How to Customize a JanSport Backpack

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JanSport manufactures backpacks made of durable luggage fabric. The backpacks are sold on college campuses and in sporting goods stores and are generally used as day packs. The basic JanSport backpack is a solid color, with one large zippered compartment and one or more smaller compartments to keep smaller items handy. JanSport backpacks come in a range of sizes, from 1300 to 2100 cubic inches, with the larger packs able to hold a laptop computer, several textbooks and notebooks, as well as a variety of smaller items. Because the packs are so practical in appearance, some people like to customize them and make them unique.

Write your name and contact information on your JanSport backpack. You don't have to write it on the outside of the pack if you don't want strangers seeing your name, but make sure it's easily to find on the inside of the pack. You won't want to lose your pack after all the effort and imagination you're about to put into customizing it.

Add an embellishment to your zipper cords. Use beads and twine to create colorful patterns. Beads with letters can spell out your name, the name of your school, or a favorite short saying. Use a lanyard hook to snap the embellishment onto your zipper pull.

Embellish the carrying loop at the top of your JanSport backpack. Fold it over and stitch it with colorful thread to make it easier to carry. Wrap it with yarn or suede to make a soft handle that also distinguishes your pack from everyone else's.

Craft a dangler out of buttons and beads to hang from the bottom of your pack. Tie elastic cord to the bottom of your JanSport backpack straps, and start threading on beads and buttons in colors and patterns of your choice. When you're done, tie off the cord.

Sew a patch, or several patches, on your backpack. Choose patches with sayings that reflect your personality, or that identify groups you belong to. If you stitch down the bottom and sides of the patch and leave the top open, you can create a tiny pocket on the outside of your JanSport backpack. If you want, add some peel-and-stick velcro dots at the top of the patch to close the pocket. If you don't add the velcro, be careful not to turn the backpack upside down when you have something special tucked into the patch pocket.

Make a backpack ghost for Halloween. Use white fabric, white cord and googly eyes to create a tiny ghost that you can clip on to the pack to celebrate the holiday.

Be safe and shiny at the same time by adding reflective strips to your JanSport backpack. Create a pattern of your own design to add sparkle when the light hits your pack. You'll be more noticeable and safer at the same time.