After researching different dance bag options, I decided to attempt to make my own.
I debated between a 26″ duffel and a 30″ I went with the 30″. When all my stuff is in the bag, I still have a lot of extra room. So, it may have been overkill. But, I do like that I can fold my garment bags once and have them fit perfectly.
The PVC and connectors cost $13. The bag was $32, and the spray paint cost $3. For a total cost of $48. Compared to the cost of a dream duffel, I thought this was very reasonable. It took me a grand total of about 15 minutes to put together (minus the spray paint)
I bought 2 10 foot pieces of 3/4″ PVC and 1 5 foot piece of 1/2″ PVC.
4 – ½ to ¾ “L” fittings
2 – ¾ “L” fittings
2 – ½ to ¾ “T” fittings
4 – ¾ straight connectors
You could do it all out of 3/4″, but I thought with the 1/2″ it would be easier to slide under the roller handle at the bottom of the duffel.
In the ¾” pipe:
3 – 21” pieces (top and 2 base pieces)
4 – 18” pieces (sides)
2 – 12” pieces (sides inside bag)
In the ½” pipe:
4 – 4” pieces
My husband cut the pipes with a table saw, but you can buy a PVC pipe cutter for around $10. One tip that I figured out too late. After cutting each piece, but BEFORE bringing it inside, blow into the pipe. Little shavings of plastic will stick inside the pipe when you cut it and will come out when you start taking apart and reassembling the rack!
I had to fight to get the pieces connected under there. It may have been easier if the 3 21” pieces were a little shorter b/c the bottom of the bag had more give away from the corners. But, once I got them together it fits great and is very secure. Those pieces may also need to be resized based on the bag brand and where the wheel housings, etc are located. I am right up against the wheels.
I was going to zip tie to the handle rails, but it’s in there so tight that I don’t think it’s necessary at all.
It also may have worked better if the 4” pieces were a tiny bit smaller. I’d like to cut holes for the poles to go through so that I can zip the bottom piece. The base pieces pull that bottom fabric really tight, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to zip it.
One thing that I did differently from others I’ve seen was to add this vertical piece inside the bag. My thinking was to leave this piece connected, and then it will be easier to attach the poles while the costumes are still in the bag so that the connectors don’t get covered by the costumes, etc.
I got the duffel bag here: http://www.amazon.com/Rockland-Luggage-Rolling-Duffle%C2%A0Bag-Camouflage/dp/B003EZXP00
Once I was done I painted the PVC with Krylon Covermaxx paint in Watermelon. I wanted to use Krylon Fusion for Plastic paint, but apparently the Watermelon is discountinued. The only pink in Fusion is Fairytale Pink which is very pale and did not match my bag. Due to time constraints, I did not sand the PVC or seal the paint.