What Pens to Draw on Backpacks?


Since many students carry their books, notebooks and other personal effects in similar backpacks, decorating your backpack with drawings, words and other embellishments can be a fun and unique way to customize it to your own style. To give yourself the easiest surface to draw on, purchase a canvas backpack in a solid color. Then, use different pens in contrasting colors and go wild.

Permanent Ink

  • Permanent ink markers, such as Sharpies, are one of the best and most easily obtainable ways to draw on backpacks. They bleed minimally, dry fast and are available in a variety of colors. Though they are most effective on light and bright colors of backpack, such as white, yellow and pink, these markers are also available in metallic colors like silver and gold, which are legible against dark backgrounds. However, be warned that, unlike classic ink, metallic ink may chip away from the fabric over time.

White-Out Pens

  • Intended to correct mistakes made by typewriters and clumsy pens, white-out pens are also very good for writing on backpacks in dark or deep colors. The bright white stands out from the canvas particularly well, making your backpack easily distinguishable from other backpacks of the same color and style. In addition, drawings in white-out can then be colored in with crayons and colored ballpoint pens. Like metallic ink, however, white-out may chip over time.

Fabric Pens

  • Like permanent ink markers, fabric pens are best for use on light or bright colors of backpack. They do not carry the deep tint of permanent ink, but they are even less likely to bleed because their ink is formulated for use on fabric rather than paper and non-porous surfaces. They are available with classic marker-type nibs, or nibs that resemble and operate similar to small paintbrushes.

Paint Pens

  • The brightest and most versatile option on the list, paint pens are excellent for drawing full-color pictures on backpacks. The opaque lines they produce are good on almost any color of backpack, and they are available in many different colors. The biggest drawback, however, is that paint pen drawings may take several hours to dry, and a backpack that sees heavy use and abuse may chip.


  • Photo Credit iStock Photography
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