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View Full Version : How should I mod my non-TB bags and packing cubes?



ejvc
03-23-2019, 09:18 AM
So the acquisition of more bags and packing cubes is off the table for the moment, but I want to change what we have to be more useful.

We have quite a selection of packing accessories I've acquired over the years (my husband just has a bunch of plastic bags of course). Most are simple fabric cubes. There are also some padded "makeup" style cases (like you used to get when flying, or as a freebie with a makeup purchase), and a few see-through zippered envelopes. I am armed with O-rings, webbing of several widths, and various bits of hardware. What mods should I make?

I'm considering:
-- grab handle(s)
-- o-rings on the outside, like on each end of the zipper (as found on 3DOC)
-- tab with o-ring on the envelopes.

Any other suggestions?

aedifica
03-23-2019, 09:39 AM
All the o-rings! But you're already planning to do that. :)

twosandalz
03-23-2019, 03:54 PM
Do you wish any of the pouches were a different shape or size? I've shortened a couple freebie makeup pouches that were too tall, and resized a zipped clam shell needle case.

ejvc
03-24-2019, 12:27 AM
Great idea!

ejvc
03-24-2019, 01:55 AM
TL;DR: How do I pack or improve the 3 useless packing cubes from the set below

Just a quick update: I'm sort of at a loss. So I have two sets of these from IKEA some years ago (one in pink and one in dark blue):

22353

There's a large single, a large two-sided, a small, and a long shapeless thing. I pretty much only ever use the large single because on the two-sided each side is only like 1 1/2" deep, and the small is only 1" deep, and I don't know what to do with the huge one. It seems like it ought to be a shoe bag, but it's WAY too big for my shoes and the "mesh" isn't mesh but plastic, so it doesn't breathe at all and in addition is kind of rigid, so it doesn't crumple to the odd shape of the shoe. Also, why is there a handle on the top? Do people for some reason hang their shoes? I've considered sewing the corners into a box maybe.

You are all so clever, can you help me with these please

aedifica
03-24-2019, 12:13 PM
For the two-sided one, you could either cut out the middle divider and just have one deeper section or else you could cut out the divider and put in a floating divider (like the TB laundry cubes have).

Is the small a good size for underwear? Cables? Dry toiletries?

twosandalz
03-24-2019, 04:17 PM
and a long shapeless thing

That shapeless one sounds like it's for muddy boots, but a plastic shopping bag would pack better. It might be more useful after swimming for a damp towel and bathing suit. But again, a plastic bag packs down better. Maybe it best to organize stuff at home rather than traveling with it. It might contain something like unruly like extension cords and extra cables. Or maybe make it smaller to use for a tool kit or to corral ratchet straps.

ejvc
03-25-2019, 02:11 AM
For the two-sided one, you could either cut out the middle divider and just have one deeper section or else you could cut out the divider and put in a floating divider (like the TB laundry cubes have).

Is the small a good size for underwear? Cables? Dry toiletries?

Is there anywhere I can see the floating divider? I can't quite picture it. I could easily remove the existing divider, I think, and then if it's just a matter of (say) binding the edges, attaching a flap and then sewing the flap to the seam, I think that is pretty manageable and would really improve this.

The small one is OK for underwear only (no socks) or potentially as you say for cables or toiletries. Or maybe first aid? it's a pretty good size for that. Thank you for the suggestion

aedifica
03-25-2019, 10:06 AM
Here's a photo from the website showing an A30 small laundry packing cube in NWS that shows the divider. You can see that the divider is still attached in the middle, probably where the divider is currently attached on yours, but it has extra material in the divider that lets it float all the way from the top of the cube to the bottom. That way you can pack it full with clean clothes, move each item to the other side as things get dirty, and the divider moves gradually from one side to the other as the clothing is moved to the other side.

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ejvc
03-25-2019, 10:42 AM
Thank you so much, I looked for a picture but I didn't find it! So it's a kind of bag within a bag attached all the way round. I see it is just pleated into the seam also, so it must be a kind of oval shape. Interesting! Will have to experiment!

ETA: I removed the divider in the laundry cube I have. It was a rectangle with bound edges. I think if I cut a bigger rectangle and re-bind it with the same tape, I can just re-sew it in, and voilą, floating divider. And, it gives me a good idea for how to make a laundry stuff-sack too, using a similar technique. TBH I don't know that these cubes are worth it but I don't lose much if I destroy them!

Also, I just looked again at the small flat cube -- it has a padded bottom, so I think it is likely ideal for tech paraphernalia. Thanks for the idea!

ejvc
03-31-2019, 08:33 AM
I have had a bit of time and modified my useless double zipper cube to contain a floating divider! I'm very pleased with this mod, it worked really well. I ended up sewing the previous divider onto a larger mesh rectangle. I covered the edges of the previous divider with seam tape then bound the edge of the larger mesh with the original bias tape that had been used to edge the divider, pleating it at the corners. This effectively made a shallow rectangular bag. Then I sewed the bias tape back on the original stitching line around the cube. On one side when you open the divider you see only mesh, on the other side you see the original bottom. I guess the mesh side will be "dirty". I will also put a coloured cord on the zip tap. Finally I'm going to attach a little grosgrain handle.

Rei
04-01-2019, 01:26 AM
I have had a bit of time and modified my useless double zipper cube to contain a floating divider! I'm very pleased with this mod, it worked really well. I ended up sewing the previous divider onto a larger mesh rectangle. I covered the edges of the previous divider with seam tape then bound the edge of the larger mesh with the original bias tape that had been used to edge the divider, pleating it at the corners. This effectively made a shallow rectangular bag. Then I sewed the bias tape back on the original stitching line around the cube. On one side when you open the divider you see only mesh, on the other side you see the original bottom. I guess the mesh side will be "dirty". I will also put a coloured cord on the zip tap. Finally I'm going to attach a little grosgrain handle.

photo ? :D

ejvc
04-01-2019, 03:50 AM
Yes, yes, photo! Very soon! And I've figured out that I can mod the useless long bag into an A30 sized cube -- I just need to cut mesh for the lid and hope I have a sufficiently long zipper. Then the plastic mesh part can become a zipped envelope.

ETA: My zippers are half as long as they need to be. GRRRR!

ejvc
04-02-2019, 12:14 AM
OK, you said you wanted pictures... I show the inside both ways, with some detail shots, then packed (with only one side full) then finally a shot of the new handle and tag for the laundry side. Weight 124g without handle and ribbon tag - probably about 130g now. So, 30g heavier than TB version.

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AlaskaGirl
04-02-2019, 11:10 AM
Very nice! I've got several different brands of old packing cubes. I wonder if an alterations shop would do something like this for me. It would make them so much more functional. Thank you very much for sharing your ideas and photos! elisa

ejvc
04-02-2019, 11:46 AM
Hey everyone, I'm out of zipper. So help me think through this. Should I:

a) make an A30 packing cube that opens only on one side and 2 1/2 inches down each edge (my zipper is 17", the A30 packing cube is 12"on a side);

b) find a different way to close the cube (what? buttons? straps? ties? elastic cord somehow?)

c) give up and wait for the universe to send me a 39" zipper with two sliders? i.e. spend about $10 equivalent on such a zipper. I know of sources to get them cheaper but they all have shipping attached so it works out about that much. Considering I paid $10 for the original set of IKEA cubes I feel that this would in some way invalidate my re-making project.

Cristina
04-02-2019, 12:33 PM
Hey everyone, I'm out of zipper. So help me think through this. Should I:

a) make an A30 packing cube that opens only on one side and 2 1/2 inches down each edge (my zipper is 17", the A30 packing cube is 12"on a side);

b) find a different way to close the cube (what? buttons? straps? ties? elastic cord somehow?)

c) give up and wait for the universe to send me a 39" zipper with two sliders? i.e. spend about $10 equivalent on such a zipper. I know of sources to get them cheaper but they all have shipping attached so it works out about that much. Considering I paid $10 for the original set of IKEA cubes I feel that this would in some way invalidate my re-making project.

Option A sounds like an opening similar to the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, if that leads you closer to a decision... :-)

Your work looks amazing! You're very skilled. Can't wait to see what you decide.

Rei
04-03-2019, 12:50 AM
Nice job!
funny thing is I didn't know first if I will be able to take a new TB order (living far far away), I thought about buy and alter random packing cubes in the TB laundry way :D now I know it can work greatly (but I could take a new order with many TB accessories x))

BTW, A) seems a good option

ejvc
04-03-2019, 02:26 AM
I am leaning towards A... it has the advantage that I have all the materials -- all I need is a 12 1/2 x 12 1/2" square of mesh and the rest is recycled. Fortunately I have a lot of purple mesh that I bought on a close-out somewhere, thinking it might be useful. I've had it for years and years and never touched it LOL. If this works OK I can remake the pink shoe bag as well - the second time is easier. I'm making a pink version of the laundry cube too. I don't know if I will ever use them but it's nice to know they are fit for purpose!

ejvc
04-03-2019, 10:18 AM
Quick post to say the end result (option A) seemed more like a new project than a mod so I posted it in my "self-sewn TB inspired" thread on the General Bags board. Now I have to decide what to do with the plastic-backed mesh from the top. But I am very pleased and will do the same changes to the pink set, and then I will have eight good cubes instead of just two, which is a big result!!

ejvc
04-04-2019, 03:58 AM
Lightbulb! At least I *think* so -- if I get a spare zipper slider (which I should have around somewhere), I can mod the flat padded cube by folding it in half. Then, I'll have a double-zippered padded small cube... put on some o-rings, a couple of webbing handles, even maybe a carabiner... Wait, did you say snake charmer??? Why yes, yes you did. Although, not nearly as fat.

I'm really enjoying my cube modding, in case you can't tell!