You Will Need ...
  1. 1 measuring device (ruler, yardstick, measuring tape)

  2. 1 pair of sharp scissors

  3. Duct tape (depending upon size of backpack, you could need an entire roll)

  4. Felt (or some other fabric that is easy to cut)

  5. Sharpie or permanent marker

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Step 1: 

First, you must figure out the how tall, wide, and deep you want your backpack. In this tutorial, our bag is 6” high (H), 4” wide (W), and 3” deep (D).
To calculate your duct-tape-and-felt fabric length: (2 x H) + (2 x D) + 1 = length. In our case: (2 x 6) + (2 x 3) +1 = 19 inches long.
The formula for your fabric width is: W + D = fabric width. In our case: 4 + 3 = 7 inches wide.
So, to make this backpack you will need a piece of fabric 7” wide by 19” long.

Step 2: 

Lay the felt flat and begin covering with strips of duct tape that are 9 inches long. Make sure to leave an overhang of about 1 inch on all sides, including the top and bottom. As you lay your strips down, make sure that you overlap them by ¼ to ½ inch on every piece, for strength. Don’t worry too much if the ends are ragged or misaligned.

Step 3: 

Your covered felt should look like this.

Step 4: 

Once all the fabric is covered, take two long strips of tape about 21 inches long, and secure them to the ragged edges of either side. You will want at least 1 inch of sticky tape overlapping the layered flaps of tape.

Step 5: 

Gently lift your taped fabric from the work surface and flip over.

Step 6: 

Fold the long sides down and secure the tape to the felt by rubbing back and forth a couple of times. Fold the short sides down in the same manner. You will see that two ends will need to be secured with a small string of extra tape. Wrap the tape around the front for extra security.

Step 7: 

You will need to make some marks on the fabric so that you can cut holes for the straps; it’s best to do this ahead of time, before your bag is assembled.
Starting from the bottom of the fabric, measure up and mark your height (in this tutorial, 6”). Next, measure up and mark your depth (our depth is 3”, so we’ll make a mark at 9”). Then, mark the midway point of the depth (in this tutorial, 7.5”). Going back to the top of the depth mark, measure up another height and mark (15”). The remaining fabric will be your bag’s flap.

Step 8: 

To make the strap slit marks you’ll need one more formula. Going to the “height” section between the flap and the depth sections, measure one inch up from the bottom and one inch down from the top (we’ve marked at 10” and 14”). If your bag is smaller, you may need to use less space (say, ½”), and if it’s bigger, you may need to allow more (say, 2”). Then, from the left and right edges, measure in one half of your depth (in this tutorial, our depth is 3”, so we measure in 1.5” inches and mark at 1.5” and 5.5”). These four points are where your slits start.

Step 9: 

From these four points, draw a line ½” to 1” inward. Once again, smaller bags will have smaller slits, and larger bags will have bigger slits. Use your scissors to cut the slits; it may help to fold the fabric and cut along the line.

Step 10: 

Your fabric is now done and ready for the next step: the bag body...

Age: 
Tween
Teen
Adult
Senior
Craft Length: 
60 minutes or more
Difficulty: 
Use your noodle! (challenging; focus required)
Duct Tape: 
Purses and Bags
Prep Time: 
10 - 20 minutes
Supervision: 
1 adult per 2 children