 3

    Feed the wire through the tunnel seam, minding the holes in the mesh. Bend the wire when necessary to allow the mesh to keep its rectangular shape. If this is difficult, remove the wire and bend by hand or with wire tools. Try reinserting the wire.

  4. 4

    Clip the end of the wire when it is fed through all sides of the mesh. Use wire cutters if necessary. Sew the hem closed.

  5. 5

    Wrap hem ribbon over the edges of the wired seam and glue it into place. This will prevent the wire from slipping through the mesh. For a finished look, try matching the hem ribbon to the polyester fabric material that will be used on the bottom of the hamper.

  6. 6

    Repeat the wiring process on the other piece of mesh. When you are finished, you should have two mesh "walls."

  1. 1

    Cut two 36 1/2-inch-by-24 1/2-inch rectangles out of the mesh material. Create a 1/4-inch seam on all of the 24 1/2-inch edges. These will be the collapsible sides of the hamper.

  2. 2

    Sew the long edges of the wired mesh walls to the long edges of the plain mesh rectangles. Sew the four pieces together so that a tall "box" is created.

  3. 3

    Sew the 24-by-24-inch piece of polyester to the bottom of the four sides to serve as the floor of the hamper. Be sure to use a strong cross-stitch, as this bottom piece will have to support the structure and contents of the hamper.

  4. 4

    Reinforce any seams that seem weak with thread or fabric glue.

Tips and warnings

  • Create handles for your hamper by sewing strips of polyester to the top.
  • The wire should be sturdy, almost like a clothes hanger.

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