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15 Best DIY Backpacks Ideas & Designs

Summer might still be in full swing but, where we’re from, back to school time arrives quickly by this point in the season! That’s why we’re already starting to think about the things that we’ll need to go back to classes ourselves and prep our kids for school even though we’re still on time off. New backpacks are on this year’s list of things we need but we’re convinced that we can either make them ourselves from scratch or buy something strong but add some personality to it ourselves. We haven’t decided yet, so we’re stocking up on tutorials so we can consider all of our options!

If you’re feeling intrigued about the idea of making your own DIY backpacks, or at least jazzing one you bought up a little, check out these great ideas, designs, and tutorials we’ve come across so far in our search for inspiration.

1. Cool embellished backpacks


Just in case you’re totally down to embellish a bag but you’re not feeling quite ready to make one from scratch, here’s a great tutorial from Nastazsa that will show you simply how to add a little something nice and simply. Whether you want to stitch on a few stylish buckles, hand draw across the front of one pocket, or insert some sockets into the fabric, they’ve got you covered.

2. Cool patch backpacks


Maybe you’d rather make an embellished backpack that’s a little more colourful and eclectic looking than what you’ve seen so far but you’re quite new to the DIY world and you need something quite simple? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how The Sweeter Side of Mommy decorated theirs with a series of iron-on patches!

3. DIY mini backpack from scratch


Have you ever seen those stunning, effectively shaped Fjalbaken backpacks in stores that come in all kinds of awesome colours but also quite a high name brand price tag? Well, if you’re confident in your sewing skills, then we have a feeling you’ll get a real kick out of the way With Wendy made a miniature version in the same style!

4. Dyed backpacks


Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about the idea of adding colour to your bag, whether it’s one you bought or made, but you’d rather change the colour of the bag itself? Then we have a feeling you’ll get a real kick out of the way Alyssa Ruby used dye to make all kinds of neat effects on the canvas of their bags!

5. Little kitty backpack


Perhaps you don’t actually have need of a whole school kid sized backpack with lots of space in it because all you really need for your lectures is a pen and a notebook? Well, if your style isn’t glamorous or serious and you’re open for something more cute and fun looking, then The Paper Mama has the perfect design for you! Check out their tutorial to see how these adorable little kitty backpack complete with a tail and ears was made.

6. Funny monster backpacks


Have you decided for sure on the idea of embellishing a backpack you already have rather than making one from scratch but you still want to make it really fun, like something your kids will be excited to put on each morning? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Lia Griffith added teeth, an eye, and little horns in order to turn their backpack into a funny monster!

7. Plush pillow monkey backpack


Did we catch your attention when we started talking about designs that will put your sewing skills to good use because you’re used to make all kinds of stitched things from scratch but your personal sense of style is a little more playful than the design we showed you before looks? Then we have a feeling you’re going to adore this tutorial from Aww Sam that shows you how to make a funny plush monkey backpack that looks like an emoji!

8. Ribbon drawstring backpack


Maybe you’re not so interested in the idea of making a functional school backpack so long as you make a simple back that you can wear on your back and that looks cute? Maybe you need a kids’ dance bag or something to carry to the beach! This cute drawstring backpack from I Heart Naptime that draws closed with a big ribbon might suit you well.

9. Easy hand painted backpack


Out of all your DIY skills, have your hand painting skills always been the ones you most enjoy using or feel the most confident in? Then we have a feeling you’re going to get a real kick out of the way Fall for DIY made this simple watermelon design across the top of a faux leather backpack, done in all surface paint for durability. If you’re feeling extra creative, though, you could create any pattern you please.

10. Drawstring fish backpack


Have we piqued your curiosity quite well with the idea of making a drawstring backpack of some kind but the ribbon design we showed you earlier just doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head for you when it comes to style and design? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Tried and True made this funny little drawstring backpack that’s shaped like a fish!

11. DIY Rorschach Test inspired backpack


Are you actually still thinking about the idea of hand painting your own backpack but you’d like some inspiration for the design and you just haven’t seen a pattern that worked for you yet? Well, if you like things that are a little more abstract and artistic rather than fun pictures then perhaps you’re the perfect person to give this painted Rorschach Test inspired backpack featured on I Love to Create a try!

12. Cute heart backpack pattern from scratch


Maybe your little one just needs a small backpack to carry their daily toddler essentials in as though they’re going to school, in practice for next year when they’re finally old enough? Then we have a feeling they’ll get along okay with something a little smaller and more fun than some of what you’ve seen so far. This adorable little patterned heart backpack featured on Sew Much Ado is the perfect example of what we mean!

13. Pineapple drawstring backpack


Are you still thinking about the drawstring concept we’ve already shown you but you’re still not satisfied when it comes to any of the designs you’ve seen so far? Well, if you’re feeling something a little more colourful and playful, then we think you might get along a little better with this adorably bright drawstring pineapple backpack outlined step by step on Make It, Love It!

14. Mermaid drawstring backpack


Whether you’re looking to make yourself a drawstring backpack from scratch or whether you’ve already got one that you’d like to use as a base, here’s a cute idea that’s mostly embellishing and can therefore be done either way! Check out this tutorial on Me Sew Crazy to see how they made a cute little mermaid complete with a tail using their sewing and painting skills.

15. DIY dinosaur backpack


Are you actually feeling confident enough in your sewing skills to make something not only completely from scratch but also fun and decorative for your kids? In that case, we think you might get along quite well with this full pattern from My Handmade Home that teaches you both how to sew a little backpack and add a n adorable dinosaur applique across the front.

Have you made other cute backpacks before that your kids were very happy with and still use but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about what you created or how you did it or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!