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DIY Pottery Barn Kids Backpack | making it special


You’ve all heard the acronym, right? Keep It Simple Stupid? Well, this is something I can’t do. I like everything that comes nice & simple to become what my dear husband has labeled “a shawna original.” Yep. I just can’t leave stuff alone. I snip & cinch & add & remove. & of course, caroline’s first backpack was no exception.

I first saw this sweet backpack on a friend of mine’s little girl (Annie–that would be YOU!) and loved it. I loved that it wasn’t overly girly. & I instantly had an idea. I finally swallowed the price tag for the Pottery Barn Kids Backpack (ouch) and got it in the mail. PBK would only embroider a name in green, and that didn’t fit with my plan, so I had her name embroidered locally so I could have it in pink. :) & as soon as we got it back, we went to Hobby Lobby to collect fabric.

I am notorious for buying 1/8 of a yard of a dozen fabrics. & they looooooove me at the cutting counter. 64¢ x 12. I think I get a dirty look every time I go in! But making what I make takes such a teensy amount of fabric and I hate extra. So I deal with the dirty looks. & pay my few dollars and get on with it. I bought a little extra this time, as I have another project (or five) in mind, so that is why you see a little extra in the picture. I just couldnt leave that pink on pink houndstooth! OOf. LOVE!

ready & waiting…

I never do projects alone! She learned that hard way that “glue’s hot” so she is uninterested in any project involving my glue gun, but we’ve got plenty of fun artsy things to do.

If you missed my tutorials on how to make flowers, be sure to check out this post. You can learn how there, or through links there. Super easy. I just realized that I forgot to add buttons to the middle of the big flowers. OOPS! I will be adding those soon!

Here is her non-PBK, non-K.I.S.S. backpack. So cute!

Now if only I could get her to wear it…appears she does not love it as much as I do. She likes it when mommy carries things. We’ll see who wins this battle!

(& yes, that is the back of my new armoire, with one coat of paint on it. It is  spectacular!)


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  • Jessica - The embroidery looks so much better in pink than green; it stands out so much more. The backpack looks great, love the flowers. You’ve inspired to me to changeup a few simple dresses hanging in my daughters closet. As well as repaint an old oak headboard for my guestroom. What paint color did you use on the armoire? Can’t wait to see the after pics of it! Keep up the awsome blogging Shawna, I’m loving up here in Alberta!ReplyCancel

  • Kaley - My little one has the exact same backpack, and I had big plans to add some cutomization to it when I bought it, but haven’t gotten it done yet. I am inspired now. So cute.ReplyCancel

  • Drea - my boys didnt really begin carrying backpacks WELL :) until age 4. I made them do it much earlier but it was always a battle. Owen uses a skiphop dog looking back pack I got at a thrift shop for $2.50 – its super cute! – this one.

    It works well. Although Ive loved the look of the potter barn ones for years ;-)

    what is it about bags that gets us moms! :)ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - For a while Haley would stuff hers with things like her babies or stuff for her babies. I would let her pack it if I knew we were going somewhere that wouldn’t have a lot of things age appropriate or if they had a bunch of boys (she needs her babies). And from day one carrying it was her job, because when it was just her toys it didn’t affect me if she forgot it at home, the consequence was that she didn’t have her “stuff” when we got there. Fast forward to school last year and if you’d ask her she’d tell you her backpack is HER responsibility.ReplyCancel

  • Kristyn - Cute!! I bet if you started wearing a backpack around the house, she’d want to be just like you =) I’m a sucker for polka dots. Too fun!ReplyCancel

  • Elsa - Hi, How did you attach the flowers to the backpack?ReplyCancel

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