How to Make a Drawstring Backpack


A drawstring backpack is a quick and simple sewing project that even a beginning sewer can complete. They make great bags for kids or adults.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric (about 1/2 yard)
  • Cording (3 yards, cut into two pieces)
  • D Rings (2)
  • Thread
  • Rick rack, ribbons, or appliqué (optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Select a fabric for your backpack. Consider the intended purpose for the backpack when picking a fabric. Heavier fabrics such as denim, corduroy, or twill are the best choices for a backpack that's frequently in use or for heavy items.

  • Buy fabric for a medium-sized backpack for a child, about 40 by 15 inches. Use larger or smaller pieces depending on the size needed for the finished product. Purchase extra fabric for the casing and loops.

  • Pick material for cording for the backpack straps. Select a cording at least 1/4 inch in diameter. For greater comfort and wear, select heavier weight cording.

  • Prepare D-ring loops. Fold the body fabric in half with the wrong side of the fabric out. Insert the D-ring loops between the pieces of body fabric.

  • Sew the sides of the backpack and attach the casing.

  • Turn the backpack so the right side of the fabric is out. Lay the backpack down and insert the cording into the front casing from right to left, then into the back casing from left to right. Run one end through the D-ring on the left side and tie.

  • Insert the other piece of cording into the front casing from left to right, then into the back casing from right to left and finally through the D-ring on the right side and tie.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read washing instructions for fabric before buying, and stay away from slick fabrics that might be more difficult to sew if you're a novice to sewing.
  • Strengthen the body of the backpack by duplicating the seams that hold the body to itself, and the seams by which the casing is connected. Use a straight stitch for strength, or a zig-zag stitch to help keep raw edges from fraying during use.
  • Decorate the backpack by adding rick rack, ribbons or appliqué to the outside of the backpack.
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