Sandbags for Yin Yoga - pattern & supplies for DIY

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This is a simple pattern for making sandbags for Yin Yoga.

Use wrapping paper, paper bags from the grocery store or the packing material you might have to create a pattern with these dimensions. You will have three pieces to this pattern. This drawing is not to scale and is for representational purposes.

The largest pattern piece for the sandbag outer casing is 18 inches x 8.5 inches. If you want to add a logo or embelishment, chalk mark 1.5 inches in from lower left corner.

Smaller back portion of outer casing is 7.5 inches wide x 8 inches tall.

Larger back portion of outer casing is 12 inches wide x 8 inches tall. 

4 inch nylon zipper (this is what I had on hand. If I had to do it over, I would've used a wider zipper)

1 inch wide nylon webbing, cut to 9 inches long. Sew handles on both ends of the sandbag for easier transportation. Sew handles at 1 1/2 inches from the top edge and bottom edge.

For the sandbags I made, I used ripstop nylon leftover from a previous project and recycled bed linens. I made two sleeves for each sandbag. One out of the ripstop nylon and one out of the bedsheet, giving each sandbag a second layer of protection agains seam breakage and potential future sand leakage.

I cut the inner sandbag sleeves approximately 7 inches wide and 20 inches long. I serged the fabric on three sides (or cut some as one long rectangle & then I only had to serge two sides). I turned the sleeves inside out so that the serged seams were on thie inside and filled each of them with 7 1/2 pounds of play sand. Then I serged the top edge closed and put this inside another bedsheet sandbag layer, serging the top of that closed. Play Sand comes in 50 pound bags from the hardware store for $6. The sand is washed and filtered and is perfectly suited for this project. Any moisture in the sand will evaporate over time and you do not need to worry about baking the sand or otherwise taking great measures to dry the sand out before using it. Over the course of a few days, the sand bags dried out and I had no issues with mold or dampness persisiting with the sandbag innards.

The only sewing directions of note is how to create an invizible zipper enclosure. You do this by using a basting (long) stitch to connect the two back pieces of the pattern together. Use a back stitch when you start stitching, when you reach the point that will be the top opening for the zipper, the bottom opening for the zipper and the bottom of the zipper seam. Press the seam flat. Sew the zipper into this section, as pictured, taking care to sew across the top and bottom of the zipper several times to create a barrier against the zipper opening too much and tearing the stitches. This does not need to look perfect. It only needs to be functional and resistant against breakage. Noone will care if your top stitching is straight. I promise.

When you've finished sewing the zipper into the basted seam, turn your fabric over and use a ripper tool top cut through the stitches where the zipper is located.

The beauty of this project is that you don't have to worry about how straight your stitches are, or how sharp the corners are sewn. There is a lot of wiggle room and no matter how messy it might look on this inside, the sandbag will serve its purpose, and be put to good use regardless of how well you do or do not sew.

The cost of supplies was $16 for the nylon webbing$17 for 100 4 inch zippers and $18 for 150 pounds of play sand. I ended up making 30 sandbags. Each 50 pound bag of play sand will make 7 sandbags weighing a little over 7 pounds each. Calculating all the supplies (which I have leftovers of zippers and webbing) and dividing by 30 makes each sandbag cost $1.70 in supplies. The least expensive yin yoga sandbag I found online was $22. It was much more cost effective to recycle bedsheets to avoid buying nearly $700 worth of sandbags.