Kids are guaranteed to be the cutest on the playground with this gorgeous little ladybird backpack! Kate Eastwood’s fabulous adult-sized Out and About Backpack is a surefire favourite at LoveCrafts HQ, and now Kate has created a miniature version for the little people in your life!
Whether it’s used for a day out in the park or packed up and taken to nursery, this super cute little backpack is the perfect size for tiny people. Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home!
Ready to get making? Here’s Kate’s free step-by-step guide…
- 3.5mm crochet hook
- 4mm crochet hook
- 1x ball of Sirdar Cotton Rich Aran in Cream 0001
- 75cm cord
- A toggle for the drawstring (optional)
- A popper
- Red and black DK yarn (you only need a little, so use up what’s in your stash)
- Toy stuffing
- 4.5mm safety eyes
- Black embroidery thread
- Black sequins (optional)
The tutorial is written using UK crochet terminology – to convert to US, you can use our handy conversion tables!
The backpack is designed to have a flap over the top, under which is a drawstring tie and a small carry handle, plus two shoulder straps.
The backpack is made with an oval base and then the main body of the bag is added on to this and worked in the round. The flap top and straps are made and added on separately.
The measurements of the finished backpack are approx. H 28cm x W 26cm x D 8cm. The backpack straps could be made longer or shorter if needs be by adjusting the chain length.
How to make the bag
To begin, make a chain of 26.
Round 1: Starting in the second chain from the hook, work 3 DC in to the same stitch. Work a DC in to each of the next 23 stitches and then work 3 DC in to the last stitch.
You are now going to continue on round by working down the other side of the chain. So, continuing on round, work a further 23 DC, then join with a SL ST into the first stitch.
Round 2: Chain 1 and work a 2nd DC in to the same stitch. Work 2 DC into each of the next 2 sts. DC 23. Work 2DC into each of the next 3 stitches, DC 23 and then SL ST to join. 58 sts.
Round 3: Chain 1 and work a DC in to the same stitch. Work 2 DC in to each of the next 4 stitches. Now work the following: 4 DC, 4 HTR, 9 TR, 4 HTR, 4 DC. Work 2 DC in to each of the next 4 sts. Work along the other side as follows: 4 DC, 4 HTR, 9 TR, 4 HTR, 4 DC. SL ST to join. 66 sts.
Round 4: Chain 1 and work a DC in to the same stitch. Work a DC in to each of the next 2 stitches, then 2 DC in to each of the next 3 sts, work a DC into each of the next 2 stitches and then work the following: 4 DC, 4 HTR, 9 TR, 4 HTR, 4 DC. Work a DC in to each of the next 2 stitches, 2 DC in to each of the next 3 sts, and then a DC in to each of the next 2 sts. Now work the following : 4 DC, 4 HTR, 9 TR, 4 HTR, 4 DC and finish the round by SL ST to join. 72 sts.
Round 5: Chain 1, work a DC in to the same st and work DC all the way around. SL ST to join. 72 sts.
You are now going to start working on the main body of the bag, but first you need to lay your base piece wrong side down and mark 28 stitches along one edge, using stitch markers. This will be the back edge of the base, the rest of the stitches (44 sts) will be the front part of the backpack and we will be increasing in to these stitches to give the bag its shape.
Once your two stitch markers are in place, and following the diagram above, working with the right side facing you and working into the back loops only, work 28 DC from the starting stitch marker to the finishing stitch marker. (By working into the back loops, only you will see that you are able to create a ‘fold point’, so that the wall of the bag can be worked upwards from the base.)
When you reach the second stitch marker you are now going to start your increasing, so into the next stitch work 2DC, your next stitch will be a regular DC and the following stitch 2 DC in to one. Continue this pattern all the way around and back to the first stitch marker. SL ST to join.
You should now be able to see that you have a straight back edge to the base and then a curved shape to the front edge of the base. You should now have 94 sts.
You are now going to continue working in rounds.
To keep your joining seam nice and neat, and join your rounds as follows:
At the end of each round, SL ST to join. Pull your yarn nice and tight, yarn over and pull through. Pull the yarn tight.
Now, keeping your tension tight, chain 1 and then work a DC all in to the same stitch. You are now ready to continue working your next round of DC.
Continue working in rounds ( 94 sts) until your work measures approx. 24cm from the straight edge of the base to the top. Finish off and sew in ends.
In the next 2 rounds you will be making the holes for the drawstring tie, so start by placing your two stitch markers on the back of the bag, to mark the beginning and end of the flat edge (28 sts).
With the back of the bag facing you, join in your yarn at the left hand stitch marker and work as follows:
CH 2 and skip 2 stitches, DC 4, CH 2 and skip 2 stitches, DC 4, CH2 and skip 2 stitches, DC 3, CH2 and skip 2 stitches, DC 2, CH 1. This will have taken you to the centre of the front. Continue working the round, working the buttonhole pattern as follows: CH1, DC2, CH 2 and skip 2 sts, DC 3, CH 2 and skip 2 stitches, DC 4, CH 2 and skip 2 sts, DC 4, CH 2 and skip 2 sts.
Work 28 DC, which will bring you back to the first stitch marker.
Do not SL ST and join as in previous rounds, as we are just going to work in a continuous round from now.
So, continuing on round, work a round of DC, working 1 DC in to each of the two chain stitches from the previous round.
At the end of this round work a further two rounds, finish off and sew in ends, leaving the stitch markers in place.
To thread your drawstring, take your piece of cord and cut it in half. Tie a large knot at one end of each piece and thread the cord in and out of the buttonholes, beginning with the knot on the inside at the back edge.
Note: the cord runs across the front of the backpack only, so there will be no cord along the straight back edge.) The two buttonholes at the centre front are where you will be pulling the cord through to the front. Adjust the length of the cords and tie knots in the ends. As this backpack is for a child I used a cord toggle for ease, but this optional.
Great work! You’ve made the basic bag. Now it’s time to make all the accessories.
How to make the front flap piece
Row 1: Starting in the 2nd chain from the hook work 2 DC in to the first st, DC, then work 2DC in to the last stitch. 10 sts. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 2: DC 2 in to the first stitch, DC 8 , DC2 in the last stitch. 12 sts. Chain 1 and turn.
Row 3: DC 2 in to the first stitch, DC 10 , DC 2 in the last stitch. 14 sts. Chain 1 and turn.
Continue working this pattern until you have 28 stitches.
Continue working rows of DC, remembering to ch 1 and turn at the end of every row until the front flap measures 18cm from centre bottom to centre top. Finish off and sew in ends.
Using the cream yarn and a 4mm hook, work a round of DC all the way around the edge of the flap, working 3 DC in to the corner stitches.
For the second border row work a round of rope stitch, this is DC but worked clockwise instead of the usual anti-clockwise.
How to make the front pocket
Row 1: Starting in the 2nd chain from the hook work 2 DC in to the first st, DC, then work 2DC in to the last stitch. 8 sts. Ch 1 and turn.
Increase as for the front flap until you have 16sts. Work a further 8 rows of DC, remembering to ch 1 and turn at the end of each row. Finish off and sew in ends.
Using the cream yarn and a 4mm hook, work one row of DC along the top edge.
How to make the hand strap
Using the cream and a 4mm hook chain 25. Beginning in the 2nd chain from the hook work a row of DC, at the end of the row ch 1 and turn. Work a further 9 rows. Finish off and leave a long yarn tail.
Now fold the hand strap in half lengthways and join the two edges together with a row of DC. Finish off and sew in ends.
How to make the shoulder straps
Chain 76, and starting in the second chain from the hook work 7 rows of DC, remembering to chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. Finish off and sew in ends.
Fold the straps in half lengthways and using the cream yarn and a 4mm hook, join together with a row of DC. Finish off at the end of the row.
Rejoin your yarn back at the beginning of the first row of cream and work a row of rope stitch, as for the front flap.
To finish your bag, pin your hand strap and shoulder straps on to the back of the front flap. You might find it helpful to mark the central point of the flap so that you can get the straps evenly placed. Use a needle and some strong thread to sew the straps into place.
Use your stitch markers to position the flap onto the bag, pin and stitch in place.
How to finish off the bottom of the bag
Using the cream yarn and a 4mm hook work a round of DC around the edge of the base of the bag. As this is the round where you were working into the back loop only, you will only be working in to one loop.
For your second round work the same rope edging as before.
Stitch the bottom of the shoulder straps to the base of the bag, just above the cream edging.
How to make the ladybirds
Using the black yarn make a Magic Ring.
Round 1: Work 6 DC in to the Magic Ring. Join with a SL ST.
Round 2: Work 2 DC in to each stitch. 12 sts.
Round 3: Work 2 DC in to the first stitch and 1 DC in to the next stitch. Continue this around, 18 sts.
Rounds 4 and 5: Work two further rounds of 18 sts in black.
You are now going to continue working in red, but first attach the ladybirds eyes. Now join in the red yarn and work a further 7 rounds.
Round 13: Work 11 decreases. To decrease pick up the next two stitches/loops, yarn over and pull through all three loops.
Stuff the ladybird and then work a final 2 decreases. Finish off and sew in ends, using the tail of the yarn to gather up the remaining stitches and close the hole if need be.
Sew two long threads from the back of the black head to the base for the wings, and then either sew the black sequins on for the spots, or embroider spots on if you prefer.
To complete the backpack, pop one ladybird in the front pocket and stitch the second one in place on the front of the bag.