No-Sew Backpack patches

A few years ago, Aron’s parents sent home a childhood backpack, adorned with patches from faraway places. It’s been hanging in Hudson’s closet ever since, reminding me that I wanted to help Hudson pick out patches for one of his own. We didn’t quite get to it in time for Kindergarten, but this year—after I noticed that Ikea was selling some well-designed, plain canvas backpacks—we made it happen.

The result is charmingly him, but keeping everything in place took a little trial-and-error. Many patches are “iron-on,” but that doesn’t mean a very strong seal. And because patch purchases can add up quick, you really don’t want those guys falling off! Sewing is the best and only truly permanent solution, and Hudson’s grandmother was able to get her sewing machine’s foot into the backpack to reinforce a few, but it’s tricky as you need to avoid joining functional pockets within the bag. If you’re not inclined to sit with needle and thread, a shoe repair shop or tailor could help, but ours charges per patch. Cha-ching.

So, the solution?

Shoe glue!

We tried Fabri-Tac glue first, but it didn’t hold well. Then the cobbler suggested Barge—an all-purpose (stinky) cement that is often used in shoe-repair. I realized we’re early in the school-year test, but I’ve been checking and those patches haven’t budged at all. It has saved the day!

Bonus: I’ve been fixing some shoes, while I’m at it!

P.S. 20 more favorite backpacks for kids

Patches were ordered off Amazon (MokuyobiLet’s be Irie, and Asilda Store were favorite sources) and Etsy. And it doesn’t hurt to search Pinterest for ideas.

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