DIY Drawstring Backpack

Learn how to make this beginner sewing project, the DIY Drawstring Backpack. 


post by Sara

Seriously, what kid doesn’t want a little backpack to carry around their found treasures, books, gum, lip balm (or lip chap as my daughter, Harper calls it) and little trinkets? My girl might have plenty of little purses and bags, but I could not resist making her a new special one for our summer adventures.

I am sharing an easy tutorial for a drawstring backpack for kids. I made her a drawstring bag for her snacks for school – I love how easy these bags are! Read more for the full tutorial…

supplies for drawstring backpack // on aliceandlois

DIY Drawstring Backpack Supplies

2 pieces of 12 x 15 in fabric

8 x 10 inches for outside pocket fabric

6 x 7 inside pocket fabric

2 pieces of 58 in of ribbon or cording


sewing machine


DIY Drawstring Bag Steps

Step 1 – Cut all fabric. 2 pieces of 12 x 15 cotton fabric (I used a striped heavier canvas) and inside pocket fabric 6 x 7 inches. Also cut a piece of fabric for the outside pocket (I used a scrap piece of heavy weight Amy Butler fabric), 8 x 10 inches.

Step 2 – Iron the edges in on the outside pocket and sew the sides and bottom on the front of bag. I used the selvage for the top of the pocket. If no selvage edge, fold down the top twice and sew before sewing the pocket onto the bag.

Step 3 – Sew the inside pocket on the other piece of fabric. Do the same technique to iron and sew 3 sides onto the bag.

Step 4 – Next iron down sides and bottom of backpack 1.4 inches. Sew along the 3 edges. Leave the top side raw.

Step 5 – For top of back pack, measure and mark 2 1/4 inches down. Fold down 1/4 in and again to meet the mark. Press and sew to close to create an opening for the ribbons.

Step 6 – Place right sides of fabric together. Sew together starting and ending below the openings on the top of backpack. Now inside out the bag. Now attach a safety pin to the end of the ribbon. Start threading it through the front right of bag and go around until you reach the starting point. Do the same for the second piece of ribbon but start on the front left side of opening.

Step 7 – Tie the ends of the ribbon together on each side in a knot. Next you need to make an opening on the bottom corners of the bag to attach the knotted ends of ribbon to create backpack straps. Inside out the bag, use a seam ripper to make the openings on the bottom (see picture).

Step 8 – Pull the knotted ends through the opening and sew using a zig zag stitch. Trim the ends of the ribbon and seal.

DIY-drawstring-backpack //

Simple Sewing Projects

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Don't be overwhelmed by the new (or old) sewing machine - these are some simple projects to practice your new sewing skills.



DIY drawstring backpack //

backpack.peach. DIY //

I hope your little one enjoys their new backpack as much as Harper does!

For more sewing DIYs try: rainbow T, baby bibs, girls fabric headbands.

Photos by Sara Albers for alice & lois design studios. All rights reserved.


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  1. This is so sweet! Absolutely going on my “to sew” list for my little man. Thanks!

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