DIY Fjallraven Kanken Embroidery

We all have those creative projects which we think would be fun and cool to do but never actually get round to actualising. For the longest time, embroidering my Fjallraven Kanken backpack was one of those projects and at last, I finally got round to doing it.

I decided to make a YouTube video (my first one!) and I’d be super grateful if you could give it a watch. However, I thought I’d still give a brief written overview of the process I went through to get the final result.

Initial Design

For inspiration, I went with trusty Pinterest to gather ideas from other people’s designs: simply put ‘kanken embroidery’ into the search bar and I was good to go. Google images also proved useful, in addition to flicking through Youtube videos of other people who had documented their own day. The latter was especially useful as it allowed me to gain insight into what stitches they used.

I embroidered a “prototype” of my initial design on a piece of scrap fabric. This allowed me to confirm my design (I ended up tweaking it a bit so was certainly useful in that regard), as well as practising the stitches a bit more meaning when I embroidered my backpack the stitches were neater compared to what they would have been like if I hadn’t.

In terms of choosing what threads to use, I picked the colours in pairs, meaning I had two shades of each which allowed the design to stick to a singular, coherent theme. As my backpack is black and red, I made sure to incorporate similar reds to the one on the bag to allow them to match better.


There were two YouTube videos which helped me get started. The first one is on the top ten basic stitches to learn for beginners and the second was a DIY kanken embroidery tutorial from Fjallraven North America. If you’re new to embroidery then I’d recommend giving them a watch as I found them really informative, even as someone not necessarily new to hand embroidery.

The stitches I used on my backpack were:

  • french knot
  • back-stitch
  • lazy daisy stitch
  • satin stitch
  • woven wheel stitch

Overall, whilst the process was a tad time consuming and took a while to get right, it was a super rewarding one. I’d definitely recommend you to embroider your own if it’s something you’ve ever thought about doing (and equally recommend it if you hadn’t considered doing before but want to now!).

Is embroidering your backpack something you’ve ever considered doing? What would you embroider on yours?


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