Monday, August 13, 2012

"P" is for Personalization

Sew: personalize your store bought backpack

How to achieve that machine embroidered look with a simple needle and thread.

Yes you can do this yourself without a fancy embroidery machine.

So go ahead, buy the in store backpacks your kids fell in love with and personalize them yourself.

Here's how to personalize your store bought backpack:

1. Decide the best spot with open space - we went above the logo:

2. Using a seam ripper remove stitches at outer edge (zipper and binding) to free the exterior printed fabric from the grey lining:
(*You could skip this step and sew straight through all layers however your stitches will be visible on the interior - see Step 8.)

3. Print name to fit (I used Ariel font 75 point).

4. Using a light box place printout behind exterior fabric exactly where the name will go and trace outline:

Here you can see the letters in blue on the exterior of the backpack.
This will be your guide when adhering the fabric cutout letters to the backpack.

5. Apply heat-n-bond double sided fusible to wrong side of black cotton fabric.
Using same printout, place right side down on light box then fabric right side down and trace outline of letters onto paper backing of fusible:

6. Carefully cut out letters, keep the paper backing in place:

7. Iron letters in place using the guide made earlier in Step 4:

8. Using Coats Dual Duty general purpose black thread doubled on the needle begin a tight satin stitch over the letters.  Keep stitches as close to each other as possible mimicking a tight zigzag machine stitch:

Below the 'E' is complete:

All letters sewn:

And a view of the back:
  I prefer to hide this mess between the fabric and lining but you could skip Step 2 and sew straight through to the interior.

9. Sew zipper and binding back in place following the existing stitching lines:

Now all you see is lining and no messy threads:

Personalized and ready for a new school year:

I'm linking up to:

SAS @ Funky Junk
DIY Fall Festival @ The DIY Showoff
Tutorials & Tips Tuesday @ Home Stories A to Z
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Share Awesomeness Thur @ The 36th Avenue
Pretty Things Thursday @ Scissors & Spatulas
Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
SAS @ Just a Girl
Remodelaholics Anonymous @ Remodelaholic
inspiration board @ Carolyns Homework
Textiles @ Freckled Laundry
Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table & Dreaming


  1. My kids totally got the short end of the stick when they were in school! I didn't do anything like this for them. And you make it look so easy, too!

  2. Cuteness, Jaime! Thank you for always being first to my party. :) xo Jami

  3. It's very cute, but a long time ago, parents were advised to not personalize any of their kids' things because strangers can use that to call their names and lure them away.