Hi creative friends! I’m back today with another fun DIY backpack tutorial for you! It’s no secret that I love to use my Cricut Maker for sewing projects, and if you haven’t started already, I hope today’s post will get you on the bandwagon and that you’ll be itching to start sewing with Cricut as well! Ready to learn how to make a backpack with the Cricut Maker?
One reason I love little backpacks is because little ones love them so much! My kids love to carry their own trinkets and favorite things out on outings, and if I don’t have to dig through those things in my own bag, it’s a win-win.
You know that I have a slight obsession with tiny backpacks (I’ve got you covered if you want to make a bunny, heart, cat, or unicorn backpack), and what better way to keep that obsession going than have my Cricut Maker rotary blade do the fabric cutting for me!
For this DIY backpack project, I used two identical “Yes, Please” Riley Blake Fabric Sampler sets from Cricut.com (those particular fabrics aren’t currently available but hopefully will be back soon!). I love that the samplers are pre-cut to 12″ wide, which is perfect for cutting fabric with the Cricut Maker as the mats are 12″ wide. And the white/rose gold colorway is so pretty!
In addition to the cutting, I also used my Maker to mark the pieces for this project. Knowing that the marks are 100% precise gives me more piece of mind as I sew. And the washable fabric pen comes out easily with a damp cloth after the project is done!
This little backpack is fully lined, and features adjustable straps. It should fit anywhere from a 2 year old to an 8 year old. My sweet Lola is 6.5 years old and as you can see, there’s still plenty of time that she’ll be able to use it. Which is great since she already claimed it ;).
Paired with a top knot and cute Knot Scrunchie, she’s set!
You’ll end up with the perfect backpack that will keep your little ones covered on all her adventures.
How to Make a Backpack with the Cricut Maker
Supplies: (affiliate links below)
Cricut Maker and rotary blade tool (linked to rotary blade replacement kit)
Cricut knife blade
Cricut fabric mat – 12×24″ – if you have multiple mats, it will make this project even faster!
Cricut strong grip mat (for cutting the leather)
Cricut Genuine Leather – I used rose gold in this project
Cricut Riley Blake Designer Fabric Sampler Set – I used 2 “Yes, Please” sets (no longer available) to complete this project but amounts for each fabric needed are listed below if you’d like to use other fabric
Fusible lightweight interfacing
13″ or longer non-separating zipper
Cricut washable fabric pen
Wondertape or gluestick
Cutting mat, ruler, and rotary blade
Backpack strap adjuster and ring (2 sets) – 1.5″ wide
Basic sewing supplies and sewing machine
*All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.*
First, we’ll prepare the fabrics. Since I used Cricut Riley Blake Fabric Sampler sets (two kits were enough to make this bag with three different fabrics), the pieces were already conveniently cut to 12″ wide, which is the same width as the mat. Keeping that in mind (it’s okay to leave the fabric a little wider and longer than needed for the sake of ease), the exact dimensions needed are listed below (width x length) for each material we’ll be cutting with the Maker, so grab your cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter and prepare the materials as below. The mats mentioned refer to the numbers after adjusting all mat sizes to 12×24″.
Main Fabric (pink on Design Space project and mats 6-7): 8×21″, 12×23″
Straps (yellow on Design Space project and mats 9-10): 12.24″, 7×24″
Lining (purple on Design Space project and mats 11-12): 8×21″, 12×23″
Interfacing (white on Design Space project and mats 1-3): 12×24″, 12×20″, 12×22″
Fusible Fleece (grey on Design Space project and mats 4-5): 6×20″, 11×21″
Cricut Genuine Leather (orange on Design Space project and mat 8): 8×7″
To begin cutting with the Maker, open the project in Design Space. Click “make it” in the bottom corner (or upper right corner if you’re in the project customizing screen). Click on each 12×12″ mat (excluding the leather heart), and change it to 12×24″. This will reduce the number of total mats we need to cut.
Get your 12×24″ fabric mat (or more, I like to use multiple fabric mats so I can always have the next one ready to go while one is cutting!) out and make sure the rotary blade is loaded in your Maker (you can see a video tutorial to install the rotary blade HERE and a video tutorial to change the blade HERE).
Follow the instructions below for each mat. First, load the mat into the machine, change the settings as instructed, and let the Maker work it’s magic! Once the cutting has completed, remove the material from the mat and move on to the next. For all but Mat 7 (Cricut Genuine Leather), the rotary blade will be used.
Mats 1-3: Fusible Interfacing
Order to cut interfacing pieces – 12×24″, 12×20″, 12×22″
*note: if your fabric is directional, you can click on the strap loop pieces on mat 2 (the two smallest rectangle pieces that are closest to being square) and rotate them 90degrees so they will be the same direction as the other straps in the finished bag*
Mats 4-5: Fusible Fleece
Order to cut fusible fleece pieces – 6×20″, 11×21″
Mats 6-7: Main Fabric (load washable fabric pen in Maker in addition to the rotary blade)
Order to cut main fabric pieces – 8×21″, 12×23″
Mat 8: Cricut Genuine Leather (if you’d like, you can leave this mat until the end and come back to it to avoid changing the blade twice)
Replace rotary blade with knife blade. Place leather face down to strong hold mat and tape edges to mat with masking or painter’s tape. Slide star wheels to the right.
Mat 9-10: Straps
Order to cut straps pieces – 12.24″, 7×24″
*note: If your fabric is directional, you can click on the strap loop pieces on mat 2 (the two smallest rectangle pieces that are closest to being square) and rotate them 90degrees so they will be the same direction as the other straps in the finished bag. Since they’ll then fall off the mat area, you can click on the three little dots next to the shape to add them to a new mat. Be sure to note the extra mat when you’re looking at the mat numbers in this tutorial. In the photo below, the strap loops will be the wrong direction once on the bag, so I recut those later.
Mat 11-12: Lining (load washable fabric pen in Maker in addition to the rotary blade)
Order to cut lining pieces – 8×21″, 12×23″
Now that the pieces are all cut, we’ll attach the interfacing and fusible fleece pieces. I love to use my Cricut EasyPress 2 for this as it fuses the pieces so much more evenly (and quicker!) than my iron, but you could use an iron as well.
Fuse the interfacing pieces to the wrong side of the corresponding main fabric pieces. The interfacing pieces are all slightly smaller than the fabric pieces to allow for easy fusing.
Fuse the fusible fleece pieces to the right side of the interfacing (on the wrong side of the main fabric pieces). Be sure to fuse from the fabric side or use a press cloth so you don’t melt the fusible fleece! The fusible fleece will be 1/2″ smaller on all sides to decrease bulk in the same allowances.
Sewing with the Cricut Maker
Time to start sewing! All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.
First, we’ll prepare the straps. Press on short end of each long strap piece 1/2″ toward wrong side.
Press each strap, strap loop, and handle piece in half (wrong sides together), matching long edges. Be sure to fold press strap loops along 5″ side, so pieces are 3″ wide when pressed in half. Open folds and press each long edge to center crease. Fold in half along center crease, concealing long raw edges inside.
Stitch close to long edges edges on each strap (also stitch folded short edge for two strap pieces), strap loop, and handle piece.
Fold each strap loop in half and through adjuster ring. Stitch each to bottom of back main piece (back piece has more markings than front, and bottom has two sets of markings, the top has three sets) between lines (will be slightly narrower than pictured), with 3/8″ seam allowance. Trim corners of strap loops.
Thread stitched end of one strap through middle bar of strap adjuster. Be sure right side of strap adjuster is facing upward. Overlap end 1.5″ back onto strap and stitch in place with a narrow rectangle.
Thread remaining strap end through adjuster loop, and then through each side of adjuster bar as pictured. Stitch end to top of back between long markings to secure in place (straps and marks will be positioned slightly narrower than pictured). Repeat both steps above with remaining strap and trim strap corners.
Center handle ends between straps and stitch ends to main fabric to secure in place.
Center leather heart on main fabric front piece (not the piece with straps attached to it) and use Wondertape or gluestick to hold in place. Using a leather needle, stitch around heart edges to secure to backpack front.
Place zipper face down onto right side of one main fabric zipper gusset piece. Top of zipper should be 1/2″ from edge of zipper gusset piece and length can extend past zipper gusset piece. Stitch zipper to gusset, 1/4″ from edge.
Repeat with remaining main fabric zipper gusset piece and other side of zipper. Press zipper gusset pieces flat, away from zipper.
Pin and stitch one short edge of zipper gusset to one short edge of bottom/side gusset. Press seam toward bottom/side gusset.
Pin and stitch remaining short edge of zipper gusset to remaining short edge of bottom/side gusset, forming one continuous piece. Press seam toward bottom/side gusset and trim extra zipper length.
Use clips or pins to mark gusset in quarters, with center of zipper being first mark. Right sides together (RST), pin main gusset to main back piece, matching clips on gusset with quarter marks on main back piece. Make small 1/4″ clips into raw edge of gusset to allow it to curve to fit back piece, and continue pinning remaining edges of gusset to back piece. Stitch gusset to back piece along pinned edge. Trim seam allowance and press open or to one side (pressing will be tricky but the more you can do, the nicer the finished backpack will look).
Repeat steps above to attach remaining raw edge of gusset to main front piece. Be sure to leave zipper open! Trim seam allowance and press open or to one side.
Press one long edge of each lining zipper gusset piece 1/4″ toward wrong side.
RST, pin and stitch short edge of lining zipper gusset pieces to short edge of lining bottom/side gusset pieces, matching outside raw edges. Pressed lining zipper gusset pieces will be toward the center, and there will be a space between the two folds.
Repeat with remaining lining zipper gusset short ends and lining bottom/side gusset short end. Press seam allowances away from zipper.
Attach lining front and back to lining gusset using same method as instructed for assembling main front/back and gusset pieces. Be sure to pin quarter marks first, then clip the gusset before pinning the remainder. Once stitched, trim and press seam allowances.
Turn main backpack wrong side out and lining right side out. Place main backpack into lining, matching and pinning pressed lining zipper gusset edges to wrong side of zipper (pin fold of lining just next to zipper stitch lines).
Handstitch lining to zipper using ladder stitch or other invisible stitch.
Topstitch along each side of zipper. This will be tricky to manouver but will help keep the lining away from the zipper when opening/closing the zipper and backpack.
Use a damp cloth to moisten and remove any visible washable fabric marker.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.