Craftster user Pretty.Odd created a backpack out of a stuffed bear. The dollar store typically carries stuffed bears that are about 12-14″ tall and would work very well for a backpack!

These are the bears they sell at Dollar Tree

These are the bears they sell at Dollar Tree

A bear backpack would be really cute for a pre-schooler (or for a tween who likes that kind of thing). If you perfect the technique, these would make great birthday gifts!

There aren’t any instructions for making the backpack at the craftster thread, but my guess is that you would open the bear up at the place where you are going to add the zipper. For the backpack shown, that would be the head. For a full-body bear backpack, you would open up the back, using the body as the backpack compartment and leaving the head and limbs stuffed and hanging. Unstuff the body (save that stuff for future projects that need polyfil!).

Make a lining for the backpack compartment area. You can pick up a fleece blanket at the dollar store to make into a lining if you don’t have any other spare fabric at home. This would be a very simple shape (like a rectangle?) that echoes the bear’s body shape. You would cut two pieces in the same shape, then sew them together on three sides. You would stick the lining inside the bear’s body, and then attach the lining to the opening in the bear’s body. I’m not exactly sure the best way to attach a zipper here! Maybe sew it to the lining first, and then insert the lining and handstitch the zipper area to the opening in the body.

If you have an idea of how to do that part, please comment and share with us! Or check this Threadbanger video where Corinne makes a baby seal stuffed animal into a backpack (she uses an old pair of men’s pants for the lining!). I also found this tutorial on Matrices that should help!


Attach the straps to the back. Pretty.Odd used rings and nylon strap, and sewed the rings to the back of the bear with little pieces of the plaid fabric from the bear. Check the office supply section at the dollar store for metal rings, and check the hardware section for nylon straps. I don’t think the metal rings would be strictly necessary! I would probably just sew straps straight to the top of the backpack, and then sew loops you can tie the straps to at the bottom of the backpack. You could just sew straps with fabric instead of using nylon strapping, too. Corinne used old backpack straps for the new backpack on the Threadbanger video.

Project Estimate:

  • Stuffed bear, $1
  • Zipper, $1
  • Nylon straps, $1 (optional)
  • Metal rings, $1-2 (optional)

Total cost: $2-5