I wanted a small backpack, just big enough for a binder, a book or two, and my lunch. I also wanted an inside and an outside pocket, a pocket for my water bottle, and my signature piece- the padded banana pocket. I like to eat a banana daily, but I realized years ago that tossing one in a bag leads to a bruised and beaten banana at best and a bag covered in mashed banana at worst. So lately I’ve been adding in a small padded pocket for my bananas; the padding ensures that nothing inside or outside the bag will damage the fruit!
As I mentioned, I was hopeful that I would be able to use reclaimed and reused materials for the construction of the bag. Luckily, I was almost entirely successful! Here’s what I used:
- Bag exterior – I cut up some reusable shopping bags made from recycled plastic, which had the added benefit of making my backpack fairly waterproof.
- Bag interior, straps, accents – I had cut up some very sturdy curtains for another project, and I had just enough left over to use here.
- Zippers – These were reclaimed from old clothes that were no longer wearable.
- Shoulder pads – These really aren’t in style any longer, so when I get a blouse from a thrift store or a clothing swap that has them, I tear them out and save them for later use. For my bag, I put them in the shoulder straps and used them as the padding for my banana pocket.
- Thread – It’s pretty difficult to reuse thread, but I had received a large collection of fabric and supplies from a friend who no longer sews, and I used some of the heavy duty thread for this project. Not exactly reclaiming, but I did save it from the trash.
Now, I have a backpack that fits perfectly, meets all my needs, and was made entirely from materials I already owned!