Introduction: Pantspack: the New Look From Flagrant Vagrant Fashion Studio

Picture of Pantspack: the New Look From Flagrant Vagrant Fashion Studio

Are you like me?

Wait, let me rephrase that in a way that's less likely to incriminate you should a law enforcement official read your response.

Do you share some entirely non-criminal inconveniences in your life that could be solved by having a hideously ugly backpack?
Do you want to look like a hobo, but think bindles are "Uppity"?
Do you treat your backpacks in a manner that causes them to deteriorate into uselessness in a fraction of the time they would for any reasonable person?
Do you occasionally wish to appear as if you had absolutely nothing worth stealing?
Me too, friend. Me too.

To that end, I have modified a design originally found in my Boy Scout Handbook for a temporary pack and made it permanent. Your Pantspack will be cheap, durable, and bordering on the practical!
Let's see if we can't start a ludicrous fad.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Here's what you'll need to make a Pantspack like mine:
1 pair of extremely homely jeans
Needle and thread
1 Crown Royal pouch
1 profoundly ratty piece of rope

The uniquely utilitarian handyman05 suggested using waxed dental floss as an alternative to button/carpet thread. What a great idea!

Step 2: Setting Up

Picture of Setting Up

Very little alteration is required here. Basically, you're going to loop the legs up and stick the cuffs in the back pockets. It's pretty simple.
This will provide for a stronger hold...I would assume. These looped pantlegs form the straps of your pantspack.

Step 3: Sew

Picture of Sew

If you know how to sew, you're probably female and/or a doctor. I am neither, but I have been able to pick up the rudiments of sewing over the years. If you don't know how to sew, this profoundly helpful instructable will help profoundly.

You're going to stitch through the pocket, the pantleg and the inside of the pocket here--that's four layers of canvas. A thimble may be in order. Not having one handy, I used the handle of my toothbrush.

Step 4: Adding the Electronics Pouch

Picture of Adding the Electronics Pouch

I wanted a pocket for my Mp3 player, GPS or other device that would cradle the screen in its soft embrace. But what sort of pouch would give me that freedom without ruining my hard-won hobo-chic aesthetic?
Why not a Crown Royal bag?
It's the work of a moment to stitch it onto the inside of the waistband.

Step 5: The Flap

Picture of The Flap

In order to prevent your valuable hobo accouterments from falling out the top or being seen by nosy-parkers, you'd probably do well to install a flap of some sort. I made mine out of a bandanna, but Handyman05 used a bath mat and it looked pretty good. Just sew it on around the waistline.

Step 6: The Drawstring

Picture of The Drawstring

For the drawstring, I used a piece of the most gnarly, awful rope I could dig up in approximately two minutes of looking around my garage. Other alternatives include a stained, tattered necktie and an old belt. Just feed it through the beltloops and tie it as you would your shoelaces.
Had I been possessed of the forethought, I would've gotten another pair and cut them up for a flap to sew inside so that my clothes don't poke out the top when I close it up.

Step 7: Congratulations!

Picture of Congratulations!

You are now the reluctant owner of one of the ugliest fashion accessories imaginable. However I think you'll find that what it lacks in beauty, it doesn't at all compensate for in any way. It really is just an inexpensive, ugly backpack. It is, however, fairly comfortable, and amazingly stylish*.

If you can, use a larger size of jeans. While my computer, camera and a couple of changes of clothes fit in here fairly easily, it's a close thing. I might expand it with a burlap sack if I can find one easily, for added capacity.
You can probably sew the cuffs to the front side of the pants if you wish, leaving the back pockets free. It's your choice.

*Disclaimer: Not at all stylish.


nilloc4life (author)2010-03-30

o wow thats really cool how clever

tomman (author)2009-08-07

if you put hook and loop strap on the cuffs and on the pocket then you could wear the jeans (maby)

kingkulko (author)2009-05-16

that is hilarious

hammer9876 (author)2009-04-15

I was thinking that you could swing the legs up to front of the jeans and sew just the front of the legs to just below the waist band in front of the jeans. Slip it on and you have a butt-pack on your back! With the back pockets still highly visible and even more readily pick-pocketable, (not a word, but you get the idea) you don't put valuables there, however, since you didn't sew the front pockets shut, you still have those pockets. Bonus: The legs of the pants are open to slide something in there, too. Carrying one pair of extra socks? Put one sock down each leg and you have padded shoulder straps. Extra bonus: Not having to sew through so many layers of fabric.

Sounds like a good idea. I guess it's all a matter of preference.

godhole (author)2009-04-12

You can add a pocket on the straps, for a cell phone or ipod, by stitching in a squared off U through the legs, then snipping carefully through the outer layer of fabric.

You could, but there are so many wonderful pockets on it already. It seems overkill to make more.

no such thing as too many pockets! ;)

Bigev (author)2009-03-30

Is it supposed to ride high up with tight straps? Mine does not feel right. Fun to look at, but uncomfortable. I already cut off about 50% of the pant leg to reduce bulk, but it still feels odd.

Mother Natures Son (author)Bigev2009-03-30 does ride fairly high on the back, but it shouldn't be uncomfortable, obviously. Dunno what to tell you.

Bigev (author)Mother Natures Son2009-03-31

I might add underwear elastic to the straps for streachability. And maybe a smattering of 80's sholder pads to the back to cushion the corners of books. COMFORT WILL BE MINE!! (Insert evil laugh here)

seamuffin (author)2009-03-07

my 2 boys love their backpacks thank you for the info!!

You inflicted this on children?

paganwonder (author)2009-03-17

I have found disguise things to look old and dirty (or broken) works very well at preventing theft- so does hiding them in plain sight (somewhere no one would expect to find something valuable) Then hide junk in the places most people hide valuables. (I once helped catch a credit card thief this way!)

I make ugly duct-tape sleeves for my electronics on the same theory--most people wouldn't give my Mp3 player a second glance.

smarico58 (author)2009-02-11

You know what would make this an even cooler vagrant/hobo/nomad traveler? Adding a couple of belts, don't have to be leather, to the bottom of this to act as a carrier for a sleeping bag/bed roll. Kind of like what the hiking bags have these days, but something that you made. I am going to try and make one of these with that kind of a modification, and possibly even a flap to cover the top. I will post pictures when I do indeed make the awesome bag.

Excellent idea. For a flap, I'm thinking either burlap or a bandanna.

Burlap would be cool. I ended up using one of those woven bath mats. Which is cool because it is all really colorful, but i didnt have a sewing machine, so it is kind of unraveling. But i suppose that if someone were to make these as a hobo, althogh i dont know how they woud have access the these plans, that they wouldnt either. I also added a belt to the flap for a more secure kind of thing. i will post pictures when i am done.

smarico58 (author)smarico582009-02-14

So here are some pictures of my finished product. It is a little awkward to put on, but once you do get it on and get it adjusted, it is really comfortable. I think that it actaully distributes weight better than the other bag that I was using, because this one feels lighter than the one that I was using even with the same amount of stuff in it. Did you have any trouble with your needles breaking? I think that it might have just been the quality of the needles that I was using, but I broke at least 4 doing this. And sewing through leather and denim at the same time didn't help.

sideways (author)smarico582009-03-04

For sewing thru several layers of denim, you might look at an uphholstery needle kit, usually $2-3US. The kit will have extra heavy-duty needles in it, even curved ones. Available at any fabric store, and most craft stores with a sewing notions section. An awl works for pre-punching holes in especially heavy materials. Use pliers to pull if you can't pull the needle thru with your fingers.

Good idea. I should get some of those.

Nice. I didn't have any needle problems, but then I used a fairly large needle. Looks great!

smarico58 (author)2009-02-24

I love the bedroll modification. For a while I thought that the bag's bottom wouldn't be able to accomadate one, but it looks like I was wrong. What are you using to secure it to your bag?

First I rolled up a belt in the blanket, then strapped another belt around the roll to keep it from unraveling. Then I fastened the belt that was rolled up inside around the straps. Does that make sense? I could add it into the guide, if you think that'd be a good idea.

I do think that it is a good idea, and way more mobile than what I had in mind, which was sewing some belts to the bottom and using those as the attachment straps for a bed roll of sleeping bag. I think, however, that there isn't enough room on the bottom of the bag to support such a configuration, and that yours accommodates for the lack of space and allows the bag to move out, which would be helpful if you were wearing a lower back kind of bag.

Bigev (author)2009-02-23

You dont actually own any jeans? IMHO, jeans are the single best form of lower-body coverage ever invented.. Although kilts may be a close second, i've never worn one but I belive it would be fun.

smarico58 (author)2009-02-02

Instead of using the Button/Carpet thread, there is something that you can use that is both more easily accessible to everyone here and would probably add the the "hobo-ness" of this Pantsack: waxed dental floss. Dental Floss has a huge tensil strength and will hold those straps to your pockets far longer than the string would. Of course, I don't know the tensil strength of the string vs. dental floss, they might be identical, but I think it safe to say that most if not all of us have some dental floss lying around, and someone who really was homeless would not have to look very hard to find any, or so I would think.

Awesome! I was thinking horse-hair, but I doubt that has the tensile strength you'd need.

Yeah. Apparently dental floss is like amazingly stong for its size. But that makes sense too, considering that you have to run it through your teeth a whole lot, so it needs to be able to undertake that mission. But the waxed stuff is the best stuff, because the wax will grip onto the pants even more, kind of like the friction force that allows a nial to hold wood together. But if you can't find the wax kind, then it will just be like using amazingly stong string that is really cheap and easy to find.

aspen42 (author)2009-02-01

Perfect timing as I just wore through a pair of jeans. We might not start a ludicrous fad but the project is so quick and easy that I guarantee these will be a must have item in some post-apocalyptic future. Might as well practice making one now!

If the hole is somewhere that makes the backpack less effective, you can use a gaudy patch for added homelyness.

jongscx (author)2009-02-01

I recycled a pair of pants into a backpack once. I used the straps/back of an old "good" backpack that we bought overpriced at the store that ripped open from hauling too many books. I used the pants to recreate a body. Reused zippers and snaps from the old backpack too. That thing lasted about 5x longer than the original model. How sad is that.

balisticjoe (author)2009-02-01

hey. I'm doing almost the exact same thing for my laptop case. But at least this will help.

skunkbait (author)2009-01-31

Pretty sweet. I've intentionally carried ugly baggage to make myself look less "rob-worthy". If you look like you don't have anything, people are less likely to want to steal from you. On the downsinde: you end up looking like somebody that no-one would miss. Homeless/hobo/vagrant folks are often crime victims, because 1) No one will miss them 2) Police won't take them seriously 3) They are less likely to report a crime. It's a fine line. Be careful out there!

Da_Fudge (author)2009-01-30


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