The staple going-back-to-school accessory has to be the backpack. It's for books, notes, pens, pencils, kids' hoodies, school supplies, lunch boxes, and any other memorable knick-knack that gets picked up during the school year. Since it is something that will be around your child for the next school year, making it special is important. Another benefit to having unique backpacks is your children will be able to tell at a glance which backpack is theirs, so their bags are less likely to get lost or stolen. With all of these advantages, how do you make your child's backpack singular and extraordinary? Pretty easily, it turns out.
Here are some ideas for how to make your child's backpack the coolest as everyone goes back to school.
First, what exactly is a mandala? A mandala is "any of various ritualistic geometric designs symbolic of the universe." They are gorgeous circular patterns that remind one of a kaleidoscope or a circular stained glass window in a cathedral. Quite stunning, these designs are easier to make than you would think. If your child starts with a simple green backpack, grab a pencil and work out a mandala design starting in the corners. Mandala designs seem complicated, but really they are just multiple layers of different patterns. Take it one step at a time. Look online for different designs. When you look closely, many of the layers are simple and elegant. Start with one layer in pencil. Once you have it the way you like it, go over the design again in pen to cement it on the backpack. You can even add one layer a week to your design, and you and your child can slowly transform your child's backpack from plain green to your own beautiful symbol of the universe.
These are super cute and super easy! They don't require paint, but they look stylish and artistic. This is best on white or other light-colored backpacks. First, you choose your design and your colors. Then you stick a piece of cardboard into your child's bag, so nothing bleeds through, whether that is the front pocket or a side piece of the backpack. Then use permanent markers in the colors you chose to draw five-petal flowers with a color in the center wherever you like. We highly recommend mixing different colors and different sizes, so the bag looks like a blooming bouquet. Don't be afraid to be a little creative! Maybe some flowers can fall from the top while others grow up from the bottom. Once done, use an eye dropper to add a drop of rubbing alcohol to each petal and the centers of all your flowers. See how the flowers turn out and add more drops where more blending is needed. Then remove the bag and let it dry. Tada! Your child has a profusion of wildflowers to accompany them through school.
These types of patterns can look very modern and chic. Plus, they aren't very difficult to make. You do want to make sure your child's backpack is again some kind of lighter color so that the shapes will show up. Alternatively, you can use a dark backpack with lighter paint as long as the paint is strong enough to show up on the darker material. Whichever you decide, use painter's tape to make your own geometric design. An easy idea is to tape out a grid. If you want to try something a little more complex, try an assortment of triangles or tape-out octagons that are all connected, so they look like a molecule from the periodic table. Remember, you are going to be coloring the blank spaces you leave. Some of these more creative designs might depend on the size of your child's backpack and whether it has a pocket in front. Thankfully, you can lay down your design and see how your pattern works first, then change anything you need to. Once satisfied, put a piece of cardboard inside to keep the paint from bleeding through, then color in the blank spaces in your design with different acrylic paints. When you feel the paint has set, pull up the tape, give it a day or so to fully dry, and you have a cool pattern your child can show off.
These three ideas will certainly make any boys' or girls' backpack very visually interesting. Plus, you now have the tools and the patterns to be creative on your own. Have fun designing and making your child's backpack awesome this year! (Please be advised that altering a backpack does make it uniquely yours, but it probably can't be returned afterward).