Stand Out


How to Decorate a Backpack and Make It Stand Out


Whether you're tired of mistaking someone else’s backpack for your own or want a bag that stands out as much as you do, there are a ton of crafty ways you can decorate your backpack so that it’s truly one of a kind. You can follow these five DIY backpack decorating tips to make your bag unique—but before you begin, make sure you’re starting with a backpack that you love, whether that means going for a bright yellow or a bold pattern, or even a blank canvas using our undyed backpacks. After all, if you’re going to take the time to decorate your backpack, you should make sure it’s a keeper. And, don’t forget, you can also decorate fanny packs and pouches too. The sky’s the limit.



To make it even easier to decorate a backpack, here are a few easy tips to add that personalized touch and stand out from the crowd.



Looking for a quick and effective way to personalize your bag? Try adding iron-on patches or pins. You can find both in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Pins are great if you want more versatility, since you can easily exchange them or move them around, while iron-on patches can give your bag a vintage look. Just be sure to read the label on your backpack before you apply an iron-on patch. You can usually apply them to cotton or polyester fabrics, but should avoid using them on nylon, rayon, or leather.



Another way to decorate a backpack is with color. You can use fabric markers to add more personality and designs to your backpack. If you’re not confident about drawing freehand, try sketching your design in pencil first or using stencils. You can also create shapes and patterns with painter’s tape, color between the lines, and then remove the tape to reveal your design. This is a great approach if you want to add an abstract design or color block your backpack.



Another great way to make your backpack stand out is to add texture. You can draw on your backpack using puffy paint instead of—or in addition to—fabric markers to create a 3D-effect. Another idea? Add pompoms using a needle and thread or just a safety pin, you can even add studs or other items to really make your mark.



There are plenty of ways to give your backpack a bit of shine. You can embellish it with glitter glue or use an applicator tool to add studs and rhinestones. Craft stores will also sell rhinestone stickers you can simply place on your backpack. Are you drawn to sequins? Sew them on first then add a dab of hot glue to secure them in place.



Don’t forget the finishing touches: your zippers. You can jazz them up by tying on a tassel or a keychain. Another trick is to use embroidery floss to create a zipper pull just like you would to make a short friendship bracelet. If you want to customize the zippers themselves, try painting them with nail polish.


We want to see how you decorate your backpacks! Once you’ve finished your DIY design, share it on social media with #LifeUnzipped.