Whether it’s lugging a laptop and books to school (or the office) or using as a daypack on vacation, everyone should have a functional and practical backpack. Add your own personal touch and make the perfect rucksack for you with this collection of backpack sewing patterns.
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What fabric should I use to sew a backpack?
Store-bought backpacks are typically made from heavy duty nylon or cotton canvas. If you can’t find them in the colour or print you’re after, other sturdy fabric options are vinyl, denim or faux leather.
If you’re heading to your local fabric store, look for upholstery fabrics from the Home Decor section or bottom-weight woven fabrics from the Apparel section.
If you’re not using a waterproof fabric for your backpack, consider treating the fabric with Scotchgard Outdoor Water Shield to protect your bag.
If you’re in the UK or Europe, check out Minerva Crafts for a great range of fabrics at a great price!
The best backpack sewing patterns
If you’re sewing your first backpack, you might feel intimidated by the new notions and techniques. Get walked through sewing your first backpack, step-by-step, with Sew Sturdy: The Essential Backpack class on Craftsy. The class covers using Soft and Stable for a padded effect, and adding multiple pockets to your bag and a magnetic flap. It’s a great way to build your confidence (although the backpack is more handbag size, and is too small for a school bag).
The Star Student Backpack from Peekaboo Pattern Shop is a basic backpack with lots of optional features, such as a water bottle pocket and tabs to attach a matching lunchbox. It’s a great school bag for an elementary student or for your kids to pack their books and toys on a vacation.
The Back to Campus Backpack from Diedelbug Handmade is an excellent size for teens and adults, with room for books, a laptop, lunch and more. It also has a large zipper opening to access the main section of the bag.
The Byron School Backpack from IThinkSew Bags is another simple yet stylish design, with lots of space for books and binders. Choose a print to add personality or keep it simple with a solid fabric.
Backpack No 2 from DIY Sewing Academy comes in three sizes, so you can make one for your toddler, school kid and yourself all from the one pattern. It has a drawstring closure with flap with buckles, plus multiple external pocket options.
The Back to Cool Backpack sewing pattern from Made By Jack’s Mum comes in two sizes – toddler and older child. There are two strap styles, several pocket options, you can add piping. There are also instructions for lined and unlined versions.
The Lavena School Backpack from IThinkSew Bags has a rounded design, but still has plenty of space for everything your child needs to take to school, or out and about.
The Bookbag Backpack from Sewing Patterns by Mrs H is not the biggest bad in this collection, but is still a good size for taking lunch and a few things to school for the elementary student (or to throw your purse and phone to take to work).
The Freedom Backpack sewing pattern from Niizo is a large backpack for adults/older kids, with a simple, clean look that has great functionality, including 10+ pockets.
The Dawn to Dusk Rucksack from Chris W Designs is a cute and cute simple design, with buckles, eyelets, metal feet and a front flap with five pen pockets and a coin pocket too!. I love the choice of fabrics in this one!
The Rucksack Geo from Kaeselotti has a fun circular front pocket for a unique touch. It almost looks like a gigantic Lego piece (but not so hard to step on!).
Finally, there’s the Demi Big Backpack sewing pattern from IThinkSew Bags. This backpack sewing pattern is huge, with lots of space for your school items or a short trip away. The boxy design makes it a great design for men (and older boys), and it’s so practical and functional.
Whilst sewing a DIY backpack is not a beginner project, if you’ve got some sewing experience under your belt, give it a try.
What are your favourite backpack sewing patterns?