September 07, 2010

Back to School Backpack

Before we get started today I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all your awesome answers on Sharing Saturday.  It is so fun to see all of you answer someone's question.  You have fantastic ideas and I appreciate your willingness to share them.

Today I'm going to show you how I made this snazzy little backpack for my nephew.  He loves anything that moves - cars, planes, trucks - you name it.

I got this plain backpack on clearance for $6. I wanted to personalize it for him, so I found some images from picnik that I liked and printed them off.

If you'd like to use them you can save this jpeg below.

I created a freezer paper stencil for each of the images, ironed them down, and then painted them using Tulip slick paints and Tulip soft paints.  If you haven't tried freezer paper stenciling yet, you must.  It's really fun.  (Click HERE for my video tutorial.)

After removing the stencil I sewed each square onto the back pack with embroidery floss.  (Here's a tip.  Since the patches shift a bit while trying to sew them down you can put a little bit of Aleene's Fabric Fusion under each one to lock it down where you want it and then sew them on.)

Now I hate to discard the inside of the stencil after I've taken the time to cut out the image.  So, I ironed down the leftover stencils to a scrap piece of fabric.

Then I used the Tulip fabric spray paint to spray the whole piece.  Make sure to wait until it's completely dry to remove the stencil.  (This is important since the wet fabric will leak into the stenciled area if you remove the stencil too soon.)

While haven't used this part yet I think they will make really cute patches to sew on other items.

My sister gave it the extra touch by stitching on his name.

Now he's got a one-of-a-kind back he loves and he's set for another year.

Thanks for reading. 


  1. that is soooo crazy cute!

  2. I love the idea of the patches though I should let you know (though I'm sure you already do) to be a bit weiry of putting your child's name where "strangers" can see it...I never thought about it until mom school informed me we should only place names inside of items not on the's a very scary but real thought!

  3. That turned out so cute!

  4. Wow, that turned out so cute. I love it!

  5. What a great idea! That backpack is adorable!!!
    I am going to have to try freezer paper stenciling soon.

    I am in agreement with Traveling Thrifter...I won't put names on the outside of my kid's clothing.I think it is so cute, but the possibility of danger wins out over cute on that one(for me).

  6. That is super super cute!

  7. Super cute! Trying to think what I could put little patches on for my 1 y/o son...

  8. Way too cute. I love the look. Picnik rocks.

    I refused to get my daughter a character backpack for preschool, so we ended up with one that looks like a penguin. I'm filing this idea away for the next one.

  9. The stitching makes it look so awesome. That kid is getting so old. He looks like he is ready for school. Watch out ladies!

  10. love it! i really like all the embroidered embellishments that you add to so many of your creations. i was wondering if you machine sew first and then embroider later or if you just embroider to attach things like those patches? or did you use heat n' bond to attach them and then embroidered over/through it? i love to use heat n' bond to secure things, but i hate embroidering through it! also, my embroidery is usually a lot more higglety pigglety than yours. i have a hard time getting the length of my stitches and the space between them to be uniform...any tips?

  11. Cute, cute, cute!

    I finally took the plunge and tried a freezer paper stencil (have to post picture yet). My dh wanted to get our baby girl a NY Yankees onesie. Me, being,um, cheap, said no way to spending $20 on a onesie when I can make it myself with a onesie from home and your fantastic freezer paper tutorial. I have to say, it came out really well. Hm, do I need to worry about the logo being trademarked?

    Also, where do you find a good supply of Tulip paints? I've been to our ACMoore, Joanne and Michaels and they have very little selection when it comes to the matte paints (or the slick, etc).

    Love your blog!!!!

  12. Love it! Too bad I already decorated my son's bag. That is too cute! And that Camden- adorable!

    When stitching on a name, do you free hand it, or do you use a disapperaing ink?

  13. this is seriously soooo cute!! i loooove it! someday when I have kids, I want to make one of these. :)

  14. Angela - My sister freehanded this one and I usually do as well.

  15. Sooo cute! I love this even more than anyone you would find in the store! I think my son might get this on a tee, soon....

    I have filed this at THanks for sharing!

  16. Loving the design of this back pack. The floss just makes it pop!
    I bet your nephew felt so proud of himself going to school in his one of kind back pack.

  17. vou usar esta magnifica ideia na mochila do meu filho mais velho Afonso! eh ehe he ehe h

  18. That is a stellar backpack. So original!

  19. AW! This is such an adorable backpack!

    Just Better Together

  20. I am in love with all of your awesome boy ideas! I made these backpacks for my son and nephews. Check it out on my blog:

  21. What a great idea! I agree about not putting your childs' name on the outside, but I was tickled to see an upgrading craft with my sons name on it :)

  22. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing it! (even a couple years later! haha) I have to ask...Does your sister remember where she got that backpack by any chance? My child is getting ready to start Kinder and all the backpacks are so HUGE on him..that one looks like a great size! thanks! if you could let me know, that would be awesome1 buhtaflyatcomcastdotnet

  23. It's obvious that if you have a lot of material you need to carry then a larger size briefcase is for you great website

  24. Incredibly beautiful pictures and it is really cool with patches. I appreciated your DIY ideas. In fact, I’ve seen something like that after a long time. I am definitely going to share your idea with my friends.

    Thanks for sharing!
    where to find embroidery patches
    where to find back patches


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