With the school year coming up I wanted to create a backpack that had a padded pocket for my kids to store their school computer separate from their books.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Supplies.
You will need:
2- 1 large pocket backpacks (I used the cheap $5 Walmart backpacks I bought last year)
1- Fat quarter of the fabric or scrap of fabric large enough to make 1 more panel the size of the back of the backpack.
2- 16" x 16" x 1" Foam Craft Cushion
seam ripper (*not pictured)
Step 2: Deconstruct First Backpack
Start by turning one backpack inside out. Then use your seam ripper to remove the stitches holding the back panel to the zipper side of the backpack, try to keep the stitches holding the straps and the handle. Once the back panel is removed use your seam ripper to remove the stitches holding the zipper side of the backpack to the Front Panel w/ pocket. Then remove the stitches connecting the zipper to the bottom portion of the side of the back pack so that you have 1 long rectangular piece. You should now have 3 pieces of the backpack. The back panel with straps and handle, the zipper side, and the front panel with pocket.
Step 3: Create Extra Fabric Panel
Using the back panel of the backpack as a template pin it to your piece of fabric and cut out the extra fabric panel needed.
Step 4: Cut Out the Padded Cushions
Now grab the 2 foam craft cushions and place your fabric panel on top as a template. Use your marking chalk to trace around the fabric panel on to each cushion. Cut the foam on your chalk marking line. Now use the ruler and measure in from the edge 1" all the way around and cut on your new chalk marking line.
Step 5: Sandwich and Sew
Take the back panel and place right side down. place 1 foam cushion pad on top of the back panel then place fabric panel on top of the cushion pad right side up. Pin back panel and fabric panel together around edges to seal in cushion pad. Then sew together.
Step 6: Attaching Zipper Edge to Cushioned Back Panel
Measure in from each side of the zipper edge piece 1 3/4". This creates a thinner back zippered pocket.
(**Please note that my picture shows a 1" mark however I felt this created a thicker back zippered pocket than I wanted. So I cut an addition 3/4" off each side and it worked perfect.)
Once your zippered edge piece as been narrowed grab the padded back panel with right sides together pin the zippered edge piece to the padded back panel. Start with zipper edge at the bottom left corner of the back and go around. Once pinned sew together.
Step 7: Time for Backpack #2
Now grab the other backpack and your seam ripper. Remove the back panel, straps, and handle from the backpack.
(** Sorry the photo does not show the back panel removed only the straps and handle.)
Step 8: Make the Padded and Pocketed Inner Panel
Take the back panel just removed from backpack #2 and place right side down. Put the other cushion pad in the middle and place the front panel w/ pocket from backpack #1 on the top of the cushion pad right side up. Pin together the back panel to the front panel w/pocket sealing the cushion pad inside. Sew together.
Step 9: Close Up New Back Padded Zipper Pocket
Take the back panel and zipper edge from backpack #1 and place with straps down. Put the new padded inner panel inside of the zipper edge with the pocket side up. Pin padded inner panel to the zipper edge all the way around. Then sew in place.
Step 10: Final Sewing
Turn backpack #2 front panel and zippered edge right side in. Place the back panel with new inner padded panel inside backpack #2 front panel with straps on the bottom and the pocket facing up. Pin the back panel to the zipper edge and then sew in place. Now open the zipper and turn right side out.
Step 11: Additional Notes:
If you want to give the back pack a more finished look you could cover the new seams in the pockets with Bias tape.
I had previously used craft floss to embroider the cat and game controller on to the pockets of the backpacks I used. I drew with pencil on the pocket my design then used a simple running stitch and the floss color of my choice to trace the design.
I use the edge of my presser foot for my seam measurements. When stitching the foam cushion seams it may take a little more finger muscle squish the cushion while sewing.
You could also additional pockets to the backpack to personalize with the additional fabric left over.