Duct Tape Backpack/Messenger Bag Convertible




Introduction: Duct Tape Backpack/Messenger Bag Convertible

Heya! This is my first Instructable, and it is going to be entered in the Make It Stick Contest and the Back to School Contest. Please vote for it, and tell me how to improve my writing. Finally, check out my site 1337blogger.com
So lets begin!

Duct tape is super awesome to work with. It is super strong, and it is waterproof! So for the back to school contest, I decided to post an Instructable on the most essential piece of school gear needed: The backpack! Yeah, so in high school(or our school at least) we have to bring our backpacks pretty much everywhere, so I figured that a duct tape(or duck tape) backpack will help me customize it to whatever I need, and it will be durable.

So then, I decided to add a bit of my creativity into this project and I made it able to convert into a messenger bag too!

Step 1: Stuff You Need

So here are the stuff you need. I suggest that you improvise with whatever you have around.

Duct Tape: Of course you need duct tape for this project!

Scissors or a cutting knife: You need something to cut the tape

Backpack: Wait, WHAAAT?? Yes, you should have a backpack for this project. It isn't needed, but its a great place to salvage some extra stuff. You should obviously use an old backpack, for instance, the one I used was too small for high school so it is perfect to be ripped up. Pretty much for this project, you will need the padding inside the  backpack, which can be replaced with many layers of duct tape, or you could just get styrofoam sheets. The other thing we need is to make the messenger bag straps adjustable. I don't know what they are called yet, so I will call them thingies. These are obviously better if taken from a messenger bag.

Velcro: Ahh, velcro, the easiest way to make something open and close. Plus, as I said, I had it on me! So this is used to open and close the backpack. I don't know if I can use zippers, since I never used those, but tell me if it works! Additionally you can use magnets for this project, but I do not trust them around my stuff.

Ruler: You will never know when any measurements can come in handy.

Step 2: Problem Points

Yeah, so I have to say some places where you should direct your attention to especially. There are places need to be really strong to support heavy weights.

Straps: You are carrying the backpack by these, so you need them to be super strong. Straps break from regular backpacks too, so it needs to be strong. Also, make sure that you pad it, or it will hurt when you carry it!

Bottom: Here is where the books lie in, so you need it to be strong. Duct tape is a bit too flexible, so make sure that the bottom is reinforced with something, cuz you don't want the bottom to sag when its on your back.

Back: The back is also pretty flexible, which means that it would be pretty uncomfortable if you lean on the backpack when it has books inside.

Step 3: How to Work With Duct Tape

So you need to know some ways to use duct tape, and the terms which I have made up for them.

Strip: Its just a strip of duct tape. Usually it is two pieces of duct tape stuck back to back.

Sheet: A sheet of duct tape. Usually a bunch of strips stuck in a sheet and is double sided.

Fabric Stick: Yes, I made this one 100% up, but it is how pieces of fabric are usually sown together at seams. It is used to tape some sheets together at an angle. Check the picture out. Also check out other backpacks etc. to see what I am talking about.

Step 4: Duct Tape Hints

Duct Tape was pretty hard for me to work with, so I had a lot of trouble in most of the time I spent on this project. I have some tips for working with duct tape:

1: Make sure that when you cut the tape, it is held taut. If you don't, then the tape will fold on itself and it won't cut properly. Also, it will make the cut straighter.

2: When putting a strip of tape on another strip of tape, make sure that both strips are taut. Again, like the previous tip, if both are not taut, then creases will come onto the taps.

3: When you tear out strips, if they are not being used at that time, make sure that they are REALLY far away. I do admit that it should be obvious, but I've made many mistakes because of this.

Step 5: Lets Make the Straps

We will start by making the straps for our backpack first! Take your spare backpack and cut up the straps, so you will get the padding underneath. Do this twice for both straps. You should get some styrofoam from it. Notice how they are curved, since when the straps are placed, you will have to curve them in. Now that you have the styrofoam parts to the straps, cover tape on them. Make sure that it is as neat as possible. When covering with tape, try not to get any creases on the tape. Now repeat this step on the other strap in the backpack.

Step 6: Creating the Back

Now, we will create the back. You will need to know how big your backpack is, so you can cut out the foam for it properly. I cut out the back of my backpack, which was a pretty good idea, besides the fact that i couldn't make it any bigger. When you have the foam, whether it was from the back of the backpack or not, make one side of a sheet of duct tape, and stick the foam onto it. Leave it to the side for now.

Step 7: Creating the Messenger Bag Straps

You will need to make the messenger bag straps. First, cut the strap away from the old messenger bag, and get the plastic parts holding the straps. See the pic for what they will be called from now on.Now then, get a strip of duct tape and wrap it around the hook thing in Part A. Do the same thing for Part B, with another piece of duct tape. Now stick the ends on the sheet you created in the previous step. It should be in the top right.

Now cut a huge strip of tape, which will be the messenger bag strap. The one I created was 3.5 feet.

Step 8: Creating the Messenger Bag Straps: Part 2

Now follow the instructions on the pictures.

Step 9: Get the Back Again

So now, the back is still stick, so cover it up with another sheet. Make sure that only the top of the straps are covered. Also, make sure that the part holding the messenger bag strap to the bag is taped down too. Also, before completly covering it, add the straps like in the pic.

Also, when taping the straps, place a strip of tape on the top, and anchor it to the front of the backpack.

Step 10: The Bottom, Sides, and Front

These are all separate steps, but I can say them as one. So, you will need to do the bottom first. Figure out how thick you want the bag, and make a sheet, which is as wide as the bag by how thick the bag is. You can put some foam in the sheet like I did. Now tape the back and the bottom together like in the pictures using the fabric stick.

For the sides, get a sheet which is as thick as the bag by a few inches less than how tall the bag is(so you could have a cover for the bag). First fabric stick it to the left and right edges of the back. Then, stick it to the bottom. You will need to do this twice.

Now, we are on the front! This is yet again another sheet of duct tape, which the same measurement of tallness you used for the sides by the length of the bag. Do the same stuff you did before, and stick the front to the sides and the bottom.

Anchor the bottom of the straps to the front of the bag by taping a strip to the bottom of the 2 straps and taping the other side to the front.

Step 11: Creating the Top!

We are almost done! Create the top by taping a sheet to the back of the backpack. Now, bend the sheet towards the front, and add a Velcro adhesive to both the sheet, and the front.

Step 12: You Are Done!

Show off your backpack in style! You could add some extra pockets to it. For instance, add a pocket for your messenger bag strap. Also, add a pocket for your pencils, calculators, and an extra pocket for your planning notebook.

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    How thick is your bag? An other project used five layers, but insist on thin three layer seams. I also wished you showed adding a pocket or two sounds fun. As for using zippers with duct tape;I had to sew or staple to reinforce the contact with the fabric. Thank you.


    6 years ago

    Well done though perhaps to make your awesome project even more awesome use a cutting board


    9 years ago on Introduction

    It doesn't have to be a GORILLA product, and tape is an adhesive.