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How to Make an Easy Drawstring Bag

Easy Drawstring Bag

It’s amazing what you can make with just a little fabric, thread and a piece of ribbon!  This easy drawstring bag is created from those simple things.  It’s a great way to give a gift or to carry pretty much anything.  If you’re a sewing beginner, this is a great project for you.  I’ve just started making a variety of drawstring bags, with different sizes and fabric prints to hold some holiday gifts.

How to Make an Easy Drawstring Bag

What I love about this bag is that it is super useful and easy to make.  Plus, you can personalize it for thoughtful gift giving by varying the fabric, the drawstring, adding embroidery, tags and even charms.  Today, we’ll just keep it simple.  You’ll need a needle and thread, or a sewing machine, thread, fabric and a drawstring of your choice.  I used a piece of ribbon.

drawstring fabric iron

Cut your fabric to 11 – 1/2″ long by 9 – 1/2″ wide.  You can adjust the length and width to fit whatever you want to carry.  Keep in mind that you’ll probably want to adjust the other measurements if you do that.

Fold down the top edge 4″.  Press with an iron.

drawstring channel bottom seam

Sew a straight stitch 1/4″ from the bottom edge of the fold, all the way across the fabric.  This is going to be the bottom of the drawstring channel.  (Where you place and pull your drawstring.)  Backstitch at the beginning and end.

drawstring channel close

Sew another straight stitch 1″ (or more) above the previous stitched line.  Remember to backstitch when you start and stop.  Those overlapping stitches keep your work from coming undone.

If you want to use a wider piece of ribbon, rope or fabric, you can adjust the distance from the first stitched line to this one.

drawstring channel

Fold your bag with right sides (pretty sides) together.  Pin in place.

bag sewing edge

Sew from the top of the bag to the top of the first drawstring channel.  (Don’t forget to backstitch.)  Stop.  Remove from the machine.  Sew starting at the bottom of the of the drawstring channel and continue sewing around the side and bottom of the bag.  Make sure you don’t sew the drawstring channel closed!

Just add the drawstring and you’re finished!

Or…you can give it boxed corners first.

Sewing Boxed Corners

boxed corner sewing machine

To sew boxed corners you pinch and pull the corner until the fabric makes a point.  You want to match the seams on top to the ones in the back.  Pinning will give you the best result, but I just went for it.  Sew a line about to 2″ to 2-1/2″ from the point.  Repeat to the other side of the bag, making sure to keep your measurements even on both sides.  For the best reinforcement, stitch over your initial line several times.  Backstitch at the beginning and end!

cut boxed corners

Clip off the corners, but don’t get too close to the stitches!

boxed bag bottom

You’ve got a boxed corner!  Ok, this one looks a little off, but still…  That’s why you should pin and measure.

Sewn Ribbon Drawstring

folded ribbon drawstring

I thought I had some cotton cording left from this project, which would have been perfect for my drawstring needs, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Sad.  All I had was a too wide piece of ribbon, so I folded it in half.  Pressed it and stitched it!  It was perfect!

pin ribbon drawstring

To thread your drawstring, stick a safety pin through one end of the drawstring and thread it through the drawstring channel.

drawstring flat bag

Here it is empty and open.

facebook drawstring

Full and cinched closed!

floral drawstring bag from the top

A super simple drawstring bag from the top!  Literally.

This bag is perfect for gift giving or for putting a few things in and hitting the road!

Let me know how your drawstring bag making goes!

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