Dora the Explorer Party: Favors

Dora the Explorer Party: Favors

For the kid’s 1st birthday party, I knew I needed to give out favors to the dozen kids that we invited, but we were broke, so I had to get creative.  I googled “jungle theme favors” over 112 times and decided to make rain sticks out of rice and paper towel rolls and drums out of painted formula cans.  Genius, right?  WRONG.  It was a horrible mess.  The “drums” were peeling paint before I even packed them up and my dad and cousin were punching holes in paper towel rolls up until the party started.  It was a mess.

So, this year when I told Matt I was going to make the kids Backpacks for Allison’s party?  Let’s just say I see that look quite often.  You know the one.  The “you’re absolutely nuts but I’m not going to get involved” look.

But this time was different.This time they turned out.

Want to make one for your little Dora addict?  Here’s how.


1/2 yd purple felt (I was able to get 3 backpacks out of 1/2 yd)
1 sheet red felt
1 sheet white felt
1 sheet yellow felt
measuring tape
ink pen
black sharpie
1.  First cut out all your pieces.  (All dimensions in inches.  Because I’m in America, dammit.)
      2 – 11.5 x 11.5
      2 – 1.5 x 16
      1 –  3 x 11.5
      Backpack’s face

2.  Then assemble by lining up the edge of the straps to the edge of one the large felt squares.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Felt is very forgiving.  And they are kid’s backpacks.  Are they going to criticize??

3.  Sandwich the straps with the rectangle piece of felt and stitch together the top edge to make Backpack’s back.  I used a loose zigzag just to add some extra stability.  Because I’ve seen my kid with toys and frankly it’s a little disturbing.

4.  Placing right sides together, stitch the other felt square to the back piece on the remaining three sides.  (Don’t forget to pin the bottom of the straps in place to keep them from going all crazy crooked.)  Turn Backpack right side out.  Sorry there’s no picture of this, but when I try to take photos of items in my sewing machine, they always turn out horrible.  And kinda creepy.  In an Unsolved Mysteries kinda way.

6.  Apply Backpack’s face with glue.  Eyebrows on the flap and face below.  I used Elmer’s glue for this and frankly it didn’t hold very well, so maybe fabric glue would be better.  And I was thinking that the pupils would be really cute with buttons.  But I stopped while I was ahead and used a sharpie.

7.  Lastly, round the edges of the flap for that signature “Backpack” look.  I actually folded the bag in half and cut both sides at the same time to make it a little more symmetrical.  Because asymmetry makes my OCD a little crazy.



That’s it.  A project even I can’t screw up. 

Then stuff to your heart’s content!  I just went to Party City and bought Dora puzzles, notepads, and stickers and printed out some coloring pages from  But honestly, the kids loved the backpacks much more than what was inside them. 

The kicker: The entire thing cost me about $3 for 5 Backpacks* (+ backpack contents).

*I made two more Backpack’s for my older nephews in dark blue (to be more masculine, of course) and just increased the dimensions of the squares to 13 x 13, the rectangle to 3.5 x 13, and the strap length to 2 x 18 inches.

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9 Responses to Dora the Explorer Party: Favors

  1. Kristy says:

    Those are some kind of awesome!! I betcha you could make some $$ on Ebay or Etsy :)
    Oh, and I'm definitely consulting you for my kids' next birthdays…so be thinkin' 'bout boy themes! 😉

  2. Susanmeep says:

    that is too nice! very cute

    I am following you (suelee1998) from the blog hop, you have a great site. Would you like to follow me back?
    thank you :)

  3. Frazzled Mama says:

    Hi!!! I'm stopping by and following from Terrific Thursday Blog Hop. I hope you'll check out my blog Frazzled Mama at and follow me back. Have a great day.

  4. Kimberley says:

    Hi there! What a neat idea for a party favor. I have no, and I mean NO craft skills what so ever! New follower from Terrific Thursday Hop. Drop on by and see me if you get the chance, thanks!


  5. Jessica says:

    I LOVE this and would LOVE if you could please email me with the other things you did for the party! I am doing the Dora “We SCream for Ice Cream” party for my 2 year old, so I was curious what other things you did :) Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Jen says:

      I blogged about the other elements of the party (invites, cake, etc) just check out the Dora the Explorer party category. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. […] Baby D. too. It was very simple to make and right now simple is good. I followed the directions in this tutorial-however I rounded the backpack top prior to attaching it to the […]

  7. Calene says:

    You rock. I decided to do this for my daughter’s second birthday and was about to tick my husband off by purchasing 10 backpacks at 13 bucks a pop. I am not the crafty type but after reading this I think I will give it a go. Thanks for the step by step instructions.