4 Quick And Easy Steps To Make A Diy Sleeping Bag Liner (#3 Will Make It Extra Specia!)

Going out into the great outdoors is an incredible experience. Nothing beats the feeling of curling up inside your sleeping bag, laying down close to the earth and looking up at a starry night sky.

But sometimes our sleeping bags aren’t warm enough that we end up freezing cold at night. Other times, we get dirty from hiking, get into our sleeping bag, then realize in the morning that our sleeping bag is now really, really dirty.

This is where a DIY sleeping bag liner can come and save the day. But why DIY you ask? Well for one, it can be a lot cheaper than buying a ready made one.

My favorite reason, though, is that I get to pick the material and pretty patterns to use for my sleeping bag. I’ve made sleeping bag liners that are made of fleece, silk, synthetic fabric, and insulated fabric to fit whatever climate I go camping in.

So if you want to make your own sleeping bag liner for you or your family (I’ve also made liners for my kid’s sleeping bags), all you need to do is follow these 4 quick and easy steps!

More...

What You’ll Need

Your Sleeping Bag

Your sleeping bag

This is the sleeping bag you currently own that you feel isn’t warm enough for you during those cold camping nights so you want to add a DIY liner inside to help keep you warm.

It can also be your current sleeping bag that you notice always gets dirty on the inside so you want to add a liner inside so that it protects your sleeping bag better and all you’ll need to do is to wash the liner instead of the whole sleeping bag.

Or it can simply be any sleeping bag you own that you just want to add an extra liner inside to make it look cuter or more personalized.


Fabric of Choice For Your Liner

  • SILK
  • FLEECE
  • COTTON
Silk

Silk can help keep you warm during the cold weather but is still very lightweight. It is also more breathable compared to other materials so you can still use it during warmer weather.


Measuring Tape

Measuring tape

Use a measuring tape that is designed for fabrics. You can find it in any department stores and maybe even hardware stores. It is thin and flexible so you can easily move it around any shape.


Fabric Pencil, Pen or Marker

Fabric Pencil, Pen or Marker

You can buy special pencils that are made for fabrics. But if you can’t find one, you can use any pen or marker that won’t bleed through the other side of your fabric - unless you don’t mind ink stains!


Needle and Thread

Needle and thread

Select thread that is a similar color to your sleeping bag or your liner so it can blend in nicely. You’ll also need a heavy duty needle if you are using thick cloth for your liner. But if you are using silk, you need a thinner needle so the silk won’t get damaged.

Alternative: Sewing machine if you have one and know how to use it!


Fabric Pins

Fabric pins

Fabric pins are like small needles with a tiny ball on one end to help fasten your fabrics together temporarily before you sew it into place.


Scissors

Scissors

Try to use scissors that are designed for cloth. If not, find the sharpest one you have so that the cloth won’t get damaged when you cut it.


Optional

Zipper or Velcro: If you want to make your liner removable, you’ll need either zippers or Velcro. Velcro works for any type of sleeping bag but when it comes to zippers, it isn’t recommended for mummy bags. So if you have a mummy bag or a sleeping bag that doesn’t open out completly, use Vecro instead of a zipper!

Zipper

Zipper

Velcro

Velcro


It’s Time to Start Making Your Own Diy Sleeping Bag Liner

Step 1. Measure Your Sleeping Bag

The first thing you’ll need to do is to measure your sleeping bag. This is so that you know how much fabric you will need to buy for your liner. Make sure that when you measure it, you add a bit of extra space for your sewing.


If you have a sleeping bag that opens out completely to form one big sheet, you simply need to measure that full sheet.

Open out your sleeping bag completely and lay it out flat. Then measure the entire length and width of the opened sleeping bag - you can refer to the image above.


Once you have the length and width, add about 1 - 2 inches to your measurements (extra space for hemming the ends of the cloth or for attaching zippers). That is how much cloth you are going to need to buy.


But if you have a sleeping bag that doesn’t open completely like a mummy bag, you’ll need 2x the size of the sleeping bag when it is zipped up since you’ll be sewing the liner on all parts of the fabric.­­­

Measure the length and the width of your closed mummy sleeping bag. When you have the width, multiply it by 2.


So if your sleeping bag is 24 inches wide and 72 inches long, your cloth needs to be at least 48 inches wide and 72 inches long.


But you need to add at least 1 - 2 inches of extra allowance as well so you can nicely hem the cloth. So in the example I mentioned, the cloth you need to buy should be around 50 inches wide and 74 inches long.

Step 2. Cut Your Fabric

After you’ve measured your sleeping bag and figured out how much fabric you’ll need, you can start cutting your fabric.


If your sleeping bag opens out completely, all you need to do is to open it out and lay your sleeping bag over the fabric. Use your fabric pencil or any other marker to draw all the way around your sleeping bag, following its shape.


If your sleeping bag does not open out completely (like for mummy sleeping bags), fold your fabric lengthwise first. Then you can place your closed sleeping bag over the folded fabric and trace around it with your fabric pencil.

When you cut it out, you’ll end up with two pieces that are the same for the “top” part of your sleeping bag and the “bottom” part of your sleeping bag.


Remember to leave some extra space for your sewing, especially if you want to add zippers to make your liner removable. Once you have drawn your line, you can go ahead and cut your fabric following the line.


Tip: Use really sharp and good quality scissors so you have a nice clean cut. Also so that the thread of your fabric won’t run and leave those annoying ruffles of thread on it.

Step 3. Add The Zippers/Velcro (Optional)

You can skip this step if you don’t want your liner to be removable. Although, I suggest you make your liner removable so you can clean it easily without having to wash your entire sleeping bag!

Note: Read the next part of this step if you have a mummy bag!


If your sleeping bag opens out completely, all you need to do is to open it out and lay your sleeping bag over the fabric. Use your fabric pencil or any other marker to draw all the way around your sleeping bag, following its shape.


Now you need to stitch the zipper to your liner fabric.

First, fold the ends of your cut fabric in about 1cm to create a hem and use the fabric pins to pin it in place. Then align your fabric with your sleeping bag in the position that you want it to be.


Take your zippers and line it up with the fabric and the inside of your sleeping bag. Make sure your zippers are closed together. Then use the pins to pin one-half of the zipper to the fabric, and the other half to your sleeping bag.

Once it’s pinned, open up your zippers to separate the pieces and proceed to sew it into place. You only need to add zippers to the bottom and sides of your sleeping bag and not the top part.


For mummy sleeping bags (or the ones that don’t open out): Using zippers for these types of sleeping bags may be more difficult, so an easier alternative is to use Velcro instead.


The first thing you’ll need to do after cutting the fabric is to sew the pieces together. Sew the bottom and the sides but not all the way to the top – only until about 90% of the way (where your head would pop out in the sleeping bag).

Cut off the top part of top piece of the fabric that you did not sew together. Remember just cut top piece and not bottom piece.

After you’ve done that, turn your sleeping bag and the stitched up liner inside out. Line up the bottoms and position the softer, fuzzy part of the Velcro on the bottom of your sleeping bag and pin it into place.


Position the harder, prickly part of the Velcro on the bottom of your liner and make sure it aligns with the Velcro that is in your sleeping bag. When it is, pin in into place and then sew the Velcro pieces onto your sleeping bag and liner.

Repeat this step for the other two sides of the sleeping bag. A good tip is to use short strips of Velcro rather than a long one so that the liner would be easier to put inside and remove.

Step 4. Sew The Pieces Together

If you haven’t attached the zipper or Velcro to the sleeping bag and liner (Step 3) and you don’t want your liner to be removable, then all you need to do is to sew your liner onto your sleeping bag.


If your sleeping bag opens up completely, simply keep your sleeping bag open and flat, lay our liner on top of it and sew it into place. Remember to fold the edges up about 1cm to create a nice hem before sewing it in place.


If you have a mummy sleeping bag (or one that doesn’t open up completely), you’ll have to sew the “top” part and the “bottom” part separately to make things a bit simpler.


Turn your sleeping bag inside out and work on the “bottom” part of your sleeping bag first (the side that you lay your back on) then position the liner on the sleeping bag. Your liner should cover the entire surface area.


Fold the ends of the liner about 1cm to create a hem and then pin it into place. When you are happy with the position, sew it in place.


Flip your sleeping bag over so you can work on the “top” part of the sleeping bag (the side that covers your body). Since this part will have space where your head would normally peep out, cut the fabric till that point.

Again, fold the ends of your liner about 1cm to make your hem and pin it into place. Try to position your liner so that the end of this piece touches the end of the other piece you've sewn into the bottom.


If you’ve left enough space when cutting your pieces, the two pieces of your liner should be able to touch each other so you have full coverage of your sleeping bag!


All that’s left to do is to make sure all your stitches are done and everything is attached, and then voila, you’ve made your own DIY sleeping bag liner.


You can check out this video:

Presto!

DIY SLEEPING BAG LINER

Now you have your own DIY sleeping bag liner. If you’ve kept the cutting pattern, you can even make a lot of different liners with different kinds of materials that you can use for all kinds of weather condition.

Having a liner inside your sleeping bag will not only keep you warmer on those cold nights you need them, but it will also protect your sleeping bag from dirt, reducing your need to wash it constantly and will help it last longer.

If you enjoyed this tutorial or have any questions, let me know in the comments below. Or share this with your friends who you know will enjoy a DIY project!

Rita Myers
 

I’m Rita Myers, and camping is one of my utmost passions. Growing up near the base of a mountain, hiking and camping have been in my system since I was just a little girl. My love for camping and hiking stayed with me well into adulthood. Now, as a mother of two boys and a wife, I keep my passion alive by bringing my family outdoors. Of course, my family isn’t always up to it, so I write these articles and tips in the hope that you and your family can enjoy the great outdoors like I do!