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Personalized Backpacks with a Cricut for The Blue Ribbon Project

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Many Americans – and people worldwide – have been feeling a sense of turmoil lately. For some people, some children, turmoil is an everyday part of their lives.

There are approximately 440,000 children in Foster Care nationwide. Most kids enter Foster Care through an emergency situation. They don’t have advanced notice or time to pack or plan. Kids who are in a terrible situation already are given a trash back to carry their few belongings.

The Blue Ribbon Project

The Blue Ribbon Project is an organization that works to support victims of child abuse and youth in foster care. Their Backpacks of Love program provides backpacks of essential necessities to help the kids have something to take with them.

When Cricut asked us to help with this project, I immediately said yes. I have worked with children in foster care before through organizations that partner with my local Junior League. I cannot imagine suffering the childhood trauma that many of these children have been through.

Cricut asked us to purchase and personalize two backpacks for children in this program. The idea was to craft something special that will not only provide a way for these children to carry their precious belongings but will hopefully provide comfort during a very difficult transition. 

How can I help?

You can donate financially directly on their Donation Page.

If you are in the Maryland area, backpacks can be donated to their donation drop off locations. Otherwise, donations can be mailed to:
The Blue Ribbon Project
102 Waterside Court
Edgewater, MD 21037

My customized backpacks

I was assigned two children to make backpacks for: a 2-3 year old boy and an 11-12 year old girl.

The boy’s backpack was an easy decision for me: trucks! I ordered this dark gray backpack and used primary colored vinyl for the trucks.

For the twelve year old girl, I reached out to my sister who is a middle school teacher. She told me the 90’s are back, so I decided to add holographic butterflies to this pastel green backpack using holographic iron on.

The Designs

how-to-use-a-cricut-to-add-vinyl-designs-to-a-backpack

I cut all of these designs out with my Cricut Explore Air 2.

Click here to read my comparison of the Cricut Maker and the Explore Air 2.

Like these designs? You are in luck! All are available in Cricut Design Space!

cricut truck design for backpacks

Click here to access the truck designs!

cricut butterfly design for backpacks

Click here to access the butterfly designs! I printed 3 of these – one on each of 3 “colors” of the holographic iron on vinyl.

Applying the iron on vinyl to the backpacks

It was easy to adhere my designs to the backpacks using my Cricut EasyPress. You can read my step by step guide to the EasyPress if you are new to using it.

I refer to the Heat Guide to get the right settings for my EasyPress. These backpacks are Cotton Canvas which is a choice in the drop down!

Filling the backpacks

holographic butterfly backpack cricut

The Backpacks of Love program has checklists for items that are specific to each child’s gender and age category. I added a few things from each list, checked them off the checklist, and mailed the full backpacks and checklists to the program.

truck backpack cricut - dump truck, police car, fire truck, car

I really hope that these bags help to give a child some hope and dignity on what will surely be one of the worst days of their lives.

How have you been giving back lately?

 
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