DIY TPN Backpack

Hi everyone! I missed you all last week. We took a couple of days away in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. And get this, we stayed at a haunted hotel! I’ve got photos to share from that soon. This week I’m sharing a post I’ve been so excited about, how I easily transform any everyday backpack into one that will work for TPN! Let’s get this backpack party started!


Materials needed:

  • Backpack of your choice- Ideally with a wider opening if possible! I also prefer to have several pockets on my pack.
  • 9 inches of 1 in. wide nylon webbing (sold at most craft stores by the yard, I recommend getting a little extra to have some room to play with)
  • 2 inches of 3/4 in. wide Velcro (I bought this by the yard, and got a 6 inch piece just to be safe)
  • scissors
  • sewing thread
  • embroidery thread
  • sewing needle
  • pins
  • ruler
  • lighter


  • Sewing Machine (if you’ve got one, and know how to use it, this will be best. But you can absolutely hand stitch this as well!)
  • decorative ribbon for end tabs

First, let’s get a look at what we are going to be making. Essentially it’s a sturdy Velcro strap that is able to hold a TPN, fluid, or feeding bag at the top of a backpack. It will look like this: backpack23

I’ve used this exact design in the same backpack for the past two years, and have had no issues with it breaking at all! So it’s pretty darn sturdy.

Speaking of, here’s that pack that I’ve been using for the last two years! Still holding up strong! backpack1backpack2

Our first step is to cut our strips of Nylon Webbing and Velcro to the size we need. First, put the two parts to the Velcro together, measure and cut it at 2 inches in length.


Next, do the same with your Nylon Webbing, and cut it at 9 inches in length. backpack4

To help avoid fraying of the Nylon Webbing, run a lighter across each end to cauterize it.

Then it looks like this and won’t fray! backpack7

Next, we’re going to map out where we are going to put our Velcro. If you’ve decided you’d like to have the decorative ribbon on the ends, we will map that out too. There will be no issues if you decide you don’t want to add that extra step.

Separate the Velcro, and place one piece on one end of the Nylon Webbing, add folded decorative ribbon under Velcro if you decide to do so, and pin in place.

*Note: The optional ribbon is just about an inch long, folded, and placed between the Velcro and Nylon Webbing to be sewn between the two. backpack10

Flip the Nylon Webbing over, and do the same thing with the other piece of the Velcro on the other end and reverse side of the nylon. So you should have one piece of Velcro on the front and back side of the nylon on opposite ends like this: backpack11

Now let’s get to stitching this thing together! If you have access to a sewing machine, go ahead and use that to go around the edge of the Velcro to get it put in place. If you don’t, use your needle and thread to hand stitch the Velcro on. backpack12

Now, you should have this:

Gosh, I just love that little yellow detail!backpack13

Now it’s time to get it in the bag. Fold the Nylon in half, and place the middle point at the middle point of your backpack, and pin it down. This does not need to be perfect. And if you’re going to add a couple of these “hangers” in your backpack, to be able to put multiple medications in your pack, space them however you’d like!backpack14

For this next part, I recommend using embroidery thread. It’s just so tough and I feel like it helps hold the weight of a heavy medication bag so well. If you’re unfamiliar, it looks like this, and can be found in nearly any craft store. It’s basically several threads thick, so just a very hearty material. backpack19

Place a strand of embroidery thread through your needle’s eye. backpack15

Then hand stitch (in whatever fashion you choose) the center point of your Nylon Webbing to your backpack. I didn’t do a beautiful job, but it’ll certainly get the job done! Here’s a view from the inside of the pack and the outside. Be sure to tie some nice hearty knots to keep it snug!backpack16backpack17backpack18

You’ve done it! Now let me show you how I make this super simple situation work for me.

Just thread one side of your Nylon Webbing strip through the hole in the top of your TPN bag and pull the other side over to secure the Velcro.backpack22backpack23

I also have a method for hanging a hydration bag in with it. I have issues fitting the Nylon strip through the smaller hole of a hydration bag. So what I do is grab a small clip like the one pictured, and slip it through the small hole of the bag, and thread the Nylon through the clip. backpack26backpack27

Like I said earlier, I love having pockets in the bag that I pick so that I’m able to store my flushes, alcohol pads, Swabcaps, tape, Davron Clamp, and any other items I might need.


I hope this is super helpful to you. I know that the packs we get from companies can smell weird, be very stiff, have too much velcro and straps inside, and all other sorts of issues! Plus, they’re just not cute! I hope this helps you find a pack that you love and are able to feel more confident carrying it around.

Let me know if you have any questions! I’m here for ya!

Have an amazing rest of your day, and I’ll see you here soon!

10 thoughts on “DIY TPN Backpack

  1. Hi Lauren! As you know from my post last year, I’ve been wanting to do this for so long and was so happy when you provided instructions last year. I’ve been putting it off, but can do so no longer. My hand has been forced. Get this – just yesterday I flew from SF to visit family in So Cal. I, as always, packed my TPN backpack among all the other things related to my TPN needs. Nothing was strange or out of the norm when I was packing. Lo & behold, when I unpacked last night, I see that my TPN backpack was fully unzipped (it had absolutely been zipped shut) and the zipper broken. The piece that you use to zip up the zipper had broken off. There was no fixing it, even as we tried and tried. Grrr. All I can think of is that the airline/airport employees searched my checked bag, broke the zipper, and left it like that with no communication whatsoever. How strange, right?

    I’m going to be at my mom’s for a week so I’m hoping to take this project on while I’m here. My question to you is about the TPN pump and the rechargeable battery pack. Do you no use these things? I will need two extra pockets to hold them. I suppose that I can use my current backpack as a model. I can use strong fabric, perhaps, to make and sew in a pouch for each item. I can use velcro to keep them in place. Is there anything you would add?
    Thanks, Fran

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fran!
      Oh goodness! I’m so sorry it happened that way! What a mess 😦

      I do use a pump, but I just let my pump lay in my bag. To be completely honest, now I just put my TPN and pump in any backpack and go on my way! Since they are air tight, and the pump is what forces the fluid through, it’s not all that necessary to have things compartmentalized. But I totally understand wanting things in compartments! You could absolutely make little pockets and Velcro them in!


      1. I’ve been wanting to do this forever, but just never figured out the best way to do it. You’ve taken the intimidation factor out of it. I’d like to do it with a roller backpack. I’m recovering from a difficult hospitalization & the bag felt so heavy when I first got home. And it’s still a bit too heavy, as I’m still pretty weak. A roller bag would really help I think. Have you ever made, or seen, anyone do this to a roller backpack? Thanks so much!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am so sorry to hear that you’ve had a recent difficult hospitalization 😔 But I’m glad this is helpful and makes this process seem less intimidating! I have not, but I’m pretty sure it would work just as well 😊


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