Introduction: Mini Backpack/Marching Drum

Picture of Mini Backpack/Marching Drum

Every child likes to have a few fun items to play with when going somewhere and this project provides a small backpack to carry them along safely and neatly. When worn to the front it also doubles as a nice marching bongo drum that has a soft, pleasant tone unlikely to give parents a headache. It's constructed mainly from recycled materials, such as a 34.5 oz. coffee jug and scraps of fabric. While the adult will have to do the sewing, the child can have the pleasure of decorating the jug with the stickers of his or her choice, so that each backpack/drum will be personalized and unique.

Step 1: Gathering Materials:

Picture of Gathering Materials:

34.5 oz empty plastic coffee container

Fairly heavy-weight material scraps that can be pieced together to produce a 52 inch by 3 inch rectangle

Colored plastic decorating tape to match the container's coloring (available at craft stores) I paid $1.39 for a 3/4 inch by 125 inch roll.

Decorative children's stickers (available at craft stores) I paid $1.00 for these.

Thread for sewing the straps. The sewing can be done partly by machine and the rest manually, or you can hand-sew the entire project if you prefer.

Step 2: Empty and Clean the Coffee Container.

Picture of Empty and Clean the Coffee Container.

Start with an empty, clean 34.5 oz plastic coffee container.

Step 3: Covering the Labels

Picture of Covering the Labels

Unfortunately the coffee labels are apparently painted on and can't be soaked off. Therefore, cover them with strips of colored plastic decorating tape that match the rest of the container.

Step 4: Decorating Container With Stickers

Picture of Decorating Container With Stickers

You or your child can decorate the covered area with the stickers of your choice. I didn't put stickers on the rest of the jug, but that could be done also if desired.

Step 5: Preparing Material to Make the Straps

Either cut a 52 inch by 3 inch rectangle of heavy-weight material or splice together pieces of the scrap materal to make a rectangle of that size. (I used 3 smaller pieces of corduroy scrap material, piecing them together until they measured 52 inches by 3 inches.)

Step 6: Folding in Outer Edges of Material and Pressing Them Down

Picture of Folding in Outer Edges of Material and Pressing Them Down

Fold the lengthwise edges in 1/2 inch on each side and iron them down to crease.

Step 7: Folding Strap in Half and Stitching Open Edge Down

Picture of Folding Strap in Half and Stitching Open Edge Down

Then fold the the material in half again lengthwise, press flat and stitch the open edge down to form a 52 inch by 1 inch strap.

Step 8: Pull Strap Through Jug Handle and Center

Picture of Pull Strap Through Jug Handle and Center

Put one end of the strap through the jug handle and pull it until the center of the strap is behind the top of the handle.

Step 9: Stitching Strap in Front of Handle

Picture of Stitching Strap in Front of Handle

Hand stitch the strap in front of the handle to keep it in place.

Step 10: Sewing the Strap Ends Together

Picture of Sewing the Strap Ends Together

Next draw one of the strap ends through the bottom half of the handle and sew it securely to the other end of the strap, being careful not to let it get twisted.

Step 11: Stitch Other End of Strap in Front of Handle

Picture of Stitch Other End of Strap in Front of Handle

Then pull the seam back right behind the bottom half of the handle and manually stitch the strap in front of the handle as you did previously.

Step 12: You're Finished. Now Your Child Can Fill It Up!

Picture of You're Finished.  Now Your Child Can Fill It Up!

And that's it. The backpack/drum is ready to use. Your child can now start finding some small treasures to put inside. I hope you both enjoyed the project.

Comments

DELETED_jorgegunn (author)2011-04-13

ahh this brings back memories my grandmother used to pack me and my brother an old coffe can filled with goodies for are ride home from visiting her. There was allways some fruit, candy, juice box, a toy, a love note and a dollar to buy something at the gas station. I asked her one time why she used coffee cans instead of a bag. she replied that the coffee can was sturdy and wouldnt get smashed and make gooy fruit everywhere. We allways had metal cans but this is cooler and if the kid comes with one grandmother can just add to it for the ride home

I'm glad it brought you some good memories.

valhallasmine (author)2009-12-29

Thanks for a suggestion for these GREAT coffee containers.  Every morning I look at the one in my cabinet and think, "Geez, I bet there're some great instructables for this container."

We store hot cocoa mix in one.   But you could also store rice, pasta, beans, etc.

Maybe Maxwell House needs to sponsor an Instructables Contest??

merumore (author)valhallasmine2009-12-30

I'm glad you liked it.  I feel the same way about the Maxwell House containers.  They're a good size, seal well, are stackable.  We'll just have to think up multiple uses for them and write some new instructables.

hishealer (author)2009-09-17

IT'S A KIDKIT!!! I used to pack up little stuff for when I would babysit in a tote bag, but this is WAY better! I wish all parents would do something like this for their kids, since they get bored really easily. Snack packs would be a good addition idea too.

merumore (author)hishealer2009-09-18

Thanks.

Kammae (author)2009-09-14

Love it and love the picture :) How cute!

cigarsandscotch (author)2009-08-20

Very cool, I bet my son would love one.

canida (author)2009-08-18

Nice idea! Looks like he loves it. ;)

merumore (author)canida2009-08-18

Thank you. We enjoyed working on it.

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