Posted by / 1/16/2013 / 13 Comments / ,

Drawstring Backpack DIY

My Mom and I took a trip to the fabric store and found these awesome fabric prints on sale so we grabbed a yard of each of them. I knew that Taylor would love them, so here's what I made her.
 Supplies: 1 yd Fabric (I used 2 different fabric prints but you can just use one if you like), 4 yds of cording.

1. Cut your fabric into 2 12"x32" pieces.

2. Place your 2 pieces right sides together and sew together the 2 12" sides giving it a 1/4" seam. This should make your 2 fabric pieces a loop.

3. Flip it right side out, and iron flat with the seams on the sides.
4. Now you need to create a "tube" on each end. Do this by stitching a line about 1" from each 12" side. 
5. Cut your cording into 2 2yd pieces.
6. Fold your bag in half with the 2 tubes on top.

7. Taking 1 end of 1 of your cording pieces, pin a safety pin onto the end (to help thread it through) and starting on the left, thread it through the back tube and then back through the front loop so that both ends of the cording are on the left side.

8. Repeat with your other piece of cording, but start from the right this time. Go through the back tube, then go through the front tube so that both ends of this piece of cording end up on the right.

9. Now to sew up the sides, you want your bag right sides together (inside out.). You want to have your straps on the inside of your bag, with just the 2 ends of the cording sticking out of the bottom corners of the bag. Pin them down.

10. Sew the sides, starting about 1" down from the top.

11. Flip right side out.
There's only one flaw in this tutorial, and that is that on the ends of the tubes, there is an unfinished edge. To fix this you will need to hem the sides before you do anything else.

I was sick with a cold when I created this bag so obviously my mind wasn't quite working right for me to plan far enough ahead to prevent the unfinished edges. Apparently I shouldn't sew when I'm sick, haha.
But even with just a couple of unfinished edges, I think this bag was a success! I made it for Taylor, so hope she likes it!
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  1. Wow! Really clear tutorial! I'll share your pictures and link back on a blog post this week if you don't mind. I love sharing tutorials with my readers. I let you know once it's live on my blog.

    Have a great day, Katie!

  2. You have always this great ideas! So simple, but nobody else thinks to do it!

  3. Thanks so much for your great tutorial. A few minutes ago I finished making my first string backpack. It made up very easily & quickly.

  4. After sewing down one side, I would fold down the fabric to make the top casing, then put right sides together to do the other side, stopping just below the casing. Thanks for posting because this backpack would be a lot cooler than a leather backpack for riding bicycle in Florida heat.

  5. After my fabric was cut, 32 inches seemed a little big. I just wanted to know, will it be that big after I finish making it?

    1. Hi Allison, it will be a bit smaller after the hems and seam allowances.

  6. This is so helpful. This is the first blog that I have found telling me how to do the drawstring from both sides. my husband and I are going to WDW in December and I am trying to make things like this for him so it is more personal and trying to save money as well. Thanks so much.

  7. Thanks for this simple tutorial! What I did for the casing hem was this - right before stitching the cord tubes (so I guess it would be step 3.5) I snipped in about 1/2 inch right below where the stitching would be. Then I folded the tub hem to the wrong side, pressed it down, and then stitched it down. I did this on both sides, then went on to step 4. It worked perfectly. The other thing I would do if I could, is use pinking shears on the side seams so the inside looks prettier. But my pinking shears have apparently gone on vacation, so I just zigzagged down the side seams to neaten up those edges a bit.

    Thanks again! This was fun! (By the way, it took me less than an hour to make one for a gift. Whoohoo!)


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About Me

Hi, Welcome to my blog!

I'm Katie, the artist behind the blog Punk Projects. I love everything crafty, I drink tea all day long, I'm a bit of a nerd, and I usually have ink or paint on my hands.

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