Quick Drawstring Backpack Kids Craft for Summer Fun

Recently, a friend of mine mentioned that her son had used a beloved drawstring backpack from last year’s camp season so much that it actually fell apart not too long ago. The small, lightweight bags are everywhere, from class field trips to your favorite tourist attractions. Usually made out of nylon and screen-printed with a logo, these bags can actually hold a pretty good amount of stuff kids will need while out and about.

If you appreciate the simplicity of these bags, you can make your own – and tailor it to your child’s favorite designs and colors in less than an hour. This project is also great for children interested in learning how to sew or consider themselves pretty crafty with a sewing machine already – and can handle the project all on their own.


  • 1/2 yard of sturdy fabric; outdoor-weight or anything canvas is a great way to go
  • 3 yards cording material
  • 2 1-inch D-rings
  • Scrap cotton belting, 1-inch wide
  • Sewing machine
  • Ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors
  • Large safety pin
  • Pins
  • Pencil


1. Cut a piece of fabric 15.5 inches wide and 37 inches long. Fold in half and press with your iron.
2. On one end of your fabric, measure down 1 inch and mark a line with your pencil on the wrong side of the fabric. Repeat for the other end. Fold over each end one inch on the lines you just drew and press flat.
3. Sew each folded-over flap with a 1/4-inch seam. These two clean edges will be the top of the bag and the channel to pull your backpack straps through.
4. From the scrap belting cut two 1-by-2-inch pieces of material to attach the D-rings to the bag. Fold the belting over the flat part of the ring and crease with your fingers.
5. On the right side of the bag fabric, pin the belting and D-ring to the bag one inch up from the bag bottom on each side.
6. Put the right sides of the bag together so that the wrong sides are facing out. Pin the top of the bag shut to make for secure sewing. Using a 1/4-inch seam all around the bag, sew the bag shut. Start on one side just below the top seam – making sure you don’t sew your drawstring channel shut! Turn the bag out and press flat.
7. Cut two pieces of cording material 51 inches long for your drawstring straps. Fish a piece through each of the channels you created at the top of the bag, using a large safety pin to help guide.
8. Tie a knot on the D-rings with the cords on either side to create the straps.
9. Your bag is all set! I wanted the look of frayed edges on the strap and channel ends, so I didn’t trim the loose threads. Does your child love to draw? Have him or her doodle on a piece of plain canvas and turn it into a patch to be added to the front of the page for extra personalization.

Like this fabric? It’s called “Hip Herringbone – Lagoon” from the HGTV HOME Outdoor Fabric collection. I found it at the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in Madison Heights.


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