Introduction: Drawstring Bag for Boardgame Pieces (or Anything You Can Think Of)

My friends and I absolutely love playing boardgames! Some of the games we play require to randomly draw items such as tiles or dice, or have several small parts per player. To keep these items together, I like to have them in a nice drawstring bag, the included lining adds a luxurious feel. Of course, no-one keeps you from using these bags for other purposes, they make great gift bags too!

The design is pretty easy, only requires straight stitching and can be done by a complete beginner in about an hour. If you have never sewn before, make sure to take a look at the machine sewing class first, you'll be able to make this after the third lesson already.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how I made some bags for the game Root as a birthday gift for a friend.


  • nice fabric (I used 100% cotton, bonus points if it matches the theme of the boardgame you're making it for)
  • lining fabric
  • matching thread (or contrasting, if that's what you want)
  • rope or ribbon
  • a chopstick (a pencil might work as well)
  • standard sewing supplies: sewing machine, pins, chalk, fabric scissors, seam ripper, iron,...
  • optionally you can use a serger for finishing the edges. I don't own one, so I will not show this step in this instructable.

Step 1: Decide the Size of the Bag

Before you start cutting, decide how big you want your bag to be. I made mine around 15 x 20 cm. The amount of fabric you'll need depends on this, you'll need a rectangle of lining that is 1.5 cm wider than the bag and that is 3cm shorter than double your bag height. From the fabric, you will need a rectangle that is again 1.5cm wider than the bag and 2 times as long + 6 cm.

This means that for a bag of 15cmx20cm, you need 16.5 x 37 cm of lining and 16.5 x 46 cm of fabric.

Step 2: Cut the Fabric

Now that you calculated how big your rectangles should be, it is time to cut them! If your fabric has a pattern, make sure to cut the rectangles in the right direction.

If your fabric has a pattern that has a clear top and bottom, you will need to cut the rectangle in 2 halves and sew them together with one pattern being upside down, cut them a bit longer in this case for extra seam allowance. Otherwise, your bag will be looking good at one side, while the other side has the pattern upside down.

Step 3: Sew the Lining to the Fabric

Place your fabric and lining on top of each other, matching the ends, with the right sides facing each other. Pin them together and stitch over the complete width of the bag. Don't forget to always sew back and forth a few times at the start and the end to make sure your stitches stay in place.

Now match the other end of the fabric and lining, pin them together and stitch, similar to what you did before. If you did it right, you should have a ring of fabric and lining.

Take your iron and press your seams flat and open. Next, lay the fabric on your ironing board such that the lining is on top. Fold in two such that both seams you just stitched are on top of each other. It is normal that a cm or two of the nice fabric is showing at the inside, this is where the drawstring will go. Iron and press the bag flat. Notice how your bag is already coming together nicely?

Step 4: Sew the Sides of Your Bag

Place your bag such that the right sides of the nice fabric are on top of each other, and pin the edges together, then do the same for the lining.

Start with sewing the edges of the nice fabric, but don't sew completely through to the seam, stop at the crease that you made by ironing. This should be about 2 cm from the seam.

Next up, sew the sides of the lining together. You can stitch one side completely from seam to the end, but for the second edge, stop 5cm before you hit the end of the bag.

Your bag is now inside out, but you can push everything through the hole you just left open to turn it right. A chopstick can help you here if needed. Once you did this, you can sew this hole closed, make sure to stitch as close as possible to the edge.

Step 5: Make a Compartment for the Drawstring

You already have a nice looking bag at this point, but to keep the drawstring in place, you will need to make one more stich. Perhaps the most difficult one, depending on the size of your bag.

Push the lining in the bag as far as you can, such that again, a few cm of your nice fabric (the part where the edges were not sewn) are at the inside. Stich all around on the seam between the nice fabric and lining. Make sure to do this carefully, as this seam will be visible at the outside.

You did your final sewing step! Ready to add the drawstring?

Step 6: Add the Drawstring

At both sides of the bag, you have a hole where you can enter the drawstring. Choose one and use your chopstick to put it in all the way. What worked for me, was to fold the rope around the chopstick and then push it through.

Put a knot at the ends of your rope/ribbon and you are ready to go!

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