Do you have a dated backpack that needs a facelift? Or maybe the design isn’t age-appropriate any more. Learn how to use old clothes and some Mod Podge for a simple DIY backpack makeover, just in time for back-to-school!
Back-to-School is Around the Corner
School begins in the middle of September in Greece. No need to rush things too much. It is still very hot here and it’s hard to hit the books when you are trying to keep cool. Children begin grade school when they are 6 years old. There are 3 years in middle school and another 3 in senior high school. After that they can either go to a University or a vocational school for higher education.
This was the first public school my kids went to in Greece. They are almost done now. The youngest is in her last year of Senior high school. Schools generally start at 8:10 and go till 2 pm depending on the grade.
There is no lunch break but they do have a place where they can purchase snacks. The kids come home at 2 pm and then many of them go to tutorial schools in the afternoon. We all have to learn English here since Greek is not a widely used language.
This small school bag was given to one of my girls when she visited a factory. It is nice and useful but not really appropriate for her age. She is a teen after all and teens want what they want! And who can blame her.
We were going to give it away but it was a nice size, not too big for those days she has few books and it was very sturdy. The only problem was that sticker on the front.
Giving a Backpack a DIY Makeover
My first solution to this sticker problem was to mix acrylic paint with some fabric medium and paint over it.
Of course once I was done I realized my mistake. First of all, I was not painting over fabric but plastic so the fabric medium was useless here. And secondly, it did not cover at all.
The next idea was to cover it with fabric. I had this pretty dress which was too small but loved the fabric. I’ve repurposed clothing before to make a seat cover and a pillow. In fact I make it a habit to repurpose clothing, you can see more in my fabric category.
Using plain paper, I made templates for the areas I wanted to cover with fabric.
I used a fabric glue to put this on.
And the bottom, where the pocket is. I then applied two coats of mod podge to seal the fabric in.
I wanted to create a border on the top section so I just traced over the border with a permanent marker.
My girl wanted some interest on the side, I drew these to mimic the design on the fabric.
And then she asked me to cover the straps in the same fabric. I sewed them on. But of course you can just as easily use glue.
Isn’t that fabric just lovely?
The straps look so nice in the front when she is wearing it.
I added a metallic grey marker to the flower design to give it more interest.
Related: If you’d like to sew your own backpack, check out this DIY rucksack sewing pattern at Sustain my Craft Habit.
The old backpack makeover is finished just in time for the beginning of the school year. It looks nothing like the before, it is pretty and feminine with the choice of this lovely fabric. And most importantly you cannot see that childish sticker that is hiding underneath.
I believe I went above and beyond with this DIY backpack makeover using old clothes, not just covering the sticker but also adding so much more to make it truly unique. My girl loves her “new” bag and that’s all that matters. What would you have done with this childish bag?
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