I love drawstring bags, partly because they’re so easy to sew and partly because they’re so useful. Make them in any size from a tiny 10cm button or hair tie store to a large 70cm laundry bag.

Drawstring bags are a great beginner project for fabric printing because you just have to print two rectangles of fabric. Use plain white cotton fabric for test prints and make it into drawstring bags when there’s no space left because the fabric is covered with multi-coloured set of random prints.

A drawstring bag is easily made by sewing the back and front together and then making a channel at the top through which you thread a drawstring. Follow the instructions below if you need a guide to making a drawstring bag. This makes a bag 27 x 33 cm, so scale up or down if you want to make a different size.


You will need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric, each 30 x 40 cm
  • Approx 1 metre of ribbon, tape or cord

What to do:

1 Take your first fabric rectangle. Fold and press 0.5cm to the wrong side on the two long sides and one short side. Sew it down. Repeat with the other piece of fabric.

drawstring bag instructions step 1

2 On each of the two long sides, make a mark 6 centimetres from the top. With right sides together, stitch the two pieces of fabric together starting at one marker, along the long edge, base and back up the other long edge to the other marker. Use a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seams open and press to the same width above the markers.

drawstring bag instructions step 2

3 (Optional) If you want to make a gusset, now’s the time. If you need a flat bag, then don’t bother. With right sides still together, fold the side seam so that it lays directly on top of the base seam. Pull the sides of the bag outwards so that it looks like the diagram. Mark a point 3cms below the top corner and extend the line either side of the seam at right angles. Sew along this line and then repeat for the other base corner. You can chop off the triangle or fold it over and sew it to the base but I just leave mine as it is.


4 Above the markers, sew along the folded fabric and across the top of the seam. This neatens the edges of your drawstring channel.


5 Fold and press 0.5 cm of the top edge to the wrong side and then again by 5cms. Stitch down close to the lower edge. This makes your drawstring channel. Thread a length of ribbon, tape or cord through the channel using a safety pin and sew or tie the ends together.

6 Turn to the right side out and press.

drawstring bag with sheep

Fill,hang and enjoy!