Picture of Big Bag Badges: sew-on hi-vis badges for cycling/running
Back when I was a courier, I made myself a big hi-vis badge for my chic black Timbuk2 bag. It was a great success as I haven't been hit by any absent minded motorists yet, which i attribute to being highly visible, as well as taking care - there's no substitute for safe cycling. The badges are sewn together from scraps of hi-vis vests, which seem to be abundant these days. I then sew them onto the outdoor skin of the bag, taking care not to penetrate the waterproof inner. You can also use velcro to make the badge detachable.

I've made a dew of these to different designs, so forgive the mish-mash of photos in this instructable.

I make these up to order at www.zero-waste.co.uk 

Step 1: What you need

1 x hi-vis vest, of the sort worn by roadworkers, and now, any kind of pedestrian or cyclist prone to being hit by a vehicle! These cost about £5, or much less in bulk or from an industrial supplier such as this one. Most workplaces could get you some.
1 x reel of thick thread, preferably synthetic and a needle.
  A pair of scissors, pen or chalk and a ruler and square.
  This .svg layout sheet 
  Some Dress pins
  A sewing machine.
  Optionally: sew-on velcro. (approx. 1m per badge)

UPDATE - Have had to remove the .svg file link from here as apparently it never worked! See the link above for the .svg layouts.
markt15132 years ago
great workwear only at Embroidered workwear
Davey12 years ago
You can get really cheap hi vis from anyway these days. I picked one up for less than £2 from my local screen printers (http://www.woveninc.com/) last week.
Tendersave3 years ago
Tendersave3 years ago
Love it! Always the high visibility love going around!
gracesalve3 years ago
Very nice, makes us riders more visible with stylish effects....
Superb idea to get an individual style. Loads of bargain hi viz goodies at APL Clothing
Never thought I'd see Hi Vis become fashionable but you guys have really ran with it!
goodiebox3 years ago
Came across www.suttonsafety.com site based in the midlands they offer good discount on a lot of Hi Vis workwear

Bagged me a Bargain Hi vis vests ONLY £3 Incuding P&P!! http://www.suttonsafety.com

If your in the UK I can highly recommend them.
sgrimsley3 years ago
Hi everyone

I found this great new site the other day with loads of low cost Hi Vis clothing and workwear dickies workwear site, I brought some childrens hi vis vest from them, customer service was great and they were the cheapest on the web.

Well worth a try! :)
rikwwe4 years ago
You can get cheap hi vis vests from here workwear
spikep rikwwe3 years ago
Hi rikwwe, your absolutely right, they are a good resource for cheap hi vis vests, but I have always used these people for my workwear because they have always been very good to me. They also supply really good trousers from 'dickies'
john2024 years ago
Great idea. You can pick up a cheap hi vis vest for less than £2. I bought mine from step ahead. If you're from the UK I highly recommend them.
not long after reading this I spotted a safety vest along a 55mph two lane road I travel a lot ,pulled over as soon as i could and walked back the 1/8 mi, and grabbed it.,I was giggling all the way home, it was in very good shape but I cut it up anyhow and sewed all the reflective tape to a " duluth pack" I made from an ible by Tim Anderson (got that material off that same road ),the poor thing is already as ugly as an old shoe so I just sewed the tape on in roughly vertical stripes got 5 2" x 18" strips with 2" spaces in between the pattern covers an approximately 20" square I should be visible from space,,,:) ,it relay does just glow in a light beam ,,, great ible ,,,thank you for sharing
platdujour5 years ago
Great post.

If you live in the UK & can beat the Polish builders to Lidl on the 3rd of June, you can get Hi-Viz vests for £1.99


KittyF5 years ago
what program do you need to open an .svg file?
royshearer (author)  KittyF5 years ago
Its a vector image so I use Illustrator or Inkscape for .svg s. They can also be viewed in Firefox.
anjin125 years ago
this links to


not a layouts.svg

royshearer (author)  anjin125 years ago
Cheers for letting me know! Can't get the download to work here at Instructables so have put up a link to the file on my own site.
solo.card5 years ago
 Really good idea. You can get dirt cheap high vis jackets from IKEA that would, i think about £2 each.

Out of interest, the bag you used for this, what size/style was it? I'm struggling to judge from the dodgy looking photos on the site!

n0ukf solo.card5 years ago
Where do you find this magical market everyone (even some of my fellow Americans, I think) talks about? There's no such thing in far northern Minnesota.
sysadmn n0ukf5 years ago
Try calling Lowes or Home Depot, or a local lumberyard if you have one within driving distance.  Here, they're in the contractor section of the stores. 

If you have a fabric store, they might carry the reflective tape.  Joann's does, not sure about Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Wally World.
n0ukf sysadmn5 years ago
Well sure, if you want to do it the easy way, check other stores. But I was asking about the magical land of Ikea. ;)
royshearer (author)  solo.card5 years ago
I don't know what brand of bag is shown in these pictures - was a while ago. I have one on my large Timbuk2 bag.
sysadmn5 years ago
Clever idea.  If you can't find the vest, sewing stores may carry silver, yellow, white, orange or red reflective tape.  It runs about $3 for a 1" x 5' roll at Joann's.
 Very Good!  Being visible on a bike is 1/2 the battle and you've succeeded with style and panache.  I salute you!

I dream of a day when bags are no longer black, and the cases for phones, etc., that are carried in them are no longer black either.  I don't know how many times I have "lost" items inside black bags only to find them when, in a fit of desperation: "I know I put it in there", I turn the bag over and dump all contents only to discover the lost item was right where I put it in the first place.  Black bags and cell phone and mp3 cases and eyeglass cases and etc., should outlawed.

Black was "cool" about 30 years ago.  Apple tried and failed to change the paradigm by making everything white.  Can we just have some color, please?

There... I feel better now.
Nice 'ible-  Recently, while riding a motorcycle I was run off the road by by a driver who didn't see me.