April 12, 2011

easy-to-make drawstring bags

We have a situation in my house: too many toy sets with lots of parts that are too easy to mix up with the other toy sets with lots of parts.  The answer to our dilemma?  Easy-to-make drawstring bags.  It's always nice to find a storage solution that's simple for the whole family to use, and the uses for these handy bags are certainly not limited to toys.  They are perfect for travel or the gym and can be used for makeup, crayons, cell phone chargers . . . anything that just needs a home.  These directions are for a 10" x 10" drawstring bag, but you can simply adjust the measurements to make a bag that is larger or smaller.

To make one 10"-square bag, you'll need:

1/3 yard quilting weight fabric (you will have enough fabric leftover for a second bag)
1 yard ribbon or cord
Sewing machine
Straight Pins
Large Safety Pin


1. Cut the fabric into a 12" x 22" rectangle. 

2. Fold in half, right side of the fabric out, and iron the crease.  Measure 2" down from the top and pin. 
3. Sew the two sides, leaving the 2" margin unsewn.

4. Trim the fabric around the two sewn sides to about 1/4"

5. Turn the bag inside out and press.  Sew the two sides again to enclose the seam (but still leave that 2" margin untouched).  Snip threads.

6. Now you will make the sleeve for the drawstring.  With the bag still turned inside-out, fold the edge of the 2" margin back and press.  Next, fold a 1/2" margin down all along the top and press.  Finally, fold the fabric down 1", press, and pin. 

7. Sew around the entire top of the bag.
8. Secure the safety pin to one end of the ribbon or cord and use it to thread the drawstring through the channel.

9.  Remove safety pin, tie the drawstring with a knot, and trim the ends.

10.  Fill your cute bag and enjoy!

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