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Drawstring Backpack {Sewing Tutorial}

Posted by  ·  October 11, 2018  ·  Last Updated: October 11, 2018

This drawstring backpack is what Bella and I have been sewing. It looks like a lot of steps but it really does go together quickly and is an easy kids sewing project. You will find it is easier than you think to make one of those string backpacks with this backpack pattern.

drawstring backpack pattern

It has some similar techniques as my reversible tote bag tutorial. It is a good beginner sewing project for kids.  Sharing the gift of sewing is amazing. Don’t miss the Kids Sewing Series. I have tried to have some fun simple sewing projects to get you started.

Drawstring Backpack Supplies

This little drawstring backpack goes together

  • two fat quarters (each measures 18″ X 22″), some
  • cording (found mine at Lowe’s) and a
  • grommet kit. We used a 7/16″ inch grommet. If you used a smaller cord, a smaller grommet might be needed.
    drawstring backpack supplies

Drawstring Backpack Pattern

Fold each piece of fabric so it measures 11″ X 18″.

drawstring backpack tutorial 1

Cut along the fold so you have four pieces each measuring 11″ X 18″.

drawstring backpack 2

Cut a 3 inch strip off the top of each piece (3″ x 11″).

drawstring backpack 3

Cut one inch off each of your 3″ wide pieces (3″ x 10″).

drawstring backpack 4

Mix the  3″ X 10″ pieces up! So you have one of each kind. So we have a dot and a flower. Place right sides together.

drawstring backpack tutorial 5

Sew along one side, across the top, and down the other side — leave the bottom open. Repeat for other piece.

drawstring backpack tutorial 6

Trim corners.

drawstring backpack tutorial 7

Turn and press.

drawstring backpack tutorial 8

Press each piece in half. Make sure to line edges up neatly.

drawstring backpack tutorial 9

Center one folded piece along the top of each fabric piece. Make sure the folded edge is facing down and top edges match nicely. Machine baste (longest stitch you can make on your sewing machine) along the top to keep it in place.

drawstring backpack tutorial 10

Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together.

drawstring backpack tutorial 11

Sew down one side, across the bottom and up the other side. Leave the top completely open.

drawstring backpack tutorial 12

Place the other two fabric pieces right sides together. Sew down one side, across the bottom LEAVE A 3 INCH OPENING in the bottom middle,  then continue sewing along the bottom and up the other side. Leave the top completely open.

drawstring backpack tutorial 13

Turn the pieces, with the folded piece sewn at the top in, right side out. Slip it inside the other piece. Rights sides will be together.

drawstring backpack tutorial 13

Sew all the way around the top.  This is easiest if your sewing machine has a free arm. Otherwise just go slowly. Make sure edges along the top match.

drawstring backpack tutorial 15

Turn the whole thing right side through the 3″ opening that was left open at the bottom.

drawstring backpack tutorial 14

Sew the hole shut and push the lining into the bag.

drawstring backpack tutorial 16

At each bottom corner measure up 1 inch and over 1 inch and mark.

drawstring backpack tutorial 17

Cut a hole through all layers of fabric the size of the grommet. Read package directions. I did this part for Bella.

drawstring backpack tutorial 17

Place large grommet up through the hole.

drawstring backpack tutorial 18

Place ring on the other side over the grommet.

drawstring backpack tutorial 19

Place black plastic piece under the large grommet and the tool through to top ring and firmly hammer.

drawstring backpack tutorial 20

Feed 68 inches of cording through the top pockets. Next, feed another 68 inches of cording through the pocket but go the opposite direction.

drawstring backpack tutorial 21

Bring the cording through the grommet and tie with a knot. Repeat for the other side.

lined drawstring back pack

Tadah! A useful drawstring backpack that is fully lined!

More fun things to sew!

Once you have made your drawstring backpack check out these beginning sewing projects perfect for sewing with kids. We especially love the sewing sheets!

Print and Sew Teddy Bear Sewing Pattern

teddy bear pattern sewing project for kids

Practice sewing sheets

kids sewing projects

How to sew a headband

how to sew a headband kids sewing project girl with headband

How to sew a bookmark

how to sew a bookmark

How to sew a pillow

child holding diy pillow

Easy Tote for kids to sew

tote bag for kids to sew

Leave a Comment


  1. Jessica
    Sunday, March 17th, 2019
    Thank you. This was so neat and easy to do. I even was able to add inside pockets to mine.
  2. Denise Vasecka
    Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
    This is perfect - my grandson's birthday is next week and I promised him an ammo bag for his nerf bullets! It will be camo and Pokemon fabric...his choices! Lol!
  3. Thursday, October 11th, 2018
    This is so cute! I want to try making one for my kids!

  4. Urška
    Monday, August 28th, 2017
    This is the best tutorial so far and I did quite a research. Thank you so much! :)
  5. Lindsey
    Saturday, September 24th, 2016
    This is a great tutorial. I have made several, similar backpacks from a different site, and this one is hands down quicker, easier and with a significantly better result. Thank you!
  6. Laura Dunmyer
    Thursday, July 7th, 2016
    Thank you! I just made 2 of these. What a great tutorial!!
  7. Becca
    Thursday, March 3rd, 2016
    I love this tutorial!! Thank you for posting it. I made a paw patrol bag for my 5 year old son today, and he loves it. It was so much easier than I thought it was going to be. I can't wait to make more of these. Definitely bookmarking your website.
    • Cindy
      Thursday, October 11th, 2018
      Thanks so much Becca!
  8. Jenn
    Monday, January 25th, 2016
    Nevermind, I stripped the stitches and found that my machine had an arm. All fixed! Awesome tutorial.
  9. Jenn
    Monday, January 25th, 2016
    Help! I got to the part where you push all the fabric through the 3" hole ("Sew the hole shut and push the lining into the bag"), but when I pushed the fabric through, there was nowhere to put the lining as everything was sewn shut. I have read and reread the instructions but I can't figure out where I've gone wrong.
    • Cindy
      Thursday, October 11th, 2018
      You turn the entire bag right side out throught the 3"inch hole.
      Turn the whole thing right side through the 3" opening that was left open at the bottom.
      You will have a longish piece of fabric (see photo)
      Then stitch that opening closed (by hand or machine)
      Next, you push the lining inside the bag. I hope this helps
  10. Dani
    Sunday, January 4th, 2015
    Hi! i was sewing this project but i'm stuck on the part where you attach the lining to the outer part. Please help!
  11. Melissa
    Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
    Made one for each of my boys today. They turned out great! Thank you for this tutorial.
  12. Kris
    Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
    Hi! Do you think button holes would work in place of grommets?
    • Cindy
      Thursday, October 11th, 2018
      Yes, Kris I have seen it done that way. You can also sew tabs (a casing like at the top) that stick out on each side.... or sew the string into the sides of the bag.
  13. Boo rodrigues
    Saturday, March 29th, 2014
    This is fantastic, i am going to use this with my textiles class. Thanks for the step by step guide and the pics.
  14. kd
    Thursday, December 5th, 2013
    terrific! just finished one and I love it Merci
  15. barbara
    Saturday, November 30th, 2013
    Just what I was looking for! Love that this backpack is lined, and love the contrast trim cord pockets. Just a couple of questions: What size seam allowance do you use? I made these with a 1/4" seam allowance, and they came out great, but I didn't see where the seam allowance is indicated. Also, I was able to figure out that the cord "pockets" should have the contrast fabric facing to the outside when folded and that they need to be attached to the exterior fabric, but it wasn't immediately clear to me. Did I miss something? The photos were a huge help!

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I am grateful that you shared your time and skill.
  16. Karen
    Thursday, November 28th, 2013
    Thanks heaps.... just what I was looking for... gotta love the internet!
  17. Deanna
    Friday, November 22nd, 2013
    Anjee, Grommets can also be found at fabric stores. The most common brand found there is Dritz.
  18. Anjee
    Saturday, November 9th, 2013
    Hi. Well I wanted to ask that is there any option if I can't find those grommet nearby where I live?
  19. Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
    The such as you examine my head! You seem to realize so much approximately this kind of, such as you wrote the hem ebook from it or something like that. I'm that one could make use of a few percentage to be able to tension the solution household a bit, however as an alternative to which, this can be wonderful website. A fantastic study. I most certainly will undoubtedly come back.
  20. Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
    These looks so easy to make and are adorable. I have three girls who would love to make one!
  21. Bridget
    Friday, September 13th, 2013
    We have been making your lined tote bag since we saw the tutorial 4 years ago. We have made a LOT of them for birthday presents. I was just telling my friend I need to find a pattern for one of those draw sting backpacks that are so popular. Thank you so mush for taking the time to share your knowledge with all of us. I just love your blog.