Toddler Backpack Sewing Pattern PDF (NOTE: this is the new updated version of the pattern, if you purchased the pattern between March 2009 – October 2011 and are looking JUST the add-on, click here)
Cost: $8
Buy Now
Purchase this version if you will use the pattern for yourself or for gifts for others (no profit, for personal use only).
**Please read my purchasing/printing instructions first if you have never purchased an instant download PDF pattern before. Thanks!**  The digital pattern and instructions will be sent to your PayPal email address via instant download link as soon as payment is received (please do not request that we forward to a different address).

License to Sell Toddler Backpacks (pattern not included)

Cost: $10
Buy Now
Purchase this license in addition to the pattern if you would like to sell backpacks from the pattern. Small-scale handmade sales only; one license for each person who makes/sells the bags. Design credit must be given wherever the bags are sold (“Pattern designed by Rae Hoekstra of” on tags or listings) Please register your shop with me once you have backpacks ready to sell. For more information on my Seller’s Program, please click here.
**Please read my purchasing/printing instructions first if you have never purchased an instant download PDF pattern before. Thanks!**

Included in the Toddler Backpack Sewing Pattern PDF:
Step-by-step instructions
Full-color photographs to augment the instructions
Clear directions on how to easily enlarge the pattern for a larger child
Complete set of pattern pieces (including rectangular pieces)
*Updated instructions
*Clearer and more detailed instructions for making a larger (school-aged child) sized backpack
*NEW! Step-by-step photos and instructions for lining the backpack
*NEW! Printable one-page summary instruction sheet (“cheat sheet”)

The pattern uses about a 1/2 yard of medium- to heavy-weight canvas for the outside. The backpack holds its shape pretty well due to the piping and the quilted bottom, but if you wanted a more rigid backpack you could also interface it with something thick, like another layer of canvas. In addition to the outer fabric, you’ll need about 1/4 yard of 54″-wide (or 1/3 yard of 45″-wide) medium-weight fabric (I used some bottom-weight twill from JoAnn) for the straps and bottom and a small amount of fleece or quilt batting for the bottom panel and strap padding.

Notions: two 1″ plastic strap adjusters (or four 1″ D-rings), 3/4″ yards of 1″ nylon strap, one 14″ zipper, and one package of pre-made 1/2″ bias tape piping (2 1/2 yards total if you are a Crazy Person and think you’d like to make your own).

The larger version uses the same materials/fabric amounts as the original instructions with these exceptions:
• 16″ zipper (14″ + 2″ width increase)
• 3 yards pre-made ½” bias tape piping (you will need two packages instead of one.)

a few of the notions needed

I actually bought all of my supplies at JoAnn. The piping comes in all kinds of colors and I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of colors in nylon strap (often called “webbing”).

Finished dimensions, toddler size:
Height: 11 3/8″, Width: 10″, Depth: 4 1/4″

Finished dimensions, Larger size (if you add 2″ to the pattern pieces as clearly instructed):
Height: 13 3/8″, Width: 12″, Depth: 4 1/4″

See more Toddler Backpacks
The toddler backpack was featured on my blog in the following posts:
Toddler Backpack
Little Truck Backpack
Backpack Madness
Jackpack Giveaway

Here’s my little guy (almost 2 years old!) modeling his very own backpack:

Categories: backpack, patterns
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40 Responses to Toddler Backpack Sewing Pattern PDF

  1. c.Rachel says:

    What a handsome model!

    Looking forward to the Spring Tops…actually, looking forward to Spring as well!

  2. Eve says:

    I bought mine! I am very impressed how fast you cranked this thing out – and the pricing on the already made backpack is amazing. Someone is going to get a steal there.

  3. ohiomom says:

    This is wonderful !!
    Thank you.

  4. Noon To Two says:

    Just found you on here while blog jogging! You’re amazing and inspirational! Thanks for all the fun projects.

  5. seedless grape says:

    These backpacks are so cute. I really need to bone up on my sewing skills so I can make one!

  6. Jackie Russell says:

    The backpack and your model are just too cute!

  7. nova says:

    I know a certain toddler who would love one of these backpacks.

  8. Kristie says:

    awesome can’t wait to purchase and try it out! thanks

  9. Mary Jo says:

    Rae- Just wondering if you think this pattern would work for a new seamstress. I don’t have a lot of experience, but I’m ambitious! :) Also, any thoughts on how long it takes to complete this project, beginning to end?
    Thanks and keep up the great work. I love your blog!
    Mary Jo

  10. Mishky says:

    Your stuff is AMAZING! Thanks for the free patterns! I am going to be stalking you… er. following.


  11. liz says:

    it’s so freakin’ cute! great job!

  12. Whipstitch says:

    Love it! Would also love to carry a printed version in my brick-and-mortar shop after May 1–is that an option? Email me and we’ll discuss:
    deborah (!at) whipstitchfabrics (dot!) com

  13. Leslie says:

    I was coming after your Buttercup Bag pattern when I stumbled on this post about the backpack pattern. I wish Superbuzzy had more of this fabric, do you know the name they had it under. It totally makes the bag, will have to make one for my 3 year old. It’s fabulous!!! Have fun in Italy!

  14. Michele Flaherty says:

    I just tried to purchase your pattern and it says sold out.

  15. FurPig says:

    Beautiful! I made a backpack for my son using Butterick 4147 and wasn't thrilled with the results. It just isn't that cute. =)
    Now this is a cute backpack! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity with the rest of us!!

  16. Austy's Mum says:

    I am SOOOOO in love with this pattern. Just made my first one and it turned out as beautifully as yours did, so there will definitely be more. Just wanted to say THANKYOU for designing THE perfect toddler backpack! Fits all his kindy stuff in with room to spare and won't be huge on his almost 4yo back.

  17. Chelldon's Stitchin' says:

    I love this pattern. I took my daughter's choice of flannel, interfaced it with double-sided stiff interfacing and covered it with vinyl. Made it hard on myself, but my daughter LOVES it! Thanks for the pattern.

    Once question, where do you get your fabric? I can't find it where I am. . .


  18. Mama Bear says:

    I like how you're selling the pattern together with the sellers' license now. Have you thought about making that change to the backpack pattern offering?

  19. Nanou says:


    I would be interested in this awesome Toddler Backpack Sewing Pattern.

    Are there instructions to make it in adult size?

    Thanks a lot.

  20. Bre says:

    I’m pretty new to sewing and am still learning. Is this something that is for a more advanced seamstress, or can a novice accomplish this project as well?

    • Rae says:

      Hi Bre: It’s not a “beginner” pattern, however if you’ve sewn a few things (especially something with a curved seam, for example, like the Buttercup Bag) the instructions are clear enough that you should be able to tackle it. But if you feel a little tentative about it, find some other projects that are more basic (Lickety Split is another great beginner project) first, ok? Don’t want you to feel frustrated!!!

  21. Jennifer says:

    You rock Rae!!! I just finished a backpack for my little Gianna and it is awesome. G is only one, but hangs on her perfectly. I made the bias tape (we are stationed in England and I have yet to find good fabric selection) and I added a couple of pockets — one on the front and a pencil pocket inside. Thank you sooooo much for the pattern.

  22. mieke says:

    do you cut the panels as they are or do you add seam allowances?

  23. Jen says:

    you’re little boy sure is cute.

  24. I made this for my little guy’s school bag, and everyone who sees it absolutely loves it!

  25. Andi says:

    I haven’t made my backpack yet, but I’ve gotten my supplies. I had a bit of trouble finding the nylon strapping in the color I wanted so I ended up purchasing a nylon dog leash to cut up and use… the pet shop had tons to choose from!

  26. Debbie says:

    I bought this backpack pattern last fall and made it in a day and half..It was awesome and turned out so cute. My son was so excited to wear it for his first day of preschool! I will say it did start to separate at one of the seams after he wore it a few times but I think that was due to my sewing and not the pattern! I will make him another one for next year!

  27. erinmalia says:

    Hi Rae. My son is a (small) four-year old who is starting preschool this fall. I love your backpack, but wondered if it’s labeled “toddler” for a reason? Do you think it’d be too small for him? Thanks!

  28. Rachel says:

    Do you think your pattern would work using a laminated cotton, like they sell on the superbuzzy website. If so, how do you think it would pair up with the quilted bottom??

  29. Gina says:

    Would love to make this for my little boy!

  30. Kelly says:

    I am at an intermediate level with sewing. What is the approx. time it would take to make one of these?

    • Rae says:

      I would guess about 4 hours? Hard to say though — it really depends on how focused you are. The project is not difficult, but it does have quite a few steps.

  31. Holly J says:

    I just made two of these little beauties for my youngest two! It took a little thought with some of the steps, but I love how they turned out! I did add a pocket to the front and an elastic topped pocket to each side. Great patterns Rae!

  32. Megan says:

    Just made this for my 2.5 year old son – it turned out adorable! This project has re-kindled my love for sewing again! Thanks for the awesome pattern. You can see my little guy’s pack here:

  33. Leanne says:

    I. Love. This. Pattern! I made my little guy a bag for our trip to NY! I plan on making another one for him once we get home. Thank you for such a great pattern and tutorial!
    You can see the bag I made here :

  34. molly zheng says:

    it is really something for my inspiration, and I like the whole thing…thanks a lot…

  35. Mirjam says:

    Thank you for this great pattern. I made one for my daughter and she is very happy with it (and so am I) :) . I uploaded some pictures of it to your flickr Toddler Backpack Photo Pool, the story behind it can be found here:

  36. Els says:

    Thank you soo much for this great pattern en tutorial. I made the toddler backpack for my 2,5 year old boy who is going to school now since 3 weeks. He loves it and so do I !!!

  37. [...] and in the meantime pop over to Made by RAE to see all of her patterns. She has a really cute toddlers backpack pattern which Kelli Ward from used with the Arizona fabric to make an amazing backpack. I [...]

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seller’s program

I offer licenses for handmade sellers who would like to sell items made with my patterns on a small scale. To see all of the available licenses, visit the pattern page. For more information on the seller's program, please visit the seller's page.

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