This tutorial describes an easy, quick, and economical way to reinforce the bottom of a backpack.
We treat backpacks rather roughly, often as though they were invincible. We stuff them to their limit, sometimes with heavy objects! We carry them on one shoulder, when they are meant to be carried on both shoulders. We throw them to the ground whenever we want to be rid of them. We sit on them as though they were chairs….
But the truth is that they are not indestructible. So, when the bottom of a good backpack starts to show some wear and tear, it is time to take care of it. Remember, your backpack deserves to be appreciated in return for its years of tireless service!
You will need the following to fix the bottom of your backpack:
- Your backpack with a worn bottom;
- A piece of thick fabric that is a few cm/inches larger and wider than the bottom of the backpack*;
- Washable fabric glue**;
- Some clips to hold the fabric in place while the glue is drying; and
- A pair of scissors.
* This is a great upcycling opportunity to reuse some old but still sturdy fabric! For example, this time, I used a scrap piece of fabric that I had saved from when I reupholstered our couch.
** When selecting glue for this task, make sure that it is suitable for your fabric, that it is washable (so that you can wash your backpack in the future), and that it does not become really hard when dry. I used Aleene’s Fabric Fusion glue, and it worked well.
- Clean the backpack and trim off any loose pieces from the inner side of its bottom. This way, you have a nice smooth surface on which to glue the reinforcing fabric.
2. Apply washable fabric glue to the flat surface of the inner side of the backpack’s bottom.
If your backpack has raised edges around its bottom, do not apply glue there just yet. You will do so in Step 4.
3. Place the reinforcing fabric over the glued area, making sure to leave enough loose fabric all around the edges.
4. If your backpack has a flat bottom without raised edges, skip to the next step.
If you backpack has raised edges around its bottom, apply glue there, as shown in the first image on the left.
Then carefully cover the edges with the fabric, making sure to smooth it with your hand. In doing so, gather any excess fabric at each corner of the bottom. As shown in the second and third images, apply glue onto one side of the excess fabric, and then fold it over to glue it onto the raised edge of the backpack’s bottom.
Hold the fabric in place with clips while the glue is drying.
5. When the glue is completely dry, trim the excess fabric around the edges to match the piping or seam around the bottom of the backpack.
Then, where necessary, apply more glue to attach the fabric’s edges onto the piping/seam, and let it dry.
6. The bottom of your backpack is now nicely reinforced.
Turn the backpack right side out, and your mending job is not visible from the outside!
Now your backpack is ready for more adventures! Where are you off to next?