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100 Fun “Anything But A Backpack Day” Ideas

One of the most popular school spirit week days is “anything but a backpack day” (also known as “no backpack day”).  It is a day where students can let their creativity and resourcefulness show by using an alternative to their backpack.  It makes for a really fun and memorable school day for the students. However, it can be difficult to come up with fun anything but a backpack day ideas.  We’ve gone ahead and put together a list of 40 ideas for things you can use as a backpack.

What is “anything but a backpack day”?

“Anything but a backpack day” is a day when students are encouraged to leave their backpacks at home and bring their school supplies in a different type of container, such as a reusable grocery bag, a tote bag, or a small suitcase. This day is often organized by schools to promote environmental awareness and reduce the amount of waste produced by disposable backpacks. It also allows students to express their creativity and individuality by choosing a unique way to carry their school supplies.

Anything But A Backpack Day Ideas

  1. Beach Bags: Colorful and spacious beach bags can add a touch of summer to the school day.
  2. Guitar Cases: Leave the guitar at home and take the case to school.  It should have plenty of room to carry school supplies
  3. Plastic Milk Crates: Carry around your books in a milk crate for a day!
  4. Bed Sheets: A twin-sized bedsheet can be folded and tied to create a makeshift tote.
  5. Net Bags: These mesh bags, often used for groceries, can be a trendy and lightweight option.
  6. Cooler: Coolers can store large quantities of ice and drinks, so they’re perfect to use as backpacks as well
  7. Wicker Baskets: Wicker baskets with handles can give a rustic and charming vibe.
  8. Sling Bags: Single-strap sling bags can offer a distinctive style while keeping essentials within reach.
  9. Wagon: Pull your books around on a red wagon for the day.
  10. Large cooking pots: If you have a large cooking pot at home, it could definitely be large enough to carry your supplies!
  11. Pizza box: If you have an old pizza box laying around, you can probably fit all of your school stuff in it!
  12. Oversized Pockets: Sew large pockets onto a jacket or pair of pants to carry small items.
  13. Plastic Watering Cans: Empty watering cans can be transformed into quirky carrying containers.
  14. Traffic Cone: Simply flip the cone upside down to use it to carry your school supplies. You might have to cover the hole at the tip!
  15. Trashbag: Probably one of the easiest ideas on the list, you can simply use a new trash bag to carry your stuff!
  16. Drawers: Remove a drawer from a dresser and add straps or handles for a whimsical look.
  17. Burlap Sacks: Burlap sacks with handles can add a rustic and unique touch to the outfit.
  18. 5 Gallon Bucket: Chances are, you have a 5 gallon bucket somewhere in your garage.  Simply put the school supplied in the bucket to use as a backpack.
  19. Shower Caddy: Shower caddies with handles can be convenient for carrying smaller items.
  20. Toolboxes: Toolboxes can be used as industrial backpacks
  21. Wooden Crates: Attach straps or ropes to wooden crates for a rustic backpack alternative.
  22. Tote Bags: Large tote bags can be a stylish and practical alternative for carrying books and supplies.
  23. Messenger Bags: Messenger bags are designed to be worn across the body and are a popular choice for students who want a different look.
  24. Duffle Bags: Small or medium-sized duffle bags can work well for carrying essentials, and they come in various colors and designs.
  25. Shopping Bags: Reusable shopping bags, especially those made of sturdy material, can be repurposed as makeshift backpacks.
  26. Suitcases: Small suitcases or rolling carry-on bags can be unconventional but practical for students with a lot to carry.
  27. Pillowcases: Similar to trick-or-treating, you can use pillow cases to store your school supplies.
  28. Laundry Baskets: A small laundry basket with handles can hold a lot of items and provide a humorous twist on the theme.
  29. Reusable Lunch Bags: Lunch bags come in various sizes and can be a creative and eco-friendly choice for carrying school supplies.
  30. Fanny Packs: Fanny packs worn around the waist have made a comeback in fashion and can be a trendy option for students.
  31. Tied Scarves or Bandanas: Students can tie scarves or bandanas into knots and use them as makeshift bags for smaller items.
  32. Cardboard Boxes: Decorate a cardboard box and add straps or handles to make it easier to carry.
  33. Plastic Storage Bins: Small plastic storage bins with handles can be used to transport books and supplies in a unique way.
  34. Musical Instrument Cases: Cases for instruments like the violin, trumpet, or saxophone can double as unconventional backpacks.
  35. Gym Bags: Repurpose a gym bag, especially if it has an interesting design or logo.
  36. T-shirt Bags: Tie the sleeves and neck hole of a t-shirt to make a bag.
  37. Purses and Handbags: Girls may choose to use stylish purses or handbags as an alternative to backpacks.
  38. Baby Stroller: If you have an old stroller lying around, you could use it to carry all of your school supplies
  39. Pet carrier: If the family dog isn’t using the pet carrier, you can borrow it to use as a backpack
  40. Planters: If you have large empty planters, they make for great containers!
  41. Mini Fridge: If you have an old mini fridge, you can lug it around to use as a backpack!
  42. Wheelbarrow: Push around your school supplies in a wheel barrow. Be careful, as this will be quite large.
  43. Shopping cart: If for some reason you have a shopping cart, you could bring that to school.
  44. Umbrella Holder: Empty umbrella holders can double as unconventional carrying containers.
  45. Magazine Holders: Large magazine holders can be repurposed as unique backpack alternatives.
  46. Plastic storage drawers: Stackable plastic storage drawers can be used to transport books and supplies.
  47. Trash can: A small trash can can be used as an unconventional backpack alternative. Just make sure it doesn’t stink!
  48. Recycling Bin: Decorate a small recycling bin and use it to carry your materials.
  49. Duct tape: Use duct tape to create a makeshift bag.
  50. Shoe box: Chances are, you have an old shoe box in your closet. Bring it in!
  51. Tackle Box: For the fishing fans, tackle box with compartments can help you organize and carry your supplies in style.
  52. Tackle Vest: A fishing tackle vest with multiple pockets can be a unique choice.
  53. Cube Storage Container: The cubes that you put in cube shelves work great for carrying around school supplies
  54. Soccer Ball Bag: Repurpose a soccer ball bag to carry your books and pencils.
  55. Picnic Blanket: Fold up a picnic blanket with handles to carry your school necessities.
  56. Plant Hangers: Empty plant hangers with handles can hold a surprising amount of items.
  57. Apron: Wear an apron with a large pocket to hold your items.
  58. Collapsible Laundry Hamper: A small collapsible laundry hamper can hold plenty of items.
  59. Tennis Racket Case: If you play tennis, use the racket cover as a carrying bag.
  60. Cookie Tin: Empty cookie tins can be turned into stylish and compact carrying containers.
  61. Bicycle Basket: Attach a bicycle basket to your bike and carry your supplies that way.
  62. Inflatable Pool Float: Fold up an inflatable pool float and use it as a playful backpack.
  63. Water cooler: Large water coolers used for sports can be used to carry books.
  64. Motorcycle helmet: Put all of your school supplies inside a motorcycle helmet
  65. Tool Belt: Wear a tool belt with pockets to carry your school supplies.
  66. Tennis Ball Container: Empty tennis ball containers can be used to store and transport smaller items.
  67. Camping Backpack: Instead of a regular school backpack, opt for a camping backpack with extra compartments.
  68. Large Hat: A wide-brimmed hat with a sturdy strap can be used to carry smaller items.
  69. Bucket Hat: A bucket hat with a drawstring can double as a unique carrying container.
  70. Mailbox: Decorate an old mailbox and use it to carry your materials.
  71. Yoga Mat Bag: Repurpose a yoga mat bag to carry your books and supplies.
  72. Clipboard: Clip your school supplies onto a clipboard and carry it under your arm.
  73. Picnic Basket: A classic picnic basket can add a touch of elegance to your school day.
  74. Fishing Net: A fishing net bag can be used to carry your supplies, giving a coastal vibe.
  75. Magazine Tote: Roll up magazines and secure them with belts to create a tote bag.
  76. Mason Jar Holder: Attach mason jars to a wooden holder and use them as carrying containers.
  77. Empty Paint Can: Clean an empty paint can and use it to transport your school materials.
  78. Candy Bucket: Repurpose a plastic candy bucket as a playful backpack alternative.
  79. Bungee Cords: Bundle your supplies with colorful bungee cords and carry them like a bundle.
  80. Bicycle Pannier: Attach a bicycle pannier bag to your bike rack and use it for school items.
  81. Skateboard Deck: Strap your school supplies to a skateboard deck and roll them to class.
  82. Crochet Bag: If you’re crafty, crochet your own bag to carry your supplies.
  83. Carry-On Luggage: Opt for a small carry-on suitcase with wheels for a unique and practical alternative.
  84. Tupperware Containers: Stack your school supplies in colorful Tupperware containers with lids.
  85. Accordion File Folder: Use an accordion file folder to organize and carry your papers and notebooks.
  86. Empty Coffee Canisters: Clean and decorate empty coffee canisters to store and transport your supplies.
  87. Towel Tote: Fold a beach towel in half and secure the edges to create a towel tote.
  88. Rubbermaid Storage Bin: Small Rubbermaid storage bins with handles can serve as portable storage.
  89. Pencil Case Belt: Attach a belt to a large pencil case and wear it around your waist.
  90. Empty Coffee Bags: Sew together empty coffee bags to create a coffee-themed tote.
  91. Travel Pillow: Fill a travel pillow with your supplies and carry it like a cushion.
  92. Shoe Organizer: Hang a shoe organizer with pockets over your shoulder to store items.
  93. Empty Film Canisters: Small film canisters can be used to store tiny school supplies.
  94. Pizza Delivery Bag: If you can find one, repurpose a pizza delivery bag as a quirky backpack.
  95. Beach Umbrella: Attach a strap to a beach umbrella and carry it like a parasol.
  96. Bread Box: Do you have a bread box in your kitchen? Remove the bread and replace it with school supplies!
  97. Microwave Oven: If you have an old microwave at home, put your school supplies inside!
  98. Jeans: Take a pair of jeans and tie the legs.  This way, you can fill them up with your essentials.
  99. Toy Chest: Take the toys out of a toy chest and you can use it as a backpack.
  100. Oil Drain Pan: There’s a good chance you have an oil drain pan in your garage.

What are the rules for anything but a backpack day?

While the possibilities for backpacks seem endless, there are usually some rules that must be followed.  It is important to remember that the school’s policies still apply and breaking them might result in detention.  That being said, you should avoid bringing anything that would not be allowed such as alcohol containers or weapons.  Before you bring your backpack alternative to school, think twice and make sure that it does not violate any existing policies.

What is the goal?

Schools will often have different grades compete to see which can have the highest percentage of class participation.  While some students will go all out and bring in hilarious items, you can get easy participation points by using something simple such as a pillowcase or trash bag. If you bring a backpack, it is likely that your classmates will be upset that you lost participation points for the class.

Remember to have fun

Anything but a backpack day is meant to be a fun and memorable day for students.  Spirit week usually occurs the week before the homecoming game and is meant to raise school spirit.  Classes are usually more laid back, and it can be a very fun time to be in school.  Don’t stress about what backpack you will bring, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to stand out.  Simply enjoy the special day and make fun memories with your friends.