Bandanna Drawstring Backpack Tutorial

How to take TWO bandannas and turn them into a summer backpack for beach trips, library days, etc.!
How to make a drawstring backpack using bandanas!
4 Bandannas (unfolded and ironed)
4 yards of Craft Cord or thin rope (this is a generous amount)
Large Eyelet Fastener Kit (I got mine at Hobby Lobby)
Light fusible interfacing (6 inches)
other sewing essentials
Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Tutorial Step 1 Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Tutorial Step 2
Cut all four bandannas to the size of backpack you would like. I made this one 16 x 14.5 inches for my kindergartener.
Keep the scraps as you will use some of these to create the anchor corners at the bottom of the bag.
Making the Anchor Corners
1. Cut two 3 inch squares from your scraps.
2. Apply light fusible interfacing for stability.
3. Cut squares in half from corner to corner to create triangles
4. Sew two sides (right sides together).
5. Turn right side out and iron flat.
6. Top stitch around the two sides you sewed together.
Now it is time to break open the Eyelet Kit.
How to add Grommets Eyelets
1. Decide where you want the eyelet.
2. Trace the inner circle.
3. Carefully cut the mark you traced.
4. Insert eyelet.
5. Place eyelet on base.
6. Place top thinner piece on top.
7. Insert the hammering post and give it 4 or 5 good whacks with a hammer.
8.  You’re done.
Now you have this nifty little corners with the added metal enforcement of the eyelets. 
{This bag will last all year, right?}
How to make a drawstring backpack
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Place your finished anchor corners an inch from the bottom of the FRONT of your bag.  Make sure to place the unfinished edges outward. Now lay the back side on top right sides together.  Pin the anchor corners in place and then pin up the sides and along the bottom.
In order to create the casing for the drawstring you will need to start your stitching about a 1/2 – 1 inch from the top depending on the thickness of your cording/rope.  I started an inch from the top.
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Start sewing a 1/2 inch seam along all three sides; make sure to back stitch at the start and finish.
 Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Step 15 Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Step 17
Cut the corners off and turn right side out. Set this part aside.
Now do the same thing to the INNER pieces of the bag. Placing right sides together sew around three sides starting 1/2 – 1 inch from the top.  Leave the top open.  Clip the corners and leave it wrong side out!
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Step 18 Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Step 19 
Iron the seams where the sides are NOT sewn together on the top both bags; this will just flatten everything and create a nice look as well as make the next steps easier.
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Put the OUTSIDE bag inside the INNER bag {right sides together}. 
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Pin the open seams together first, then the rest of the top of the bag.
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Leave a 3 inch gap where you will NOT sew in order to flip the bag right side out.  Use the picture below as a guide.  Don’t sew in between “start” and “finish.” 
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Sew a 1/2 seam around the top.
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Turn the bags right side out by pulling EVERYTHING through that little 3 inch hole you left.
Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Step 26 Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Tutorial Step 28
Put the INNER bag inside the OUTER bag and iron it all nice and flat.
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
Turn your 3 inch open hole in 1/2” and iron flat…pin it closed.  I actually pinned around the whole top seam to hold it in place while I top stitched it all the way around. But it is most crucial to pin the hole shut, for sure.

How to make a bandana drawstring backpack


Now stitch 1/8 inch from the top to create a nice finished look. Remember those slits you made on the side of the bag for the drawstring? Now find those and start sewing from the bottom of one of those slits all the way around…this will create the casing for your Craft Cord (drawstring).  The picture below explains it best.
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack Drawstring Bandanna Backpack Tutorial Step 32
Time for the very last step.  Grab your 4 yards of Craft Cord and lets create the drawstring. It’s kind of in depth, but NOT HARD.  Stick with me.
Inserting the Drawstring 1
How to make a bandana drawstring backpack
1. Take one of your halves and thread one end through an eyelet…it doesn’t matter which one you start with.
2. Find the half mark of the string and stick a safety pin there.
3. Thread the safety pin and string through one of the casings.
4. Leave a loop when you reach the other side.
5. It should look like this so far.
6. Take the other 2 yards we cut earlier and fold it in half.  Place the safety pin at the half mark (like before) and thread it through the other casing. 
7. Don’t leave a loop on this side, however. Pull the other end all the way out.
8. Take the end you pulled out and put it around the ropes hanging out of the casing in step 3. {NOTICE THE PICTURE}
9. Put your safety pin in the end and thread it back through the casing you just pulled it out of.
10. Take the ends of the rope and thread it through the loop you left from step 4.
11. Take one of the rope still in your hand and thread it through the empty eyelet.  Tie a knot; good and tight!  Go tie a knot at the other eyelet too.  Cut off the excess and burn the rope ends to keep from fraying.
That was easy, right?
Now you have an awesome backpack for back to school, sleepovers, dance class, or whatever your heart desires. 
Back View Side view
Thanks for creating with me!
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