Introduction: Customizable Elastic Band Backpack Organizer
Made a second version of my gadget organizer. (Hope it will stop here before this becomes another obsession.) Can be used in a backpack, or outside. The base is a perforated aluminium board and the gadgets are held in place by loops of elastic band. Loops of any size can be created at each desired location on the board using the holes and some hair pins.
- Fully customizable
- No wasted space (gadgets can sit right next to eachother)
- Anti slip material makes gadgets sit secure
- Perforated aluminium board that fits in your backpack. See my first organizer instructable for how this is made: Backpack organizer version 1
- Black metal paint (or radiator paint)
- Double sided tape
- Anti slip elastic band (this is elastic band used in clothing, which has silicone material sewed on top)
- A tiewrap
- A lot of hair pins
Step 1: Spray the Aluminium Board Black
The aluminium base is not visible in this design, because the entire surface will be covered with elastic bands. But to prevent the metal from peeking through, I spray it black.
To make the paint adhere better, I start with sanding one side of the board and wipe it clean. Then I spray it with black radiator paint. (Any metal paint will do.) Spray a couple of thin layers, until it is entirely black. Spray outside or use a well ventilated area. (Or sacrifice brain cells)
When it is dry, move on to the next step !
(To see how the aluminium board is made see my first Backpack organizer instructable.
Step 2: Tape the Rounded Edges of the Board
I want to wrap the elastic band all around the board. That will work fine on the straight edges, but on the rounded edges, it will slip off. To prevent this, I stick some double sided tape on the rounded parts of the edge. The tape must not overlap with the perforations too much, because we need to access those later. So I cut out a number of narrow strips of double sided tape from a larger roll. The images are self-explanatory. Note that I don't stick tape all around the edge. This way the elastic loops can always be moved a bit if necessary.
Step 3: Wrap Around the Elastic Band
Now I want to completely cover the board in loops of elastic band, wrapping all around. If the board you are using has a rectangular shape, this is easy. But the rounded edges in my board make it a bit more difficult. (At least if the result has to look more or less neat.) I'll give a step by step description of how I did it in the image notes.
You may need to adapt this way of wrapping to the shape of your own board. May take some tinkering...
Step 4: Create Custom Loops for Objects to Sit In
The board is now ready to use ! You can lay out your objects and then create custom loops to hold them. The loops are created by clamping the band onto the board using hair pins. I'll describe how to do this step by step in the image notes.
Step 5: Solve Problems
In creating the lay out, I stumbeled on several issues. I'll address them in the notes of each image.
Step 6: Insert in Bag and Zip Up :)
This is the finished result with all items installed. Just slide it in your backpack and zip up :)
As you can see, this particular backpack has a compartment that opens almost completely from top to bottom. Very nice for this kind of organizer. (and its only 20 euro and holds a 17'' laptop)
Step 7: Vertical Loop Version
In testing the organizer with horizontal loops as described in step 1-6, I found that some heavy objects do slide down over time. The grip of the bands is very tight, but apparently, not tight enough. This problem is also reported in the 'Grid-it' organizer, as I read in various customer reviews on Amazon.
The simplest way to solve this I think, is to use only vertical loops. The objects then can't slide down past the attatchment point of the loop. I made a version of this for testing and it holds up quite well so far (see image).