Introduction: Up-cycling Ikea Bags Into Double Bike Bags

Personally, I always forget my Ikea bag when I go to the store and I end up with several pairs at home!

They are resistant, waterproof, light and very large, perfect to be up-cycled in double bag for bike for example ! :)

Step 1: Supplies

You will need :

-2 big Ikea bags

-4 plastic buckles / webbing clips 2.5cm

-Velcro or snaps to close the bags (optional)

-Matching sewing thread

-Sewing machine (recommended but you can sew it by hand)

Step 2: Preparation of the Bags

Unpick all seams between the bottom and the side panel on the 2 bags, in order to obtain 2 bottoms, 2 large panels and 4 straps

Step 3: Cut the Different Parts

You will have to cut the different parts according to the attached drawings.

Be careful ,the black continuous lines are to be cut but the dashed lines are to be traced with a marker and not to be cut.

You have now :

- 1 very long piece B : global structure

- 4 C : front and back panels of the bags

- 4 D : side panels of the bags

- 2 E : bottoms of the bags

- 1 F : top of the bags

- 4 G : straps

- 2 H (made from A) : additional straps

- Pieces of A for the handle

Step 4: Preparation of the Straps

Before beginning the real work, you need to sew some elements together :

1/ Place one end of one piece G on the end of another (on 1 or 2 cm), pin to hold in place if necessary, then sew with a straight stitch (a rectangle with a "x" inside to reinforce the seam).

Repeat with the 2 other G, in order to obtain 2 long straps G'.

2/ Place the 4 male parts of the buckles at the extremities of the straps G'.

Make a double hem by twisting the end of the strap twice on itself and sew. The length of these straps is adjustable.

3/ Fold the piece H on itself in width, so as to obtain a strip of 2.75cm wide and sew with a zigzag stitch.

Repeat with the other H.

4/ Place the female parts of the buckles at the extremities of the plastic straps H and sew in place with a straight or a zigzag stitch.

Step 5: Sewing of the Straps on the Panels

First, you must sew a 1 cm hem all the way around the piece F.

Then, place the plastic straps H on the right side of the cover F. The buckles are inside the surface of F (they are not on my picture because I made a mistake!). Sew on the whole length at 5 mm all around the strap, with a straight stitch.

Now do the same with the 2 long straps G' and the right side of the structure panel B, with the same width between the 2 straps G' and the 2 straps H.

Step 6: The Bags (1)

Now we are going to form the bags.

First, place 1 C and 1 E right sides together, edge on edge. I keep the original seam of the top of the ikea bag (on the C et D pieces) to reinforce the top of the bags. So I place the E piece on the other edge of the C piece, as you can see on the blueprint.

Pin together and sew, first with a straight stitch at 5mm of the edge, then with a zigzag stitch to make the bags stronger. Press the seam open with your nail.

Repeat with another C piece on the free edge of the E piece (be careful to place the original seam at the opposite edge). Press the seam open with your nail.

You obtain a part of the future bag : front - bottom - back.

Repeat all the operations with remaining C and E pieces.

Step 7: The Bags (2)

Now we are going to sew the 2 flat bags newly made on the big structure B.

Place the right side of one of the newly made bags on the wrong side of B. The seams of C must coincide with the traced lines on S.

/!\ S stops before the edge of the front piece of the bags

Pin together et sew all around (yellow dots on the picture), keeping the same distance between the front and back edges of the bag and the seam. Sew first with a straight stitch at 5 mm of the edges and reinforce with a zig-zag stitch.

Repeat with the second bag.

Step 8: Now the Fun Part...

Now we are going to sew the sides of the bags and form them.

Place a D piece edge on edge on the front of one of the 2 bag. Be careful to place the original seam on the same side for the D piece and the front.

You have 2 possibilities : the right sides together or the wrong sides together. I made one bag with each of the 2 possibilities so you could see the result and choose wisely your way.

- right sides : you don't see the seams outside but the bag is more puffy (on the left on the photo).

- wrong sides : you see the seams but the bag contour is more neat (on the right on the photo).

Choose which side you prefer, pin and sew at 5mm of the edge (straight stitch and zigzag to reinforce).

Rotate your D piece by 90°, pin the edges together and sew as you do just before.

Do it all again with the third edge of the D piece.

Congratulations ! You have half a bag ! You just have to do it again with another D piece on the other side to close this bag.

And now that you know how to do it, you just sew together the last 2 D pieces with the other flat bag.

Tadam !

Step 9: The Top and the Handle

Place the F piece, the top, on the bags. Be careful, the lines previously drawn on F and on B must coincide.

Pin and sew on the lines and at 5mm of the edges. (I had to roll the bags on themselves to place them on my sewing machine... it is not very convenient but it will be ok for you too!)

Now, use a piece of A to make the handle : fold a 32 x 5.5cm rectangle on itself to obtain a handle of 32 x 2.75cm. Pin and sew on the length.

Put this handle on the top, centered, and edge on edge with F.

Pin and sew with a straight stitch (a large rectangle with a "x" inside to reinforce the seam).

Have a beer, a glass of wine or just a tea to celebrate, it's nearly done !!

Step 10: Finitions

In order to close your bags more easily, you can add velcro, ribbon or snap fastener at the top of them.

To fasten your so beautiful bags on your bike, you could sew a carabiner, a hanger hook or another device next to the handle. Or you could simply use a luggage elastic cord.

If you want to rigidify your bags, put some pieces of cardboard inside, on the bottom and on the back of each bag.

Et voilà ! Enjoy !


annrrr (author)2017-08-26

This is one of the best instructables I've seen in a long time! Cool idea & detailed instructions!

gateau_moelleux (author)annrrr2017-08-26

Thanks ! I'm glad you liked it ! :)

knopfling (author)2017-08-25

cool idea! Great photos!


Thanks ! :)

Swansong (author)2017-08-25

That's a neat way to reuse them! I would love something like this for my bike. :)

gateau_moelleux (author)Swansong2017-08-26

They are very useful ! You should try to make them, it's quite easy (it takes some time but it totally worth it)! We made a 4 days bike road trip with them as luggage and they were more convenient and more resistant than the bags our friends had bought! I also use them to bring back groceries from the store, it's perfect for that ! :)