Introduction: DIY Bag/Cable/Tech Organiser

Picture of DIY Bag/Cable/Tech Organiser

I have been travelling a number of times recently where I have found that I am taking more and more cables, and plugs,and other such little bits of tech and gadgetry and they all seemed to be a bit of a jumbled mess in the bags I used, either for travelling to work or travelling abroad.

I looked into how to organise it and found a number of different items that kind of did what I wanted. Then I found a YouTube tutorial on how to make a bag organiser much like the GridIT ones but it was a small one.

I decided to up the size to A4 to hold more.

Here is what I came up with.

Apologies (and I will repeat this throughout the instructable) for not having photos of all the steps in this, its one of those things where you find you didn't take photos because you wasn't sure how it would come out, it came out ok and you want to show others how to do it, but now you don't have all the pictures to show the steps.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Picture of Gather Your Ingredients

For this project you will need the following items/tools:

1 can of spray adhesive

11m of 20mm wide elastic

10m of 10mm wide elastic

A4 plastic clip board dimensions are 310mm(L) x 230mm(W)

Stretchy fabric offcut big enough to cover both sides of clip board

Scissors

Stapler

Needle point pliers

Flat head and phillips screwdrivers

Tape measure

Print out of the plan (see later on for plan)

Firstly i just want to say that I stupidly didn't take photos of a few of the steps of this build. I hope the descriptions suffice, I think I will be making one more of these so i might add the missing pictures to this if I can later.

Once you have the items you will need to firstly remove the clip part of the clip board. Using the flat head screw driver you can slowly prize it off until it pops out, this will leave the holes filled with little metal plugs. Using the philips screwdriver push these plugs out so you are left with just 2 holes.

BE CAREFUL when removing the clip my first attempt I put too much pressure on and there is a small crack on the clip board now. Its hidden from view and is internal (as in the coating is holding it together much like a crack in a windscreen) but it was still annoying.

Next cut the following number of lengths of elastic

9 lengths of 20mm elastic of 620mm long

5 lengths of 10mm elastic of 620mm long

11 lengths of 20mm elastic 460mm long

9 lengths of 10mm elastic 460mm long

Once you have your lengths you can create loops by overlapping the ends by a 10mm and (in my case this time as it was my first attempt at this) staple the ends together. A better way would be to sew the ends together as it will look better later as you will not need to hide the stapled ends (which gets fiddly but can be done). I used the needle point pliers to hold the two ends of the elastic together and then slid it into place under the stapler and stapled it together. It was the best way to do it as no matter how hard I tried my fingers were too big.

Now spray on the adhesive to one side of the clipboard and wait for it to become tacky. Once it is ready lay the material over the clipboard and smooth out.

Once dry turn over and spray the other side and do the same. The best way I found (after I did mine) is to create 2 triangles on the short ends and then 2 Parallelograms on the long sides so that you cover the back completely but with no overlaps. When I do this again I will take photos of this part, I hope it makes sense though.

Step 2: Print Out Plan

The attached is a Open Office Spreadsheet plan for the organiser. I used this to determine which loops of elastic went on where. If you think there is a better way of showing how to do this please let me know. If it is confusing, please let me know. It made sense to me the black lines the horizontal parts of each loop that were visible, the grey lines showed the vertical parts of each loop that were visible.

The red lines round the sides and bottom is 10mm border I left myself that I might use in the future to add a zip cover to make the whole thing completely encased so even if something slips out it is not going to go missing.

Hope this all makes sense. Let me know in the comments.

Step 3: Add the Loops

Picture of Add the Loops

Firstly add the long loops to the board so that it is covered completely.

Then taking each short loop remove all the long loops that are to go over it and leave the long loops that are to go under it, slide the short loop on and then replace the long loops.

Once that is done, slide the short loop down to the bottom and do the next one.

I should have taken some photos of these steps as that description makes it sound more complicated than it actually is.

What you should end up with is the above picture.

Step 4: Add Your Tech

Picture of Add Your Tech

Now that you have all the loops in place you can start adding your tech/cables/headphones etc to be carried by the organiser. and have a less messy less tangled back

Comments

lcarey3 (author)2016-03-27

Hi, this looks great. One question - how is the elastic actually attached?

Attached in what way?

If you mean attached to the board then they are not attached they are held together because they are woven together around the board

If you mean attached as in how are the ends of the elastic attached to each other then they ate stapled together

Hope that helps

Ahh yes that makes total sense! Thanks

stickittotheman (author)2015-09-18

Awesome idea, I love it! Just two questions, what kind of stretchy fabric do you recommend? Elastic or something else...? And also, how can I fit in a spot for my laptop?

L7 (author)2015-05-04

I want to make one of these sized to fit into what used t be a planner, but ALSO you said clipboard, and that got me thinking about making an elastic retention grid that is also a clip board to keep a legal pad n my bag...

SeveralShadesOfBlue (author)L72015-05-04

thats a great idea. instead of levering off the cliip part of the clipboard, work around it so it remains a functioning part of the organizer. you could get put the legal pad on one side and have the other side to hold pens, cables, and other such things. if you do this share a link to show how you did please

Nelly43 (author)2015-04-29

Thanks for this. I had a "grid-it" until one of my daughters "borrowed" it. Was going to buy a new one about a week ago, until I saw the price. Those things aren't cheap! Now I can just make a couple this weekend.

you are most welcome, i hope this all makes sense and you are able to recreate it. if there is anything that is confusing let me know and i'll try and make it clearer

Otpor (author)2015-04-29

A nice "Grid-it" project!

http://www.cocooninnovations.com/grid.php

Congrats!

Not going to say copied but lovingly payed homage to :)

Nelly43 (author)2015-04-29

also, if you want to give a little more grab, instead of rebuilding a new one maybe just put a little silicon on the section of band where you would like it to be rubberized. Just be sure to keep the band away from the board as it cures.

i might just do that, it seems a shame for it to be useful but only to a point. I used it for the first time today in my bag on the way to work and everything stayed where it was so thats a good sign, although it was mostly cables the plugs also stayed as did an USB SD Card holder so I'm really pleased with it.

seamster (author)2015-04-29

This is really clever! I like the idea quite a bit.

I've had the same issue traveling and trying to figure out how to organize all my cords and cables. Thank you for sharing this!

Hey thanks for that, I appreciate it.

My only suggestion would be if you are going to do this look for elastic with rubber grip on it, the elastic i used whilst holding things like cables in place quite well anything bigger (like the plugs shown in the picture) will slide out if you shake it too much.

Perhaps version 2.0 will be better if I decide to redo it.

Once again thanks for the comment

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Bio: I am a frustrated builder of things, not quite skilled enough to do great jobs (in my mind anyway) but just enough imagination to want ... More »
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