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How to Make a Drawstring Bag – Great for our Polar Bear Birthday Party!

These instructions are for how to make an easy drawstring bag. I added a face to mine and used them as favors for my daughter’s 7th birthday, but they could be used for any occasion or even just around the house as a fun way to keep all those toys and games with a million little pieces organized.

Finished Draw String Bag
One of the great things about these bags is that you can make them of any size, as long as you have enough material! I chose to make mine polar bears to fit my daughter’s party theme, but you could do just about any animal by simply changing the color or pattern of the fabric. My son is already asking for a tiger bag made of out some tiger-striped material that we found!

The materials I used were: white fuzzy fabric, black yarn (with a needle big enough to thread it through) for the mouth, black buttons for the eyes, black pompoms for the nose, blue craft cord, a safety pin, black thread and white thread.


Step 1 Cut Fabric from Drawstring Bag
First, I cut the fabric to the right size. It should be about an inch wider than your finished bag will be and twice as long, plus two extra inches. I cut my fabric to 9 inches by 23 inches for a finished bag that was approximately 8 inches by 10.5 inches.

Next, place the fabric with the side that you want to be the outside of the bag facing down. Fold over the short edges of the bag about an inch from the end and sew them down.

Make sure to leave a gap of about 3/4 inch between the fold (the new top of the bag) and where you sew because this is where you’ll be putting the drawstring. I did this with white thread but have highlighted it in blue in the picture. Do this to both short ends of the fabric.

Step 2 Sew Pocket for Drawstring
The next step is to fold fabric in half so that the two sewn edges line up. This will be about the size and shape of your finished bag. Make sure that the bag material is inside out (fold it so that the sides you want as the outside of the bag are touching each other).

Step 3 Sew Sides of Bag
Now you should sew the two sides of the bag from the fold that you just made (the bottom of the bag) up to the lines that you sewed in the previous step.

Do NOT sew past the lines to the top of the bag because then you won’t be able to add the drawstring. I’ve highlighted where you should sew in green in the picture. Make sure to do this to both sides.

Now reach into the bag, grab the bottom, and turn it right-side out. Add the drawstrings. I used craft cord but you can use any long thin material for this. I cut two pieces of craft cord that were each about 3-4 inches longer than the top of my bag.

I attached a safety pin near the end of one of the cords and used the safety pin to help thread the cord through the “tunnel” at the top of the front of my bag. I then threaded the other piece of cord through the other side. Tie the two pieces of cord together near each end.

You should have a functional drawstring bag at this point!

Step 4 Add finishing touches to bag
To add the face I started with the mouth. Choose the spot where you want the nose to go and pull your yarn from the inside of the bag to the outside at that place. Bring the yarn straight down to make the line from the nose to the mouth, pushing the needle back into the bag at the bottom/middle of the mouth. Make sure not to sew the bag shut by going through both sides of the bag. Still on the inside of the bag, bring your needle up to one of the top corners of the mouth. Push it through at this place and then bring the yarn down to the bottom of the mouth again. Repeat for the other side of the mouth then tie the yarn off inside of the bag. I’ve included a picture of how this would look from the inside of the bag.

Next attach the pompom nose using matching thread. Finally, add the button eyes. You can use either thread or yarn to do this step. Because I was doing so many bags I gave all of the bears round, black eyes, but you can choose any color or style you want to personalize your bag.

Finished Draw String Bag
That’s it!

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