Kitty Litter Pannier

I upcycled an empty kitty litter container into a water-proof bike pannier - great for carrying things you don't want squished, camping gear, or whatever you wish! I purchased the hardware from as a kit, and at the making of this instructable they still have the items available for purchase although only individually. You could certainly find the screws, nuts and washers at a local hardware store, as well.

I made this about a year ago, but I dismantled it and reassembled it for this instructable. I hope it encourages you to build something similar!


1 x kitty litter container


1 x Bungee Strap for Panniers Long

2 x Heavy J-hook w/ Protector

6 x Nyloc Nut

6 x Fender Washer

4 x 8/16 Black Screw

2 x 7/16 Silver Screw

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Step 1: Align the Hooks, Drill Holes

You have flexibility on where exactly you place the hooks on the pannier, so I recommend hanging the hooks on your bike rack and then lining up the pannier in a comfortable place. Pay attention to where your heels will go when you pedal so you don't hit it, how high the pannier sits above the rack, and how low it comes to the ground. That being said, I am an average height woman and don't hit my heels with the hooks centered on the container, and it has plenty of clearance on the bottom with the hooks as high up as they go.

Mark the sides of the hooks, and the holes where the screws will go. Drill the holes with a power drill, or poke them with a large nail. The photo showing two holes is where I initially attached the bungie strap, and then found it not tight enough. I drilled a second, higher set of holes, and now it holds more tightly to my bike.

If you plan to paint or otherwise decorate your pannier, this is a good step in which to do it. I kind of like the silly comments I get when riding around with a giant kitty litter container, and the bright yellow helps with safety, so I left it plain.

Step 2: Attach the Hardware

Insert the screw, with the washer and nut on the inside. I used a set of pliers to hold the nut still while using the power drill to put the screw all the way in. The power drill was probably overkill, and could easily be done with a handheld screwdriver.

The top two are in the J hooks, and the bottom one is attaching the bungie. Be sure to attach the bungie with the hook facing away from the container, so it can hook on your bike rack.

Step 3: Attach to Bike and Go for a Ride!

The lid can be closed securely, but probably won't last forever. If it stops latching, I might attach something that helps it stay closed. However, mine has held up surprisingly well so I haven't needed it yet. I have made a few trips through moderate rain with everything staying dry inside - win!

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    5 Discussions


    9 days ago

    Great repurpose. You should now make them look like Minions :)

    1 reply

    11 days ago

    Those containers are made with a nearly indestructible plastic that I have just hated throwing away, I just knew they could be used for something else. I love your idea!

    1 reply

    Reply 10 days ago

    I'm glad you like it! They are indeed VERY hardy.


    20 days ago

    Nicely done! They're the great buckets!