Make a DRAWSTRING POUCH – Free DIY pattern & tutorial

A drawstring pouch is one of the most useful of all bags – I admit, it is not the most fashionable. But you will not argue with its functionality. So many uses for it – make a couple and you can use it to store anything; keeps shoes separate and safe, shove into the car trunk with whatever you want inside, or even use as a car waste bag, use as a laundry bag, use it to store underwear in the wardrobe, store toys, carry your sports gear to the nearby gym and even carry the gift you bought for your best friend – she can use the bag afterwards.

Such a versatile bag and easy to sew to boot.

Method 1 Make a small drawstring pouch

drawstring gift pouch

To make this super cute drawstring pouch, cut out net fabric (or any fabric – you also need a fray sealing product; Net does not fray at the cut edges). 8 inches by 12 inches.

Fold the top edge 1 1/2 inch to the inside and stitch in place

Make another stitching line some 1/2 inch up from the stitching line ( this makes a casing for inserting the drawstring/ribbon). The casing should be wide enough to take two pieces of the ribbon you have.I have taken 1/8 inch wide ribbon. If you have bigger ribbon you need more space.


Take 2 ribbon pieces/drawstring 15 inches long.

Insert both of the ribbon through the casing.You may use a bodkin or thick needle for this.

Fold the fabric piece right side to the inside.

Sew the two sides. Bottom and the side. Remember not to sew over the ribbon. 

Tie the ribbon ends to each other – one ribbon from one end is tied to the other ribbon from the other end.

Bring the pouch rightside out. Super simple drawstring pouch.

Method 2 Simplest drawstring pouch ever

To make a simple drawstring pouch cut a piece of fabric about 30 inches wide and 36 inches long.

How to sew this drawstring bag

Fold two short edges 1/4 inches to the back of the fabric and finger press. Stitch in place.

Fold the top edge 1/4 inches and finger press. Fold this edge again  1 1/2 inches to make a casing for the drawstring. Stitch this.

Now fold the fabric keeping the stitched short edges together. Sew the side till the casing bottom edge

Insert the fabric tube or cord through the casing with a safety pin. Stitch the ends of the string/cord/fabric tube together so that it never gets loose and gets out of the casing

Method 3 Multipocket drawstring pouch.

how to make a drawstring pouchThis DIY Drawstring pouch Pattern makes one of the most versatile bags. If you make it really big – there is no end to the things you can store in them. As a small pouch, It stores all those small nitty gritties you have which you wish stayed together enclosed somewhere till you absolutely need it – all of them stays organised in the little pockets in this bag; as a bonus you can carry it around . What more do you need from a bag.

This is a drawstring pattern with a round sturdy bottom ( not caving in like other drawstring bags). It has small pockets to keep your supplies or jewellery separate. And making the bag is very simple as you donot have to make these useful little pockets separately. Just a couple of seams to the bag lining and you have these handy pockets in your bag.

What are the materials you need to make this bag

  • Fabric – beautiful fabric you have lying around leftover from this wrap skirt project or that kimono jacket project. You can choose to make the outer bag and the pockets with the same material or different. I made this bag with about half meter cloth. 
  • Interfacing ( 4 small pieces would do for the buttonholes)
  • Silk cord or fabric tube ( Make your own fabric tubes using this tutorial to match your project fabric)
  • Fray check if you are using cording
  • Plastic or cardboard circle for bottom

How to sew a drawstring pouch

Step  1

make a drawstring purse

Cut 2 large circles and 2 small circles of fabric. You can cut these circles as big or small as you want , depending on the bag size, but both circles should be proportionate. Atleast 3-4 inch difference between the large circle and small circle are ideal. So here I have cut 2 numbers each of  17 inch large circles and 14 inch small circles

Cut the plastic or cardboard bottom. Divide the smaller circle diameter by 3. Round this figure. This is the diameter of your circle for the plastic or cardboard bottom. I will take a 5 inch circle here. 

Step 2


Keep one small circle on top of the larger one exactly in the middle( lining and main cloth seperately) . Outline the circle. Remove. On this line mark Mark a buttonhole of 1/2 inch anywhere on the periphery of the small circle. Mark another similar buttonhole opposite to the first one.

Mark this places on each of the large circle (lining and main fabric) exactly in the same place. Mark the outline of the small circle as well on the circle you mean as the inside piece. (this is for making a casing for drawstring later)

Make two buttonholes 1/2 inch long on both the large circle exactly in the same place. It is a good idea to use a thin interfacing on the place you are making the button hole. This buttonhole is going to get a lot of pulls so if it is not strong enough you are in trouble.

Step 3

Keep the two large circles right sides together. Pin in place. Sew around the edge, leaving a 1″ opening to turn
Do the same for the small circles.

Turn the two circles inside out ( right side out) press neatly especially edges. You now have a large circle and a small circle.

how to make a drawstring pouch

Step 4

Top stitch around the edges of the circles , effectively sewing the opening also closed.

Make a casing channel for the drawstring on the large circle by sewing circles passing through the  top and bottom edge of the buttonholes.( pic. above)

Step 5

Fold the small circle by half, then by half and then again by half. Press in place. You now have 8 sections to the circle. These will make the pockets.Mark with a chalk or pencil.

Step 6.

make a drawstring pouch

Keep the plastic circle in the center of the large circle. Place the small circle on top. Make a tailor’s tacks to keep them in place or pin. Make basting stitches around the plastic insert. Then use your sewing machine to sew around the plastic through all the layers.

Start stitching the pocket lines as well. From the top of the edge of the small circle to the edge of the plastic insert , on all the marked lines. When you have finished you will have 8 little pockets.

Step 7

Fold the fabric tube or string or cord you have by half. Cut it into two pieces.

Insert them each through the buttonholes, one string each through one side channel .

If you want you can add those nice little drawstring stoppers at the end as well. I would prefer to add them if I am not tying them together as they prevent accidental slipping of drawstring cords inside.( I have a tutorial to make these stoppers in my easy gift bag tutorial) . One advantage of tying the ends together is that, this  way you can carry them around by these drawstring handles.

I have stitched the fabric tubes together with the sewing machine.( hid the seams with a top stitch). If you are not using the drawstring stoppers you may want to finish the ends of the fabric tubes with a bead and some hand stitching .

make small pouch

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Make a drawstring backpack

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