Decorating A Backpack: A Personal Project With My 5yr Old Son

Bob Thomas


My 5-year-old son recently decided he wanted to decorate his sports day backpack to make it uniquely his own. 

We came up with the idea to use some of his favorite personal things as decorations. This way, the bag would reflect his interests and also help prevent other kids from accidentally taking his bag thinking it was theirs - something that has happened before!

Together we chose to decorate the bag with images of his most liked characters, foods, and places to visit. 

Since this is also a painting blog, we decided to make a special handprint design. I had him dip his hand in paint and stamp it right on the backpack, leaving his colorful handprint as a personal mark.

Decorating his bag turned out to be a fun arts and crafts project for us to do together.

He loved seeing all of his favorites represented on the backpack. And the handprint added that special personal touch. 

Now his bag really reflects who he is, and he's excited to take it to sports day and show it off!

Steps We Took To Create It

Making the personalized backpack was a quick and easy craft project. If you want to create something similar for your child, here are the few simple steps we followed:

Step 1

Gather all of the necessary materials:

1. Backpack 

2. Glue or cellotape 

3.Arcrylic paint 

4. Paint Brush 

5. Scissors (parents only)

6. A selection of stickers, carboard cut outs etc of their favourite things 

Step 2

To make the handprint, start by using a paintbrush to apply a thin layer of acrylic paint in your chosen color over your child's hand.

Work quickly before the paint dries - have your child gently press their painted hand onto backpack for 3-5 seconds. This will create their colorful handprint design.

We chose to do the handprint in the middle of the backpack, then surrounded it with images of his favorite characters, foods, and places. 

But you can place the handprint anywhere that works for your design. The key is to work swiftly once the hand is painted so you can get a clear imprint before the paint dries.

Then wash the paint off the hand and leave it try for around 1 - 2 hours before moving onto the next step. 

Step 3

To decorate the backpack, start by gathering your child's favorite things. For his bag, we used images of his favorite foods, places to visit, and cartoon characters.

If needed, carefully cut out any items around the edges, like we did with a small McDonald's happy meal box and a Coco Pops logo from a cereal box. You can also use stickers, badges, arcade tickets - anything that represents their interests.

Once you have all the decorative items ready, whether cutouts, stickers, or other accessories, you can start attaching them to the backpack.

For most items except obviously stickers if used, add a small amount of glue to the backside and press firmly onto the bag for about a minute to adhere.

Depending on the glue, you may want to place a heavy book over the items for 24 hours to ensure they stay firmly attached. 

Or alterntively you could just cellotape them on, this can be a good idea if you want to regularly update the backpack when their favourite things change, which you'll know can be almost weekly with little ones. 

Personalizing the bag by decorating it with your child's favorite things adds a special touch they'll love.

Just be sure to give the glued items enough time to completely adhere before sending them off to school with their unique backpack!


Once the backpack was decorated, my son couldn't wait to wear it to school and show it off to all his friends. Seeing his interests and handprint represented made it really special for him. His favorite part was getting to explain what all the pictures meant to his classmates.

Don't forget to capture the moment with photos of your child sporting their new personalized backpack!

We made sure to get some great shots of him wearing his unique bag before heading off to school. Pictures are a great way to remember the fun experience of customizing it together.

Watching your child beam with pride while showing friends their one-of-a-kind backpack is a joy.

Personalizing it with their handprint and favorite things makes for a heartwarming craft project you'll both treasure.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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