So I’ve mentioned this kind of bag before. The most popular one is the Dream Duffel. These are large duffels – around 26-32″ – & they have racks that you can pull out so that you can hang your dancer’s costumes.
I almost purchased one because with four girls, we’re going to have 56484598 recital costumes. I just really didn’t feel like spending $200 on a bag. I did find one for $108 but it was boring gray & not cute so I went on a search to make my own.
I found this blog on how this dance mom made hers. You can find it here. I mostly followed what she did but had some changes so I will give you guys my instructions as well 🙂
First you will need a large duffel bag. I purchased mine from Amazon. Here’s the exact bag I purchased. Our dance studio’s colors are mainly black & red so this was perfect. But there are other choices. This is a 30″ bag & it might be a little large for just one dancer but it will all just depend on how many dances there are. I believe the Dream Duffel is a 26″ bag so a little smaller than what I wanted. This bag cost me $26!!!
So here’s what else you will need:
- 1 – 10′ (1/2″) PVC pipe
- 1 – 5′ (1/2″) PVC pipe
- 6 – 1/2″ PVC elbow fittings
- 2 – 1/2″ PVC 90-degree (T)
- 4 – 1/2″ PVC coupling
- Duct tape
- Spray paint
- Some type of saw to cut the PVC pipes
& that’s it.
I spent about $10 on the PVC at Lowe’s. Duct tape was a few dollars at WalMart. I already had the spray paint but you can get them as low as $1 at WalMart.
So I would say this project cost me around $40!!! Definitely better than $200. Even $100.
Okay. So first you will need cut your PVC pipes. If you’re getting the exact same bag, just follow my exact measurements. If you’re getting a different bag, you’ll have to measure the inside & cut accordingly.
You will need:
- 3 – 20″
- 4 – 18″
- 2 – 12″
- 4 – 4″
What I did first was just put it all together outside of the bag.
Place 2 of the 20″ pieces parallel to each other & stick 4 of the elbow fittings on each of the ends.
Then stick the 4 of the 4″ pieces on the other ends of the elbow fittings.
Now connect the 2 pieces with the 90-degree fittings.
Stick the 12″ pieces on the top of the 90-degree fittings.
Place the couplings on top of the 12″ pieces you just places.
Stick the 18″ pieces on each side.
Place more couplings & do the 18″ pieces again.
Place the remaining elbow fittings on top of those.
& stick the remaining 20″ on the very top connecting everything.
& you’re done.
Now before you decorate. Make sure the bottom piece will fit in the bottom of the bag. You might have to shorten the length if you have a smaller bag or if the wheels get in the way.
The way I “decorated” my pipes was with just some duct tape. You can spray paint the entire thing but I figured it would scrape off especially on the top where the hangers will be. I did spray paint the elbow, 90-degree, & couplings. Also, when you duct tape, make sure to not duct tap all the way to the ends or else the fittings won’t go on.
Here comes the hard part. & this is the only hard part. If you have the same bag as I do (& maybe other bags will be similar if they have that retracting handle), you’re going to put the base underneath the metal part where the handle is. This was a pain in the butt. There’s not a lot of room to work with so you might need another person to kind of pull those up while you stick the pipes underneath & construct it in there.
But that’s it, once you’re past that part it’s easy – breezy – lemon – squeezy.
Just construct the rest as you did earlier.
I was going to glue the base together since that is the part that will not be taken apart but once I had it in there, I was not about to take it out & I don’t believe it’s going anywhere. It’s pretty snug.
The bottom of the vertical part I will leave in at all times. The bag zips just fine with those still attached & that way I won’t have to search for the very bottom of the base when all of the costumes & things are in the bag.
I do have a little advice if spray painting. I’m not sure exactly the best way to avoid this but when I sprayed the fittings, I obviously got some paint on the inside & it’s a little harder to take apart. It doesn’t just slide on & off as easily. I’m hoping that with time all of the paint will kind of wear of on the inside & it’ll be a little easier but it’s not a huge deal for me. So I don’t know, if spray painting everything, I probably wouldn’t spray paint the very ends & maybe stick a paper towel inside the fittings.
But that’s it!!
I love it & I hope you do too!!