Step 1: Materials and Tools
- (1) backpack. There are 2 requirements when choosing a good backpack for this project: room to install your solar panels and a pocket to store your cell phone. The Drifter square backpack is perfect for this project.
- (1) portable solar panel with usb output.
- Plenty of felt. It should be enough to provide backing for your solar panel and
- (1) role of Velcro
- Plenty of thread. Be bold and have it accent your solar panels or have it match the color of your backpack. It is up to you!
- Scissors. Fabric or brand new scissor work best.
- Stitching Needle.
- Utility knife.
- Fabric pencil or crayon.
- Hot glue gun.
- Freshly made fruit smoothie. This is to keep you hydrated and energized while you work.
- 1 extra hand (optional). This will definitely help and you can also give it high fives after each step!
Step 2: Cut your felt backing
Measure your felt backing. This backing should be enough to attach your solar panel to the backpack. For this bag, 11 inches wide and 16 inches high was perfect.
Mark your measurements with a felt pencil and cut with fabric scissors.
Then give that extra hand a high five!
Step 3: Prepare your solar panel (OPTIONAL)
If you backpack is large or if your solar panel is flexible, you may be able to skip this step. But to provide maximum flexibility, strip the excess backing from the solar panel. Be very careful of the any wiring and other important connections.
Note: After doing this, I actually think I wouldn’t recommend it. There is too much opportunity to ruin you solar panel. It will, most likely, void any warranty. This should only be done if it is needed and do this at your own risk.
Step 4: Attach Solar Panel to Backing
Using hot glue, attach the solar panel to the felt backing. Attach one panel at a time and make sure that there is enough room for velcro on all sides of each panel.
Step 5: Add velcro to backing
Add the soft side of the velcro on all exposed felt. Make sure to get it from edge to edge and in between the panels. Also get as close to the usb output as possible.
Step 6: Add velcro to backpack (part 1)
For each soft velcro strip on the felt backing, cut a strip of corresponding rough side of the velcro. You can make sure you have all the right pieces by attaching them as you cut them.
Then turn the backpack inside out and take one of the rough edge pieces and attach it to the edge of the backpack.
Once you’ve attached that piece, attach the felt to the backpack aligning it with that piece. This will be your guide for attaching the rest of the velcro in the next step.
For more detail: Solar Phone Charging Back Pack