How To Make A Drawstring Bag

See how to make a drawstring bag. Use up your old scrap fabric and make these easy sew drawstring pouches - adding the sweet corner and casing details will make it unique - and it's so easy!! Scroll down for the free tutorial.
how to make a drawstring bag

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My kids were super happy when they caught a glimpse of my latest post package. They don't usually pay attention to my fabric, but hey, these were the dinosaur and fossil prints coming to our home! These are part of the Fossil Rim collection designed by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs, and I had left my kids pick their favorite prints. I myself couldn't have chosen better! I promised to make them a few treasure hunt pockets. Sewing time it was, immediately!

Check out a quick slide show for a few glimpses of these beautiful prints - and a bit on the drawstring bag how-to:


fabric for bags
The prints are all from the Riley Blake Designs' Fossil Rim collection (you can buy them here).

These drawstring bags are so practical for anything you can think of: diy treasure pouches, bags to store tiny items, school pouches for art accessories (like those crayons that never stay in the original box? Or sharpies scattered all around the school bag?) These are perfect to store produce from your garden, too! Oh, and please remind me to get me some calico to make bread bags.
three diy drawstring bags

This time, I've made treasure pouches for little explorers. And I'm hoping my little dinosaur explorers will be happy to keep their tiny dinos neatly tucked into these diy drawstring bags. 
diy drawstring bag with corner accents

If you like this post, you'll want to see these too:

Now, on to the diy draw string bag: the first batch I made were 8" tall and 7" wide (that would be 18 x 21 cm). They are wide enough so all the little treasures can be easily spotted.

How To Make A Drawstring Bag


  • exterior, lining and accent fabric: less than a fat quarter altogether (you can use scraps, see measurements below)
  • optional: light-to-medium interfacing like Pellon SF101 Shape Flex or Vilene G700 if you want to add stability
  • twine, ribbon or cord (1 yard/metre per bag)

Cutting Directions

  1. Cut from outer fabric: For bag EXTERIOR: 12 1/2" by 7 1/2" (1 piece)
  2. Cut from lining fabric: For bag LINING: 10 1/2" by 7 1/2" (2 pieces)
  3. Cut from accent fabric
    1. For CASING: 6 1/2" by 2 1/2" (2 pieces) 
    2. For CORNER accents: 4" by 4" (1 piece) - cut diagonally into 2 triangles
how to make a drawstring bag

Instead of accent fabric, you can also use lining fabric. This diy drawstring bag can be made with anything from 1 up to 5 different fabric prints.

Sewing Steps:

  1. Start with the corner accents: turn under the two SHORTER edges of each triangle by 3/8" (1 cm) and press, notching the corner a bit to make a clean corner.
    how to make a drawstring bag
  2. Take your outer piece and fold it in half crosswise (not lengthwise!), then press to get the center crease. Make sure to keep the width of 7 1/2"! The folded rectangle will measure 6 1/4" by 7 1/2". 
    how to make a drawstring bag
  3. Unfold and place the corner accents on the fold line, using the center crease as guide for placing: place the triangles so the long edge (the one NOT turned under) is aligned with the sides. Topstitch over the turned-under edges, attaching the corner accents to the outer fabric.
    how to make a drawstring bag
  4. Now take the two casing pieces (each 2 1/2" by 6 1/2") and hem the short sides, turning them under by 1/4" and stitching. You'll get this:
    how to sew casing for drawstring bag
  5. Fold them lengthwise wrong sides together and press.
  6. Grab the outer piece and place it on a flat surface right side up, then place one casing piece (folded WST) with the raw edges aligned with the top, and then place one lining piece on top, the raw edge aligned.
    how to make a drawstring bag
  7. Pin and stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. 
    how to make a drawstring bag
  8. Repeat on the opposite edge of the outer fabric piece: place the outer piece right-side-up, then place casing on it, plus the other lining piece stacked right-side-down on top. Pin and stitch, again using a 1/4" seam allowance. 
    how to make a drawstring bag
  9. This is what you get - all pieces assembled: 
    diy draw string bag
  10.  Fold in half, right-sides-together. Stitch along the sides, leaving a few inches in the bottom of lining, like this: 
    how to make a drawstring bag
  11. Turn right side out, close the turning hole and press. 
    how to sew a drawstring bag
    When done, I usually bury the thread ends. Here's a popular how-to that can help you with neat seam finishing:

    How To Finish Seam The Neat Way

    How To Finish Seam The Neat Way
  12. Tuck the lining in - since it's longer, 2 inches will peek out, making the drawstring bag look so much nicer! (This is the feature I love most!) Feel free to topstitch the top edge for even a neater finish. 
  13. Cut the cord into two pieces of 20" (50 cm) or a bit less and use a safety pin or a bodkin to guide the first cord through the entire drawstring casing. Both ends of the cord will come out of the same opening. Knot the ends of the drawstring or tie them together to prevent them from slipping through again. Repeat with the second cord and the second opening: 
    diy draw string bag
  14. Your diy draw string bag is finished! Fill it with goodies - or fossil stones and tiny dinosaurs - and go play!
    how to sew a drawstring bag
I couldn't stop at one, so I made a few more. Such a fun project!

I will probably need to make two bigger ones for the bigger dinosaurs too, and since these cute bags are so easy to enlarge, no problem. I love all and any excuses to sew, and sometimes easy projects are so therapeutic!

Hoping you've enjoyed my tutorial. If you want to, check out more stuff I've got to sew, on the Free tutorials page here.

Make sure to save this tutorial for later:
how to sew a drawstring bag

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kids wallet sewing pattern
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Sew up the Kalina, clip it to your kid's backpack and they will never lose their lunch money again!


  1. So cute, Love to make these soon. They would make a cute bag for kids in hospital that I do quilts for.

  2. Great pattern and I love the way the lining ‘pops’ up but I’d like to make some larger ones; old age. I can work out dimensions for width but for the life of me I can’t work out the length of the lining pieces. I would like to make them approximately 9.5-10” finished

    1. nanajan hi,
      I can't find my drafts, so I did the calculation again, hope it works :) For a 10" tall drawstring bag, your outer piece should be 16 1/2 inch tall, and each of the 2 lining pieces should be 12 1/2 inch. width is easy: just instead of using the 7 1/2 inch width for all the pieces, I'd probably use 2 inches larger, that would be 9 1/2 inch. Hope this helps, and I'd love to see your pouches when you finish them!

      xoxo, Damjana

  3. Where can I send the photos?

    1. Hi,
      do you use Facebook? You can post anything you've made in our FB group! We're a friendly, creative bunch of people, join in! Here:

      Alternatively, feel free to send them ot me to
      Can't wait to see what you sew! Thanks,