Your child’s book bag is one of their most important possessions. It is the one thing that helps them make the daily transition from school to home and back again. The feelings that kids have about their book bags might be similar to the feeling we adults have about our cars.
Because the book bag is so important, it is important that your child likes her book bag and feels proud of it. You might want to consider spending part of your next craft day making a homemade book bag out of last year’s school clothes. It’s easy to do, and it doesn’t require a trip to the craft store or any skill beyond being able to sew two pieces of cloth together.
Probably the easiest book bag to make, and one of the cutest, is a blue jean tote. To make this book bag you don’t need anything more than an old pair of jeans, an old belt, a needle and thread.
Just plain blue jeans will make a cute book bag, especially if they have a lot of pockets. You can also add things like buttons, iron on patches, or little tassels to give the jeans more personality and more color. Talk to your child and find out what he wants the book bag to look like. Let you child choose whether to further adorn the blue jeans.
If your child wants to add decorations, you should do this first. Zip or button up the jeans and show the child that only the part of the jeans from the waistband down to the crotch is going to be used. Show them how if you tie the legs off, the jeans form a perfect book bag. Make sure they have a mental picture of the book bag before beginning the decoration project.
When the jeans are decorated and ready to go, turn them inside out and cut the legs off. You might want to save the legs; they make a nice size container for longish objects like kites or tent poles. They can also be stuffed to make pillows, or used for scraps to patch other pairs of jeans.
With the jeans inside out, sew the leg holes together. You can do this with either a sewing machine or by hand using a needle and thread. After the leg holes are sewn together, turn the pants back so that the outside is out. The only thing left is to attach the belt.
Just run the belt through the belt loops and buckle it at the largest hole. You should now be able to pick up the tote anywhere on the belt, and the waistband will scrunch up around the belt. This will narrow the opening to keep the books and possessions safe. you may even need to find a larger belt that belongs to someone else. If you can’t find a belt that works, a piece of nylon webbing will work nicely.
You may need to experiment with belts of different types to find one that works just right. Thinner cotton belts work the best. If the belt won’t stay buckled, you can either glue it or sew it into place.