Recycling a Hoodie

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Making A Backpack From A Hoodie


A few years ago my youngest sister bought a hoodie top for our two youngest nephews.  The boys loved them, and wore them over whatever they were wareing to go to Sunday School for several years (my sister had bought them a bit too large for them so that they had growing room which meant they had good use from them).  They boys have grown quite a bit since then and there is no way they could squash into the hoodies any more.

We’ve started having a bit of a tidy up of some of their old clothes (unbelievable how much little clothes of all sizes there are around this house in all sorts of cupboards and corners considering they don’t actually live here), but none of us wanted to throw out or give these hoodies to charity, which is where much of the other stuff is going, but we wanted them to be useful for something.  So I gave them a couple of suggestions – use the tops to cut up as part of a patchwork quilt or turn them into snuggle cushions.  One of the nephews did want his top made into a snuggle cushion but decided that he’d make it himself.  The other came up with his own suggestion – he wanted his hoddie made into a backpack that he could carry a few bits like a bottle water around in.

Having looked at the hoodie, and had a good discussion with him about what he had in mind, it was decided that the best way to go about it would be to remove the sleeves and stitch up the holes. Put velcro (or any other hook and loop fastner) along one edge of the front pocket and sew up the other hole to prevent stuff falling out, because the pocket is a long one that goes from side to side with two openings to put hands in to keep warm, not  really deep pockets for storeing things. We decided that the sleeves could be used as part of the straps and the hood as a flap to close the top of the backpack.

Finishing off by sewing across the bottom and putting in a bag bottom stiffner to give it some structure.

That was the plan!

This is how I got on with it.

The hood was removed and the two halves were separated.

Each half was a double layer stitched an inch from the front so I opened the double layer out.

I sewed down flat the bit that was the front edge of the hood.

The sleaves were also removed, the elasticated cuff removed and the underarm seam unpicked.

These are what I wanted to use as straps so I cut the pieces in half and then cut off a triangle of material to give me two straight pieces from each arm.

These were all individually folded so the edges were inside, and then sewn down the middle.

This left me with the body of the hoodie ready to sew together the arm holes.

I also sewed down one entry to the pocket and hand sew a piece of hook and loop fastening to the other side.

Then sewing on the hood piece to the front starting in the center and then sewing out to each side so that the piece was properly centered.

I cut off the extra that wasn’t needed and sewed a hem around the created flap.

A strip of velcro was then sewn inside the flap and onto the back of the backpack.

I then sewed on the straps, one at each shoulder and one near the bottom a couple of inches in from the sides.

I then got my nephew to put the backpack on his back so that we could decide how much of an overlap to put when sewing the top and bottom strap pieces together.

Once the straps were sewn I turned the backpack inside out and sewed the bottom together.

I also sewed across the ends to give the bottom a squared off bottom.

I cut two pieces of Clover bag bottom stiffener and stuck them together.

Then it was simply a case of turning the newly created backpack so that it was the right side out. Making sure the corners of the bottom were pressed to the bottom before dropping in the bag stiffener.  It’s not been attached in any way at the moment as just placeing it at the bottom of the backpack means it could be removed if the backpack needs to go in the wash. If nephew wants it stuck in the future it could be.

And here is nephew with his finished backpack.


That’s it for today. More card making and other crafting before too long, so please do pop in for a look again.


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