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:
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.
Start with an empty, clean 34.5 oz plastic coffee container.
Step 3: 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
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
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
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
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
Hand stitch the strap in front of the handle to keep it in place.
Step 10: 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
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!
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.