Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Backpack, to school

In Queensland, it was the first day back at school today, for another year. My eldest started grade 11, and my youngest, grade 1. So I've been busy the past few weeks, getting everything prepared.

One project I finished yesterday, was an ID badge for my youngest. We purchased a new backpack and wanted an easy way to identify it, for him. Since he's a huge fan of "Minecraft" (a Mojang gaming franchise) we searched the internet for a relevant picture.

 The outline
{click images to enlarge}

Once the image was resized to fit the bag, and printed off, I traced it onto a piece of calico fabric. I already had this in my fabric stash, so didn't cost me anything extra. In fact, this whole project, only cost me time.

 Pencil layer

I wanted something permanent to mark the fabric with, so found my Inktense pencils in the art room. Directly applied to the calico, water is then added with a brush, to make the ink, permanent. Water is what activates it, but once dry the ink won't won't wash out again, Although, I'm sure it will fade, eventually.

Water added

Once water was added to the wolf figure, I began sketching-in the background - making sure the colours didn't clash with the backpack, while remaining true to "Minecraft". Given it was a survival game, based entirely in nature, it was safe to use green.

Ready to cut

After water was added to the background, and the calico dried completely, a circle was traced in pencil, around the figure. I used an overturned, breakfast bowl, as my guide. Making sure to measure the bowl, against the backpack first, I tested the finished badge would fit the space available.

One larger, and one smaller

Leaving a 5mm seam allowance, I cut around the circle in the coloured section. Then cut another bowl template with no seam allowance, out of plain calico. This would be my backing, and give the badge more thickness.


Thanks to the quilt I made for my daughter, almost two years ago, I had some leftover applique paper, in my stash. I cut a circle out with that too, and ironed the seam allowance flat around the paper.

Three layer, fabric sandwich

The applique paper stayed inside, then the calico backing went on top. A simple straight stitch, around the edge, kept them all together. It's much easier to applique on a bulky, irregular shaped bag, when all the pieces are held together, like this.


As it was, I had a difficult time trying to turn the bag, to applique around the circle. There's only so much room in the sewing machine niche, before the fabric starts to bulk up - making it challenging to turn.

So it wasn't as perfect, as I'd normally achieve, on more accessible fabric. But it did the job of helping my son, identify his bag. I never know if other kids' parents, will buy the same bag. Making it more personalised though, ensures little ones can distinguish it, easier.


Best of all, it's Bowser approved! This brawling bad-guy, from the Mario universe (also loved by my son) thought I might ruin his dinosaur buddies, on the backpack. Afterwards though, he said it looked like I was packing them a bag of wolf-snacks, to take to school instead. Oh Bowser, you silly dinosaur!

I've got more crafty projects planned, I'm certain Bowser, will approve of too. Because there are birthday's to plan for, in May! I hate leaving myself short on time, making me rush and really not enjoy, the whole handmade process. So as I settle into the rhythms of my kids going back to school, I'll carefully plan the crafty projects to come - in between chicken coop renovations, of course!

Because I REALLY want my chickens back!!


  1. Brilliant project, the other children will want one as well. I got Will (my grandson) a shiny green dinosaur for his bag.

    1. Good on you, of helping to personalise his bag. :)

  2. Very clever and it turned out so well. What's amazing though, is that he's in first grade! Where did the time go? Enjoy your uninterrupted work time!

    1. I know, right? One minute, nursing a baby - the next, they're off to school! It's the way for all of us. Although I'm glad I'm not back at school, lol. ;)

  3. I am glad Bowser approved, Chris :-) You did a good job. I can imagine lots of students will have the same bag so that definitely will make identification easier.

    1. I haven't seen any duplicates yet, but there are so many dark shaded bags in the racks, that his light-green badge, is easy to spot. Thank goodness. :)

  4. Beautifully done, Chris! He'll be so proud of his bag (and his Mum), that
    turning up for first day will seem like a breeze!

  5. Thanks Bev. Apparently, he really enjoyed the first day back, and likes his new bag, and teacher. Which is always such a relief! :)

  6. Oh I love that idea! What a nifty craft idea. His bag looks great and I love the personalized touch.


    1. Thanks Emma, I'm sure your troop will be starting school, very soon too. NSW and QLD are about a week apart, if they haven't changed it from my youth.


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