Stencil it, embroider it, or stick it with a colorful custom patch.

Updated August 06, 2020
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personalized backpacks
Credit: CHELSEA CAVANAUGH

Get your little ones excited for the new school year (or for homeschooling if COVID-19 has meant your child will be returning to school virtually) with one of these easy DIY projects that take an ordinary book bags from drab to fab in a few easy steps. With embroidery, iron-on patches, and a bit of paint, they can showcase their personalities while giving their everyday school essential a bit of flair. Students will be proud to sport a customized book bag that they designed themselves. Using these easy techniques (and a little help from you), a DIY backpack is just a few steps away.

Stitch

Embroidery is a simple and stylish way to elevate a basic backpack. Write an older student's name in pencil or fabric marker, then let them embroider it with a backstitch and jazz it up with pom-poms. You could also let your little one pick out their favorite color threads while you do the embroidery for a collaborative project.

Stick

No sewing is required when you go the iron-on patch route. Ask your kids to pick out their favorite patches, then you'll finish the job with an iron. They can choose a patch ($13.97, amazon.com) inspired by their favorite emoji or one to represent their extracurricular of choice—whatever they choose, their book bag will never look better.

Stencil

Whether your child uses this Animal-Stenciled Drawstring Backpack as a book bag or a gym bag, you can't go wrong with this two-step project. Use our animal stencils ($6.99, amazon.com) for some extra oomph—it'll instantly transform a basic bag thanks to a little paint and creativity.

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