How To Sew A Drawstring Bag For Beginners

Out in the market to get a drawstring bag for yourself, but haven’t had any luck finding just the right one? Why not make one at home? Not only is making one easy, but it can also be a fun DIY project for your free time. Drawstring backpacks are one of the easiest kinds of bags to carry around. They are spacious, provide easy access to your belongings, and come in different sizes and shapes. 

Linen bags with drawstring

If you want an easy drawstring bag tutorial, then here we are with a step-by-step guide on how to sew one at home using various colourful fabrics – and different ways to use them. It is one of those easy sewing projects that you can quickly master, like making a bean bag. So, let’s get right into the tutorial, shall we? 

Planning for your DIY project

Although it is one of the easiest sewing projects, even for beginners, there are a few things you need to decide and get your hands on before getting started:

Things you’ll need

You will find most of the material at home. Here is what you need to gather:

  1. A pair of scissors
  2. Ribbon or cord
  3. Sewing machine
  4. The fabric of your choice
  5. Measuring tape
  6. Safety pins
  7. Sewing threads
  8. Fabric chalk

Size and shape 

Even though a drawstring bag can be made in all shapes and sizes, the standard size is 35.5  x 45 cm. These bags are also called cinch bags and can be made in different shapes like square, round, and rectangle. However, the standard shape for a bag like this is rectangular. 

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Sew a Drawstring Bag

Now that you have all the supplies at hand Let’s get started with this easy and simple sewing project

Hand using chalk in fabric

Step 1

Select a thick fabric, depending on what you have intended to use it for. If you want to carry heavy weights in your bag, choose a material like denim, canvas, or suede. Lay the piece of fabric out flat on a surface. With the help of a measuring tape, measure out 35.5 cm by 45 cm—Mark the measurements using fabric chalk. Don’t worry; we will wash it later. Make sure the fabric has no wrinkles for a smooth and even cut

Pro Tip: You can also use any extra fat quarter lying around in your quilting stash. 

Step 2

Next, choose a sturdy ribbon or cord and measure 40 cm from the starting. Cut the ribbon or cord and seal the raw edges with the help of heat. This trick of preventing your fabric from fraying works with synthetic fabrics only. Use a synthetic cord for your bag to have a better slip while cinching the opening. 

Step 3

Cut two pieces of fabric using the measurements marked above. Both the fabrics should be of the exact same size. Place the wrong sides of the fabric facing outwards and mark half cm of seam allowance in from all sides for a side seam. Next, with the help of common pins, attach both the fabric pieces together. 

Step 4

Set up your sewing machine and attach the thread of the same colour as your fabric. Run a straight stitch on all four sides where you have marked the seam with the help of pins. Once you reach the last side, secure the stitching with a couple of backstitches. Make sure to keep the top of the bag open. 

Woman's hands using sewing machine

Step 5

Fold the top of the bag 1.5 cm inside and stitch. This will create a space for the drawstring to pass through. While you are stitching, keep both ends of the seam opened. Secure the ends using a needle and a thread to prevent fraying. 

Step 6

Turn the fabric all the way around to reveal the right sides and move on to the drawstring part. Add the drawstring in the opening of the 1.5 cm seam on either side of the bag. Use a safety pin or a bodkin to insert the cord or ribbon easily. Once it has passed the whole loop, tie the ends together. 

Step 7

You can also add beads and laces to the top edge of your drawstring bag to make it look a bit more personalized. Next, pull the strings outwards and gather the fabric in the centre. So there you have it!

Step 8

Add a bead to your cords to make pulling and tying a whole lot easier. It will also give an aesthetic look to your bag. You can also add small embroidered motifs to customize it according to your liking. 

Drawstring Bag Ideas

1. Gift Bags

The current era is all about sustainability. Anything that is made up of plastic is frowned upon, and gift bags are no exception. The world is moving towards paper and fabric-based gift packing options that can be reused multiple times. A drawstring bag is an amazing option to pack gifts in and present them to your loved ones. The best part? They can reuse these bags in countless ways as per their liking. 

Woman wearing drawstring backpack

2. Drawstring Backpack

One of the most common uses of cinched top bags is using them as a backpack. And why not? It easily secures your books and provides quick and easy access to your belongings inside without going back and forth with the zips. Drawstring backpacks are usually common among college and university students as they have fewer books to carry around. 

3. Laundry Bag

Yes, you read it right! a drawstring bag can easily be used as a laundry bag. However, this idea works for smaller families with smaller loads to wash. You can hang a simple drawstring bag in your laundry room to add a boho touch to the area. These bags are quite sturdy, which makes them an ideal choice. You can also make a mesh drawstring pouch to protect your delicate items while doing laundry. 

4. Makeup Pouch

If you like to travel around with your essential makeup products in your bag, then a small drawstring bag is what you need to have. This small bag can hold your everyday products like mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, and concealer securely in place. Keep your bags organized with a drawstring makeup pouch, so you don’t have to dig all day in only to find a lost lipstick.

5. Tote bag

Drawstring tote bags are all over the internet these days. You can use a lined drawstring bag for this purpose. It will keep your everyday essentials safe and provide better support in terms of carrying the weight. Add a small handle on your bag as well to give it the appearance of a tote purse

Handmade drawstring bag with penguins

Whether you use the fabric pieces lying around your home or buy them especially to make a drawstring bag, it will be one of your most useful sewing projects. You can use it to keep your books, groceries, makeup, or other little tidbits that you don’t want to lose. Plus, these bags are all the rage right now in terms of fashion. All you have to do is add your preferred embellishments to make it your go-to, everyday bag. So, follow our detailed guide on how to make your very own drawstring bag and get crafting!

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