diy {last year of elementary school backpack}

I thought I’d share a little project I got work on with a friend’s daughter. K is getting ready to start her last year in elementary school – which is a pretty huge deal. I remember what it was like that last year in elementary – just on the verge of so many things. K has pretty great style (which she very obviously gets from her mom) and she wanted something different for her backpack this year. I offered to help…and second guessed myself after I began worrying that I would mess up her bag!

Thankfully, she had a good idea of what she wanted and I know just enough about wonky sewing that I could help her create a few things. It was fun…I’m thinking I need to make myself a bag now.

Here’s the very basic bag before & some fabric she brought over:

She picked out the fabric for the ruffles, I just sewed them. She also designed how the ruffles and flowers would go on the bag. Like I said, she has great style.

Flowers inspired by Julie’s.

I don’t remember my last year of elementary school backpack, but I am pretty confident it wasn’t this fun!

Since my sewing machine was already lugged down the stairs to the kitchen table I thought I’d sew a few new pillows for the living room. My Anthro dishtowel is now a pillowcase cover.

Don’t worry…no cutting involved!

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  • Red Head - The backpack is so cute! SO much better than the plain jane bag in the before pictures! Yall did a great job, and love the colors! I’ll bet tons of other girls are going to want one just like hers!

    Also loving the dishtowel. I’m pretty new to your blog, though I did recently feature your boys room. So, I hadn’t seen the dish towel re-do, but it looks great as a pillow!

  • Hollie - Oh, once I show my 10 year old daughter this post, she will run for her backpack! That’s too cute. Love her headband too, and the pillow of course!

  • Emily Lusk - What a cute idea! I love the flowers! We take a backpack on our vacations — now I need some flowers on it! 🙂

  • Lindsey Millard - Details on towel turned pillow???? Please oh please oh please oh please oh please share more on this!!!!! Fabulous idea and I’d love to copycat you!!!

  • Rachel - I was wondering the name of the font used for “…on a Monday”? It is the second time I have seen it in the last 12 hours, and I love it!

  • Kelly - Cute backpack! Love the flowers on it! I especially love her headband!
    One of my boys has that same monkey which I’m pretty sure was random find so it’s weird to see it pop up here. 🙂

    Happy Monday!

  • Stacey - I love seeing kids with their OWN style… kids who don’t just want the LL Bean backpack with their initials because everyone else has it. Very cool!

  • shelly@familyblt - that backpack is groovy great! lovelovelove that pic of littlest brother 🙂

  • RachelC - Love the backpack. Very cool.

  • Sarah - Would you mind sharing how you made the flowers and “pinwheels” on the backpack? I would love to make some embellishments like those! Thanks so much!

  • meg duerksen - love it all!
    i miss my sewing machine.
    boo hoo.

  • Shannon{photos by shannon} - Very cute! I need some throw pillows around here, I literally have none! I also need to learn how to sew…I htink my mother in law has a sewing machine…lol

  • Donna - The bag turned out adorable! Does K want to be a designer some day? You’re right, you need to make yourself a bag and me too!

  • rachel denbow - I LOVE it! So colorful and fun. But you know you’re going to have to make about six more when she gets home from her first day of school. Elementary school couture!

  • ashlee - her backpack turned out so cute!

  • Robyn Farmer - I love the backpack and I love the new pillows. Can you post a tutorial on the fabric flowers?

  • Marty - ADORABLE!!! How about a quick “how to” on the flowers!! I’d love to make my daughter some!! 🙂

  • Lena - Where did she get the headband? It is adorable!

  • a pocket full of posies - too cute!!! ALMOST makes me want to go back to school!…almost!
    and brother’s picture…definately makes a “happy Monday”!

  • Heather - that turned out great!! i’d carry that around as a mom bag it’s so cute. and your pillow is super cute, too. i love using anthro towels for pillows. it helps to justifies the price. a little. 🙂

  • Kara P - That is one fabulous backpack! She can come help me design some rooms any day!! 🙂 Love the pillow Ash!

  • tasha roe - fun stuff! i wish i could get away with that, but my older boys might get beat up at school. 😉 when the little miss starts its definitely a must!

  • amanda torres - Awwww…5th grade. So much fun happens in 5th grade. The end of an era. Simplicity. Sweet simplicity. Can I go back???

  • lifeologia - Ashley, you are my daily source of inspiration. You Rock! These flowers are so cool and I’m loving ruffles lately 😉
    I have done so many creative projects myself since first seeing your blog 😉

  • Katie - Wow you have a gift girl – you make even the most mundane everyday objects into something amazing!

    Love the bag and tea towel cushion 🙂

  • bopha - very cute, can you post a tutorial on how you made those flowers, those look like exactly what i’m after for some cute headbands.

  • Jeannette - Love the backpack!!! Do you think Camden would like that – I can’t believe he is 5th grade this year!!

  • Margie - Love it!! Did you know your nursery is on apartment therapy today…in the ‘ideas for window coverings’ post…way to go!

  • Jessica P. - Haha! Littlest brother’s expression in that last pic is awesome. Great picture.

  • Heather@CookieMondays - So fun! We did the same project last year for my oldest, who also wanted something different for her backpack. Too cute 🙂

  • Lisa Johnson - I’ve been trying to figure out how to justify an Anthropologie dishtowel for myself- the pillow is brilliant! And the backpack is so cute!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, the anthro towel… true love! 🙂

  • Jodi - I want to wear that backpack as my diaper bag! Adorable. And that picture of your son is too funny!

  • amanda - The backpack is amazing! She will look so cute on the first day or school! And your pillows…. SO CUTE!!!!

  • Kelli - Am also a newcomer to your blog, would love instructions on how you made those adorable flowers! They would be so cute for baby headbands 🙂

  • Tammy Kay - love the bag and the pillow is gorgeous!!!!

  • Amy - I agree that K has great style. The bag looks awesome. Great job!

  • Jennifer - I was hoping you would do a diy on the flowers! I’ve been wanting to make some like this and can’t figure it out. Please, please!:)

  • stacey - love! such a fun idea! i don’t suppose you know where the white fabric with the lime green polka dots was purchased do you? i love it! thanks!

  • Ashley Raymond - Not sure how I stumbled upon your blog but I’m pretty much hooked! Check on it everyday to see if any new updates. From Chattanooga TN and a “for pleasure” photographer and sewer; I have very much so enjoyed your blog! Can you post a tutorial on your anthro pillow? I have several anthro towels and thought your pillow was perfect!

  • Lori - Just found your blog and I’m hooked! Where did you get that great headband? I looked through the archives to see if you made it but couldn’t find anything. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!!!

  • danielle - we went to obu together, i have just recently started following your blog… looooooove it! please share how you turned the dishtowel into a pillowcase… LOVE it!

  • TT: The first day of school! - […] AMAZING and beautiful DiY backpack from Ashley Ann DiY is something I would have sold my soul for as a kid.  Heck, I’d dig one of those right […]

  • jeanne - My girls love the backpack and I love the girl’s headband! Did you make that too? I’d like to know how it was made if possible. My 11 year old would love it!

  • shawna @ styleberryBLOG - AshleyAnn-I am a new follower of your blog & just wanted you to know how inspirational you are. I am an inspirer myself, and don’t follow too many bloggers, but you are a daily read. Thank you for sharing your world! 😀 & this post is amazing. I would love to know more about how you make those beautiful flowers & ruffles.

  • Hello world! | Minimalist Adventures - […] change, you can do that, too. The sky is the limit, so let your creativity run wild. Check out this diy job for […]

  • Brie - I was recently introduced to your blog by a friend, and absolutely love your ideas. I have a doily runner laid out on my dining table as I type, ready to be tacked together, with all my great-grandmother’s doilies. I also love that you call your boys “Biggest, Big, and Littlest Brother” — I’m the oldest of six and we were born in three “sets” (within two years, then a five or six year break between sets) and my mom has always referred to us in twos as the Bigs, the Middles, and the Littles.

  • Melanie - So cute!

    I am having my first linky party on Thursday and would love for you to come link your awesome craft! It’s a party only for kids and teens crafts, so this is perfect to share on Thursday for our first “Crafts for the Under Twenty-Something” linky party!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  • Make handmade - Great tutorial. i love it, thanks for sharing

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  • Makennah Lewis - Thank you so much for this tutorial. I am a high school student and enjoying making the fullest of my everyday items. I believe in learning about myself and who I am, and my new-found love for crafting as contributed so much! Thanks to this post, I was able to sewn on a few random items onto my backpack, but still allow it to look mature (in a way:) and loads of fun! Thank you for inspiring me! So grateful for it.

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