How to Sew A Drawstring Backpack

How to make a drawstring backpack for back-to-school the easy way. Are Scarlet and her BFF Niko the most gorg or what? No, don’t answer that: They are the cutest. Well, here’s a fun & quick DIY we created for a drawstring backpack at the request of our friends at Small. Check them out, they have the best kids stuff and are sharing this today.

Get the full DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial after the jump…

So, will you give it a shot? It’s seriously so quick and simple. Let us know what you think in the comments and you could win that Alexander Henry fat quarter to make your own backpack with!

How to Make a Drawstring Backpack

Gather Your Materials:
1 piece of heavy weight fabric 13″ X 26″. This is Heather Ross Far Far Away 2 Sleeping Beauty in Gold (on Niko) from Fabricworm and Kokka Trefle Canvas Cinderella Natural (on Scarlet)
2 yards trim/ribbon (3/4″ width or smaller)

Fold fabric in half right sides facing, 13″ edges aligned:

Sew up the edges, stopping two inches from the top, then cut the edges with pinking shears:

Along the top, fold each side edge in 1/4″ and iron, then the top edge in 1/4″ and iron:

Fold the top down another 3/4″ and iron:

Repeat on the opposite side. Sew in place along the edge to create a casing.

Using a safety pin feed the first piece of trim through one casing and out the other side, then back through the other side of the casing:

Repeat with the other piece of trim going the other direction:

Now we will create the gusset and attach the backpack straps. Bring the seam to the front center and iron the bag into a point:

It will look like this unfolded. Make sure it is straight!

Measure two inches down from the tip of the triangle:

Draw a straight line across the tip at the 2″ mark you made.

Cut the tip of the bag off 1/4″ above the line:

Repeat on the other tip:

Grab the ends of one side of the trim:

Pull them inside the bag and through the hole in the tip closest to them:

There you go:

Pin in place:

Repeat on the opposite side, so now you have each strap pinned into a triangle point:

Sew in place along the line you drew:

Finish the edges with pinking shears and turn inside out.

Pull the straps to close the bag:

You’re done! Pretty simple, right?

Give to cute girl, let cute girl stuff with toys and play:

So, what do you think? Will you try it?




Prefect timing as always. Thank you for posting such a great detailed tutorial. I just decided what I am going to make my neices and nephews (all 14) for Christmas.


Thanks for the tutorial. I had wanted to make these, but couldn't figure out the logistics behind the strap attachment. I'm now ready to go! Thanks!


Another one on the list! I think I can do this during nap time today! oooh I have so many projects, I need to post some pics for you. Thanks for all the yummy ideas!

Jill @myheartisyoursblog

That is so cute! This is good for boys too. I think I know what to make for my neices and nephews for christmas. πŸ™‚ I was also wondering if maybe you ladies could make some more stuff for little boys? πŸ™‚ I would love to have a little girl someday but right now I just have my perfect little prince charming. πŸ™‚


Perfect timing! I just bought a yard of ballerina fabric to make a drawstring bag for my 2.5-year-old's ballet gear. All i needed was a good tute – and behold! Y'all had just what I needed.


Wow, this is simply beautiful! Maybe it's the project I was looking for to try out my machine without breaking it ( or it breaking me… who knows!). I've got some beautiful fabrics with dragons, I could do on for my son, I'll love it, i'm sure.


so, I DID make one during nap time. super easy with your tute, and super cute, thanks! But, I feel like I need more than 2 yards of trim/ribbon. I used 1 yard for each strap… did you use 2 yards for each strap?? your straps look longer than mine turned out. maybe I just don't know how to measure a yard. sheesh!


Guess what my 3 little kiddies will be wearing during this weekend's outing??? Hoooray!! Mommy won't have to carry 3 sippy cups AND a diaper bag anymore. πŸ™‚

emily b

Okay, so I just started following your blog a few weeks ago. But I have to say, I love it and your projects! To the point that I've been bookmarking almost all of them. My to-sew list is getting longer and longer and it's almost out of control!
Thanks for being so generous and sharing your wonderful ideas with us!


Those are "sew" adorable!! I just love them! =) I want to make my Mary-Grace one! She loves bags. This would be a neat Christmas gift and put some goodies in! Her best friend could use one too! I could make them kind of match! CUTE!!


Yep, yep, yep. I definately going to give this a try. My girls LOVE to have bags to put treasures in!!! Too adorable and soooooo simple! THANKS!


Yay I finally got around to making this! I bought a fat quarter the other day, just because I liked the fabric, but had no idea what to do with it. In the end it's a bit smaller than this one, but my little one is pretty small herself too. And I think I have enough left over to make one for one of her dolls! This is such a cute and easy project. Thank you!


I'm making 6 of these bags right now for my daughter's 4th bday as their "goodie bags", along with the DIY coloring books. Super cute! The only change I've made is that I've used 3 yards of trim for each bag rather than 2 as suggested. The 2yds didn't really allow for long enough straps, in my opinion. I also used ric rac that was about 1 in (b/c that's as close as I could find to 3/4in) and it makes the bags more difficult to pull closed. I will def try to find 3/4" trim that I like next time – just easier for little ones to pull closed. What a great project and EASY!! Super fun and cute. Thanks again!

Edie Plummer

After my daughter showed me this pattern, I made a slightly larger version for my Middle School Granddaughter and her friends. I showed the backpack to my charity sewing group. We have currently made over 150 bags that have been taken to Mexico, Africa. We are now making more that will go to local missions, homeless shelters and other agencies that need something other than plastic bags for their possessions. We use donated materials with the only cost being our time. What a great place….Wish I had the internet when my kids were small.


This is such a great story! Thank you so much for doing what you do, and for sharing it with us!


K – finally made – Had a little trouble closing with the ric rac, too – trying ribbon or something smoother, too – used a pillowcase – can two out of one! love, love, love. Perfect size for a change of clothes and a snack or special toy/lovie for preschool or day out. or a few diapers. Thanks!

Little Ivy » Blog Archive » Sling backpack

[…] Last week I decided it was finally time to make Mae a little backpack to take to childcare. Up until now she had been using the bag that I normally use when I ride to work. I wanted something quick and easy (that I could make while Mae had a nap) and something that only used things out of the cupboard…Β  There are loads of patterns on the internet, they are all quite similar and have pictures which makes life easy (the one I mainly followed can be found here). […]


The tutorial is great! Thanks so much. Used the instructions to make birthday party favor backpacks too, as a previous poster did. The tip for making the backpacks with a flat bottom was very well thought out and definitely adds to the look and functionality of them! I found the yard length for the cording the perfect size for my toddler.

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‘Get the full DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial after the jump…’ takes me to a 404 page not found. Is the link still correct? Thanks

Annette S.

This is just perfect!!! I’ll be making at least 5 of these. Thank you for posting!! Love it!!


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