Do you have a highly creative child who yearns to express themselves in every possible way? Nurturing your child's creativity and allowing them freedom of expression is incredibly important for their developing minds. What better way to foster this creativity than with a fun, creative art project, and what better medium for expression than the item that they carry with them every day? Here are six ways to help your child decorate their backpack to reflect their unique sense of creativity.
Tie-dying is an easy but stimulating and creative way to decorate a backpack. You can easily take a simple, white, or light-colored canvas backpack and turn it into a fantastic kaleidoscope of color. Tie-dying is also a fun and engaging activity for the whole family. Why not have a tie-dying party with the whole family and tie-dye a few kid's tees as well?
There are many different tie-dying techniques out there, so consult the family and see which type interests them most. You can tie-dye using the classic dip-dye technique, filling a few buckets with various colors and strategically dipping your items. You could also opt for a pre-made tie-dying kit, which usually comes with plenty of rubber bands for creating those signature swirly designs and several plastic squirt bottles for applying dye with slightly more precision than the dip-dying technique.
Another great tie-dying technique that is quite popular right now is the "reverse tie-dying" technique. This technique requires no dye at all but instead uses bleach to remove the color from darker items, such as a black messenger bag. We recommend that this technique be reserved for the older kids only, as bleach is caustic and can be quite dangerous to work with. The results, however, are amazing.
There are a few super fun and creative ways to add cross-stitch designs to a backpack. For younger children, we recommend that they be allowed to help create the design and then rely on an adult or older sibling to do the actual cross-stitching.
For the older, more dextrous kids, you can allow a little more freedom. There are endless cross-stitch designs and embroidery patterns available for free online, or they can create their own. You can even turn this activity into an opportunity to bond and connect with your older child. Create and embroider your own design onto a tote bag for yourself or another family member while they work on their creative backpack project.
Understandably, some parents are less thrilled about the idea of their child modifying an item such as a personalized backpack. To ease into this idea, or to allow your child to express themselves without permanently changing their backpack, consider allowing them to decorate with buttons. This involves collecting buttons of their favorite bands or cartoon characters or personalized buttons that they design themselves. In fact, these can be uploaded onto your computer and ordered online!)
A great way to ensure that your child doesn't damage a brand new backpack is to start with an old, used, or thrifted backpack if a creative project gone wrong is something that concerns you. Head to a secondhand store and allow your child to pick out a bag from there.
Once you get your new-used bag home, patch it up with patches! These could be sew-on or iron-on patches or simply squares of colorful cloth that your child has picked out to add their own flair to their bag. Patches can also be a fun and affordable way to personalize a kid's fleece jacket.
Allow your child to use a stencil or free-hand a design onto their backpack and watch their creativity and personal style flourish. Acrylic or fabric paint will work best, depending on the material of the backpack. Permanent markers with a fine-point felt tip are also great for creating intricate and delicate designs on many varying materials.
This idea for your child to make a backpack that truly reflects their personal creativity is also more for the older kids. We recommend starting with canvas since this material is relatively affordable, sturdy, and easy to dye, decorate and personalize. If this is your child's DIY first project, we also recommend starting with a simpler design, such as a messenger bag. You can purchase a pattern for the design or create your own.
The sky is really the limit when it comes to personalizing a bag. These are just a few ideas meant to spark your own creativity as well as your child's. Have fun with it!