I’ve only had one significant backpack in my life. My mom bought me a navy Jansport just like all the cool kids had when I was going into 8th grade (ca. 2000) and told me at $60 it wasn’t cheap so it better last a long time. I used that backpack on an almost daily basis all through high school and college until the zippers started to go at the end of my Costa Rica semester in 2008 and I passed it along to a friend.
I didn’t really think about backpacks much after the student phase of my life, but I saw a couple of cute ones recently that made me reconsider the idea.
I wasn’t sure I’d use a backpack enough to justify buying one so I figured I’d make a cute one from some stash fabric and test its functionality in my post-student life. (The mini palm tree VS backpacks are selling for between $30-50 on eBay currently and the Target one was originally $30.)
I used two stash fabrics for my project: a loosely woven mint fabric from an Alabama thrift store for the accent and this Greek key fabric found at a Kentucky yard sale (and seen on Pinterest here) for the main body of the backpack.
This backpack tutorial was my starting point.
I added a flap using this tutorial as a guideline. I had to make mine bigger than that pattern piece to fit over the whole drawstring apparatus.
I used rope from Lowe’s for the drawstring. It’s cheap, thick, and shiny.
To cap off the ends, I made two tiny tubes of the main fabric. It was a big pain to turn them, but they’re nicely finished and I’m not worried about the ends unraveling.
Here’s how it all came together.
And here’s the backpack from outside to inside.
I made a few modifications to the tutorial to personalize the backpack. As you saw earlier, I added a flap with a magnetic snap closure. The top of the front pocket has extra space sewn in so the pocket fabric isn’t lying flat against the body of the backpack. That way it doesn’t bulge too badly if I put an object with some dimension to it in there. The velcro closure keeps the top of the pocket closed whether something is in it or not.
I took the backpack on a trip, but haven’t had an occasion to carry it around much making me glad I didn’t spend the money on a store-bought backpack. I’m really pleased with the look and hope I can find reasons to use it in the future.
In other news, I got my tote and some extra goodies from my swap partner yesterday! I’ve been stalking Flickr for weeks in anticipation, but it turns out I’d missed the last few days when pictures of my tote were posted!
Here is a picture posted by my partner; I’ll have more shots of my bag and the extras in my next post.