Every backpack I've ever owned, I often find myself thinking:  "There's not enough pockets in here". 

Ikea taught me one important lesson.  If there is a specific place to put something, it will get put away.  I found this out after I bought a bunch of drawer dividers from them a few years back.  Once a thing has a particular place that is its home, it always winds up there and there is a certain pleasure to putting it away.  It feels good.*

The problem I have, and possibly many others have this one, is when I want to put something away in a backpack - all the pockets are occupied already and the thing usually winds up in the bottom of the backpack in a big jumble of stuff.  Then the next time I look for it, I've got to paw through all the stuff on the bottom till I find it.

For the longest time I fantasized about creating my own perfect backpack - with just the right number of pockets and what would be the perfect set of things to put in it to take with me when I go out the door.

Trouble is, I go through phases of interests.  Sort of a long stretched out form of ADD where each interest lasts about 6 weeks tops.  If I can't get something done in that time frame, it winds up shelved in favor of something shinier.

The really great thing about Instructables, is it gives me an excuse to act on those "one of these days I'm gonna ..." type of ideas.  This is one of those.   This will be my attempt to quiet that refrain of "If only I had my ____ with me!".

I've actually tried several times previously to make my own backpack just the way I want it.  I've taken several apart that were old favorites and just finally wore out.  I sat there with a seam ripper and my camera and deconstructed them piece by piece and assessing how they were made.  What I quickly realized is just how much labor goes into one of those things. 

The more I try to make things, I continue to marvel at the beauty of things that are made in China.   There is so much amazing tailoring and perfection in the construction of the simplest thing that I take for granted every day.  It's hard to justify making things because it takes so much effort and so much time and it's just so much cheaper and easier to just go and purchase something.  My results are usually kind of ghetto or amateurish.  Nevertheless, I still feel the inspiration to try.  I try not to be intimidated by the quality of products made overseas.  Especially when I stop and think about the people making these things.  Of course I've heard tales of the horrible life of a factory worker over there.  Even here, in the US, factory work is considered the worst sort of employment: a repetitive, mind-numbing, soul crushing, low-paying last resort sort of job.  So, ironically, here I am, trying my best to do it myself at home.  I strive to be my own low-paid slave laborer!  Of course, it is infeasible to do that.  I still rely all the time on inexpensive products all the time, made in China by underpaid but very talented people.   Anyway, I think 3d printers will start to change all that and it will be interesting to see how that unfolds. 

Okay already, what am I getting at?!  Well, it's too hard to make a specialized backpack for every hobby.  What is easier is to make a backpack insert!  Just make an insert that fits inside your favorite backpack.  Then you can just grab the insert that suits the hobby you are wanting to work on that day and slide it into your backpack and out the door you go, all prepared. 

Okay, lets get started then.

*Maybe it goes way back to those little infant toys where you put the shaped block into its little matching shaped hole or whatever. 

Step 1: Make a List

The first trick is gathering up all the tools you think you might ever want to have with you for your  particular hobby.

For this Instructable, I'm going to go with a typical sketching and watercolor art type of insert.

Let's see, what will I need:
start with the basics
  eraser, pencil, pen
branching out:
   favorite brushes
   colored pencils
   water color paints
   water supply
   rinse cup (2x)
   towels for mopping up
extra pencil leads
maybe a small ruler
maybe a ruling pen or two
an extra to loan to that person who will ask for one - one you don’t care if you lose
something to keep your paper in
inspiration sources
lead holder
extra leads
lead pointer

smarty pants glasses that say leave me alone I’m a serious person and very busy
also they help with closeup detail work

invariably, as much as I plan ahead there will always be that one thing I didn’t bring.  We’ll just take that as a given though and carry on.

No doubt some extras will have to be sacrificed based on available space.
Exactly what I've been looking for, thanks!
<p>i like this a lot i have tons of bags in my bag with usbs, mice pens, meds ect this is on my todo list.</p><p>thanks</p>
<p>I actually did the same thing in middle and high school! I didn't make my own, I used one of those inserts that goes in a zipped double three ring binder, like in this picture. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but mine had a few elastic loops for pencils and a few pockets for erasers and other things. It worked for a few years, and I even carried it with my books in my arms in middle school when they didn't allow us to carry backpacks from class to class.</p>
<p>That is a great idea!</p>
<p>you are the unsung hero of our time</p>
<p>thanks! I sort of feel that way too. :)</p>
<p>GENIUS!</p><p>I need to make one of these for my embroidery projects. :D I always have them with me in a mess.</p>
ee hee! Well, if you make it it will probably be lovely, so please post a photo! =)
Your &quot;feed the bird!&quot; direction and video made my day! :-)
<p>hee hee</p>
great 'ible, voted!
yay thanks!!
borax = sodium borate, boric acid = roach killer or green fire.
baking soda works well for removing odors as well. nice ible :)
<p>cool, good 2 know</p>
<p>D'oh! You're right. Thank you for correcting me</p>
It turned out amazing! Another reason I need a sewing machine. You should sell these!
<p>wow thank you for that compliment!! =D Maybe I will think about selling some. =)</p>

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More by foobear:A better little scrubber pocket drafting kit Backpack Insert 
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