Few things are quite so handy as a drawstring bag. Small ones can be used to hold wee treasures like necklaces and lost teeth. Large ones can be used to wrap odd shaped presents like Teddy Bears and wooden trucks. They are great for holding lots of loose pieces, like a gathering of acorns or building blocks. No matter what size you need, they are all made basically the same.
Below are the directions for making a 7 1/2″ x 10″ bag that I used to hold Lady’s Wooden Eggs and Cups, and Pixie’s Acorns, Pots and Bowls. The reason I made it this specific size is because I had some fabric scraps 9″ wide. Basically, using these directions, you can create any sized bag that you need.
2 coordinating fabrics, for bag and casing
Ribbon, string, yarn, cording, etc for closing the bag.
Cut out fabric. I cut 1 piece of striped fabric for the bag 19″ x 9″ and 2 pieces of the yellow fabric for the casing 4″ x 9″.
On each piece of casing, fold in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Iron. Fold the 2 short edges under 1/2″ and iron. Finally, fold 1 long edge under 1/2″ and iron.
With right sides together, pin one casing to each end of the bag, so raw edges are together and the casing is centered on the bag. Using a 1/2″ seam, sew casings to bag.
On each end, fold casing on a 45 degree angle and pin. (This will keep the casing out of the way when you sew the side seams together.)
Fold the bag in half so the tops are even. Pin the side edges together and sew together using 1/2″ seams being careful not to catch the folded strip in the seam.
Turn the bag right side out and undo the pins holding the casing out of the seam.
Pull the casing up. Making sure the inside seam is up (you can iron). Then, fold along the fold line, and pin the folded casing along the seam line making sure you are catching the seam on the inside. (Do this to both pieces of casing.)
Sew two seams on each casing. One, a 1/4″ from seam line and one 1/4″ from the top. This will form the actual casing that will hold your ribbon or string.
Cut two pieces of ribbon, yarn, string, cording, etc. I cut my pieces 27″. To determine how long you need to cut your ribbon, wrap the ribbon around the casing. Make sure there is 6″ left on each edge to tie. Now the math… each side of my finished bag was 7 1/2″. So I needed 7 1/2″ + 7 1/2″ + 6″ + 6″ = 27″ (or the circumference of the bag which was 15″ + 12″ = 27″).
Attach a safety pin to one end of a piece of ribbon.
Beginning at either side, Push the safety pin through the casing. Then continue threading the ribbon through the other casing.
Make sure the ribbon ends are equal, then holding them together, tie a knot near the end. Cut the ribbon ends on angles so they do not unravel.
Do the same with the other ribbon, starting at the side that does not have the tied ribbon. When you come to the side with the tied ribbon, simply go over or under the ribbon.
Tie and finish the ends of this ribbon like the first, and you are done. To close, simply pull the two knotted ribbons.
You can use this technique to make any size drawstring bag you like. If you make a big bag, you may want to make the casing larger, but the choice is yours 🙂