Sunday, December 31, 2006

Creating Personalized Book Bags

Backpacks are becoming quite boring. You will notice if you check out any of the high school kids you know that most of them are sporting the same type of backpack. Whether it is the $20 Jansport or the $50 LL Bean, they are all the same. The most variation in them is that some students opt to have their initial embroidered in them. You can spice up your backpack (and maybe even sell a few to others) by using a little imagination.

To begin, you will need to gather basic crafting supplies. If you have a full chest of craft stuff, then you are in great shape to begin. You will need to get craft glue, needle and thread, some cool stencils, puff paint pens, or anything that you can use to adhere items to your book bag. Then you will need to pick up some cool items to put on the backpack. All you will do for the project is sit down and put everything on the backpack. Then let it dry for 24 hours, and you are ready to go.

Before you gobble up any supplies, you should know what you want to get. One easy option is to put your name on the backpack. It may not be the most creative, but it is a fun way to make it known that you are the owner of the awesome book bag, and it is a bit more original than the embroidery you will see elsewhere.

Another option, especially if you are into environmental causes, is to look at your backpack as a sort of garden or animal haven. You can purchase little creepy crawlies, cute craft bugs, and even little plastic fish and butterflies. Use these items to create a virtual garden or an animal habitat on your bag. If you are particularly talented artistically, then you can include little pictures. You can put a coral reef for the underwater animals or add some grass for the beetle to hide.

Patterned rhinestones or gems also are a great decorating idea. You will need to use good fabric glue if you are going to create a design. Be sure that you get a white sheet of paper and lay the design out on the paper before you transfer it to the backpack. Measure to make sure that you will have enough room for the design you have created and then transfer the gems piece by piece to the backpack using the fabric glue to adhere the pieces. For those of you who are into less structured ideas, you simply need to dot the book bag with fabric glue and then put the gems or beads wherever you see the glue. Do not worry with pattern; you are creating artistic chaos.

Pick something that defines you and make your book bag pay homage to that idea. If you are in band, then put little treble clefs and musical instruments. Cheerleaders can find plenty of decals to put on their bags. Use your book bag to represent who you are to others. Try any number of themes. You could go with religious themes if your religious beliefs are very integral to who you are. You also could use a color theme or a specific animal if you have something that you really love.

A final choice is to create an embroidery pattern of your own. Use a craft pencil or light pen to draw out a design on your book bag. Then you should use the needle and thread to create the design in your backpack. This design takes a bit more skill and a great deal more patience, but it is something that will make your book bag stand out from the crowd.

So remember that this year instead of just buying a basic canvas bag, you can make your book bag something that others will notice (and hopefully admire). You also can try these ideas with canvas tote bags or other types of bags. Then you can have bags that speak to your interests, and you can make different bags for various uses that you have. These bags are a cool way to start a new hobby and can even be used as gifts.

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