Picture of DIY bike panniers - homemade bicycle panniers
Here is the complete set panniers I made for my touring bicycle. I simply expanded on existing ideas I found on Instructables and other sites concerning the fabrication of homemade panniers.
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Step 1:

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I had already started coating the bags. The material is a polyester canvas. I welded the seems together with a flat tipped soldering iron and put zig-zag stitches to add strength.  I just cut a long piece of material and made a squared U out of it. I then used two rectangle pieces for the sides and good old velcro for the closures.

Step 2:

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I was trying to make drysacks but I had no pattern. I ended up with a small breach in the sides when I roll it over.

Step 3:

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So I made a hood to cover the entire top of the bag. Said breach has been addressed.

Step 4:

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In playing with Plasti Dip in the past I had always wondered what it would be like if I covered material with it. I figured this was a perfect project to experiment using the stuff. It is very nasty but TOUGH stuff. I use the dip can like paint for the seams and the bottom. I coated the bottom and sides many times by simply painting it on with a brush. I then sprayed the entire bag with the spray version. I kept adding coats until I could not see daylight through it when held up to my work light. It takes about one can of each for the pair of panniers. Please be careful, even when working outside this stuff requires a mask. It is also quite flammable. 
seeroon3 months ago
hall_simon2 years ago
Clear silicon sealant thinned with turpentine is quite useful for sealing material too. Mix silicon with turps at about 1:3 and paint it on. I have fixed old backpacks with PU backing. When the PU deteriorates a couple of coats of silicon and turps and its all good again.
sean byfield (author)  hall_simon2 years ago
I was initially going to waterproof the rear ones with the homemade waterproofing stuff but they backpacks I got were REALLY thin material. The plastidip pretty much made them bioproof.
lfkcdcn2 years ago
i like it
hall_simon2 years ago
Coroplast - Also known as coreflute. Real estate signs are also a good source for this stuff.
kuzimu2 years ago
Hey, any idea what size or brand the bags you used were? Am looking to do exactly what you did, and your bags look amazing, but I can't tell what size they are or where you'd get them!
sean byfield (author)  kuzimu2 years ago
I found the backpacks as a pair at the SPCA restore in Charlottesville, Va. The tag on the inside says OWL. I looked the company up and they seem to specialize in making fabric from recycled water bottles. I think I paid $4 or $5 for the pair. I do not know the size- you can get an idea from the photo of them on the bike. I wanted smaller panniers so I looked for smaller bags. I would have preferred them a little smaller but these are what popped up as a pair at the restore so that is what I used. The front ones are scratch made.
lightnin92 years ago
Wow, these are lovely (and look quite durable!) You might be interested in the ikea briefcase panniers instructable I just shared.

(Probably best for commuting - so not nearly as awesome as these for touring.) Anyhow - lovely instructable, thanks for sharing it!
darwinian2 years ago
I'm glad my bike made a background shot!
This is really great. Thank you for posting this. I definitely am going to try making my own version.