If we’re being honest with you, September has always been one of our very favourite times of year. Besides the beautiful change in the environment thanks to the way all the leaves are turning different colours, we also love the excitement of everyone heading back to school. This year is particularly special t us, however, because both us and our kids have just started new terms this month, so it has been very exciting indeed to be able to prepare together! Because our kids are only just attending proper grade school for the first time and because we haven’t been back in so long, however, we decided to mark the occasion in an extra special way by making some of our school supplies, since crafting is our very favourite thing to do together. We started out by customizing a few small things but, now that we’ve each started to settle into our routines, we can’t help but wonder whether tackling a larger project so that we get to bring something new and important to class after a few weeks, like a treat to remind us how excited we were to go back in those first few days, might be even more fun. That’s why we decided to make our own backpacks! While there’s nothing wrong with the bags the kids took to kindergarten last year or the old rucksack we used to carry to the gym, the idea of having a neat, new, hand embellished bag is just too good a prospect to pass up. We felt particularly enthusiast about our choice once we’d hopped online and realized just how many fantastic DIY backpack ideas there really are out there!
Just in case you love the idea of making or customizing your own backpack just as much as our family does, if not more, here are 15 of the coolest and most unique looking designs, ideas, and tutorials that we’ve come across in our search so far!
1. Easy hand painted and stencilled backpacks
Has painting always been a favoured crafting technique for you and your kids but you’d rather create some very neat little images rather than just freehand designing on your new (or old but in need of a facelift) backpacks? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Ann Le used careful stencilling techniques to make basic shapes and then filled them in with patterns, details, and sponge painting that mimics a watercolour effect!
2. DIY fun patch backpacks
If you’ve never done awesome iron on patches before, then we’re sorry to tell you that you’ve been missing out! Besides coming in all different fantastic designs, they’re also a lot of fun. We actually remember doing something similar to this to an old backpack in high school and we spent about a year collecting all the patches we liked in stores all over the city before hand. Let your kids choose where they want each patch placed and then follow the instructions on The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood!
3. DIY ombre dyed backpack
If you’re going to invest the time and patience it takes to carefully customize an entire backpack, would you rather make it a very hands-on project, perhaps also using it as an opportunity to help them learn a new technique? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Michele Baratta used fabric dyes to create this beautifully subtle ombre colour gradient in surprisingly few simple steps.
4. DIY lace pockets backpack
Have you actually been completely obsessed with lace lately, finding yourself wanting to try on just about any lace garment or accessory in the store and fawning over how lace themed home decor looks? Well, this is a small detail in comparison, but sometimes the small things can make your day each morning! Check out how Mr Kate added a fantastic lace element to these backpacks by attaching it to the pocket like an applique!
5. Rainbow yarn pom pom backpack
Now if there’s one thing our kids have always loved doing, it’s making pom poms. We’ve often seen people tie one or two pom poms to their backpacks on the zipper like a keychain, but this particular design outlined step by step on Brit + Co is much more our style and caught our eye right away! This is actually the design we settled on in the end for our own bag and our kids had a total blast making the pom poms for us while we attached them.
6. DIY Snapchat filter backpacks
Are your kids completely obsessed with playing with the Snapchat filters on your phone whenever you’ll let them, trying all the different animal ears and funny effects out and giggling when they see the cartoon features pop up on their own faces? In that case, we have a feeling you might get along very well indeed with these funny DIY Snapchat filter inspired backpacks, outlined step by step on RCL Beauty 101! We love the way the pieces look on these white bags, but we still think they’d be cute on bags of another colour too.
7. DIY crystal backpack
Have you actually been scrolling through our list thinking about how, even though these designs are very nice indeed, you can’t help feeling like you’d really enjoy something with a bit more sparkle than what you’ve seen so far? In that case, we have a feeling you’re going to get along very well indeed with the way Enthralling Gumption made this gorgeous crystal embellished backpack that’s so lovely it looks like it was sold just like that right from the store.
8. Pineapple drawstring backpack
Have you actually been quite an experienced sewing enthusiast for a number of years now, so you’ve been toying with the idea of making your kids a backpack from scratch, since they’re actually still very young or day care age and only ever carrying a few light things around on a daily basis? Then perhaps you’d get a kick out of this fantastic pineapple backpack pattern outlined step by step on Make It, Love It!
9. DIY felt patches backpack
Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about covering your kids’ backpacks in fun patches but you just can’t help but wonder whether you can’t make cool patches yourself rather than going out and buying pricey store bought ones? Well, thanks you this super simple tutorial from Brit + Co, you can actually not only make your own patches, but do them in such an easy way that your kids can create some themselves! Their tutorial shows you how to make it happen with felt cutouts.
10. Graffiti backpack
Have you long been a sucker for purposely weathered fashion that has sort of a worn chic aesthetic to it, even if it’s brand new? Well, just because your backpack might not necessarily be deemed a fashion accessory doesn’t mean you can’t make it follow your favourite theme and look totally awesome! Check out how Champagne in Study Hall made this awesome graffiti inspired backpack using paint splattering and careful burning techniques.
11. Kids’ monster and cat backpacks
In your house, are you ten times more likely to get your kids to concentrate on, pay attention to, or take care of just about anything if it’s shaped like or themed after some kind of cute or awesome character? In that case, we have a feeling these DIY monster and kitty cat backpacks, which are outlined step by step nice and clearly on Lia Griffith, might be right up your alley!
12. Rainbow watercolour backpack
Are you actually finding yourself still thinking about the watercolour element of the very first backpack design we showed you above, but you can’t help wonder whether there might be a way to let that particular colour faded effect take centre stage across the whole backpack, rather than confining it to one pattern or spot? In that case, we have a feeling you might get along a little better with something like this marker made watercolour effect featured on Momtastic!
13. DIY jean pocket backpack
Perhaps the idea that has caught your attention the very best so far has been the one where we showed you a tutorial for covering the pocket of your backpack like an applique and you really liked the technique and overall effect but you’re just not sure that lace is quite the style you’re aiming for? Well, if you’re more of a casual denim lover, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Call It Spring made this fantastic denim pocked in surprisingly few simple steps!
14. Linen and rope backpack
Have you actually been thinking about how you’re lucky to only need a few things throughout your day, so you don’t need a very large, heavy duty backpack and you could easily get along quite well with a smaller one that has softer sides? Well, if an old fashioned aesthetic has ever been your style and you have confidence in your basic sewing skills, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Fabulessly Frugal made this lovely raffia and rope backpack that looks like something you might take to market!
15. DIY personalized duct tape backpack
Perhaps your kids are the kind of excitable, restless souls who love changing things up whenever they can, decorating and redecorating things as their likes and dislikes change at whim? Then perhaps you’d actually prefer to customize their backpacks in a way that’s a little less permanent, just in case they change their mind about it in a few weeks. We love the way All For the Boys did just that using squares of cool decorated duct tape to make a grid!
Have you made another kind of totally awesome DIY backpack that you love using and that you get a lot of cool complements on, but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about what you made and how you did it or link us to photos of your finished project in the comments section!