How to Make a Homemade Drawstring Backpack for a Child

Backpacks are easy to find but their prices can be tough to swallow. Making a backpack for your child not only keeps the cost down, but also gives your child the chance to wear something truly unique. A homemade drawstring backpack is a simple project even for beginners. The outside of the backpack can be created with cotton fabric, which is available in a variety of colors and patterns to suit your child's personal tastes. Vinyl fabrics are ideal for the inside of the backpack, because they are water resistant and can be wiped clean quickly and easily. Flannel-backed vinyl also can be used and will create a stiffer backpack that holds its shape better during use. For maximum bonding, involve your child in as much of the process as possible, especially picking out the fabric for the backpack.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1 15-inch by 35-inch rectangle cotton fabric
  • 1 15-inch by 35-inch rectangle vinyl fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Nylon cord
Step 1
Place the vinyl fabric on top of the cotton fabric with the right sides of the fabric together. Sew each of the shorter ends together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Step 2
Sew another seam on each of the shorter sides of the fabric using a 1-inch seam allowance. This will create another line of stitching 1/2 inch away from the first line. You have now formed a casing between the two seams that will be used to hold the drawstrings.
Step 3
Fold the rectangle in half so the seams you have created are touching and the vinyl fabric is on the outside. Make sure the ends are lined up, and pin the long sides of the bag to keep everything in place.
Step 4
Cut two 60-inch lengths and two 3-inch lengths of nylon cord or thick yarn.
Step 5
Take one of the 3-inch pieces of cord and form it into a loop. Place this loop between the two layers of fabric at one of the bottom corners of the bag. The bottom corners are farthest away from the seams you created earlier. Line the ends of the loop up with the edges of the fabric and pin them in place. Repeat this step with the other 3-inch piece of cord and the opposite corner.
Step 6
Sew up each long side of the bag starting at the folded edge, making sure the ends of the cord are sewn into this seam. Stop sewing when you reach the casing. Turn the bag right side out.
Step 7
Thread each end of one of the 60-inch pieces of cord through both of the casings, so both ends of the cord finish on the same side of the bag. Repeat the process with the other piece of cord so both of the ends finish on the opposite side of the bag. These cords will form the drawstring.
Step 8
Thread one end of each drawstring through the corresponding loop you created at the bottom of the bag. Tie the ends of the drawstrings together to form the backpack's straps.

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