10 Easy and Unique Backpack Patterns

Posted by on Feb 07, 2011

Print this Post


When it comes to buying sturdy backpacks, if funds are limited, then so is choice: too small, too big, too standard, too out there. But when it comes to making a backpack, the patterns are as varied as the people wearing them. Below is a collection of patterns and advice on backpacks for pets, kids and adults.

Before starting, whether you're a beginner or the expert sewer, know that backpacks are created with durability in mind and will require heavy fabrics like canvas or oilcloth. These fabrics, while inexpensive, can be difficult to work with. When sewing with oilcloth, for example, the needle foot may stick to the fabric.

Sewing with a heavy lining facing the needle foot can prevent this. Backpacks also require a lot of cutting. Neither skill nor experience is needed for this kind of cutting, yet patience and paying close attention to measurements are. Despite these difficulties, making a backpack is a project for a newbie wanting a challenge or the experienced crafter wanting a reliable carrier.

easy drawstring backpack tutorial
Easy Drawstring Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy

Ideal for someone new to sewing, this backpack takes little more than sewing in a straight line. Though machine stitches are stronger and faster, sewers can also use hand stitches. Attach a paper clip to the end of the nylon cord to make feeding it through the cord casing easier. 
Get the free and easy drawstring backpack pattern at Craft and Fabric Links!
dog backpack
Dog Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy 

Transform Rover into a handy-dandy hiking caddy via this unique and easy dog backpack. The saddlebag-style pack features several pockets that can easily hold water bottles, great for hydration but even better for quickly tiring out high-energy hounds. Or better yet, make it Fido's turn to carry those oh-so-stylish poop bags. 
Get the free dog backpack tutorial from TheBeatCowboy at this Craftster forum! Or for something even easier, convert a child's backpack into one for a dog via The Daily Puppy
free oxford shirt backpack tutorial
Oxford Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy

Oxford shirts can be a bit on the bland side, so why not consider transforming the shirt into a backpack for a unique twist on an old standby? For variations, raid the local Goodwill for plaids and bright patterns. 
Download the free Oxford backpack pattern PDF at Pfaff!
convertible backpack pattern
Convertible Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy 

Talk about identity crisis: this backpack is a tote bag and messenger bag all in one. A quick pull on the straps converts the tote bag into a backpack. The pattern created by Liesl Gibson is available for purchase on her site. While easy to sew, there are a lot of pieces to cut, which might be frustrating for the new sewer. Just name each cut piece with labeled Post-it notes to simplify construction.
Get the convertible backpack pattern at Disdressed!
oilcloth backpack
Oilcloth Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy 

Improperly closed water bottles, exploding makeup, leaky ink pens — backpacks are in for some tough love from their owners. Luckily, this playful oilcloth backpack can endure almost anything life throws at — or in — it. A flat-based bottom and a drawstring lining accentuate the small pack, and even crafters with just a little sewing experience can create this project. Before beginning, check out this tips from Sew Mama Sew about working with oilcloth. 
Get the free oilcloth backpack tutorial at uhandbag!


meditation cushion backpack
Meditation Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy 

Behold, everything the meandering meditator could want: a zafu meditation cushion, a zabuton mat and even a handy-dandy pocket for holding journals, pens and, perhaps, zen enlightenment. Easily portable, the meditation backpack is a rounded cushion made of sturdy material like canvas with an attached adjustable strap. The mat is unattached and is kept  in a pocket. Commence spontaneous communing! 
 SewingSistas used to have a free pattern. Sneak over to Instructables to make your own meditation pillow and add straps with instructions from another tutorial!
crochet turtle shell backpack
Turtle Shell Backpack
Difficulty Level: Easy

Okay, this backpack pattern comes with a caveat: it's easy if you already know how to crochet. If not, maybe we ooh and ahh and scroll down. But isn't it cute enough to want to learn?
Get the crochet turtle shell backpack pattern at Ravelry!
stuffed frog backpack
Stuffed Animal Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy 

No longer shall your beloved stuffed animal sit in storage. Give them new life by making them a legitimate traveling partner and turning them into a backpack. A tutorial by lil_abbi on a Craftster forum offers clear directions for turning a stuffed animal with a compartment into a carrier. Good for young kids or kid-at-heart adults, this backpack is both whimsical and thrifty. 
Get the free stuffed animal backpack tutorial on Craftster!
free child
Child's Backpack 
Difficulty Level: Easy 

Tiny people need tiny backpacks, even if it's just to carry pebbles and cookie crumbs. The toddler backpack pattern available from Made by Rae for $8 measures roughly 12” high and 10” wide and uses heavy to medium-weight canvas and piping to help the backpack keep its shape. For older children, the elementary backpack tutorial, free at Moda Bake Shop, measures 16” high and 14” wide. It uses a medium-weight fabric and has a slouchy, tote bag appearance. Either backpack can be adjusted for larger or smaller sizes.
Get the toddler’s backpack pattern at Made By Rae
Get the free child’s backpack tutorial at Moda Bakeshop!

Image credits from top: Christina Sherrod, craftster.org/thebeatcowboy, Pfaff, Liessl Gibson, Lisa Lam, rogers236, Julie Lapalme, crafter.org/lil_abbi, Made by Rae


Log-in to Post a Comment: Craftfoxes shadow Google shadow