During this quarantine, I’ve been racking my brain trying to find things to do that don’t involve sitting in front of the TV all day. I was bored and wanted to do something creative, so I thought it’d be fun to learn a new skill and embroider a Fjallraven Kanken backpack! I’ve always loved decorating my backpack and crossbody bags as a teen, and since this is a really popular backpack that I see in the Disney parks all the time, I figured it was something you could do at home too. (You don’t have to have a Kanken backpack to do this DIY – any backpack you have at home will do.) I’m in no way an expert when it comes to embroidery, but I hope that you’re able to take some inspiration from this post and try something new with me!
Approximately three to four hours
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Choose six to eight colors of embroidery thread that you want to use for your backpack. If this is your first time working with embroidery thread, note that there are six strands in one thread (this will be helpful to note in later steps).
Take your fabric pencil/pen and sketch out your pattern. I used a regular pencil when I embroidered my backpack and found that it was hard to erase the marks afterward, so I highly recommend using one specifically made for fabric. I started off my pattern with two roses, which you make by creating two circles and drawing five lines in each, as shown above.
For the rose, take about two arm’s length of your first color of thread. Use all six strands and thread through your needle. Take your needle and start in the center point of one of the circles and thread from the back to the front. Create each line by going through the center point and threading to each point on the outside of the circle.
Once you’ve created all five lines, bring the needle back to the front and weave through each line, alternating from going under and over each one. Keep weaving until you reach the end of the line and then tie off a knot.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to create the second flower.
To create the leaves, first draw your pattern similar to what is shown above. Then, using one arm’s length and four strands of your next thread, create one single stitch (as close to the flower as possible) going towards the top center point of your pattern. To the right of that stitch starting just a little bit shorter from the top, get as close to your first stitch as you can get and create another line parallel to it. You’ll want to make sure the end point (closest to the flower) is roughly around the same point you started. Then, to the left of your center stitch, create another line parallel to it, but when you bring your thread towards the flower, make sure you bring your line in the middle of the first two lines you’ve created. Repeat this step again twice more to create the next two strands for the leaf. In total, you should have five single stitch lines that overlap a little bit over each other.
Repeat Step 6 to create the second leaf for your flower.
Repeat Steps 3 through 7 to create another set of flowers and leaves on the opposite end of the Fjallraven Kanken logo.
Once you have completed Step 8, your backpack should look like the above photo!
To create the vines, sketch out a similar pattern to the one you made for the leaves. For this step, you will need about four arm’s length of thread, and you’ll be using four of the six strands. The way you will embroider the vine is similar to that of the leaves, however, you will start by creating a few small backstitches going down the center line first. Then starting from the top, you’ll repeat Step 6 a few times until you reach the bottom of your vine.
Repeat Step 10 to create another vine on the opposite end of the Fjallraven Kanken logo.
To create the tulips, using about half of one arm’s length and four of the six strands of each color of thread, you will create three single stitches for the flower, and two single stitches for the stem and leaf.
To jazz up the pattern a bit, I had Kev help me with adding a few French knots throughout the pattern to make it look like there were small flowers. To do so, take about one arm’s length of thread, and using about three to four strands (depending on how large or small you want your flowers to be), pull the needle from behind. To make the French knot, with your right hand hold the needle, and with your left hand, loop the thread around the needle three times. With your right hand holding the loops around the needle, take your left hand and hold down the loose thread tightly. Using your right hand, thread your needle back into the backpack, close to the point where it came from (but not the exact same point). Keep holding the loose thread with your left hand tightly until you pull the needle all the way through with your right hand. Once finished, it should create a cute little knot as shown above.
Add some extra flair to your backpack with pins, patches, and/or keychains to your liking!