How to sew a quick & easy drawstring bag

Updated April 17, 2017

You can sew quick and easy drawstring bags in any size. Use drawstring bags as eco-friendly gift-wrap that becomes part of the gift, for potpourri sachets, or to organise sets of blocks or other small toys. Choose sturdy fabric for large bags and luxury fabrics such as velvet and satin for jewellery pouches. You can make a quick and easy drawstring bag or pouch in under an hour or make several simultaneously to save time.

Determine the desired size of the finished drawstring bag. Add 2 inches to the height measurement; multiply the width measurement by 2 and then add 1 inch. Cut a fabric rectangle to these measurements.

Fold the fabric in half vertically, right sides together. Pin the side and bottom edge.

Sew from the fold across the bottom edge of the bag with a 1/2-inch seam. Pivot the fabric at the corner and sew along the side toward the top with a 1/2-inch seam. Stop sewing forward 2 1/2- inches from the top and sew in reverse 1/2-inch.

Zigzag close to the seam, between the stitching and the raw edge of the fabric. Trim the fabric close to the zigzag. Do not zigzag or trim the fabric above the seam.

Fold over both of the 1/2-inch unsewn seam allowances above the side seam, wrong sides together. Zigzag next to the raw edge of the fabric on both sides.

Fold over 1/2-inch around the top edge of the bag, wrong sides together, and press.

Fold over another 1-inch around the top edge of the bag, wrong sides together, and press. Pin into place along the fold.

Stitch around the bag 7/8-inch from the top edge to form the casing for the drawstring. Turn the bag right side out.

Cut a length of drawstring three times the finished width of the bag. Insert a large safety pin into one end of the drawstring and thread the safety pin through the casing. Pull the drawstring ends together evenly and tie an overhand knot close to the ends.


When making several bags, complete the current step on each bag before moving on to the next step.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine with zigzag stitch
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Large safety pin
  • Cord, yarn, ribbon or shoelace for drawstring
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About the Author

Crystal Marie launched her freelance writing career in July 2009 after working for nearly 20 years in public health. She writes for various websites and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and human resources management from Simpson University.