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

Want to make your sewing project more personal? Try these easy applique monograms with free printable letters.

My Favorite Sewing Tools

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  1. Great pattern. But why sew 3 sides of casing, since both long sides will be contained in to seam? Just wondering

  2. I’m trying this with my daughter for her first sewing project. The instructions were clear until it came to the cording. ‘Some’ cording is not specific. Then 68 inches of cording, twice, so I got two strands of 68 inches. Having trouble threading it correctly to get it to scrunch the bag closed. Having to find a different tutorial to figure it out.

  3. Your model is cute as a button! Thanks for the great patterns and tutorials.

  4. Thank you. This was so neat and easy to do. I even was able to add inside pockets to mine.

  5. 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!

  6. Jenn,
    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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

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