Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Hello, hello again from Sky at Capital B! I’ve been excited to share these cute, simple little drawstring backpacks, you can whip up in a hurry for your kiddos, as part of this month’s Bag Lady Series! They have been a staple for me when it comes to gifts for the littles in my life! My friend had a baby last year, and I made these, quickly one night, to give to the older brothers- they were thrilled! I’ve also made these literally right before we walked out the door for a niece’s birthday party! I think you’ll find them useful and simple… and about the stinkin’ cutest thing EVER thanks to The Ribbon Retreat’s amazing fabric and ribbon!

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
For the in this tutorial, I chose:
Rainbow Hexi Print by Riley Blake (I LOVED this fabric when I first saw it- cutest thing ever!)
Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Let’s create! Start by cutting your pieces:
1 piece of your main bag fabric, 12″ x 18″… you may want to pay attention to the direction of the print of your fabric, since this bag is oriented vertically.
2 pieces of coordinating fabric, each 12″ x 6″
2 lengths of coordinating 7/8″ ribbon, both 45″ long

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
First sew the two smaller pieces to the larger piece, right sides together, matching 12″ lengths.

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Note: Because this cute hexi print is really directional, I did shorten up my main fabric to better match the smaller coordinating pieces. See above how the black line indicates the cut I needed to make? It was just slightly angled, but would’ve made a big difference in the skewed look of the overall bag. This might not be necessary with your fabric, but just a thought, in case! :)

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Next we’ll create a hem along the top of each coordinating fabric section. Fold down about an inch, iron and then fold over and iron again.

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Now we are going to create a casing for the straps of our backpack by carefully making a small snip right at the base of the hem you just ironed, like above left. Then unfold the fabric, fold this small piece in and iron down. Now re-fold and re-iron the hem.

This surely seems like the hard way… I just like to fold and iron my hem first before clipping, so that I keep my fold precise, instead of clipping wrong and having to deal with a more narrow casing than I wanted.

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Next, you’ll sew at the base of the top, casing, portion on both ends. Then fold your entire piece in half, right sides together and sew up both sides, starting at the notch just below your casing.
NOTE: I like to do plenty of extra back stitching at the start and finish. Your kiddos will be pulling and tugging on this section a lot and reinforcing the strength is a good idea!

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Already the body piece is done, and we are ready to create straps! Grab one of your ribbon lengths, at a time, and secure a safety pin at one end. Thread it through one of your top casings. The safety pin gives you something to grip and pull little by little to get it through the fabric- it goes quite fast really!

Next, take your second ribbon and thread it the same way through the opposite casing. With both ribbons through, you’ll start with one again and thread it back through the opposite side, like below:

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Does this make sense? It’s truly not complicated, but can seem so. We want to make it so that both of the ribbon straps on each side of the backpack are actually the same piece of ribbon; create a solid bit of ribbon against each side that pulls the fabric together really well, like this:

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

For this second time threading the ribbon back through, you’ll have two layers of ribbon in each casing- a bit tougher but not bad at all. By threading back into the opposite casing, it’ll make it so your kiddo can operate their backpack by pulling both ribbons from each side apart, like this:

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

I know my little guy loved being able to cinch it himself and make his Toy Story Woody doll head poke through! This is the best part of the bag for sure :).

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

With the casings all threaded, now we’ll move to the loose ends of the ribbon. Fold them both back toward the inside of the bag and match the ends like above. With your bag still wrong side out, tuck the met ends down in to the corner on that same side.

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Keep a hold of the ribbon ends with your finger and stick your arm into the bag and carefully pop out the corner. Place the ribbon as tight into the corner as you can and pinch that corner to make it flat in the wrong direction, like above. We’re giving our backpack a bit of a flat bottom and creating the whole backpack effect by doing all this. :)
If any of this seems confusing, I really think it’ll be obvious as you’re sewing!

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Put that corner piece you just popped out and flattened under your sewing machine needle and stitch across a couple of inches in. This is another really good place to do some extra backstitching to make the whole thing stronger. After stitching, clip next to your stitch to get rid of the corner excess.

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Ta da! We just created a really polished looking bottom for our cutie backpack :).

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Turn it inside out and you’re done!

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Or, ya know, you don’t have to be done! Since I have boys I made the boy version of this bag, but now that I am sewing something girly here, I really wanted to add some kind of something extra. If I have an excuse to sew a ruffle or create a flower, I will take it! :) So I stitched a simple crunched ruffle along the seam where the two fabrics meet on one side of the bag. Just fold the ribbon over and under as you stitch- no precision involved. Just gave it some fun girly pizzazz! :)

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

All done! And, if I can say so, super duper ooper schmooper CUTE! The Ribbon Retreat fabrics are perfect for this kind of project- really showcases all those cute designer prints!

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Even this boy version is about the funnest thing ever- love those adorable cars! These little bags are great for packing a few toys in the car, playing around the house, stuffing as full as possible with blocks and transforming dinosaur cars… you get it, really anything! They will absolutely allow the child who owns it to imagine and create- the drawstring function itself actually entertained my little guy for a fair while!

Simple Kids Drawstring Backpack - The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Enjoy! I’d love to see you over at Capital B, on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook!
Hope you have an awesome day… and thanks again for having me, Ribbon Retreat super ladies!
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WOW and great job Sky! I love these adorable backpacks! I can’t wait to add these to my “must sew” list and make some for my little kiddos! My youngest boy LOVES…I mean LOVES WWF Wrestler figurines. I know you are chuckling…it is hilarious. However, even more hilarious is the fight that takes place between him and my little baby girl when she walks over and snatches a wrestler from her big brother. She too is a huge fan of these interesting figurines…Hehehehe! I know, I know, I know…!
Anywho…I can see it now, both little boy and baby girl walking away from me with their bags proudly hung on their back with both bags displaying a very tough wrestler figurine peeking through the top! Hehehe!
Thank you again Sky for sharing your incredible talent for sewing and creating with us today! You are amazing!
For more awesomely incredible projects by Sky, visit her at Capital B!

With so many great selections of fabric and ribbon at The Ribbon Retreat, choosing what to use to create these adorable bags is going to be really tough. I love the Hexi fabric Sky used, but you know me…I am a sucker for polka dots and chevron. Decisions, decisions!

What fabric and ribbon would you use?

Thank you for stopping by and joining us for the newest project in our Bag Lady Series! These Drawstring Backpacks are awesome, just like the other bags in our series, posted last week. Need a refresher?

The Messenger Bag
Messenger Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

The Hailey Bag
The Hailey Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

The No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag
No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

See you tomorrow for another amazing bag project! :)

Happy Creating & Happy Bag Ladies!
Signature - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

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4 Comments

  1. Queenie
    Posted January 14, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I’d like to create this drawstring bag tutorial, it looks like fun. Thanks for sharing these wonnderful tutorials on bags.

    • Posted January 14, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Queenie! Thank you so much and you are very welcome! These bag tutorials have been awesome. I can’t wait to try them all! Have a great day! Michelle :)

  2. Posted January 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Those are wonderful! Nicely done. Off to check out that blog now too!

    • Posted January 14, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Amber! Thank you so much! These bags are awesome and so fun to make! I am so glad you like them! Have a great day! Michelle :)

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