DIY Toddler Backpack | Free Tutorial Tutorial

The DIY Toddler Backpack is brought to us by:
Toddlers have a LOT of stuff! I decided to make the little miss a backpack so she can carry her prized possessions through the airport next week on the way to Grandma’s. And I think we’ll be bringing this to church each week with her snacks and a few books.
And no worries- you can get the DIY Toddler backpack done in 1-2 nap times. It took me 2 but I was dawdling a bit:)
And yes it was definitely worth the time spent
Someone refused to stand up to get her picture taken, but you get the idea…
Oh and it’s fully lined with the cutest fabric ever!
Poppyseed Fabrics sent me some Winking Owls fabric to review and I LOVE it! It shipped super fast and looks exactly like the online photo (sometimes it’s hard to tell). And little miss is obsessed with owls right now so she was tickled pink:). If you need to do a little holiday shopping for yourself I definitely recommend Poppyseed Fabrics!
Ok… back to drooling over the little diy toddler backpack. I think the piping really adds that extra little something
And of course it has adjustable straps and a little hook on the back so you can hang it up
Ok… let’s get started!

DIY Toddler Backpack Materials:

  • Fabric: About 1/2 yard (you’ll have some leftover) in 2 fabrics. I used corduroy for the outer to give it a little stability
  • Piping
  • 18″ zipper
  • 2 Strap Adjusters and Nylon Strapping (???) You can find both of these by the buckles and Velcro
  • Interfacing (optional)

DIY Toddler Backpack Instructions:

1. Cut out your pieces. My backpack ended up being a little bit short and squat so make sure that doesn’t happen to you:) Little Miss was asleep so I just guessed but I would cut out a pattern piece while your kiddo is awake to get the sizing right. Ok… here’s what you’ll need:
  • 1 front and 1 back in each fabric (mine was 12″ wide x 11″ tall- I would suggest 10-11″ wide by 12-13″ tall)
  • 2 Shoulder Straps in the outer fabric (mine were 12 x 3″)
  • 1 Top Strap in the outer fabric (mine was 6×3.5″)
  • 2 Zipper Facings in each fabric (17×2.5″)
  • 1 Bottom Piece in each fabric (mine was 24 x 4″ but the length will depend on the new dimensions of your backpack. Measure the circumference of your backpack and then subtract 16″ for the zipper facing and add 1″ for seam allowances).
  • Interfacing for any piece you want stabilized (I just stabilized the bottom piece)
2. Decide on your embellishment and do any applique
3. I did a strip of fabric with piping above and below it. Line up the raw edges of the piping with the raw edges of the fabric strip and baste in place right next to the cord portion of the piping (it’s helpful to use your zipper foot).
4. Turn the raw edges under and then topstitch the embellishment to the outer front backpack piece
 5. With right sides together lay the zipper on the zipper facing and baste in place right next to the teeth. Your facing should be shorter than the zipper
 6. Flip the zipper over and topstitch the facing in place right along the teeth. Repeat with the 2nd facing piece.
 7. With right sides together sew each end of the completed zipper piece to each end of the bottom piece (I added piping to each end of the bottom piece first, but that’s optional).
 and then flip it over and top stitch
 You should now have this (sorry about the washed out photo)
 8. With right sides together sew on the front of the backpack making sure your zipper is centered along the top edge.
 9. Fold your straps in half with right sides together and sew along the long edge. Turn right side out and topstitch along the edges of the top strap, but not the shoulder straps.
 10. Feed a piece of strapping through the top portion of the strap adjuster (your package will have instructions). Turn the end of the shoulder strap in towards the wrong side and slide the 2 raw edges of the strapping inside the shoulder strap. Sew in place (I did a nice big x to keep it really secure) and topstitch along the 2 long edges of the shoulder strap. Feed a 2nd piece of strapping through the bottom portion of the strap adjuster (I used a 14″ piece and it was plenty long).
11. Lay out your straps on the back of the backpack (you can baste in place if you want).
12. With right sides together sew the back piece to the rest of your backpack. Make sure your zipper is part way open so you can turn it right side out when you’re done
Now let’s line it!
11. Iron one long edge of each zipper facing in 1/2″ towards the wrong side.
12. With right sides together sew each end of the bottom piece to the zipper facings.
you should now have this…
 13. Sew the front and back lining pieces to your center panel just like you did with the outer backpack.
14. Slide the lining into the backpack with wrong sides together and sew the 2 together right along the zipper edge. I found it was easiest to sew from the lining side since the fabric was already secure on the outer side.
Enjoy your new little backpack! If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy our DIY Drawstring Bag Tutorial or Star Student Backpack Tutorial.

12 Responses

  1. Hi Amy,
    Love this cute little backpack. I want to make it for my grandchildren. What size seam allowance did you use.

  2. I come to know about your blog post by Craft Gossip. I would like to read different sewing tutorial. But, that is my big problem. Here, you have shared such a great sewing tutorial but, I can not transfer it in physical thing. I am really confuse for it. How can I quick start or begin my hobby in direction of sewing. Can any one help me for same?

  3. I LOVE this new little backpack Amy!!! I totally want to make one for Mariel now, but I might have to wait a bit due to the fact that I’m not quite done with sewing my Christmas presents 🙂 Thanks so much for posting these cute ideas!

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