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Making a DIY Grid-It Alternative

I’ve always found it annoying that items I keep in bags usually collect in an untidy and often tangled mess at the bottom of the bag or whatever pocket of the bag they are in. I’ve been interested in solutions such as the Grid-It, but the cost is much higher than seems reasonable.

MinimumEffort created a DIY alternative to Grid-It for much less money and shared it at “I couldnt find my dream EDC pocket organizer, so I made it for $2.50“. It turned out to be a very easy and rewarding project. He created a video that detailed the process and shared an image detailing the supplies needed, but didn’t provide a clear set of text instructions.

I modified the project a bit to fit my needs. I wanted to have a stiff organizer that would fit perfectly in my messenger bag and help it keep its shape, so I swapped out cardboard for a 8×10 inch canvas I found at a local dollar store. The end result was a grid that holds all the small items I carry daily, including IDs, credit cards, cables, a multi-tool, a key, a cleaning cloth, USB drives, and a few other items. It is versatile enough that it can continue to house most new items I can imagine. 

Tools and Supplies Needed:

  • a stapler
  • scissors
  • clothing elastics (length and width required will vary)
  • a strong piece of cardboard or thin canvas
  • duct tape (optional)

Steps:

  1. Cut the cardboard or canvas into a rectangular shape for a base, preferably in dimensions that are multiples of the width of the elastics being used. In my case 8 inches by 10 inches worked perfectly with 1 inch wide elastics.
  2. If the base is flimsy or if the organizer will be exposed to moisture, it’s best to wrap it with duct tape. It’s best to have the tape colour match the elastic colour.
  3. Wrap elastics around either the width or length of the base to determine the length of elastics used for that dimension. Cut the elastic a bit shorter than that length to ensure it will be snug when stretched over the surface. Cut enough additional elastic strips to cover the base.
  4. Repeat the previous step with the other dimension.
  5. Wrap an elastic around the base and staple it together.
  6. Repeat until the base is covered in one direction.
  7. Weave an elastic through the elastics on both sides of the base, skipping bands if you would like to create a larger pocket. Staple the band together. It’s a good idea to have the items you intend to store at hand so they can be used to measure the needed sizes. I made large pockets on one side and one inch ones on the other.
  8. Once the bands are all woven, you can shift them to hide the staples.
  9. Fill the grid with your things.

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