DIY Lawn Bagger (for Fall Cleanup)

Last spring I purchased a lawn sweeper. It was very useful after I dethatched my lawn, but it proved less effective against the barrage of leaves this fall. I decided I’d try my hand at crafting a lawn mower bagger. The first design worked pretty well, though it took some tuning. Unfortunately, it only lasted about 5 minutes as the entire discharge chute ripped off on a high-spot in the lawn.


After attempting to fix it I found myself getting too frustrated, so I ripped the whole thing apart. A few days later I decided there had to be a simpler way to pick these leaves up. I looked around my garage to see what supplies I had on hand. About 45 minutes later I came up with this:


Let me tell you, it performed so well I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m sure my neighbors were laughing too.

The only parts needed are:

  • Giant tarp
  • 4 or 6-foot piece of duct (7″ diameter)
    • tool to cut it
    • tool to drill it
  • Duct tape
  • 2 bungee cords

It needs some refinement, but without exaggerating, my lawn was spotless when I finished. The improvements I’ll be making are as follows:

  • Build a better discharge chute
    • Rolled up front (like a ski)
    • Different angle for easier “flow”
  • Smaller tarp
    • The tarp was great, but something slightly smaller would’ve been better. I used maybe 60% of the capacity, so smaller would be slightly easier to maneuver
  • Clamps to maintain “rolled up edges”
    • The key to this design is how simple it is to disassemble. Using clamps instead of tape to hold the rolled edges (used to seal the bag) would certainly be faster.


I took another shot at this with a smaller tarp. The clamps didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, so I ended up using duct tape. It worked really well and, because this tarp is dedicated to this purpose, I can leave almost all of the tape in place.

Closeup of the makeshift discharge chute
Closeup of the makeshift discharge chute


What it looks like from the open end
What it looks like from the open end


Laying out the tarp
Laying out the tarp


Drag the tarp over the chute
Drag the tarp over the chute


Secure the tarp to the chute
Secure the tarp to the chute


Roll it and tape it
Roll it and tape it (creating a closed bag)


Action shot
Action shot


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