How To Make an AXIALFEST Swag Bag Soft Top

tech_swagbagtop

AXIALFEST2015 Swag Bag Soft Top

Words and Photos by Matthew ‘Skeeno’ Soileau

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Do you have a swag bag laying around from AXIALFEST2015 that you aren’t quite sure what to do with?  I have a project for you that you can easily complete in an hour or two.

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It’s the AXIALFEST2015 Swag Bag Soft Top. If you don’t have an AXIALFEST2015 Swag Bag, go find some fabric. I noticed that my wife’s reusable grocery bags seem to be made from the same material, and they come in different colors.  So, go see if you have some if you want to try a different color combination.

DSCF0132 This sweet soft top that I spotted at the RECON G6 Birthday Bash #5 is the inspiration for this how-to blog.  You can see here that this guy got extra fancy with a plastic rear window made from sheet protectors and the AXIALFEST logos sewn on.

IMAG01414Don’t worry, you won’t need a sewing machine for my version.  You only need a few things that you probably have laying around your shop; a pen, paper, scissors, and a hook and loop strap.

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Step one: Trace out the top of your cage.  On my G6 Jeep/Deadbolt cage, I’m only covering the top, so no rear window is needed.

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The trace doesn’t have to be perfect, just a rough estimate.

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Cut it out and give it a quick test fit.

IMAG01413 I liked one side of my template, but the other side didn’t match.

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I figured out that I could fold a paper in half and trace the good side.

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Then, I gave it a quick trim and…

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Wala, a symmetrical template.

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Once you are happy with your template, move on to step two.

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Step two: Trace out your template onto your AXIALFEST2015 Swag Bag.  I used the side without the logos.  Looks like there is enough material to do at least one more should you need to start over or make a second one. You want your material to be larger than your template, so you can fold it over your roll cage.

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The point of no return.  I have now cut up my AXIALFEST2015 Swag Bag.

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Step Three:  I had to figure out how to attach the top.  I thought of zip ties, but wanted a snug fit.  I wanted it removable, so I thought a hook and loop strap might work.  I tested my industrial strength stick-on hook and loop strap on a test piece of fabric.  It stuck amazingly well.  So, I cut strips of this.

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I placed the hook and loop strap on the underside parts of the roll cage where I wanted the top to cover. It was at this point that I figured out it was smart to remove the cage from the lexan body. You might want to remove your cage before starting the template.

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Then, I placed the matching side of the hook and loop strap and pulled the backing.

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I started by folding over the front and back first.  Make sure to pull them tight before you stick the fabric to the strap.

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Then, I did the same for the sides.

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I flipped it over to see how it was looking, not bad.

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Then I did the rear sides.  I had to start making some cuts to fit around the cage back here.

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Not looking too shabby.

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Step four: Fold and trim the excess material around all the down tubes.

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I pulled off my top to trim it easier.   I looks a little hacked, but you can’t see it when installed.

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Folding over the material on the corners and down tubes helps keep the top looking clean and hides the rough edges. I takes a little finagling, and I had to detach and reattach a few times to get it right.

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So there it is, an easy project to protect your scale driver from the sun and rain. Go get to work and post your photos on the AXIALFEST2016 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1623366397951597/

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Looks like Alien Gee-Six is wishing he had a top.  Now, if I can figure out how to make one that he can stick his gigantic head through…