We got given some lovely traditional leather reins for Munch and I was so excited as they looked great. Luckily for us she was accepting of wearing them, much to daddy's disgust as he thinks they look like a staffy harness! Over time we found that they rode up under her armpits and looked uncomfortable. I recently went to one of those country show type things and noticed a large amount of toddlers wearing backpacks which had a long parent strap attached. It gave me an idea which would save me some money in the long run and I like that!
I had bought Munch a Cath Kidston mini backpack at Christmas in the sales which would make the perfect base for my home made backpack reins. I looked at pictures of purpose made reins and noted the design of the harness and set to work.
You will need:
A child's backpack
Nylon strapping 2m
A clip fastener
The first thing I did was make the chest strap for the bag. I made mine so that later on they can be removed from the bag. I cut a 6" piece of strapping and attached the "female" side of the clip fastener using an inch turnover so that I could sew all the way round and then cross diagonally to make secure. At the opposite end I attached a snap fastener spaced enough to allow the bag strap to be threaded through. I then cut 10" of strapping and looped it through the adjustable end of the clip fastener. Make sure the end of the strapping is turned over and sewn to stop it passing back through the buckle. Next I attached the snaps as before and then fitted it to the opposite bag strap. This creates a cross body harness to keep the backpack in place. You could see the harness in place using double stitching also.
Next step is the parent handle. It's entirely up to you how long this is made but I found a metre worked for me. You need to remember that there will need to be a handle allowance in your measurements. First I looped one end of the strapping to create a handle, looking at mine is about 15" in total. I sewed it in place using a square pattern to strengthen the seam. At the opposite end I attached two sets of snap fasteners allowing for the backpack top loop to go through the strap. Once again you could see this in place rather than make it removable.
There you have it, a stylish one off set of backpack reins which enable baba to carry their own drinks and snacks!
**always use these with caution and check the stitching before you use it on your child for the first time**