Posts tagged "rucksack"

How can I reuse, recycle or revamp a rucksack/back pack?

We’ve kinda covered this already but Janette has such a specific question that I thought it was worth looking at it again:

I have a backpack I would like to recycle and reuse. I have the straps and the part that goes against our back but would like to change the rest of it with reused fabric. Only the zipper doesn’t work right now but would like to change the whole outside pocket to add style. I have some random fabrics including jean material from old jeans. Could [use] the jean material for durability?

Does anyone have any simple but fashionable patterns that fit what I have? It would be fun to do a quilted backpack (but I don’t have any quilted fabric yet). I don’t want to do a purse backpack just a normal one that can hold books and such. I’m trying to avoid buying anything so buying a zipper is out of the question. I have some other craft supplies but not extra zippers.

Because I’m a bit lazy, I’d probably try to do the least possible sewing and start with something already roughly the right shape or with pockets. Very simply, I’ve seen the bottom of old jeans turned into backpacks (like in this video tutorial) but depending on the size of the jeans, it may be more of a mini backpack (like in the video), which isn’t the sort of thing Janette wants. (Mine would be big enough to hold a few books, and even a folder if I didn’t make a closing flap at the top. Finally an advantage to having a bigger bum!) If you only have small jeans available, you could make them bigger by cutting up the fly, and using a different fabric for the back of the pack, and opening up the legs (as if you were making a skirt from jeans) to make it longer.

Another video makes a backpack from an old suit jacket – a lot of the jacket is cut away so you wouldn’t necessarily know it was from a jacket, but the useful pockets do remain. I’ve also seen skirts made into backpacks (although I can’t find any links now) and there are lots of tutorials on how to make a drawstring backpack from an old t-shirt out there.

I don’t think any of those ideas will completely satisfy Janette’s requirements but they’ve certainly given me some ideas for non-zip closures: how about a velcro-ed flap like the suit jacket one? or buckles on straps (like old army packs), buttoned down flaps or a drawstring, possibly under a flap? I usually shy away from wikihow posts but there seems to be a decent tutorial on making a pack with the latter on there.

Anyone got any advice, suggestions or tutorials for Janette?

How can I reuse or recycle promotional nylon rucksacks?

I had an email from Melanie the other week:

My name is Melanie and I work for an events company so have promo gifts! We have quite a few nylon rucksacks that we would like to recycle but don’t know where we would take them! Can you please let me know if you can help?

We’ve covered reuses for single broken backpacks before but this query is more of a recycling-en-masse one.

Depending on how many is “quite a few”, try offering them on your local Freecycle/Freegle group or offering them to a local scrap store — the latter might not be in a position to use them themselves but they have great contacts with local schools, charities and playgroups who might be able to use them.

If it’s not possible to pass them on for reuse (for example, because they’re damaged stock or because the company who paid for them in the first place would object), you’ll probably be able to find a textile recycling company who would take them. (Depending on the company, they might only take very large quantities of textiles but you might be able to find an intermediary – for example, charity shops are often paid by weight for their bags of “rags”, items they can’t sell themselves.)

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle old rucksacks/backpacks?

A rucksackHad an email from Ben H:

here’s a suggestion. one of my trusty rucksacks straps broke the other week. i’ve tried to sown it back to the bag a couple of times but each time it snaps again because of all the stuff i carry on my back.

i’ve decided to buy a new bag because the zip is past it too but still, i am reluctant to throw the old one away. have you got any ideas?

(Photo by worack)