How to Make DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

How to Make DIY Pannier Bags for your Bike

DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

How to Make DIY Bike Pannier Bags

How to Make DIY Bike Pannier Bags

I’m sure you know by now about the love affair I have with my bike. (See Exhibits A, B, and C for starters.) It’s the Pure City Crosby Bike and it’s the perfect everything — color, ride, size, shape. She was getting a little antsy for an adventure so we decided to take her to the beach, but I had the idea to deck her out ahead of time with some pretty pannier bags so that we could carry all of our beach gear on the back rack. This turned out to be maybe one of my favorite projects ever. It turned out to be simple to make while giving you a lot of bang for your DIY buck. The bags look great, they’re functional and sturdy, and you can use them at the beach or anywhere. Here’s how to make DIY pannier bags for your bike!

What are pannier bags?

First of all, in case you’re not in the know, pannier bags are similar to saddle bags. However, instead of being slung over a horse’s rear end you sling them over the back of a bicycle or motorcycle. They’re firmly attached so that they don’t shift during riding, and you can fill them with all of your belongings so that they are safely contained. Case in point: I was riding my bike once and had my (really expensive) camera in the front basket. I hit a hard bump and the camera went flying, landing in the gutter. I was shocked and my camera was busted. Probably should have had that baby in these pannier bags!

How to Make DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

Materials

  • 2 bags – any bag from a sturdy material will work; the ones we used are out of stock but there are similar ones here
  • 2 wood squares that will fit inside and against the back of your bag (find them at a craft store)
  • bungee cords
  • lashing hooks
  • screws (2 packs of 8 – this package will come with the nuts you need as well)
  • flat washers
  • awl
  • hammer
  • crescent wrench
  • phillips screwdriver
  • scissors
  • drill with 1/8″ drill bit (this kit is actually pretty cool if you’re a weekend maker and need to get your tool collection started)

Make Time: 1 Hour

How to Make DIY Bike Pannier Bags

DIY Pannier Bike Bag Tutorial

Step 1

Drill three holes in each wood square — two on either edge of one side, and another one at the bottom center of the opposite side.

Step 2

Insert the wood square either into the back inside pocket of your bag (if it has a back pocket), or hold it against the inside back of the bag. Use an awl to poke from inside the bag, through each hole in the wood, and also through the outside of the bag. Be sure to keep the wood in place while you are making your holes so that they are all aligned. Remove the wood and use the awl to enlarge the holes so that they’re large enough to slip a screw through.

Step 3

Slip a screw through a plastic hook for one hole. Do the same for the other two holes also. Put the wood back in the bag aligned with the holes. Entering from the outside of the bag, insert a screw through the first hole. The hook will remain on the outside of the bag. Insert the screw until it pierces both the bag and the wood. On the open end of the screw, place a washer and a nut. Tighten the nut using the screwdriver and wrench. Repeat for all holes in each bag. The top two hooks will be placed with the rounded hook portion on top, and the bottom hook will have the rounded portion on the bottom.

Step 4

Use a hammer to break away the orange ball on two of your bungee tarp ties (maybe the most satisfying part!).

Step 5

Affix the bags to your bike! The top two hooks go over the top of the rack. Then hook a bungee around the bottom hook, down and through the bottom hole in the rack, back up and onto the same hook. Your bags are done!

Step 6

If you want to make a bonus towel holder, you’re almost finished. First, cut off the straps from one of the purses.

Step 7

Cut two 11″ sections from the strap, while trying not to include any buckles or holes.

Step 8

Use the awl to puncture a hole on either end of each strap, approximately 3/4″ from the end.

Step 9

Use the same technique from Step 3 to affix a hook into each hole.

Step 10

Roll and place your towel on top of the back rack. Hook one strap over each end of the towel. You’re ready to roll!

How to Make DIY Bike Pannier Bags

How to Make DIY Bike Pannier Bags

Maybe one of the coolest things about the project is that one bag that still has its strap, so you can tuck the strap inside while you travel and also unhook the bag and use it as a purse! Just pull the strap out and tuck the bungee cord inside while you’re walking around. Then you can also reattach it when you’re ready to roll. This was such a fun one to make (and use!), so I hope you try it  — now that you know how to make DIY pannier bags for your bike. See ya at the beach! xoxo

DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike

Product for this post graciously provided by Pure Cycles.

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32 thoughts on “How to Make DIY Pannier Bags for Your Bike”

    1. YAY! I seriously think mint + pink are a match made in heaven ? and I’m SO happy to hear that you think the tutorial is easy to follow — means a lot, so thank you! ?

    1. Hi Mariet,
      Thanks for reaching out! Lovely Indeed images aren’t printable as they appear on the blog. However, if you let me know which image you like I can share it in my print shop so that you can print it in any size. Thanks!

      1. Just found your site, hurrah for pinterest. I’d like to get in line for several of these photos too as we are expecting our first grand daughter, due at Christmas, and I am lucky enough to be doing her room. I love the bike by the life guard station, the one below it of the bike on the beach with seagulls in the background and finally, the back of the bike showing those darling bike bags, with the towel that looks, at least to me, like a rosette! I didn’t know what i wanted for the feel of the room before I saw your photos and then it all came together in my mind. I am less than computer savvy, and if you would be so generous as to put those images in your print shop too I will figure it out!. Thank you for sharing

  1. Absolutely LOVE your pannier bags! I noticed from the link you posted of the bags that the Old Navy purses aren’t lined in black like the ones pictured in the blog. Any chance they may have changed? My bike has the black wheels so I was wanting the exact look you have ?

    1. Hi Tabatha! We made these a year or so ago, so I’m wondering if the product has changed a bit. I checked the site and didn’t see the exact ones we used. Sorry I’m not more help there!

  2. I love the picture of the bike! Ity makes me so happy 🙂 Would love to buy one from you. Is it still possibile to order one? Thanks!

    1. Hi Simone,
      I’m working on some new images for the shop in the next few days. Can you let me know which image you’re interested in? Thanks!

      1. Hi Chelsea, thx! and also for the quick reply! i love the fifth picture in this blog: the one where you shot the bike straight from the back in a plain room. I’ll check the shop to order later this week! Lovely 🙂 Thanks!

  3. PS> i would prefer if i can have it printed in the netherlands. Would you be able to share the file? How does that work?

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