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There are a ton of instructables on making kitty litter bike panniers and most of them are really awesome. I used many of them as the base for this instructable which is intended to show you how to make these cheap panniers in minute detail. I haven't yet tested these strenuously yet, but they're cheap enough that even if they fall apart after three months it was still worth it.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

There are a few things in this picture I did not end up needing, ignore the tape in the blue roll, and S hooks.
You will need the following:

Cost:
This project cost me $18 for the parts from our local hardware store. I had all of the tools already, and the kitty litter buckets were free.

Materials:
2 Kitty litter buckets, I got mine for free. If you don't have cats try asking neighbors and community members, somebody may have them lying around.
2 Bungies, mine were 12" I believe. You want them to be able to stretch halfway around the low part of the bucket.
4 Hooks, I found mine at the local hardware store. The hooks need to have screw holes and be big enough to fit over your bike rack.
8 1/4" x 3/4" bolts to hold the hooks on. The bolts dimensions aren't important, just make sure they fit nicely in the hooks you buy.
4 1/4" x 3/4" bolts for the bungies to go to.
8 1/4" nuts to go with the bolts above. Again, don't worry if they're not 1/4" just make sure they match the bolts you buy.
8 1/4" nuts to help hold the bungies in place.
8 Large washers to help keep the plastic safe from the bolts holding the bungies.

Tools:
- Measuring tape
- Sharpie
- Exacto knife
- Wrenches that match the size of your nuts and bolts.
- Drill and bit that matches the size of your nuts and bolts.
- Eye protection so bits of plastic don't get in your eyes.
- Duct tape or electricians tape.

The rest of this instructable will walk you through making a single bike pannier. You can do both at once, or do one all the way through and do the next one all the way through. I chose the latter method because it let me figure out the best way to do each task, then put it into practice.
<p>I made this, with a few variations. (A) To keep the bucket snug to the rack, I put a bolt in the side opposite the hooks, with a lock washer, nut, open space on the bolt, and stop nut. (See third picture) I use a ball bungee from the frame to this bolt to keep the bucket in place. That eliminates the problem of which side is which and cuts back a little on parts and labor. (B) I use a bungee across the hooks to keep the bucket from bouncing off when empty. (C) I didn't bother measuring for the hooks, just turned the bucket upside down on a table and marked where they fit, per some advice somewhere else on the Internet. (D) I like the yellow color. It's visible. Some day I might take the stickers off, but more likely I'll cover them with reflective tape for safety.</p>
This looks awesome! Thanks for posting pictures of your build. Mine fell into disuse due to the &quot;bouncing while empty&quot; problem. Maybe I'll resurrect them with your edits.
<p>Hi, Thanks for the great idea. I don't have any cats, but I was able to get some of the buckets from a friend who does. I'm installing these on the front of my bike instead of the back. I'm in the gathering all the parts phase of this project, as I don't like to pay for anything if I can help it. I saw where you were considering painting the buckets. Good idea. I have painted several shiny plastic recycled items. It really works best if you sand the surface with a light grit sandpaper, I use 220. Then a coat of primer spray paint, let to dry then lightly sand again. Then you can just spray paint the colors you've chosen. Hope this helps, and thanks again for the great idea!</p>

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