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How to Personalize a Backpack (Get Five Ideas!)

Learn how to personalize a backpack in one of five fun ways! Get ideas for how to decorate a backpack that kids will absolutely love.

Scroll down to the bottom of the post to get a bonus video idea of how to decorate a backpack. It’s super cool and I can’t wait for you to see it.


How to Decorate a Backpack

Why buy a new backpack for back to school – when you can get creative and makeover the one you already have? Kids will LOVE these unique ideas for personalized backpacks! This fall, FamilyFun magazine has a variety of ways to trick out and personalize your backpack.

Backpack decorated like a green monster

The Googled-Eyed Monster Bag

Is this bag creepy or crazy? You decide. Cut out eyes and teeth from iron-on vinyl, position, and iron according to package instructions (an adult’s job; make sure the fabric is pulled very tight).

Cut features out of thick green felt and hot-glue in place (an adult’s job). Draw on pupils with permanent marker.

Gray backpack painted with polka dots

Do the Polka Dot

Gather three to five different-size foam pouncers and at least three colors of craft paint, squirted onto paper.

Dip the largest pouncer in paint, dab on paper to remove excess, then pounce it onto the bag. Repeat with other sizes (largest to smallest); let dry.

Blue backpack decorated with patches

Patch it Up!

When it comes to patches, pins and buttons, more is more!

Help your child pin the patches in place and arrange until he likes the mix. Glue or iron (an adult’s job) them on according to package instructions. Then attached any buttons and pins.

Pink backpack decorated with pom pom trim

Pom-Pom Party

The perky trim is as funky and bright as your child’s personality.

Cut several 18-inch lengths of pom-pom trim. Glue into place (we used Fabri-Tac) leaving a short overhang on each side. Let dry, then cut the ends.

Constellations drawn on a black backpack with a white paint pen

Starstruck Bag

Encourage your kids to connect the dots into his own constellations.

Use a white paint pen to draw the biggest stars or comets first, then fill in with smaller dots. Connect a few into real or imagined constellations.

Put A Toggle On It!

What’s a backpack without flair? Mix, match, and swap these adorable add-ons!

Fluffy monster charms

Fluffy Monster!

Start with a faux-fur puff (we found ours on Etsy). Loop twine through a lobster swivel clasp, thread both ends onto a needle, and push through the center of the puff; tie off.

Glue on features made from felt, pipe cleaners and Kawaii cabochons (resin charms; also on Etsy).

Mega tassel hanging from a pink backpack

Mega Tassel

Bundle thirty 12-inch lengths of trim (like yarn, shoelace, or twill tape). Tie another piece around the middle; knot a lobster swivel clasp onto it; add glue to the knot; wrap to cover.

Fold the bundle in half; wrap a piece of trim around it a few times near the top; tie off.

DIY friendship charms

Friendship Charms

Flatten air-dry clay to ½ inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to make a shape; cut it in half. Press an eye pin (find it in the jewelry section of craft stores) into each half; let dry.

Paint it; let dry; coat with gloss varnish; let dry again. Add clasps to eye pins with jump rings (also in the jewelry section).

What are your favorite ideas for how to personalize a backpack? Let me know in the comments!

If you’d like another idea, these Duck Tape backpack charms are going to be right up your alley. I’d also love for you to check out these other ideas:

Are you ready for the bonus idea I mentioned? Learn how to make a painted backpack with a galaxy theme! Oh, and there are matching shoes too (this would have thrilled me as a child). Press “PLAY” in the center of the video in this post.

All ideas and photos courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Don Davies

Monday 21st of June 2021

Personalized or custom backpacks are really a thing now. What's good about these is it's an avenue for our kids, even ourselves to express our creativity and uniqueness!