How to Make a L4D First Aid Kit (Zombie Survival Prop)




Introduction: How to Make a L4D First Aid Kit (Zombie Survival Prop)

About: I love sewing, electronics, crafting and Chowder.
Estimated Cost: ~$20-$25
Estimated completion time: 5-6 hours
Difficulty: Easy


I made this as part of my wife's Halloween costume. It is a health pack the survivors carry in
the zombie survival game Left 4 Dead. I tried to make it as dimensionally accurate as
possible by comparing about a dozen in game screen shots to game items with dimensions
I knew (i.e. 1911 pistol).

I did end up making a few changes that are not really that apparent. I used ripstop nylon
though the game one does not. Also, I scaled the size down by about 20%. A full size pack
seemed kind of awkward and unwieldy mounted on the back.

Click the little i in the top corner of an image to see its full size.

Materials- FIG 1-1

With the exception of the printable fabric sheets, all the materials I used can be found at
  1. 1 Yard x 420 Denier Coated Ripstop Packcloth Nylon Fabric - Chili Pepper Red
  2. 4 Yard x 3/4" Polypropylene Webbing - Black
  3. 2 x ¾" Ladderlock Buckles - Black
  4. 4 x Metal Zipper - Black (two should be slightly smaller)
  5. 1 x Red thread
  6. 1 x Black thread
  7. 1 x White thread
  8. 1 x EQ Printables - Premium Cotton Satin Inkjet Printable Fabric Sheets
  9. 1 x 1" D-ring
  10. 1 x Large Bag of cotton stuffing or a few packs of tissue paper.
  11. Some assorted fabric scraps.
  1. Straight-stitch sewing machine (with zipper foot)
  2. Scissors
  3. Lighter or heat gun
  4. Ink Jet Printer
  5. Razor Knife
  6. Hand sewing materials

Step 1: Prepare Materials for Sewing

Part One: Get the Pattern

Open and print a PDF version of the pattern here. Once you have it printed out 
go ahead and cut out all the pieces. I didn't label the pieces on the pattern so you will
need to refer to FIG 2-1 to see what each piece is.

Part Two: Cut your Fabric

The appropriate number of each piece from your nylon fabric.You will need two
of each pattern piece FIG 2-2.

Part Three: Transfer Markings

You will need to transfer all the lines and marking on each patten piece to its
corresponding fabric piece. With coated nylon this is easier said than done. A caulk
pen will work but it wont show up in photographs so I am going to use an ink pen; if all
goes well the marked area will be covered up anyway.

Leave one side piece and one back piece unmarked.

The easiest way to transfer the markings is to punch holes in the pattern at each
marked corner. Lay the patten over a its corresponding fabric piece then wiggle the tip
of your marking tool in the holes. Next, lift off the pattern and connect the dots with a
straight edge FIG 2-3.

Step 2: Insert the Zippers

You will need to add 4 zippers, two on the front and one on each pocket. They are all created
the same way.

Part One: Slash Zipper Slots

On the front pattern section you will have two long narrow rectangles marked that are
parallel to the long edge of the piece. You will need to slash these with a razor knife
like I have done is FIG 3-1.

Part Two: Top Stitch Zipper Slots

Fold the flaps you created in the previous step inward and stitch them in place by
top-stitching around the edge of the slot. The end result should look like FIG 3-2.

Part Three: Prepare Zippers

You will most likely need to shorten your zippers. The easiest way is to use a zig-zag
sewing machine but you can just as effectively do it by hand.

Measure the length of your zipper slot and add 1/4".

Take your zipper and measure the length you found above, starting from the top of the
zipper pull when fully closed. Mark the length with a chalk pencil FIG 3-3.

Zig-zag back and forth across the mark you created about 10-20 times FIG 3-4. Clip
the fabric portion of the zipper to the metal on the far side of the stitched you just
created. Use a pair of wire cutter to clip though the metal. separating the excess
zipper FIG 3-5.

Part Four: Attach Zippers

Hand baste the zippers into position FIG 3-6. Make sure they are facing the right way!

Top-stitch over the previous stitches starting at one side of the bottom of the zipper
and ending on the other side FIG 3-7. Don't forget you have a chunk of metal blocking
your needle path there or you will be needing a replacement.

You should end up with something like FIG 3-8.

Repeat steps 1-4 for the two pocket zippers.

Step 3: Make and Apply the Patches

Part One: Print Out the Graphics

You can open and print a PDF copy of the patch graphics here.

There are more than you need on one sheet but it took me a couple tries to get the
patches looking just right.

Follow the instructions on the EQ Printables packet to print your graphics.

Part Two: Cut out the Graphics

Cut out the cross patch section of the pattern. Center the pattern over one of the
red crosses you printed out above and mark the outline with caulk or a disappearing ink
marker. Add a 1/2" seam allowance and cut out FIG 4-1.

Cut out a square of sturdy white fabric the same size as the rectangle you just cut out
from the pattern.

Part Three: Assemble Patch

Center the fabric rectangle on the back side of the red cross graphics.

Fold the seam allowance over the fabric and press into place.

Edge stitch around the top of the patch FIG 4-2.

Part Four: Apply Patch

Center patch over marking on front section and edge stitch over previous stitching
FIG 4-3.

Repeat steps 1-4 for the First Aid patch. You will not need to add the fabric backing in
steps 2-3.

Step 4: Add the Straps

Part One: Cut the Straps to Length

There are three straps. One each on the top and bottom of the pack and one on the
front between the patches.

Cut two pieces of webbing 6 7/8" long and one 5" long.

Use a lighter or heat gun to melt the cut edges so they don't fray.

Part Two: Attach Straps

Turn under 3/4" on the end of each strap and top-stitch in the shape of a
rectangle to pin the folded section in place FIG 5-1.

Center each strap over its respective markings on the fabric pieces and secure in place
by stitching over the stitches you just made above FIG 5-2.

Step 5: Make the Pockets

Part One: Mark the Pocket Pieces

You should already have added the zippers to your pocket pieces in Step 2.

Mark a one inch seam allowance all the way around the pocket piece and extend the
corners all the way to the edge like in FIG 6-1. You should end up with a 3 x 3 grid.

Note: I did this part before I added my zippers so it is absent in some of the photos.
This was my first attempt so I got impatient to see how the elements would come
together in case I had to make changes. I added the zippers later when I was happy
with the result but with added difficulty.

Part Two: Stitch the Corners.

Notice that the in the previous part you created four 1" x 1" squares in each corner of
the pocket pieces. Fold each corner along the dotted line (right side together) in
FIG 6-1 and stitch as shown in FIG 6-2. Clip the excess seam allowance to 1/8" at the

Turn the pocket right side out FIG 6-3.

Part Three: Attach Pockets

Turn under 3/8" of the edges of the pockets and hand baste into place FIG 6-4.

Center pocket over marking on side fabric piece. Hand baste the piece in place FIG 6-5.
It is easier to keep the pocket aligned if you baste the long edges first and then go back
and baste the short edges.

Edge stitch around the edge of the pocket FIG 6-6.

Repeat step for the other pocket.

Stuff the pocket with cotton balls to give it a nice full look. Place a square of black fabric
under the zippers to prevent any cotton from peaking though.

Step 6: Add Shoulder Straps

In the game the health packs just magically stick to the player's back so I added
some shoulder straps.

Part One: Add D-ring

Fold a 2" piece of webbing over the straight part of the D-ring and stitch down (right side)
on the center of one of the short edges of the back piece, cut edges touching FIG 7-1.

Part Two: Add Straps

Cut four 20" strips of webbing. Melt the edges.

Attach the ends of two strips on the edge opposite the D-Ring and centered on a mark
1.5" from the long edge FIG 7-2.

That's it for now. You'll finish the straps later.

Step 7: Bring It All Together

Part One: Join the Pieces

With right sides together stitch a 5/8" seam between the top, bottom and side pieces
FIG 8-1.

Notch the seams allowances like in FIG 8-2 so that the bag will turn out properly.

Pin the front piece in place and stitch a 5/8" seam around the edge FIG 8-3. To get the
front to sit properly you will have to rip the side seams back about 1/2". In case you're
new to sewing, by rip I mean use a seam ripping tool to undo some of the stitches
so don't hulk out and tear your bag apart.

Attach the back panel the same way.

Turn the bag right side out through one of the front zippers FIG 8-4.

Part Two: Finish the Straps

Loop 1" of the remaining two straps over the D-Ring and Stitch down FIG 8-5.

Loop 1.75" of the straps sewn into the bag to the bottom portion of the ladder lock
buckles FIG 8-6.

Thread the straps attached to the D-ring though the buckles.

Part Three: PWN Some ZombiesFIG 8-7

Fill it out by stuffing with a load of tissue paper. You're Done!

Thanks for checking out my instructable. Please let me know if you spot a problem.

Halloween Props Challenge

Participated in the
Halloween Props Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Edible Art Challenge

      Edible Art Challenge
    • Laser Challenge

      Laser Challenge



    6 years ago

    Cant sew to save my life: would love to buy one though


    Reply 5 years ago

    I wouldn't know what to do with one, but I'd love to make one. Our problems seem concurrent.


    7 years ago

    looks good, well done


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Hello! I am making this for Halloween this year, I cannot find the fabric on rockwoods! I did find "400 Denier High Density Coated Packcloth Nylon Fabric" Will this work for your health pack model?? Thank you in advance! I'm excited to try this project!!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Do you have any more images of the finished product?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I think I'm going to make this and use it as an actual first aid kit. The only change I think I will make is instead of two separate zippers on the front, I will use 1 large sipper that wraps around the front so it folds down, for better access.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I would like to see your finished product.

    It may be easier though while still preserving the looks, to cut a slit between the top of the two zippers and have a square flap there that velcros down on top. The two pictures linked below explain it better. I think this is how the flap they modeled the bag off of worked but for what ever reason the top of the flap was sealed on the texture.

    Best of luck either way.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I think what I'm going to do is to make one zipper have access to a small, thin pouch that holds things like bandaids, and the bigger one to open up to the main cavity.


    Great guide! I'm excited to make mine. So, when printing the first aid labels, did you use the printed side, or the "faded" side that was printed backward? Also, did you follow the fabric sheet instructions: Normal print, air dry, soak in water, hang to dry?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. I used the printed side and followed the instructions on the package to the letter.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Does this instructional guide include the straps to wear it like a backpack?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent. How can what size zips do I need?

    And could I pay you to make me one? I need one for Cosplay :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The think the big ones are #5 and the small ones #3.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I've just bought 4 6" zippers. I'm going to try to cut them.. :S

    This is a really awesome instructable and I intend to make my own. I know this is a prop but could you use this to make an actual first aid kit? I think this would look awesome hanging on a wall and Love items that have just as much Function as Form.