We decided to save money and DIY new back to school backpacks! Check out how to design your own custom kids backpack!
Avoid Buying a New Backpack Every Year with Custom Backpacks
Backpacks are freakin expensive! When my oldest started school many eons ago, we bought a backpack every single year.
I probably spent $80 on backpacks for grades Kindergarten to 2nd grade. I decided that I had enough of spending money for a cheap backpack with characters on it and decided we would design a custom kids backpack just for her!
She loved that she was able to help decide what we would put on her backpack.
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Design a Backpack that will Last for Years
Fast forward three years later and the same backpack is still going strong. With her little sister starting Kindergarten, we decided to give her bag a fresh new look since her sister would be gathering new backpack patches to personalize her Kindergarten backpack.
The trick to making a backpack last is getting a quality backpack. We think the best backpacks for kids are Jansport backpacks! Fortunately, the Trans by Jansport backpacks are pretty affordable and widely available at retailers like Target and Amazon.
We grabbed ours from Amazon because I like to avoid all stores during the back to school season. I use to manage a store for a pretty large retailer and this time of year stresses me out more than the Holiday season!
Supplies to Make an Awesome Custom Backpack for Kids
The cool thing about customizing a backpack is that you can make it totally unique! To customize your school bag, you’ll need a backpack and some patches as well as HeatnBond or a needle and thread.
- Backpack (Jansport is a great quality backpack that comes in many colors!)
- Heavy duty hand sewing needles
- Heavy duty thread
- Harry Potter House Crest (because who doesn’t love Harry Potter!)
- Assorted patches
Some of Our Favorite Shops to Buy Backpack Patches on Etsy!
How to Add Patches to Backpacks
To add patches to backpacks, you can iron them on or sew them on. To iron them on, you can order some iron-on patches or add some HeatnBond.
Ironing patches is much easier and I love the way it looks. Sewing patches takes time, but they are guaranteed to stay put.
We chose to sew our patches on because our previously ironed-on patches could not withstand the chaos that was Peyton carrying her backpack from ages 8-10. She’s older now and I probably could have just used ironed the patches on, but I was going to sew Charlotte’s backpack patches anyway.
Kindergartners aren’t the most careful school-aged kiddos after all, so I didn’t want to risk having to redo my hardworking next year.
Peyton also learned how to sew patches on a backpack and helped sew half of her patches on all by herself! I’m thinking I might like age 10 after all!
How to Make a Custom Kids Backpack with Patches
Decide on the Layout
It’s helpful to organize your patches on the backpack before sewing them into place. You can mark their places with a pencil or, better yet, take a photo so you don’t forget where each patch is going to go. Don’t attach any patches until you have a plan.
Prepare the Backpack
Stuff your backpack with towels or a sheet to keep your fabric taut while attaching your patches.
Attach the Patches
Use an iron and HeatnBond or sew the patches on with a needle and thread. Try to sew in the seams of the patches and not in the image.
Less is More
My mama always said, “less is more” when it came to makeup or accessories. Make sure to maintain a good balance and even distribution of patches on the overall backpack. Try not to just put patches in one area and spread out large patches, so they are not overwhelming.
- It's helpful to organize your patches on the backpack before sewing them into place. You can mark their places with a pencil or, better yet, take a photo so you don't forget where each patch is going to go. Don't attach any patches until you have a plan.
- Stuff your backpack with towels or a sheet to keep your fabric taut while attaching your patches.
- Use an iron and HeatnBond or sew your patches on with a needle and thread. Try to sew in the seams of the patches and not in the image.
My mama always said, "less is more" when it came to makeup or accessories. Make sure to maintain a good balance and even distribution of patches on the overall backpack. Try not to just put patches in one area and spread out large patches, so they are not overwhelming.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- HeatnBond Lite Iron-On
- Heavy Duty Hand Sewing Needles Kit
- Mandala Crafts Bonded Nylon Thread
- 55pcs Cool Embroidered Iron On Patches
- Harry Potter House of Gryffindor Hogwarts Crest Patch
- Star Wars Patches
- Random 25pcs Assorted Patches
- Marvel Avengers Patches
- Custom Name Patch
- Unicorn Sequin Patches
- 30pcs Assorted Pink Patches
- JanSport Supermax Backpack
- JanSport Backpack
PIN THIS IMAGE TO SAVE THIS BACKPACK DIY FOR KIDS!
Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code
Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!
When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.
I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!
You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!