SUPER EASY DIY {Drawstring Bag – Backpack Pattern}

When you are a kid, you have a million things to do with your hands. The way a lady carries her handbag, wrapped around her hands (even though there is close to nothing in that bag) looks beautiful. But this is not how a kid perceives his bag should be.

For him the bag should be functional but out of sight and out of hands and light enough. Here is where the drawstring backpack bag comes to be of  use; it carries many things and is totally hands-free.

This bag is one of the easiest bags you can ever make. If you have readymade drawstrings all the more easier. If you donot have the nylon cords you can use as drawstrings or you would rather make them yourself, check out the post on the easy way to make thin fabric tubes – you can make them with colour coordinated fabric pieces.

Pattern pieces

easy backpack pattern

2 Bag pieces (+ 2 identical lining pieces if using): Cut  2 rectangle piece of fabric 15 inch by 13 inch ( for small drawstring backpack bag) 17 inch by 15 inch (for a bigger version of the backpack bag); for a more square and bigger shape cut 20 inch square pieces.

As I am using a synthetic silk fabric which is rather thin I have decided to add an underlining – cut same pattern pieces as earlier. These are kept under the main pieces and treated as one.

2 Loops : Cut 2 small pieces of fabric 3.5  inch by 2 inch

2 Drawstrings: Cut drawstring  – two pieces of 60- 65 inches long

How to stitch the Drawstring Backpack

Step 1

Prepare the loops

Make small loops from the 3.5 inch(length of loop) by 2-inch pieces by folding it into spaghetti strap fold (double folded bias tape kind of fold)  and stitching in place. 

Keep aside the finished two pieces

Step 2

Make any embellishment you want on the top fabric for the bag or leave it plain.Your choice. You can add a pocket or make applique work or do embroidery.

I have decided to add a small fake leather applique patch- just cut the fake leather and stitch in place

I took the fake leather; cut a small circle from it with a template ( I used a glass) and then folded it twice, marked the star shape as in the picture, cut it out; the star applique piece is ready.


Keep the applique patch on the fabric and stitch in place, on the top bag piece.(Check out the post on making other types of applique patches)

Step 3

Prepare the casing for the drawstring on the top edge of the bag pieces.

Turn the side fabric edges of the bag pieces 1/4 inches to the back of the fabric ; press in place.

backpack pattern

Now turn under the top edge of these pieces  1/4 inch first and then Turn again 1/2 inch. Stitch in place. This is made as a casing for the drawstring.

Do this for the two bag pieces.

diy drawstring bag

Cut open the seam allowance from under the turned under casing.

Step 4

Keep the top bag piece right side up. Fold the two fabric loop pieces you have made by half and Keep the loops to the inside some 1.5 inches from the bottom edge .

Pin the loop in place or baste stitch in place

Step 5

Now Keep the other bag piece right-side down on the rightside up bag piece with the loops. Now the two fabric pieces for the bag will be right sides together ( ensure that top edges are aligning correctly)

diy drawstring backpack pattern

You have to stitch the side seams of the bag ( red line in the picture indicates stitching line

When stitching make sure that loop is correctly held in place and it is included in the stitching of the side seams

You should do double stitching lines ( or more) so that the loops are secure

Turn the bag right-side out. The bag piece is ready

Step 4

You have two pieces of drawstring of about 60 – 65  inches long

Thread the drawstring each through one of the top edge casings with a safety pin. ( Both the back and front get one drawstring each)

stitch easy drawstring bag

Step 5

Now thread the drawstring  ( either of the two drawstrings) through the loops on either side

Tie the loose ends of the drawstring.The knot should be extra strong. You donot want the knot coming loose under the weight of things in the backpack later.

Do this for the other side as well. 

diy drawstring backpack

You have the easiest drawstring backpack ready.

back pack drawstring bag DIY pattern


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