Making a drawstring backpack is a cinch. I happened to also have a portable solar panel, so I added that on too. At the time of creation, there were already some cool instructables of similar drawstring backpacks. Check out a few backpacks here: lined w/ pocket, out of a shirt, out of duct tape, reversible.
- Cloth - I recommend at least 17" by 38" (43cm x 97cm)
- String - I used nylon paracord
- Grommets - 2 of them. They should be big enough for the string to go through twice
- Either sewing machine or needle, thread, and patience
- (Optional) A hole punch or awl
Step 1: Cut It Out
You want to cut your fabric into a rectangle. I was surprised at how large the cutout looks compared to the end bag, so err on the side of too big. For this bag I cut 17" by 38" (43cm x 97cm) out of a curtain material.
Really though, you could add width in the middle for a flared bottom, or at the top and bottom for a wide mouth.....just keep it symmetric.
Step 2: Make a Sleeve for the Drawstring
The drawstring will need a sleeve or tunnel to go through at the top of the bag. On the two shorter sides (the 17" sides) fold over about an inch of material. Make enough space for the drawstring to go through twice.
Sew down the inside edge.
Here are some instructables on sewing.
Step 3: Sew Up the Sides
Fold the fabric in half short-ways, so it looks more like a square. You want it to be inside-out so that the stitching ends up hidden on the inside.
Sew up the two sides. Stop sewing before you get to the sleeve. We don't want to close off our lovely little tunnels.
Flip it right-side-out. Starting to look like a bag....
Step 4: Add the String
Your string should be long enough to go from the bottom corner up to the top, across the top, and all the way back with just a hint of slack. Mine were about 88" (2.2 meters). Cut two of those lengths. If you're using nylon, melt the ends of the strings so they do not fray. Be not a-frayed!
Feed a string through the top sleeve, then turn around and bring the same one back through the other sleeve. Repeat with your second string but starting from the other side and in the opposite direction.
Step 5: Secure the Strings
Punch a hole in the bottom two corners with either a hole punch, awl, or scissors. Awl, yeah.
Add grommets. Here is an instructable on how to add grommets.
Feed one end of a string through the grommet. Tie an overhand knot (the simplest one you can think of) around the other end of the same string.
Feed the second end through the grommet and tie an overhand knot around the first end. It's okay if they slide and tighten around the grommet. There are many other knots you could use here, feel free to suggest some! However you do want the knot to stay at the bottom.
Repeat with the other string and grommet.
Step 6: Accessorize
Yeay! You have a cinch sack!
At this point, it's yours to accessorize. I happened to have a portable solar panel - complements of my local electronics recycler - similar to this one. I sewed the panel on in 4 places with a needle and thread.
And there you have it. A sack for your back.