Elastic Grid Organizers

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About: The second picture is of my dog, Tala.

The good people at Cocoon have a great product with GRID-IT™ organizers. Sometimes their designs don’t match my needs or budget. It turns out that it’s easy and fun to make your own. The basic idea is to weave elastic on a backer. Here’s how I do it.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

You will need a backer, adhesive, scissors, and elastic.

Who knew elastic could be so complicated? I use three types of elastic webbing in my projects. Plain elastic comes in lots of sizes and colors. I use it to stretch out (pun intended) my gripper elastic and make pretty patterns.

Silicon grip elastic comes in lots of colors too. It’s lightweight and works for small projects.

Heavy duty grip elastic provides the core of strength. The grip acts to hold down items and to keep the matrix in place. I ended up alternating (up or down) the grip side of the elastic to provide support to the other ribbons on my web.

Hot glue worked great for me. It’s hot! It sticks! Don’t touch it.

Step 2: Prepare Your Backer

I used scrap pieces of thin plywood for my backers, and I found it helpful to draw registration marks on the back side, and to stick a thin piece of foam on the front side to cushion the grid. Metal or acrylic backers would probably work too. If you have specific items in mind for your grid, just make sure your backer is the right size.

Step 3: Glue Some Elastic

To start, set some elastic on one end of your board. What I learned here is that you should not pull your elastic very tight. It needs stretch to be able hold items, otherwise the grid will pull all the elastic too tight to the backer.

Step 4: Weave Elastic

I start by gluing all my horizontal pieces, then cut and weave the vertical strips into the grid. It’s fun to play with colors and even different weaving patterns.

Step 5: Populate the Grid

Add your items. It's mostly tools for me.

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    12 Discussions

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    layleh

    1 year ago

    Great idea. Would it be possible to construct the elastic upon itself to allow the storage to roll up as a pouch?

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    laylehlayleh

    Reply 1 year ago

    Could there be (robust enough) way to attach to the canvas without needing a sewing machine? (Im deficient in that area)

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    mlaurellayleh

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm the same - sewing machines baffle me. I'm going to try an experiment with using hand set rivets to support a large grid, that may be a possibility.

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    mlaurellayleh

    Reply 1 year ago

    That sounds really neat. I think I would try heavy canvas or leather as a backer.

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    louis.m

    1 year ago

    Neat Idea !

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    JeremyZ2

    1 year ago

    Super Cool! Ever think about just making this with a wire frame (not using wood)? It could / should make the whole thing lightweight.

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    mlaurelJeremyZ2

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thin plywood keeps the weight down, and gives it structural rigidity for the grid. But I do think there's lots of room for improvement and variation.

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    go.zira.1

    1 year ago

    Where did you get the different types of elastic from? I have been wanting to make something like this for a while but couldn't find the elastic.

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    mlaurelgo.zira.1

    Reply 1 year ago

    Lots of internet searching, plus a visit to the local fabric store.

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    rdilallo

    1 year ago

    I get these things as swag all the time from conferences and never had a real use for them until now!

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    RobPaige

    1 year ago

    This is one of those ideas that is so simple it's brilliant.

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    mlaurelRobPaige

    Reply 1 year ago

    I agree but I can't take credit. I'm extending the ideas of others, just making my own modifications.