DIY: How To Make A Drawstring Backpack

DIY: How To Make A Drawstring Backpack

Toddlers love the idea of school and anything having to do with it this time of year. This toddler drawstring backpack is a fun sewing project to get your toddler excited about preschool or even just your daily outing to the park.

It's the perfect mini toddler size backpack, and the personalized felt letter on the front makes it especially fun for toddlers learning their letters as they easily recognize their pack. Plus you'll love that they start to carry their own toys and snacks. You might be able to finally retire that huge diaper bag!

the letter "H" drawn on a piece of paper on top of red felt, pictured with cutting scissors, clothing pins and a cutting board


Sewing Machine
Matching thread
Two 12x 14 pieces of cotton fabric
Iron on Adhesive
Handful of Pins
Craft Felt
Two 58'' pieces of cording
Safety pin

Use clothes pins to pin the letter to a piece of felt

Adhere the iron on adhesive to the back of your piece of felt. Print out a letter, pin, and cut the letter out of the adhesive-backed felt.

Using a iron over the red felt H to adhere it to the blue and white striped fabric

Cut your two 12 x 14 pieces of fabric. Remove paper from the felt letter and iron it onto the middle of one of your pieces.

a close up of the "H" sewn on to the white and blue pinstriped fabric

Carefully sew around the shape of the letter with a contrasting color thread and with a long stitch length.

A piece of the blue and white pinstriped fabric is laying face down

On the front piece, press with your iron ¼ inch around three sides, leaving one short side raw. Sew those three ironed sides down. Repeat with the back piece of the backpack.

rolling up one side of the fabric

On both the front and back piece, measure 2 ½'' from the top of the raw side and mark with a pen. Fold down ½ inch, press another 2'' to meet that pen mark you  made.

DIY: How To Make A Drawstring Backpack

Press and sew close to the edge of this seam. Repeat on the back piece. You've just made the loops that the cording will slide through to cinch the pack closed.

the fabric is folded over in half with one end being held up

Now take both pieces and lay them right sides together with pins making sure to line up those loops at the top opening. Sew the two pieces together, 5/8'', starting right below the loop on one side and ending right below the loop on the other side. Turn it inside out and press.

using a paper clip to thread the cord through the backpack

All you have left to do is thread the cording! Attach a safety pin to the end of one of your two 58'' cording pieces. Start on the right side, on the top piece, and thread it towards the left  until  the cording comes out of the left top piece. Then thread it through the back piece starting at the left side and ending on the right side of the back piece.

completed backpack pictured from the front

Both ends of your first piece of cording should now hang out of the right side like so. Even them out and tie both pieces together at the end with a knot.

DIY: How To Make A Drawstring Backpack

Do the same with the second piece of cording but starting on the opposite side. Both ends of this second piece of cording should now end up on the left side as shown.

DIY: How To Make A Drawstring Backpack

You're almost done! Turn the bag inside out one more time. Unpick a couple stitches in both of those bottom corners. Put both knotted cords inside the bag and pull them each through the corner on the same side.

a close up of the backpack's corner

Sew a zig zag stitch diagonally to hold the cord in place. Reinforce several times. Repeat with the second corner.

the homemade blue pinstriped backpack with the felt letter on the front

Turn your bag right side out and pull the cords on each side to cinch.