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Kids' Adventure-Ready Backpack

Instill a love of nature and the great outdoors in kids with this easy-to-create fabric backpack filled with fun tools for little explorers.

Michele Beschen,

Materials Needed:

  • canvas or duck cloth cut to 12" x 35"
  • for 2 straps: 23" x 3" pieces of same material
  • canvas for front pockets
  • sewing machine
  • sewing pins
  • empty, clean pint or jelly jars with two-piece lids
  • sticker paper
  • window screen
  • small wooden picture frame
  • staple gun
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • tin snips
  • (2) 6"x 6" luan squares
  • paint pens or craft paint and paintbrush
  • cardboard and newsprint
  • bungee cord or large rubber band

Create Backpack Body

On 12" x 35" piece of canvas, measure 14-1/2 inches up from the bottom of longer end and fold fabric up to this point.

Press and Sew Straps

Press in strap edges 1/4-inch, then fold in half. Stitch up both side of strap.

Attach Top of Straps

Insert straps 2-1/2-inches above fold on inside of bag and pin in place, then stitch up both sides of backpack.

Attach Bottom of Straps

Turn backpack right side out and attach the other end of straps about two inches below the opening of the backpack on the backside.

Add Pockets

Create pockets out of canvas and stitch or rivet to front of backpack. Finally, embellish backpack with charms, lettering and other personal touches.

Create Bug Jars

Remove and discard center piece of jelly or pint jar lid, leaving just the outer ring. Cut a piece of window screen to fit inside lid ring and attach to inside of lid with hot glue. Print "bug shack" or other saying onto sticker paper and attach to jars.

Create Sifter

Remove glass and backing of picture frame. Cut window screen to the size of frame and staple window screen to empty frame.

Create Nature Press

Using craft paint or paint pens, embellish luan squares. Using wood square as a template, cut several pieces of cardboard and newsprint to the same size. Alternate pieces of paper and cardboard then sandwich between luan squares. Secure together with bungee cord or large rubber band.

Fill Backpack

Place handmade bug jars, sifter and nature press in backpack and add store-bought items such as a butterfly net, nature log, gloves, compass and anything else to maximize kids' outdoor adventures.

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