Backpack Box

by Mary Arima

Create this adorable box shaped like a backpack.


  • Backpack Box Template
  • Two each of 8.5 x 11” sheets colored card stock (2 contrasting colors)
  • Paper Trimmer with scoring blade
  • 1/8” Handheld Circle Punch
  • Crop-a-dile™
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Stamps & Ink
  • Bone Folder
  • Sticky Strip™
  • Magnetic Snaps or Velcro Dots (2 pairs)
  • Mini-eyelets in coordinating color (8)
  • Eyelet setting tools
  • ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon in coordinating color – 36” total


  1. Step 1

    Print template, then cut on solid lines.

    Punch holes where indicated.

    Backpack Base Template (PDF, 24K)
    Backpack Flap and Pocket (PDF, 24K)

  2. Step 2

    Arrange template pieces on card stock, with base and small flap on one color (red used here), front pocket and large flap on other color (black used here).

  3. Step 3

    Trace around template pieces, using a ruler to keep the lines straight, if you wish.

    Do not forget to mark eyelet holes.

  4. Step 4

    Cut pieces from card stock, using trimmer for straight cuts and scissors for details.

    Punch eyelet holes, using 1/8” handheld circle punch or an anywhere punch, as appropriate.

  5. Step 5

    Decorate box base.

    Classic Stars jumbo wheel with Ancient Page black ink cartridge was used here.

  6. Step 6

    Score all four cut pieces where indicated by dotted lines on template.

  7. For both flaps, measure 1” from straight edge for first score and 1 ¼” for the second score.

  8. Step 7

    Position Sticky Strip™ on box base and large flap, as indicated in photo.

  9. Step 8

    Position large flap on top edge of base back (largest section, adjacent to the ½” flap), as indicated in photo. Be sure the 1” score is just above the edge of the base, so it will fold at the score.

  10. Step 9

    Punch holes in base layer, using pre-punched holes in flap as a guide.

  11. Step 10

    Attach eyelets to all punched holes.

  12. Step 11

    Position Sticky Strip™ on front pocket piece and small flap, as indicated in photo.

  13. Step 12

    Fold pocket on all score lines, starting with small flaps. Make crisp folds with bone folder.

  14. Step 13

    Tuck side flaps with Sticky Strip™ behind back side of pocket, aligning sides of back piece with the first fold, as indicated in photo.

  15. Step 14

    Use bone folder to press joints together.

  16. Step 15

    Align small flap with pocket, so 1” extension is at back of pocket and flap folds neatly over top of pocket. Remove Sticky Strip™ lining and adhere.

  17. Step 16

    Use bone folder to press joints together.

  18. Step 17

    Position Sticky Strip™ at top back of pocket, as indicated in photo.

  19. Step 18

    Cut 24” piece grosgrain ribbon for backpack handle and straps.

    Cut ends at an angle to make it easier to thread ribbon through eyelets.

  20. Step 19

    Fold ribbon in half, then thread each end down through top two eyelets in large flap.

  21. Pull ribbon equally on both sides until it touches your thumb to create the handle.

  22. Step 20

    Flip box base over.

    Knot ribbon where it emerges from the first set of eyelets. This will prevent it from slipping after box is complete.

  23. Step 21

    Thread ribbon ends through adjacent eyelets.

  24. Ribbon will emerge at the top back of base.

  25. Step 21

    Thread ribbon ends through adjacent eyelets.

  26. Ribbon will emerge at the top back of base.

  27. Step 22

    Thread ribbon ends through eyelets at bottom of base, leaving enough slack to make it look like backpack straps.

  28. Step 23

    Flip base over and secure ribbon with a knot at each end where it touches the eyelets.

    Trim away any extra ribbon.

  29. Step 24

    Flip base again and align the tab (with sticky strip) along the side edge of base.

  30. Remove lining and press to adhere. Use bone folder to ensure a good bond.

  31. Step 25

    Flip base upside-down. To make bottom of box, fold side flaps flat first, followed by back flap, then front flap.

    You may wish to add sticky strip to the back flap extensions, to make bottom more stable.

  32. The front flap may be slightly curved in order to slip it into the slot created by the others.

  33. Step 26

    Using both hands, push gently on sides of base, to create the crease at the top of the box.

  34. Crease sides enough that the top “pinches” together to fit the second flap score.

  35. Step 27

    If using magnetic snaps, place one negative and one positive piece together, so the adhesive is facing out. Remove lining on one side of snap and position on inside of large flap, above the eyelet. Press to adhere securely.

  36. Step 28

    Remove lining on other side of snap and carefully close flap over base, so that it fits over top of box and flat on the box front. Press through all layers to adhere securely.

  37. Step 29

    Remove liner from sticky strip on back of pocket.

  38. Adhere to front of backpack, positioning pocket for equal spacing between it and the sides and bottom of box. Press to adhere.

  39. Step 30

    Add magnetic snap to pocket flap using the same procedure as on the large flap.

  40. Step 31

    Cut to 6" pieces of grosgrain.

    Thread one end through large flap eyelet, making ends even. Knot ribbon.

    Repeat with small flap and the backpack box is done.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Backpack Box. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Tonya you hit the spot what a wonderful idea, I have been thinking what to make this year for my kids' teacher, this will be great.
Carla P.  |  Wed May 6, 2009 at 11:59 AM
Too much work for not that great a result
Devina  |  Wed May 6, 2009 at 12:06 PM
WOWZA !!!! I'm sooooooo excited to give this a try !!! Thank you, thank you, thank you !!!
Corinne (aka Roxy) Somerville  |  Wed May 6, 2009 at 12:27 PM
Thanks!!! Love it. Going to try and make one. Thanks you for sharing your templates with us.
Lizette Lehmkuhl  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM
Mary.... You always amaze me!!! This is soooo CUTE!!!
Marie  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 3:32 AM
this is absolutely adorable, great instructions. I made one this am. My DGD turns 3 next week and loves Dora the explorer so this is perfect! Thanks
the other Diane  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 8:08 AM
Hello, I can't seem to find the template. HELP? Thanks
Sandra Sellers  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 8:16 AM
Hello again, I found it. I was looking so hard it was right in front of me, wow I must be blind.Have a Blessed day.
Sandra Sellers  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 8:22 AM
I tried to download the the template for this backpack and by the way I love it ...but could not download it can you help me
Marilyn Edwards
marilyn edwards  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 8:21 PM
This is great - thanks for sharing and especially the tutorial.

Elizabeth  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 9:22 PM
Marilyn, try Jenn's suggestion: have you tried right click > save?

If that doesn't work, I'm not sure what to do -- this is my first tutorial submission. Jenn or Beate might be able to help you there.
Mary Arima  |  Thu May 7, 2009 at 9:47 PM
Do you think you could use this backpack for an 18 inch doll? I was trying to think of items I could make for my daughter's doll party she is having for her b-day. Thanks!
Jennifer Ledley  |  Fri May 8, 2009 at 5:05 AM
This is so cute! I had so much fun making these with you. I'll have to make some more, because they were a big hit when I gave them away!!! Now I'll always know where to find the instructions!
Great job, Mary!!!
Corina  |  Fri May 8, 2009 at 6:58 AM
Great tutorial!
Stacey  |  Fri May 8, 2009 at 10:59 AM
What a wonderful idea for a teacher gift! Would also be cute to create a fun favor for a "back to school" party or small class.
Very, very cute!!!!! I cut the pattern out tonight.
Jeanne Kuhlman  |  Fri May 8, 2009 at 7:10 PM
What a great little backpack I'll have to give it a try.

Helene  |  Sat May 9, 2009 at 6:16 AM
This is too cute!
Bonnie Epps  |  Sun May 10, 2009 at 5:19 PM
Just printed off the amazing pattern to give it a try. What a wonderful tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing it with us all. I'm going to stash some Ghirardelli mint chocolates and a ticket to a ballet inside for a 16 yr. old's birthday.
Michele (mitchygitchygoomy)  |  Mon May 11, 2009 at 8:06 AM
Great!! I have been looking for a backpack tutorial and template and here it is. It is so sweet and I can't wait to try this one out. Thank you so much for being so creative as to invent something like this!
Tonje  |  Mon May 11, 2009 at 11:49 AM
Hi! I am just new on this site. It is awesome.I would like to download the backpack instructions but the first part (the base template)will not download. I tried everything I could think of for it to download.The second part of the pattern there was no problem. Can you help me? Thank you! The backpacks are just so awesome!!
Leslie  |  Mon May 11, 2009 at 5:27 PM

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