Beginner Drawstring Backpack



Introduction: Beginner Drawstring Backpack

About: Your local sugar loving teenager.

This is my first big-ish sewing project.

I've always wanted to learn how to machine sew. Hand sewing is great and all, but my goal is to make my own clothes someday, and that's easier on a machine. I had been working on learning how to use my mom's sewing machine (it was my grandmother's before her, so it's probably 50 years old or something) for a bit now and wanted to try something basic but useful. My internet search ended in some sort of bag, and a drawstring one seemed best for my use.

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on how to make this (1, 2, 3), and ended up kinda doing my own thing because I didn't like any specific pattern. The bag didn't turn out perfect, but I think it's pretty great for a first try.

Let's get started!

Step 1: You Will Need:


  • 2 18x18 square pieces of fabric. You can use pretty much anything you like so long as it's thin enough for the cord to pass through and thick enough to hold items.
  • 2 pieces 1-yard long paracord or other cord. (Ex: ribbons, rope, piping)


  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Safety pin or tape.

Step 2: Iron Down Edges

With the side you don't want showing up, iron down the edge you want to be the top 1/4 inch. Then iron the edge down another inch. Do this on both squares.

Step 3: Sew Edges

On both squares, sew along the side you folded down with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step 4: Pin!

With the sides you want showing together, pin the edges.

Step 5: Sew Edges.

Sew along where the pins are on all sides but the top with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end. Make sure not to go over the folded part is, you need it open for the string.

Step 6: Ropify!

Take your paracord/rope and either tape or attach a safety pin to it. This will help you guide it through the hole. I found it was best if I did both, to prevent fraying and help guide it through better.

There should be some holes at the top where you sewed the folded part earlier. Push your rope through one of the holes and loop it around until it loops out of the hole next to it. It should have made a full circle around the hole thing. Pull the string so that one end is super long and the other end is only 1.5 inches long. I had to tape the short end to the fabric so it stayed. Do this on the other side's openings as well.

Step 7: Sew Down the Straps!

Sew the short end into the fabric at the top and the long end to the bottom. Test it to make sure the string pulls it closed.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 8: Yay! Backpack!

Your backpack should work now!

I had issues with my paracord coming off, but after I resewed the paracord it was fine.

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