Introduction: DIY Sandbags (Using Old Pants!)

This Instructable brought to you by the:

North Carolina Civil Defense Force

Militia member? Survivalist? Waiting for the Zombies to come?

"Whatever it takes"


Have you ever wanted to make something out of sandbags, but didn't want to pay $40-$50 bucks a box per 100?

Lets "Up-cycle" some wore out clothing too worn for the local Goodwill, and make something useful!

First, you will need the following Items:

Old pants-(as many as you can get, color or pattern does not matter!!)

Pair of scissors

Ironing board

Cloth Adhesive Tape (Dollar General-$1.45 per 15yds.)

Burlap twine or zip ties

Iron with steam setting (Cotton setting is needed, must get hot!)

Sand, dirt, or pebble gravel (I used red dirt for mine.)

(Optional)-An understanding loved one or acquaintance!

Step 1: Time to Cut!

To get the most out of each pair of pants, a few things need to be done.

-Cut at just below the crotch, straight across to remove both legs from the pants.

-If done properly, the extra should look like a pair of "daisy dukes"

-Pants can usually be cut into 4 bags, but 2 long bags work as well depending on needs.

Note: a good pair of scissors is a must for this. Cheap scissors will dull very quickly cutting the fabric.

Step 2: Prepping the Fabric / Heating the Tape

Each pant leg needs to be turned inside out before continuing.

-The tape being used needs to be cut to fit. ( measure from the inside edge of the seam to the inside edge of the seam on the opposite side.)

-Place the tape between the folds, covering the sewing seam on denim, or 1/8 from the end of regular pant legs.

-Place the iron on the "Cotton" setting and make sure you have the water filled to the max limit line.

-With slow motion on the iron, keep pressure straight down and move the iron to 3 sections, picking up the iron and replacing it onto the fabric each time instead of moving over the entire fabric at once. (Failure to do this step may cause the tape to move and create undesirable results!)

-When done with the first pant leg, gently test the glued area to ensure the tape has fully melted, if not, repeat the process.

-If the tape has melted thoroughly, place the newly made sandbag over a chair back to cool.

Step 3: Time to Turn Outside In.

Once cooled, they can now be turned right side out and can be filled with either dirt or sand.

When filling, make sure to leave a few inches from the top so you have room to tie the top.

The bag should look like the images above.

Grab a shovel, time for some real work!

Step 4: Filling the Bags

Once filled with room to spare to tie up, your ready to do it again.

and again..

and again..

Regular structures normally require quite a few to make large enough to use, so around 200 or more would be needed for a substantial project, and the more you have the better the results.

Make sure to reinforce the bags with a wood backing using posts or a combination using chicken wire, etc.

Your results will vary in size and shape with this, but the end result is the same.

Step 5: Don't Be Afraid of the Iron!

For some men, ironing is a job for the misses.

So just in case using an iron makes your lack of manly feelings disappear, the ironing board has plenty of room for your favorite defensive firearm.

Enjoy and if you know a good way to up-cycle and make something useful, make a instructable!!

Thank you for reading and enjoy your new sand bags!!

Eric Bost

North Carolina Civil Defense Force

"Whatever it takes"