I have bought at least 2 backpacks a year since my son started school. That is a ridiculous amount of backpacks and a waste of money! So I came up with an alternative that has a guarantee that it will last and still has some personality.
Growing up I had a Jansport and loved that it had a lifetime warranty. In fact, I think my parents still have it 20 years later and they have even sent it in. Knowing that I will never have to buy him another backpack with Jansport, it was a perfect solution BUT there were no real fun patterns that matched his age or personality. So when I saw similar Captain America backpack in an online store (the shop had a lot more detail), I knew it would be perfect for him and I knew I could make it for less than what the shop was selling it for. It was actually pretty easy and a lot of fun!
- Jansport Backpack – I picked the basic style so I had room to add the logo
- Fabric paint in red and white
- Tape – painter’s tape is pictured, but we found duct tape worked better
- Paintbrush – the sponge type will not leave streaks
- Felt – 1 red, 1 white and 1 blue sheet
- Scrap paper/paper towels
Step 1: Purchase your desired backpack color. I ordered mine via amazon.
Step 4: Tape the entire pocket area white, let it dry completely and then add tape to the area that you want white. We decided to make the width of the stripes to be the same size as the tape. It ended up perfectly. We also put our backpack in front of a fan to help speed the drying process. It dried pretty fast.
Step 5: Paint the exposed areas red.
Step 7: Remove any messed up paint (see the paint in the pic below). The easiest way we discovered is with a wet toothbrush. For any togher spots you can dip your toothbrush in rubbing alcohol and rub it on the undesired painted area.
Step 8: We created the logo from the felt pieces and I got the stencil for the captain america logo from the superhero cape pattern I purchased previously for a few dollars. Sew each piece on, but I’m sure you could glue gun some of it, too, if you don’t have a sewing machine.
Step 9: Quickly hand stitch the logo onto the backpack so it stays in place when it is being sewn on. Then use your sewing machine to zig zag stitch the outside edge.
Step 10: Done! Enjoy! A custom made backpack makes for not only a unique gift, it makes it an easy way to spot your kiddo in a crowd. My son wore his when we attended a graduation and it was super easy to spot him amongst the crowd…being on someone’s shoulders helped too!
One thing I learned is to not start this way below. It was a ton easier to paint the whole area the lighter of the solid colors we wanted. Once dried, we were able to tape and paint the 2nd color of paint over it. We saved so much time and stress of having to re-tape each section and attempting to paint sections with straight edges.
What Type of Backpack Will You Make Your Kiddo?