A Guide to Helping Your Children Decorate Their Backpacks

A Guide to Helping Your Children Decorate Their Backpacks

Backpacks? Yep, they’re everywhere. Kids need them to haul their books and other school essentials back and forth. Even if your little ones are attending school virtually, a backpack can come in especially handy for keeping their books organized and in one place. They can easily reach inside, grab what they need, and maintain a completely tidy workspace.

But there’s a lot more to this versatile accessory than mere functionality. Your kids may want to have a little fun by decorating their bags just in time for the school year. What better way for them to express themselves and make a wardrobe staple just a little more exciting and one-of-a-kind? With these fun and playful ideas, you can help them transform their backpacks into true works of art.

Patch It Up

The beauty of many backpacks for boys and girls is that they’re pretty neutral in tone. If your little one has serious art and creativity on the brain, it’s better to choose something with a simple backdrop so that you can help them bring their design dreams to life. An easy way to accomplish that is with iron-on patches.

Naturally, this is where your help comes in especially useful. Your kids can choose the iron-on patches they love most — there are thousands upon thousands of options available, from animals and cartoon characters to fruits and symbols. Whatever your child happens to love makes a perfect addition to their backpack! So long as there’s enough room on the backpack, your child has some flexibility to choose quite a few — or they might prefer to take a more minimal approach and add just a few to the bag. Whatever they decide, it’s an easy way for them to express themselves in colorful style.

Paint It Pretty

A little paint is all it takes to transform those backpacks for girls and boys into sheer works of art! There are several ways to accomplish this, and technically not all of them involve wielding a paintbrush. If you’re short on time, for example, permanent markers work well, and your kid will have a blast coming up with creative designs using different colors. Just make sure to choose a backpack in a lighter shade so that the richness and depth of each shade truly stand out.

Another option is to use fabric or acrylic paint directly on the backpack. To ensure longevity, you may want to wipe down or wash the bag first to create a fresh “canvas” for the color. If you want to make sure the paint never washes off, however, you may want to opt for the final alternative: painting on canvas. Let your little one go nuts with their design of choice, then sew the canvas material directly onto the bag. Voila: an instant masterpiece without a lot of fuss.

Add Colorful Embellishments

When in doubt, go for bold with a whole array of vibrant accents that instantly transform kids’ backpacks into eye-catching wonders. What’s the secret? Embracing creativity and allowing kids to embrace their inner artists is a great starting point. Hit the craft store and snap up a selection of items they can use to transform their bags into virtual show-stoppers, like glitter glue, decorative tape, sequins, googly eyes, chenille stems, poms, and other crafty additions.

To make this work more effectively and to avoid a giant mess, you might want to encourage your child to sketch his or her desired look first. The idea is to develop a concept — something you can check and approve before they get started so that both of you can be sure it’s doable. The options are virtually limitless, so if your kid wants to attach quirky googly eyes and electrifying poms all over the bag, it’s their call. Just make sure there’s enough space to bring the design to life. Then you two can get to work together.

Make a Monster

For little ones who are fascinated by all things creepy and crawly, you can bet they’ll take great pride in hoisting on an elementary school backpack with some teeth! To bring the critter to life, you’ll need a few different items, including vinyl pieces you can easily iron onto the bag, markers, and hot glue.

Cut eyes and teeth from the felt and iron them onto the bag. You can use a permanent marker to draw pupils and any other distinctive features you may want to add. You can also cut out little hands and feet if you want to hot glue them to the sides of the bag for a bit more of an authentic and defined look. Your little one will love it!

The prospect of going back to school can be exciting for some kids and a little bit of a bummer for others. Decorating their backpacks is one way to make the return-to-class transition a little bit more bearable. Plus, they’ll get to indulge their creative sides — and spend some quality time with you at the same time. It’s a winning situation all around.


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