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  • No more road trip entertainment problems! Great solution that looks awesome to boot!
    By RYOBI Nation, on May 31, 2017

  • I'm dropping my kids off with my parents in July. 3.5 hour trip to the "halfway" point. I can totally use this. I need to build two dresser/nightstand things while the girls are gone, so that's the plan whether I win the tools or not.
    By mandyjcasey, on June 5, 2017

  • Looks like this would be very handy and will keep the grandkids from losing their iPads! Thanks for another great project.
    By MarilynnH, on June 9, 2017

  • I love this! My granddaughter will be entertained, and I won't hear that she "lost the cartoon" if she can't play with the screen. Thanks!
    By Mardol66, on June 10, 2017

  • This is such a unique idea and it turned out great. Serena-your recent (kind of) dresser rehab has me inspired. (The tall mid century dresser you painted white.) I have a similar dresser that the previous owner put drawer pulls on - kind of ruins the mid-century vibe. Need to figure out the best way to cover the holes, and then sand/strip the existing paint off. I've had this dresser since my first apartment and the pulls have always annoyed me. Finally feeling confident that I could redo it without botching it! Thank you for your inspiring posts!
    By Anje, on June 10, 2017

  • I love this project and the road maps..
    By bowling bonnie, on June 10, 2017

  • Great project! Can't wait for my grandson to be older so I can make this for him
    By marys96596_42687, on June 10, 2017

  • Super cool project idea. I have friends with three small kids that spend lots of time in the car traveling. This would make a great surprise gift.
    By grover959, on June 12, 2017

  • Serena does it again, great project!
    By Buffy Myers, on June 26, 2017
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  • How fun! Easily transportable and keeps the chalk in one place - awesome project!
    By RYOBI Nation, on May 31, 2017

  • What a neat idea for kids to mimic their parents.
    By Cityboyfarmgirl, on June 11, 2017

  • This is such a unique and clever project idea.
    By grover959, on June 12, 2017

  • This is such a cool project! I can see lots of pretend play with this!
    By maryw1981_41729, on June 13, 2017

  • This is awesome, I would be interested in making a dry erase version of this!
    By TARZANTHEJEDI, on June 13, 2017

  • Wow how simple and I love it! This would be great for the kids!
    By my4boysand1_36549, on June 14, 2017

  • Both my daughter and son would love for me to build this project for them. I'd have them help me of course :)
    By Alinaa, on June 14, 2017

  • How unique is this project?!?!!? Love the idea of my children sitting beside me while pretending (love the use of imagination) to be on their laptop.
    By StaffordBrix, on June 14, 2017

  • This would most definitely entertain my son for hours and hours. Great project idea for sure.
    By SEANC, on June 14, 2017


  • i love this very unique and great for kids
    By carol clark, on June 14, 2017


  • great idea, the kids would enjoy this!
    By rusthawk_30902, on June 17, 2017

  • I love this project! This would be great to take on our road trip to Disney this year! Thanks for the idea!
    By mommywithtwins7, on June 17, 2017
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  • Neat idea!
    By mtaylor729, on April 1, 2017
    • Thank you. It's a fun conversation piece!
      By Addicted 2 DIY, on April 3, 2017
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  • i love your work such great ideas coming from ya i love the backpack you could sell these id buy one id like to win a drill
    By carol clark, on April 5, 2017
    • Thanks, Carol!! What would be even cooler is to cut all the materials and sell the *kit* so that people could assemble it themselves! That would be awesome, right?? Godo luck on winning!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • That is the coolest backpack EVER! I need a new jigsaw. (Mine belonged to my husband's grandfather... it's seen better days.) I hear the plunge tool is cool. Maybe a scroll saw? I can come up with lots of things I "need"!
    By mandyjcasey, on April 5, 2017
    • I've got a scroll saw! I haven't unpacked it yet because I'm in the midst of getting the other side of my garage together. But I've heard they're just like using a sewing machine, only with a blade! :)
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Great backpack. I'm going to try and make one. A router would make my projects a lot easier for me to do. I have a hand saw, drill, and my drill also works as a screw drive. Love all of your projects, look forward to them. I will admit I sometimes do them a little different than you. kickingback now. Judy King-B
    By kickingback now, on April 5, 2017
    • Hey there, Judy! Glad to hear you're pulling together your collection of tools! A router is such a cool tool to own. I had no idea there were so many router bits to do everything imaginable! I'm building my collection of those. And that's good that you do things differently than me! The key is actually DOING something! So I'm happy to hear this! :)
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Such a cute bag and great tutorial! I just purchased my first house and would absolutely looooooove to have a compound miter saw and a pressure washer for the projects on my list. :)
    By NickiJo, on April 5, 2017
    • Hey there, NickiJo! Congrats on buying your first house. The miter saw will come in handy, especially if you decide to hang your own crown molding! Unfortunately, the $300 in tools is only for the power tools. The outdoor tools are a separate department not included in this giveaway. BUT....this spring, I may be doing a giveaway and makeover challenge with them, too, so there's still hope to win that pressure washer at that time! :)
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • I agree; that's the perfect size. The only thing that might make it even cooler is if we could change the fabric out for a different color. ☺ Thanks for pointing out we can substitute a router for a jig saw. I love all my Ryobis- Luckily the 18 v one can use the lithium batteries. I didn't realize they made a pressure washer; that would be great to win. Thank you!
    By Gardenerz, on April 5, 2017
    • Oooh, that would be really cool! In that case, the next one I make will have a piece of fabric riveted, but that piece of fabric will be a small row of fabric with SNAPS attached, and then you can change it out! Thanks for the idea! I have another one cut and will attempt to do that! I'll keep you posted on how it goes!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • I love this project. I think this is your best DIY project ever. How heavy is this? It looks like it weighs a good bit...but the cool factor makes it worth it.
    By Kathyhills, on April 5, 2017
    • You know what? It LOOKS heavier than it is. I was worried at first how heavy it would be because the bocote wood is dense. But when putting it on, it's actually not that heavy! I guess the back is very strong. ;)
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Love your blog, you are my idol. I always want it to do my own repairs and dyi around the house. After reading your blog I registered for a women woodworking classes. Now I learning how to use power tools and I love it. I made two stepstool ( i will send you pictures) now everybody i know wants one and I want to make a table but I newd some powers tools. It will be awesome to have my own and I can do my work at home instead of the community place. Love, the backpack great idea and a fun project. Gladys
    By Gladysew61, on April 5, 2017
    • Gladys, your comment leaves a smile on my face! You're the reason I love blogging and inspiring women so much, because you were inspired and then DID something about it! So happy to hear you're learning how to use tools! We have a woodworking class near me and I would have taken it if they classes weren't on the weekends. Hubby works weekends so there's no one to watch the kids for 2 solid days while I take classes. They also have classes on Finishing 101, and I want to check it out and learn some new tips! :) Thanks!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Cool bag and great directions. I have only hand tools, so any power tool would be a major step up. I could really use the One + Ultimate 6 piece kit.
    By Joni CS, on April 5, 2017

  • Love this! Since I prefer things that are a bit different and like backpacks because they leave my hands free, this is a win-win. Since I own very few power tools, I would be like a kid in a candy store if I won! Maybe some kind is saw, maybe a router, maybe maybe maybe.....
    By nita, on April 5, 2017
    • LOL, so many to choose from! I just got a band saw last week, but I haven't unboxed it yet because I have nowhere to set it up yet. Still getting the garage set up. But I hear amazing things about it and how much more control you have when cutting things with shapes and curves!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Very neat idea! I'd definitely use it! I love your blog and your inspirational diy projects! I would be so excited to win a miter saw :)
    By Sashan, on April 5, 2017
    • Good luck, Sashan! Thank you for the compliment!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • YES!! Another great video. Love the way you thought outside the box and created something useful. Using that riveter tool looks hard and fun at the same time. Question: you glued, could you have also used the nail gun? The Ryobi cordless nailer would make me a very happy women. Great video!!
    By user_vauss_172581, on April 5, 2017
    • OMG, the riveter....amazing and difficult at the same time! They're really hard to squeeze together, so at times I have to use the workbench as leverage and push it down that way. I finally had to call in hubby and his huge hands to help! So if you have a man around with big strong hands, have him squeeze it for you! To answer your question, yes, I could have used a nailer, but I didn't want to leave any nail holes. If I were painting it, the nail holes could have easily been filled and painted over and you'd never know. But with stain or leaving it stainless, the nail holes would have been so obvious. Wood glue is stronger than wood, so if left to dry properly, and clamped securely, it will provide a very tough seam.
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • This is great! You are so creative! I could use all sorts of tools. I would like a jigsaw and a small sander. My husband has many tools, but most of them are too big and heavy for me and the projects I do. Thanks so much for sharing your project and for the giveaway!
    By pamijoy, on April 5, 2017
    • Hey there, Pam! Yes, the jigsaw is great! It's one of my favorite, quick, go-to tools when I need to cut something quick or with angles! Good luck in winning!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Omg! This bag is so cute! Might try making one even though I'm still learning ! I love your blog and follow on Instagram! I would love a jig saw , sander , more batteries and the big charger. I love ryobi tools! I would also love the stand for my miter saw !
    By sagirl76, on April 5, 2017
    • Hey there! So glad you like the back! You could totally make this!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • LOVE THIS! It's so easy to put one's own individual spin on it too, from changing sizes, material colors, closures, etc. Brilliant!
    By ed1claudia, on April 5, 2017
    • Yes, you are correct! And for anyone concerned about the weight (which it doesn't weight much at all), you could use 1/2" plywood on the sides instead of the 3/4". Plus, the wood I used is exotic wood (bocote) which is denser. But plywood doesn't weigh as much. And you can paint the sides bright colors! :) So many possibilities! :)
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • I'd love to get my DIY on and actually make this. I need lots of cool new power tools. Nothing would disappoint me ... It'd be a hard decisiot!
    By Dannie17, on April 5, 2017
    • Good luck, Dannie! I would love for you to make it, too. It's a fun project. One of the most fun I've done this year so far! :)
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Good looking bag! Very glad to have found your site. We have a Ryobi circular saw and would love an orbital sander too :o)
    By brwndot, on April 5, 2017
    • Glad you found me, too! :) You will enjoy the sander. Lots of refinishing you can do with it!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • Your design is very creative. I can't wait to pin it on Pinterest. BTW I want all the Ryobi tools!
    By sethpinckney, on April 5, 2017
    • Thanks, Seth! Good luck!
      By Thriftdiving, on April 6, 2017

  • What a fascinating project and a fantastic result! I'm sure you'll get many compliments. But I definitely need some tools: I don't have any saw, could use a sander, maybe a nail gun, and a while back you showed a smallish work station that would be perfect. Not sure of the prices, but any of these tools within the contest limit would get me super excited and help me get a workshop area set up in my garage. Thanks for sharing and giving us an opportunity to win.
    By Teckla, on April 6, 2017

  • very cute! I could see me carrying around a tote version. If I won I'd probably get a planer or a jigsaw.
    By bbbmonce, on April 6, 2017

  • I have never heard of a wood backpack. What a wonderful project. I enjoy reading your blog. Not sure which tool if I won but I love Ryobi. Maybe an orbital sander or shoot this is hard. Must give more thought. LOL
    By Cris P, on April 6, 2017

  • That's an awesome backpack Serena. Looks like we have a winner here. It's absolutely beautiful. It's so different from all of the other backpacks. This one is by far the most original backpack that I've ever seen. Those Ryobi tools get the job done every time. My dad was a carpenter by trade just like Saint Joseph in the Bible. Yes, his name was also Joseph. He loved building things. I bet you that he would have loved to have these Ryobi tools to work with. It would have made life a little easier on him. I love the miter saw but it's probably over my budget. The jig saw looks like it would do the trick. I read where you can cut wood surfaces, thin sheet metal, plastics and laminates. That's my kind of tool.
    By SisterSister, on April 6, 2017

  • Serena, the backpack turned out so nice and I would have never thought of making one out of wood. My current project is cleaning the countless blobs of glue off of my now exposed pine wood ceiling. Found a cheap oscillating corded tool with a blade to see if it will do the trick and it works! However, it would be nice to have the cordless one Ryobi makes (didn't realize they made one until today) so it would be much easier to be on scaffolding or a ladder with your hands above your head and not end up getting tangled up in the cord. Thank you for sharing your projects and encouraging others to challenge themselves to try things they thought they were not capable of doing!
    By tgail, on April 7, 2017

  • Awesome backpack!! I badly want a Ryobi brad nailer and a miter saw
    By monarch64, on April 7, 2017

  • Whew! What a project! I think yours is worth about $185! It was a clever idea, which would be very useful for someone with a laptop or some fancy electronic thingie... talk about protection! There you go, I'd like to win a laptop. No, just kidding... I just realized that I need a serious stapler or nail gun, since I keep doing upholstery stuff, even though I had sworn it off... Great project, Serena!
    By LindaLW666, on April 10, 2017

  • My experience with ryobi tools has been really good, would love to add some more of them for "making cool stuff". Serena from Thrift Diving has a great blog and is the reason I came to the Ryobi website . (I don't know her and she didn't pay me to say that- but I wouldn't turn down any contributions. lol).
    By ed1claudia, on April 10, 2017

  • I'm not a back pack person, especially not a wooden one. LOL But this video is inspirational! Now, I want to make a project tote for my take along embroidery projects! I need some saws to get started, though.
    By Nanette, on April 11, 2017

  • Way to think out of the box for this one! I'm enjoying your blog so far and it's great to have access to cool ideas and stuff like Ryobi nation!' My husband and I just moved into our first home and we are so excited to start doing more major DIY projects. I'm excited to get some finish nail guns and a jig saw to make both a headboard for our new bed and to install board and batten style wainscoting in our dining room!
    By Kayschwab8, on April 11, 2017

  • Such a cool project! You always have interesting ideas and projects. Keep up the great work.
    By marys96596_42687, on April 11, 2017

  • Absolutely amazing. I wish I could make one, but I'd probably end up with a chopped finger, or two. I'm scared of power tools, haha.
    By mar99, on April 30, 2017

  • I just love your projects and I love this backpack I would love to win a new jigsaw. Currently making the window covering with the frame in the material for my master bedroom now I need to try to make this thanks for all that you do
    By LbuersLodi, on April 30, 2017

  • So very clever and functional!
    By WhoaFlicka, on April 30, 2017

  • This is one of the nicest things I've seen! I'll try it!! Thanks Serena for all you do!!
    By mtaylor729, on May 1, 2017
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  • Another fantastic Rogue Engineer project. This is definitely on my to-do list.
    By grover959, on March 6, 2017

  • Just a suggestion, you might want to replace the USB connector Type A receptacle to the more standard (on this type of item) Micro-B or Mini-B. That way you could use standard chargers and cables, rather than a Type-A to Type-A cable (which isn't all that common in the charging world.)... Anyway, great design, and I love the "simulated" frosted glass.
    By ARudzki, on March 7, 2017
    • Thanks ARudzki! And yes, I agree with the charging port idea and did look for one but wasn't successful in finding one. If you know of a Micro or Mini USB port I'm sure other would appreciate a link below. Thanks again!
      By Rogue Engineer, on March 7, 2017

  • An option to try would be Samtec: http://suddendocs.samtec.com/catalog_english/scrus.pdf They are a bit pricey (a bit? LOL), but you could also use their wording to do Google searches to maybe find cheaper versions from someone else.
    By ARudzki, on March 7, 2017

  • No question is a dumb question, right? So why this step: To give the polycarbonate sheet a frosted look, simply sand one side with an orbital sander until you get an even scuff across the entire sheet. Thanks for a much better option than the one I cobbled together with what I had on hand.
    By MichelleO, on March 7, 2017
    • The frosted look helps disperse the light more evenly (IMO) and prevents the bright direct light.
      By Rogue Engineer, on March 7, 2017

  • That is a great idea. I have been wanting a light box and this will be just the thing. I do a lot of adult coloring and was trying to come up with a way to color with out the outline showing and this is just the thing.
    By schnauzerman, on March 25, 2017
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