Create Your Own Weighted Backpack
It’s almost here!!! It’s just about time for you to put away the sprinklers and beach towels and load up the backpacks because back to school is just inches away. If you have someone special in your life that has a bit of anxiety about navigating new classrooms then I have an extra special DIY for you. This week we’re going to talk about how to create your own weighted backpack.
What on earth is a weighted backpack? Well, I can assure you that it isn’t putting some heavy books in your bag. What we’re going to do is combine the benefits of a weighted shoulder wrap with a store-bought backpack; your recipient will be able to get that “hug” when they need it!
To create your own weighted backpack, you’ll need:
- A store bought backpack that fits the recipient
- 1 or 2 yards of a heavy-duty cotton fabric
- A sewing machine and thread to match your fabric
- 2 to 4 pounds of Quality Plastic Pellets
- A measuring tape
- Velcro the length of your backpack straps
- A strong fabric glue
Measure the cushioned part of the straps on your backpack. You’ll want to cut your fabric the length of the cushioned part of the straps on a diagonal with the bottom 2 inches across and the top 6 inches wide. Lay your fabric flat, with the wider side at the top. Fold in half to get a crease in the middle; you may need to mark the center or iron to get a strong crease. Making sure the “good” side of the fabric is facing you; you’ll want to stitch the rough side of the Velcro in the middle of the left half of your fabric. This will be the right pad.
A quick note here about pellet amount. For small children, use 2 pounds. Older teens and adults can have 4 pounds. If you have any questions about the appropriate amount, your occupational therapist or physician should be able to give you the proper amount.
Now, turn the fabric inside out and stitch up the 2 inch bottom and then up the side, leaving the top (3 inch part) open. Flip the fabric inside out to the “good” side out and measure your pad into fourths. Pour ¼ your pellets into the pad and stitch it shut at the ¼ marking. Repeat this until you have all 3 sections stitched shut. On the last section, you’ll pour your pellets in and use a ladder stitch to close the last section.
To create the right pad, cut and fold the fabric as above but this time stitch the Velcro on the right half and finish with the described steps. Now you’ll have both a left and right pad with Velcro. We wanted to make these pads removable, to give your recipient the option of only using them when needed.
Next, take your backpack and use the fabric glue to attach the soft side of the Velcro to the inside of the cushioned part of the straps. After it’s set just attach the pads to the straps and you’re done!
I hope you enjoyed this DIY. As always, I love to see everyone’s finished objects. Be sure to post your pictures of this DIY or any of my other crafts on my Facebook page. And if you need Quality Plastic Pellets to create this project, just click the link below.