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What to do with old backpacks

What to do with old backpacks

What to Do With Old Backpacks: Creative and Eco-Friendly Ideas


Old backpacks often find their way to the back of closets or storage spaces, but they still have plenty of potential. Instead of letting them gather dust, why not explore creative and sustainable ways to repurpose them? In this article, we’ll provide you with a range of ideas on what to do with old backpacks. From donating to crafting, you’ll find inspiration to transform your old backpacks into something useful and meaningful.

What to Do With Old Backpacks

Repurposing old backpacks is not only environmentally friendly but also a chance to exercise your creativity. Consider the following ideas:

1. Donate to Charity

If your old backpack is still in good condition, consider donating it to local charities, schools, or shelters. It can be a valuable resource for someone in need.

2. Create a Pet Carrier

Transform a sturdy backpack into a comfortable carrier for your furry friend. Add a soft lining, mesh windows, and secure closures for a pet-friendly design.

3. Make a Plant Holder

Turn your old backpack into a hanging planter by adding a waterproof lining and attaching it to a sturdy hook. It’s a unique way to display your favorite plants.

4. Craft a Laptop Sleeve

Use the fabric from your old backpack to craft a custom laptop sleeve. Add padding and a zipper for extra protection.

5. Design a Fashionable Tote

Repurpose the backpack into a stylish tote bag by removing the straps and adding new handles. Customize the design with fabric paint or patches.

6. Create a Travel Pillow

Use the padding from your backpack to create a comfortable travel pillow. Simply sew a pillowcase, fill it with the padding, and sew it shut.

Expert Tips for Repurposing Backpacks

  • Inspect the Condition: Ensure the backpack is in good condition before repurposing. Repair any damage if possible.
  • Embrace DIY: Many repurposing projects require basic sewing or crafting skills. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
  • Combine Materials: Mix and match materials from other old items to enhance the functionality and style of your repurposed backpack.


Can I donate backpacks with minor wear and tear?

Yes, as long as the backpack is still functional, it can be donated. Charities often repair items before distributing them.

Are there specific charities that accept backpack donations?

Yes, organizations like schools, shelters, and NGOs often welcome backpack donations, especially before the school year.

What materials can I repurpose from an old backpack?

Straps, zippers, fabric, and padding can be repurposed for various projects.

Can I repurpose backpacks with sentimental value?

Absolutely, repurposing can give new life to a backpack while preserving the memories associated with it.

Are there online platforms to sell repurposed backpack creations?

Yes, platforms like Etsy offer a marketplace for unique handmade and repurposed items.

Can I use old backpacks for environmental campaigns?

Certainly, old backpacks can be transformed into banners, signs, or displays for environmental awareness campaigns.


Repurposing old backpacks is a satisfying way to contribute to sustainability while indulging in your creative side. Whether you choose to donate, craft, or design, each idea showcases the versatility of repurposed materials. By following expert tips and embracing your imagination, you can give your old backpacks a new lease on life and make a positive impact on the environment.

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