How To Make A Drawstring Backpack (DIY Sewing Guide)
Making your own drawstring backpack is one of the best beginner craft projects. Everyone sometimes needs a simple pack for small items. This article provides fundamental steps/tips to make your own drawstring backpacks with the right size and look for anyone.
A drawstring backpack, aka cinch sack or cinch bag, is a backpack with a cord-tightened closure to its main compartment. The cinch design works well in a variety of situations:
*Note, however, that most cinch sacks cannot handle large, heavy, or oddly-shaped items. Furthermore, the uneven weight balance and thin straps of drawstring backpacks are not best for those prone to shoulder or back pain; perhaps consider a sling backpack instead.
Types of Drawstring Backpacks (& Materials)
This is a sturdy but forgiving fabric that gives a rustic look. However, it is not water-resistant.
Because of its familiarity, this is a beginners’ favorite. However, beware that thin cotton fabrics (such as T-shirt fabric) tend to give a lot, which makes them harder to work with. Also, it does not offer much water resistance.
This is harder to work with as a crafting fabric, but it does give added durability and water resistance.
This is the most breathable option, so it is great for a gym sack, to prevent odor build-up.
This is the most common fabric in manufactured backpacks—it is lightweight, durable, and water-resistant. Unsurprisingly, it also lends itself to customizations and additions such as logos, appliques, and pockets.
This is another common fabric in backpack manufacture. It is strong, water-resistant, and easy to work with. However, it is not breathable, so not best for athletic use.
How much fabric you need really depends on the size of the person for whom you are making the drawstring pack. Adult packs usually require at least two rectangular pieces of about 18 by 16 inches; if you want to make an internal lining, you need this much of the liner fabric, too.
How to Make a Drawstring Backpack (Beginners Guide)
Measuring, cutting, and preparing materials
Making a simple drawstring bag with a sewing machine:
- 1Hem, about ¼-inch, both long sides and one short side of both rectangles of fabric (The unhemmed side will be the drawstring top.)
- 2For extra designs, refer to the next section before continuing.
- 3Fold the top unsewn side down by ½-inch, then fold that down about 2 inches. Sew the fold in place. (This is the casing for the drawstring)
- 4Finally, sew the two rectangular pieces together, so the interior sides are exposed, leaving about ½-inch margin, avoiding the top fold/drawstring casing. (You will turn this inside out for the finished product.)
- 5String one cord through the entire length of the casing—with help from a safety pin attached to the end—so that it comes out on the same side of the bag where it started. Repeat this step with the other cord, on the opposite side.
- 6If you just want to string the cord through the base of the sack to make back straps, all you have to do is make a small break in the stitching and pull the cord through; then, make a knot in the cord and add some stitches to reinforce the opening. Alternatively, if you would rather make the back straps by running the cord through reinforced holes (grommets) in the bottom side of the bag, see “Grommets” below.
Children especially enjoy personalization; they might want to get involved in choosing, or even making, special add-ons.
Generally, it works best to add customizations to the desired exterior or interior piece before sewing the body of the sack together—avoiding the very top or bottom areas.
You will need:
Grommets (Use included instructions.)
Ideally, install in a lined drawstring backpack for more reinforcement. However, you can also just add in reinforcement where you plan to put the grommet.
When making a grommet hole, think small, since the fabric must stretch around the grommet.
Other Fun Drawstring Backpack Tutorials
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do you restring a drawstring bag?
Change the look of your bag by using alternatives like ribbon or fabric strips sewn together. Sever the knot or adhesion at the end of the back strap portion and pull the cords out of the casing. String the new material through, as you did originally, then tie off/adhere the ends.
How can you make a drawstring backpack purse?
These can double as purses. However, most homemade drawstring packs have a casual or craft look, which might not fit some situations. For a purse replacement, consider a deep color with a discreet design.
Can you wash drawstring bags?
Most can be machine washed but use a gentle cycle, with settings suitable for the fabric.
Making your own drawstring backpack gives you the power to make yourself—as well as your children, family members, and friends—a useful and meaningful gift. You can even put logos, images, or messages on your drawstring backpacks to promote businesses, organizations, or causes.