I’m surrounded by boys but sometimes I get a chance to make something that is more geared towards girls. Boys can like unicorns, too, of course, but mine are more into fire trucks and super heroes. Only one of my boys is interested in any type of animal and he’s only 18 months old! When I got the chance to design a backpack for a sweet friend’s daughter I jumped at it! I did have to bribe my oldest to model it for me… but then his younger brother volunteered and agreed to actually smile for the camera. 😉
I like this basic square backpack because it is really easy to make, can hold a lot of different items and turns out cute! Plus, using two strands held together for the body makes it a very quick project. I’m already planning some other animals using this style of backpack and I can’t wait – the possibilities really are endless. If you find the straps getting loose (which can happen with crocheted straps), just weave in a pretty ribbon on the edges of the straps and tack in place. The strap length is a general guide – you can easily make them longer or shorter. If you find they are too long, just fold them over and sew them together and adjust as the child grows. Super easy!
This entire project is constructed of single crochet and chain spaces, so if you are pretty new to crochet, do not be intimidated – this is a very easy project! If you can single crochet, chain, and sc2tog (single crochet 2 together to decrease) you CAN make this bag. The straps are basic single crochet and so is the colorful border. It’s a very beginner-friendly project that anyone can make.
I think the next animal I’m going to make will be something one of my boys would enjoy. This was just too feminine for their tastes, so maybe a fox or a lion would be a good choice. What do you think? Let me know in the comments what animal you would like to see!
What You’ll Need
Yarn: Red Heart Baby Hugs Medium (MC), 2 skeins Frosting; Red Heart Soft Baby Steps (CC) 1 skein Tickle
Hooks: US size N (9.00mm) for the backpack and size J (6.0mm) for the horn and border
Notions: Two 5/8″ buttons, yarn needle, scissors, stitch marker, unicorn-shaped button (for charm – optional)
Skill Level: Easy (this project is very beginner-friendly, see text above for skills needed)
Finished Measurements: Approximately 13 x 11 1/2 inches
Gauge: 14 sts and 13 rows = 4 1/2″/10cm in pattern st.
Notes: Hold two strands MC together for front, back and strap construction
Row 1: Ch 1. Sc in first sc, *ch 1, sk next sc, sc in next ch-1 sp. Repeat from * to last two sts, sc in ch-1 sp, sc in last sc.
With larger hook, ch 41. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across – 40 sts.
Set up row: Ch 1, sc in first st, *ch 1, sk next sc, sc in next sc. Repeat from * to last two sts, sc in last two sts.
Work even in pattern stitch until piece measures 11 ½ inches from beginning.
Shape Front Flap
Row 1: Work even in pattern stitch.
Row 2: Ch 1, sc2tog in first two sts, sc in next ch-1 sp, *ch 1, sk next sc, sc in next ch-1 sp. Repeat from * to last three sts, ch 1, sk next sc, sc2tog in last two sts – 38 sts.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first sc, sc in ch-1 sp, *ch 1, sk next sc, sc in next ch-1 sp. Repeat from * to last two sts, ch 1, sk next sc, sc in last sc.
Row 4: Ch 1, sc2tog in first two sts, *ch 1, sk next sc, sc in next ch-1 sp. Repeat from * to last two sts, sc2tog in last two sts – 36 sts.
Rows 5-16: Repeat rows 1-4 until 24 sts remain.
Row 17: Repeat row 2 – 22 sts.
Row 18: Repeat row 4 – 20 sts.
Row 19: Repeat row 2 – 18 sts.
Row 20: Repeat row 4 – 16 sts.
Work as back until piece measures 11 ½ inches from beginning. Fasten off.
STRAPS (Make 2)
With larger hook, ch7.
Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across – 6 sts.
Work even in sc until strap measures 18 inches from beg. Fasten off.
Create a magic ring. Use a stitch marker to mark first st of each round.
Round 1: 3 sc in ring – 3 sts.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st – 6 sts.
Round 3: Work even in sc.
Round 4: *Sc, 2 sc in next st – 9 sts.
Round 5: Work even in sc.
Round 6: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next st – 12 sts.
Round 7: Work even in sc.
Round 8: *Sc 3, 3 sc in next st – 15 sc.
Rounds 9-15: Work even in sc.
Sew front to back along sides and bottom. Sew straps in place using photos as guide.
Use a surface slip st to embroider eyes. I used the CC and just cut lengths the same color to make them the same.
Stuff horn lightly with fiberfill and sew in place using photos as guide.
To create mane, cut lengths of yarn approximately 16″ long. Attach as fringe to left of horn.
Buttons should slip into a ch-1 space. Position buttons as desired and sew in place.
With smaller hook and RS facing, join CC to left edge of flap – be sure to only use one strand.
Ch 1, sc evenly along left edge, bottom edge and right edge. Fasten off.
If you wish to have the unicorn charm, cut lengths of CC the same length (I chose 3 of the colors), braid and attach one end to the unicorn button and one end to the top corner of the backpack.
That’s it!! I’m so, so happy with how this turned out and I hope the recipient loves it as much as I do!