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drawstring bags sewing materials

Sew your fabric scrap stash

Are you a sewing enthusiast looking for a quick and easy project to use up your fabric scraps? Look no further! In this step-by-step DIY tutorial, you’ll sew your stash in no time, creating practical bags for storage, organization or gift bags.



Drawstring Bag supplies


Prep & sew your fabric

Place your fabrics right sides together, paying attention to which side is the top if you are using directional fabric.

Make a mark 2″ down on each side. Pin or clip fabrics together. (fig. 1)

Sew the 3 sides – not the top – starting and stopping at the marks you just made.

Using straight scissors, cut on each line from the raw edge to just before the stitching to create “tabs” at the top. This is where we will form the drawstring casing. (fig. 2)

Use pinking shears and cut next to the stitching on all 3 sides, but not above the marks, to prevent fraying. (fig. 3)

mark 2" from the top

figure 1

cut notch at lines to stitching

figure 2

Drawstring Bag supplies

figure 3

Press & Sew Casing Sides

Now we will fold, press and sew the “tabs” that will be the sides of the drawstring casing. Because they are so small, I like to use my Cricut MiniPress instead of an iron but either works.

Fold one tab half way to the stitching line (fig. 4), then fold again so the fold is even with the stitching line and press. Repeat for all 4 tabs.

Stitch each folded tab to securely encase the raw edges. Fold back the side you aren’t sewing, lay the fabric flat and stitch from the raw edge to the bottom of the fold. (fig. 5) Repeat for all 4 tabs.

fold and press tabs

figure 4

sew all 4 drawstring tab sides

figure 5

Press & Sew Casing


Back to the ironing board to finish the drawstring casing. Fold each top, raw edge down 1/4″ and press. (fig. 6)

Fold down again, matching the folded edge to where the mark at 2″ was / where the pinking sheared fabric begins, and press. (fig. 7)Β 

Stitch each side closed to the bottom folded edge to create the casing for the drawstring. Fold the other half back so you can lay each side flat to sew (just make sure you don’t sew thru both – but if you do, seam ripper to the rescue!) (fig. 8)

fold down 1/4" and press

figure 6

press fabric down

figure 7

sew drawstring bag channels

figure 8

Insert drawstrings


Using this method of making drawstring bag casings (where it’s essentially 2 sides), it’s best to use 2 strings and thread them in opposite directions so you pull on both sides to close the bag. I tried it with one and the side with the string didn’t stay as gathered and cute as I wanted.Β  You can try it after you thread your first string and see what you think, but I bet you’ll decide 2 is the way to go as well!

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon, twine or whatever you want to use for your drawstring 3-4 times as wide as the top of your bag. If your materials are inexpensive, like the twine I used, err on the side of too long and then cut to size once you are done.

Put a safety pin on one of the drawstrings and thread it through the casings, starting on one side then looping around to the other side. (fig. 9) You will end up right where you started. Remove the safety pin and tie the ends together to secure.Β 

Repeat with the second drawstring but start from the opposite side – the side where the first string is just going from one casing to the other, not where the string is longer and knotted. (fig. 10)

how to loop the first drawstring through the bag channels

figure 9

sew all 4 drawstring tab sides

figure 10

DIY drawstring bags sewing tutorial

That’s it – you’re done!

Once you make one or two you they will get really quick. This is a great way to use those fabric scraps, make bags for storage or organization, gift bags or packaging for things you make and sell and more.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you plan to use these quick and easy drawstring bags!


00:00 Introduction
00:12 Drawstring Bag Supplies
00:19 Prep the fabric
00:46 Sew fabrics
00:56 Prep drawstring channel
04:01 Sew drawstring channel
04:25 Add string to your bag
05:36 Add second drawstring

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🧡 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!



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