Cheap Comfortable Waterproof Carry-on Size Backpack




Introduction: Cheap Comfortable Waterproof Carry-on Size Backpack

About: Girl from a small town. Inlove with DIY. Electronics. Design. Coding

Hi, everyone,

this is my first Instructable and I want to share this backpack I recently made :)

I'm not professional and still have to learn a lot.

It took me around 2-3 months to complete but worked once a week. I think it could be completed in few weekends.

Total cost was ~30£

Step 1: Materials

  • Waterproof fabric ( ~ 2 x 1.5meters)
  • Fabric for lining ( ~ 1.8 x 1.5meters)
  • Fabric for padding ( ~1.5 x 1.5m)
  • Big zipper (0.85m)
  • Smaller zipper(0.48m)
  • Light flexible plastic for the back (0.05 x 0.3m) x 2 pieces (I used some kind of plastic that I found laying around)
  • Bias tape ( ~3 m)

Keep in mind that if you change the design or size you will require more/less of the fabric.


  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric glue (optional)

Step 2: Design

Before I started sewing this backpack and sketched a bit (I'm not that good at it tho) and came up with few specifications.

  • Waterproof
  • Minimalist design
  • Have a pockets for pens
  • Have a pocket for 15.6 inc laptop
  • Could be opened almost fully
  • Comfortable
  • Have a back support

Step 3: Cutting&sewing

This part the trickiest and takes the most patience but practice makes it perfect. I started by cutting all the pieces than sewing padding to it. To the back I sew to pieces of plastic because I wanted to be hard before that covering with padding. After this comes time to add lining and then sewing all the pieces together. I did this in this order :

Sewing :

  • all the pieces individually
  • front pocket with the zipper to front piece
  • straps and to the back piece
  • side pockets to side pieces
  • zipper to side piece
  • side piece to back ( I recommend doing this first instead of front because it's harder to reach back)
  • back with front

I found sewing bias tape to raw edges inside of the backpack too complicated so instead I decided to use fabric glue to do the trick :)

Step 4: Finished Backpack

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    5 years ago

    Placing a zipper on the edge gives a nice, clean look, but I realize how difficult that can be. You usually see a zipper mounted in a gusset, which is easier, and less stress on the coil. Kudos for a gutsy installation. I would have gone the easy route.


    5 years ago

    how waterproof is it, could i swim without my belongings getting wet?


    Reply 5 years ago

    This one will just save from rain :)

    You could possibly make one that is fully waterproof but in that case you would need to find waterproof zippers and maybe add another waterproof layer (depending on the fabric you use) :)


    5 years ago

    can you tell me where did you buy waterproof fabric?
    and backpack looks great, well done :)


    Reply 5 years ago

    Hey, thanks! I got it from local fabric store :) I wasn't hard to find and there was few options . I live in relative small country so I think it won't be hard to find anywhere else too. Of course, you can always look online :)

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Good idea. If you make it yourself, you can make it exactly the size and dimensions that you want it to be.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks! Yes, indeed :)