This project allows one to become a one-man coffee stop and can be used to act as a promotion for an event, a way to hand out samples, or simply to run around and brighten some people's day.
Step 1: Things You Will Need
- a rolling backpack with a sturdy base
- small, insulated carafe
- needle and thread
- sewing pins
- x-acto knife
- hot glue
- PVC pipe
- tiger saw
- foam core
- super glue
- LED board*
- Arduino UNO*
- USB cable*
- battery pack*
*Optional components for scrolling text LEDs
Step 2: Dismantling the Backpack
To begin, you'll need to gut your backpack: what worked best for me was cutting along the outside edges with an x-acto knife. Be sure to leave the main pocket's zipper intact, as it will be used to secure the carafe. Take care when cutting along the bottom and back of the pack as these areas will be needed to run thread through. KEEP ALL SCRAPS!! As with most any sewing project, it's always a good idea to keep spare material around for minor adjustments and add-ons.
Step 3: Attaching the Carafe
Once your pack is taken apart, remove additional pockets from the main pouch. Be sure to cut just what is needed to remove the pockets without puncturing the material of the largest pocket. After it is trimmed down, position the material around your carafe. This step is tricky, as it wants to lie how it was designed, but if you cut a small portion off it'll make it easier to maneuver without being unable to wrap securely around the carafe (I've included both the wrapped carafe photo and a photo that better details what portion of the pack was used for this part so that it's a little bit easier to visualize).
When your material is ready to go, grab a needle and thread and start sewing! (I highly recommend getting some sewing pins to hold everything in place for this step) Start sewing the edges of your piece to the backing of the pack, checking periodically that things are staying on track to fit your carafe. Once the sides are sewn, secure the bottom of the material to the base of the pack. This portion is difficult, as the base cannot be punctured through, but if you pierce the thin fabric covering and pinch it, the needle will be able to come back through (watch your fingers, though!).
An optional, additional step may be to cut the track of the zipper and sew the sides down on the areas not being used. This offers a sleeker, more intentional look to your carafe pocket.
Step 4: (Optional) Setting Up the Scrolling Text
Using the extra materials from the pack, a battery case can be made from the side pocket by extending it's edges and sewing on a backing. With this particular brand of rolling backpack, there was a velcro patch on the bottom of the base. I attached a velcro square onto the backing of the side pocket to support its center once it was mounted to the bottom of the pack. Then, I sewed the sides to the spare material so that it wasn't hanging down and relying solely on the velcro square. If you so choose, or if your pack doesn't have that weird extra piece, sewing the edges of the pocket to the material around the base will suffice. Be sure that your zipper opening is facing the front of the pack, so that the pocket can be mostly closed even when things are plugged in and running.
An Arduino UNO and the Arduino software (include the Adafruit NeoMatrix library) was used to program the LED board to display "FREE COFFEE!" in changing colors.
Step 5: The Attachments
Using foam core, construct a box for cream, sugar, and stir sticks (should you choose to put coffee in your carafe). For my pack, the legs on the base were a little too far back to attach the box to, so I added a couple squares of foam core the extend this out which worked well, should you run in to this issue.
In preparing the PVC to hold the cups, a tiger saw was used to cut the front-side opening to allow for easy access, and a drill was used to create the securing-slits on the side. Once cut, the bottom of the PVC was superglued to the base of the pack and reinforced with a security loop attaching it to the carafe. It happened that a metal ring was in the perfect position to loop some extra material through, but sewing it directly to the pack will work just as well.
I added a little bit of flare to my PVC as the plain white was kinda boring to me. Go crazy with some fun design or paint it, if you wish!
Step 6: Finished Product!
You are now the proud owner of a carafe pack! Have fun running around and spreading the caffeinated love!