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How to Make a Simple Drawstring Bag

Updated July 20, 2017

If you have access to and can operate a sewing machine, you can make a simple drawstring bag in less than 30 minutes. You can make a drawstring bag for an easy sewing class project, as a gift bag or a reusable shopping bag. This approximately 12x12-inch bag is the perfect size to hold household items such as hair curlers, fabric scraps or craft items. Adjust the measurements down to make a tiny gift bag; adjust up to make a large laundry bag.

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  1. Place a 13x25 inch piece of fabric in front of you in a horizontal position (right side down). Fold the top over by exactly ½ inch. Press flat with an iron. Fold over again by ½ inch and press. The folds will become the ribbon casing.

  2. Complete the casing by stitching down the fold. Stitch and backstitch a little less than ½ inch from the edge of the fold.

  3. Fold the fabric in half—right sides in—like a book. The inner casing should be facing outward.

  4. Stitch the open side with a ½ inch margin. Begin your stitch and backstitch directly under the casing. Pivot at the bottom corner and stitch the bottom with a ½ inch margin. Backstitch.

  5. Turn the drawstring bag inside out. The right (designed) side of the fabric should now be on the outside.

  6. Tie the end of your ribbon to a closed safety pin. Push the safety pin through one of the ends of the casing. Feed the safety pin and attached ribbon through the casing until it appears at the other end.

  7. Knot the ends of the ribbon a couple of times. The knots should be bigger than the holes in the casing. Pull on the knotted ends of the ribbon and tie in a bow.

  8. Tip

    To pre-shrink your fabric, wash and dry it before beginning the project. Check to make sure your fabric is machine washable; if not, hand wash it. For additional embellishment, thread a few big beads on the ends of the ribbon.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric (13x25-inch rectangle)
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • 1/4-inch ribbon (36 inches long)
  • Safety pin

About the Author

Monica J. Miller has been a freelance writer since 2005 and is published in "A Time to Love Magazine." Miller has more than 20 years of experience crafting. She writes on a variety of subjects, including parenting, family and relationships, business partnerships, Christianity, gift giving ideas and health issues.

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