How to Make an Affordable Preschool Backpack

Affordable preschool

Make An Affordable Preschool Backpack – A Fun Holiday Activity For All!

Whether your toddler is going to preschool for the first time, or if she or he has been at school for a while, they need a backpack, its best to make one that is affordable. Preschool children need a backpack that is as light as possible, holding only a change of clothing, homework book, possibly a little snack pack, and often something for show and tell. The idea of an affordable backpack is based on the premise that this will be the first of many backpacks, and the designs can grow and change over the years. Also, it is a fun project that you can involve your child in over the summer holidays.

This is a time when the preschool child starts to make her own decisions and assert her independence. She will have to learn to share with the other children. The back pack is the one item she does not share and making one that is personalized will help her establish her identity. The idea is that the backpack is instantly recognizable and unique and that your child helped in creating it.

Making a simple drawstring backpack
You will need:

  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • A piece of fabric (10” x 24”) or measure your child’s back and use those measurements (make sure you leave space for a hem)
  • Matching thread
  • 2 x string/rope/ribbon/strap/cording (58” long each)
  • Paper clip or safety pin
  • 2 x metal or plastic rings
  • Pins


  • On each of the short sides, sew a hem about 1.5 inches wide. You will thread your rope or strap through this channel.
  • Fold the fabric in half and sew up the sides, leaving the hem for the drawstring open.
  • Attach the safety pin or paper clip to the end of one rope and use it to help guide the rope through the hem. Thread the rope through the right side of the front hem and then through the back hem so that the end of the rope comes out on the same side as the beginning (both ends on the right side of the bag). Even the ends out.
  • Do the same with the second rope but starting on the left side of the front hem and ending with both ends of the rope on the left side of the bag.
  • On each of the bottom corners sew a metal or plastic ring.
  • Thread one half of the rope on the right of the bag through the ring on the bottom right hand corner of the bag and tie the end to the end of the other half using a secure knot.
  • Do the same for the rope and ring on the left side of the bag – you will now have two straps for the backpack.

Your level of expertise will determine the complexity of the bag, whether you want to line it or put in pockets.

  • Choose a fun but durable fabric that your child will love and suits his or her personality.
  • It is important to use drawstrings that aren’t silky – this is to prevent the drawstring from opening up while the backpack in being worn.

Include your child in the process of decorating the backpack, you are helping to develop his creativity and his sense of self and self- esteem. Here are some great ideas:

  • A strong denim bag with thick soft rope as handles, with a bright picture sewn onto the front of the bag.
  • A brightly colored bag with your child’s name painted or stenciled on.
  • A soft puffy satin bag with flowers and butterflies sewn on the outside.
  • Have a photo of your preschool child photocopied on to fabric and sew this on to the bag.
  • Tightly sew a soft toy on to the bag arms outstretched as if it is hanging on the bag. This must be clear to the child that the toy is part of the backpack and never comes off.
  • Pompons, which are easy to make, are also fun to attach to the bag.
  • If your child has an attachment to a specific TV or cartoon character, you may want to sew a picture of the character on to the backpack.
  • Adhesive felt is also a great way to decorate a bag with letters, numbers, or simple shapes.
  • Buttons and badges, zips and Velcro, ribbons and appliqué roses can all be added, as long as you make sure that they are tightly sewn on and your preschool child approves.

Have fun!

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