Home Sweet Home Backpack


I always remember seeing small little backpacks in stores (pre-kids) and wondering why anyone would buy them. Sure they were cute, but certainly the kids were too little for school, so why would they need a backpack?

All you parents out there are laughing at me, I'm sure.  As a mom, I get it now.  I'm ashamed to say though that it took me until my second child to really GET it, though.  I'm feeling slightly guilty that I just thought my first child was a hoarder, whose main goal in life was to take some object from every corner of the house and stuff it into whatever bag she could find to carry around.

But I get it now.  2 year olds, and almost 2 year olds, and 3 year olds, and heck, maybe even 4 year olds like carrying stuff around.  On the older end of that spectrum they pretend they are going shopping, or to school.  On the younger in though, it's just all about packing (and unpacking), and on and on. 

We only have one backpack in our house.  So when I had to think about what Ellie would like for her birthday, I knew I had to make her a backpack.  Because, you know, silly mommy gets it now.  (In case you were wondering where that one backpack came from, it was a gift for child #1, from a much wiser and more experienced mommy than I!)

Ellie loves to carry around dolls and figurines, so I thought it might be fun to make her a backpack "house" for them to live in. 

Keep reading for a tour, some views on how I made this backpack, ...and perhaps some of the ugliest pictures I've ever taken.  But more on that later. 
First that tour. 
It's a simple backpack really.  A simple flap with Velcro closure.  A loop to hang the backpack.  A cute little side window.  I used pre-quilted fabric and just added on the door and window embellishments.

Here's a view of the back.  I bought strap adjusters.
I sewed on a button for the door, and durable duck cloth for the base (with piping!  It was my first experience ever working with piping!)  I love how nicely it sits up on it's own.  Perfect for packing and unpacking.

And another view...
It's completely lined with duckcloth, and even has a little bed and pillow for stashing a cute little doll or stuffed animal.  I made the doll pictured below with my own design and printing on fabric.
And now for those ugly pictures.  See, I was having a particularly bad day one day, and the hubby offered to watch the kids for a little while so that I could sew a bit. (Nothing is more therapeutic for me than crafting!) The lighting wasn't great, and I wasn't feeling particularly in the mood to write up a tutorial. But I snapped some pictures to document the progress of the project.
So yeah, you've probably guessed by now that this isn't a tutorial.  I hope though that by seeing a few pictures on how this bag came together you'll get an idea of how you can make your own.  You know, just to demystify the backpack a little bit. 
I should also say though that if enough people comment saying they'd like to see a pattern/tutorial, I might work on putting one together.  I have all of the pattern pieces I drew up for this backpack, but I need to tweak a few things before sharing it with you.
The main body of the bag is actually just four sections of quilted cloth.  Duck cloth is sewn in on the bottom, and the straps are sewn in. 
I completely finished attaching the straps and flap.  I added the Velcro to the front of the house.  Then I attached the piping and the base.

Here's a picture of the lining, sewn up in a similar fashion.  The bed and pillow are attached.

Here's the outer part of the bag all finished up. 

I inserted in the lining, pinned like crazy, and attached the trim which I used like bias tape to finish off the edges and connect the lining to the outside.
I hope you liked seeing a little sneak peak into how this bag came together!  I hope it gives you the courage to tackle your own backpack project!  And I promise that should you all want a tutorial/pattern, I promise the pictures will be much better ;-)


  1. This is adorable and Iove your tutorial! I'd love for you to join our Craft Club and link up to my craft/sewing party!! Just follow this link....http://sewlicioushomedecor.com/saturday-show-licious-home-decor-53/. :)


    1. Thanks Marti! I love the ideas in your craft/sewing party! How neat!

  2. This is so sweet! My readers at FaveQuilts would absolutely love this. : )


  3. love love your pictures, will you be giving sizes??

    1. The front and back pieces are roughly 8.5 inches wide by 9 inches tall. The side pieces are 4.5 inches wide by 9 inches tall. (Together these are sewn together to make the one long piece shown above. The straps are each roughly 2.33 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall. The top flap is roughly 8.25 inches wide by 7.25 inches long. I hope that helps some! Maybe one of these days I'll get around to making a more complete pattern!

  4. Great picture tour! The only thing you would need to add are the measurements. And, Kathryn is right about FaveQuilts loving it!

    1. Thanks Rhonda! I added some quick measurements for Cybergran's comment above...I hope it helps some.



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