Unicorn Backpack Free Pattern – with Cricut Explore Air 2

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

I don’t know any little girl that doesn’t love unicorns. I’d even dare say that many big girls love them ;). Today’s project combines a love of my little girls, unicorns, with a new love of my own – the Cricut Explore Air 2. I’m excited to be sharing today’s project, a Unicorn Backpack Free Pattern with you as part of the Cricut Blog Tour and sponsored by Cricut (this post contains affiliate links). Be sure to read through to the end of the post for a chance to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 of your own!

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern Free Toddler Backpack Pattern Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Our free backpack patterns (click to see the bunny, heart, and cat) have become some of our most popular projects, and I couldn’t resist adding a unicorn to the mix!

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Little backpacks are so fun for little ones to carry their own treasures – my girls are constantly filling theirs with books, snacks, and everything else they can fit when we head out on an adventure.

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Cricut generously sent me a new Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine to use, along with a fantastic set of tools, cutting mats, and enough iron-on to make my iron-on dreams come true :).


Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

As you know, I’ve used other cutting machines in the past, and I was excited to see the difference between the two brands. In addition to the pure beauty of the machine, what immediately got my attention was how user friendly everything about the Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine is. From the set up to the designing, to the actual cutting, it was a breeze. I love the settings dial on the Cricut – there is no blade depth to worry about, you just pick the correct setting, and the machine takes care of the rest! My very first cuts were perfect and I was instantly impressed.

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Cricut also has a design program, called Cricut Design Space, where you can find endless templates, projects (how cool is this 3D Unicorn?!), and create and upload your own designs. I designed all of my project in Illustrator, and then easily uploaded the .svg file into Cricut Design Space. You can download the file below and use it along with our unicorn backpack free pattern!

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Experience Level: Intermediate

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Main fabric: 3/4yd woven fabric such as quilting cotton or home décor weight fabric (home décor weight fabrics will increase the stability of the finished backpack) – I used a light pink twill
Lining fabric: 1/2yd 100% quilting cotton – I used a mint 100% quilting cotton
Coordinating fabric (for horn and inner ears) – 1/8yd
Interfacing: 1 3/4 yd fusible interfacing (Pellon SF101)
Pellon fusible (1 sided) flex foam: 1/2yd
Strap adjusters and rectangular rings: 2 – 1 1/2″ sets of each
14″ Non-separating zipper
Polyester stuffing – small amount to stuff horn
Cricut Explore Air 2 (for unicorn face – see below for applique/heat n bond option)
Cricut iron-on – I used white, pink, black, and holographic sparkle

Download and print the pattern pieces HERE. Ensure printer is not set to scale, and check 1″ test square on page 2 for printing accuracy. Tape pages together and cut out all pieces as directed on pattern pieces and list below.
To download the iron-on unicorn face .svg file to use with your Cricut machine, click HERE (the unicorn face templates are provided as a pdf in the download above if you’d like to make a fabric applique face, but the .svg file will need to be downloaded separately and can then be uploaded right into your Cricut Design Space software for using with iron-on).

Additional Pieces to Cut (also printed on pattern piece download above):

From Main Fabric:
Straps: 2 – 6”x24”
Strap Loops: 2 – 6”x5”
Handle: 3”x6”
Zipper Gussets: 2 – 2.25”x15”
Bottom / Side Gusset: 4.5”x20”

From Lining Fabric:
Zipper Gussets: 2 – 2.25”x15”
Bottom / Side Gusset: 4.5”x20”

From Interfacing:
Straps: 2 – 6”x24”
Strap Loops: 2 – 6”x5”
Handle: 3”x6”
Zipper Gussets: 4 – 2.25“x15”
Bottom / Side Gusset: 2 – 4.5“x20”

From Fusible Flex Foam (measurements given have seam allowance removed to reduce bulk):
Zipper Gussets: 2 – 1.5”x14”
Bottom / Side Gusset: 3.5”x19”

All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted. RST = Right sides together.

Cut out all pieces as instructed on pattern pieces. Trim the seam allowance from front/back and horn flex foam pieces to reduce bulk if desired. Interfacing seam allowance can also be trimmed if desired – I usually trim it roughly for easier application). Apply interfacing to wrong side of corresponding pieces, and flex foam to main fabric/coordinating fabric pieces, following manufacturer’s instructions. Adhesive side of flex foam will be attached to right side of interfacing.

Fold strap pieces in half along length and press. Press one short edge of each strap piece 1/2″ to wrong side. Press each long raw edge to center fold line. Fold in half along as was originally pressed, and press. Stitch close to edge along each side, and along short pressed edge.

Repeat folding/pressing/topstitching steps above to prepare strap loop and handle pieces, excluding pressing short edge 1/2″ toward wrong side, as that is not necessary for these pieces. Fold each strap loop in half and through adjuster ring. Stitch each to bottom of back main piece as marked on pattern pieces.

Thread stitched end of one strap through middle bar of strap adjuster as pictured below. 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 to secure in place. Repeat with remaining strap. Center handle ends between straps as diagrammed and stitch 1/4″ from raw edges to secure ends in place.

RST, stitch two inner ear pieces together using 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim corner, turn right side out, and press flat. Repeat with remaining inner ear pieces.

Center each inner ear piece on right side of one ear piece, aligning at bottom raw edges. Topstitch close to edges of inner ear piece to secure in place.

RST, stitch each ear piece (with inner ear stitched to it) to remaining ear pieces, using 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim corners, turn right side out, and press flat.

RST, stitch each ear to top corners of front main piece, using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Now for the fun part – the unicorn face! Use the .svg file provided in the supply list and upload it into the Cricut Design Space program. When you upload it, the image will all be filled in black – after you ungroup the image, simply change each layer to your desired color (for your own reference) by clicking the circles on the right column. As an alternative, I’ve also provided a pdf version of the template that you can use with fabric and heat n bond to create an applique face if desired. Remember to mirror the image before cutting.

Select “vinyl” on the Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine dial (for the holographic sparkle iron-on I selected “custom” and then selected accordingly in Design Space. Cut all pieces and remove negative iron-on.

Place unicorn head iron-on on backpack front, centered, with top 1-1 1/4″ from top raw edge of backpack front. Press to adhere plastic to fabric. Cover with press cloth and iron for 20-30 seconds on high heat (no steam), repeating to fuse entire head to fabric. Be sure to press hard with iron for proper adhesion. Remove plastic.

Layer all iron-on pieces on backpack front as pictured. Remove all layers except bottom layer and fuse in place using same method as above. Remove plastic (note: holographic sparkle iron-on should be a cold peel – wait until the plastic and iron-on has cooled before removing the plastic for proper adhesion).

Place next layer of iron-on pieces over unicorn face as pictured and fuse in place using same method as above. Remove plastic.

Place next layer of iron-on pieces over unicorn face as pictured and fuse in place using same method as above. Remove plastic once cooled.

Place top layer of iron-on pieces over unicorn face as pictured and fuse in place using same method as above. Remove plastic once cooled.

Place zipper face down onto right side of one main fabric zipper gusset piece. Top and bottom of zipper should be 1/2″ from edge of 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.

Fold horn piece in half, right sides together. Stitch along straight raw edges using 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim corner and turn right side out, using sharp object to push point of horn through. Stuff with polyfill. Turning bottom raw edges to inside of horn, center horn on one side of zipper gusset, 1/4″ from zipper (it will be centered between zipper and front of bag once zipper gusset/bag front seam allowances are stitched). Use ladder stitch to stitch around bottom of horn twice, securing in place on zipper gusset.

Pin main gusset to main back piece, matching center of zipper gusset and bottom/side gussets with notches on main back piece and matching gusset seams to side notches on main back piece. Continue to pin from the notches outward, leaving the curved edges unpinned. Clip gusset near unpinned curves, then pin in place. Stitch main gusset to back piece along pinned edge. It will be bulky due to o flex foam, but stitch slowly with a size 14 or 16 needle, and be patient :).

Repeat steps above to attach remaining edge of gusset to main front piece. Be sure to leave zipper open! Clip notches into seam allowance along curves.

Press one long edge of each lining zipper gusset piece 1/4″ toward wrong side.

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 of, and there will be a 1/2″ space between the two folds.

Repeat with remaining lining zipper gusset short ends and lining bottom/side gusset short end. Press seam allowances toward lining bottom/side gusset.

Turn main backpack right side out and lining wrong side out. Place lining into backpack, matching and pinning pressed lining zipper gusset edges to wrong side of zipper. Lining zipper gusset edge should be 1/4″ from zipper teeth, aligning with stitch line.

Handstitch lining to zipper using ladder stitch.

Topstitch along each side of zipper. It will be tricky to maneuver the bag around your sewing machine – take your time and adjust the position of the bag frequently as needed.

Great job!

Free Toddler Backpack Pattern

Be sure to visit all of the other stops on the Cricut Blog Tour to see what everyone else is making with their Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machines!

Enter to Win a Cricut Explore Air 2 HERE

Week One: July 19th

Week Two: July 26th


I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.

This experience is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO adorable! I love the look and the colors! My daughter would melt if I made her a backpack like this! Looks like it’s something I’ll have to do for her!

  2. Hello! This bag is adorable! Anyway to add the unicorn face template into a PDF?? I know a little girl that would love to have this bag!!


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  9. This is so adorable! I’ve been looking to make my next sewing project for a good fun challenge and my new cricut! Thanks saving this for sure and gonna attempt! Love the detailed tutorial! U rock!

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  12. I adore this! I have a lot of white pleather in my stash and think it could be great for the outside of this bag. Could I skip the interfacing since pleather is so much sturdier than a woven?

    1. Theoretically you could, but I haven’t put the pieces into Design Space yet as I designed this backpack before the Maker was available. I do have a kids backpack pattern for the Maker coming soon though!

  13. Loved the backpack. I made but turned it into the dog “Bluey”.my great granddaughters favorite tv. My favorite is how you do the lining it ingenious. Now my go to. Thank you. Jane.

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