Friday, January 7, 2011

Easy Canvas Backpacks

I, for one, absolutely hate my girls Easter outfits thanks to the months and months of seeing them at the top of this sorry blog. Blek! So for the sake of so many (and by so many, I mean the 7 maybe that might come back every now and again to see if there is anything new) I am adding a recent project.

I try to make something homemade for my kids for Christmas. I saw these backpacks near the beginning of school, but refused to pay $38.00 a piece for canvas backpacks. I guess I filed them away in my head subconsciously, because when I needed an idea a few months ago to help keep my kids happy during church with my husband no longer sitting with us, I remembered these babies right away and thought they would be the perfect Christmas gift to sew after having a baby. Simple, quick, and easy.

Luckily I had also filed away a tutorial for these cute, Valentine chair backers and thought I could adjust for what I wanted. I am so happy with the results. But how hard was it? I mean really. I copied someones overpriced (although extremely cute) idea and pretty much copied someones tutorial. There wasn't a lot of creativity or originality involved, but at least I sewed something for Christmas that my kids love. And they were cheap-cheap to make...my favorite kind of project.

I put inside some Color Wonder books and markers (love those for Sunday clothes and no mess). They also got a small notebook with one of those pens that have the four colors to choose from. My girls think those are the greatest pens ever. And that's it. Less is more when we're at church. I've found that if they have a few markers and a pen with a notebook things go a whole lot better than when I have a duffel bag full of everything but the kitchen sink. I keep the bags up in my closet until Sunday, and put them right away when we get home. That way, hopefully, the novelty won't wear off. But what works for you at church? I'd like to add a rotation of a few things to keep them from getting bored. Any ideas out there?

17 comments:

Sarah said...

You're a genius, Jamie. And I love these cute little backpacks.

I had a similar idea for Christmas, but still haven't done it. And by 'similar', I mean something to get away from my gigantic church bag, not something to sew. I wish I had that talent.

I bought a 3-ring binder for each kid with a zipper pouch to put inside. The pouch will hold their stuff (markers for Aubrey, regular crayons for Linc, chubby crayons for Jace, etc), and I can rotate whatever I want for the binders.

I haven't asked yet, but I figured the people at Office Max would 3-hole punch coloring books for me. Aubrey can keep the Friend magazine in hers, and I can always print off coloring pages from the Friend online. I can do school-ish stuff too--whatever they're each working on.

Each kid will have their own notebook, and that's it. And like you, it will only be for church. And hopefully only after sacrament. We're still working on that part . . .

nicole said...

I'm so excited we're going to be making them next month. For Dylan I put puzzles in my bag, and I take a school workbook, rip out the pages and put them in plastic sheet protectors. Then they can use crayons to work on the pages, then a baby wipe cleans them off for the next time. We can't wait to see you in a few short weeks!

Jennifer said...

Nice to see you back! This is a great project.

The Downey's said...

I think everything you make is adorable! I love the backpacks! So so cute!

Michelle Evans said...

Very cute! I'm in the duffle bag club at church, but we're gradually paring down. :)Fun idea for each child to have his own bag. Sounds way less messy.

Jennifer said...

Are the birds embroidered? How did you do it?

Michelle said...

I love the bags, I might have to make some for my kids. Where did you get the decals for the front of the bags? Those are great.

Jamie C. said...

The flap of the bags have been ironed on with decals from a book I bought at JoAnns. It was near their patches. Our JoAnns is ity bity, and it was the only book they had, but if I could find it here, I'm sure you can find it anywhere. And probably find a whole lot more options too.

Jesslyn said...

So cute! Welcome back! I have you on my blog reader so I don't have to check and it's always great to see something pop up from you. My girls LOVE "pack-packs" so looks like I'm going to have to use you as inspiration once again.

Stephanie Saunders said...

Every time I went to check your blog I would hope there was something new. YAY! Yeah, Tara, Missy, and I are totally copying you ;)

Hillary said...

They turned out so well! Love that tutorial but really like the finished size of yours better. How did you go about adapting it? Did you base the dimensions of the square on the coloring books and add a bit? Really, really awesome!

Jamie C. said...

If I remember right, I cut my fabric 10.5 by 12.5 and used about 1/4 inch seam allowance. I did do it based on the color books, but also, just went with the size that looked the way I liked it.

amomwithalessonplan.com said...

So cute. Can't wait to see more!

Powers Fam said...

Very Cute bags! I would love to make some of these so my sweeties can carry around their own stuff at church. Sometimes I feel like I need a small suitcase for all the stuff I bring. And I love Sarah's idea about the 3 ring binder and what to fill it with. Thank you!

abbey said...

I stumbled across your blog this morning looking for stick horse patterns. Will you please email me at mt_abbey@yahoo.com. Love your ideas and the fact that you share...g

Heidi said...

Cutest backpacks ever!

Lets Make A Home said...

You make the cutest stuff! Very inspirational.