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Easy Backpack

This pretty satchel is a cinch to put together, and it takes only about an hour. Choose fabrics in colors that coordinate with favorite outfits. We used washable cotton for the exterior and lined the pack with water-resistant nylon for durability.




  • Preshrunk cotton (one 14 1/2-by-32-inch rectangle)
  • Nylon (one 14 1/2-by-32-inch rectangle)
  • Pins
  • Cord (two 4-inch lengths, plus two 50-inch lengths)


  1. Step 1

    Stack rectangles of cotton and nylon, right sides facing each other; pin and sew shorter ends together, leaving a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Turn inside out to hide seams. Stitch across ends again, leaving a 3/4-inch seam allowance to create a channel on each end. Fold end to end (nylon side out); pin left and right sides.

  2. Step 2

    For bottom loops, fold both 4-inch lengths of cord in half; place inside the bottom corners, ends aligned with fabric edges. Stitch sides, catching ends of loops (do not sew channels closed).

  3. Step 3

    Starting on the left side, thread one end of one 50-inch length of cord per channel so both ends meet on the right side. Repeat with other length, starting on the right side and ending with ends on the left side.

  4. Step 4

    Turn bag right side out. For straps, thread an end of each drawstring through the loop below it; tie ends.



Reviews (13)

  • cupcakegirlz 21 Jun, 2012

    its the exact same thing but with better instructions and ......wait for it......... PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rype 25 Sep, 2011

    A vastly superior version of this craft can be found at

  • rfaer737 30 Aug, 2011

    Go to "" and type in "drawstring backpack" and this explains the same project in much more detail. Good luck...

  • rfaer737 30 Aug, 2011

    I have been sewing and tailoring for 40 years and wanted to share this idea with my young daughter. I have read and read the instructions and have no idea what the instructions mean. Pictures / diagrams paint a thousand words and would certainly help in this project.

  • panianna 27 Aug, 2011

    I have many years of experience sewing and have gone to this site looking for projects to do with teens. MANY of the sewing instructions are poorly written. Many people use this site and write comments saying the same thing. But I DO NOT THINK ANYBODY ELSE is reading these comments, except people logging on. Martha prides herself on being very knowledgeable, but it seems her staff is not filtering through the projects and trying them out. It's a shame. Hope it's not a bust.

  • d2bizzy 24 Aug, 2011

    I agree the instructions are not beginner friendly. I am experienced and can adapt using my own skills.

  • me2me2lc 23 Aug, 2011

    I have been sewing for 47 years and can't follow these instructions. I can figure it out on my own from experience, but these instructions need to be rewritten for a basic beginner, with photos from beginning to final product.

  • hotdotyuki 23 Aug, 2011

    I have heard so many complaints about your instructions from friends who have asked me to explain them, especially those on your website. I have redone some so they could understand.

  • MissyMiller40 23 Aug, 2011

    I agree that more diagrams showing the consteruction process would have been helpful. as is....this is NOT an easy biginners project. Cannot picture the proces in my head. :(

  • slowoman 23 Aug, 2011

    I cannot get a visual picture of what this is supposed to look like, so can't figure out the instructions. Who decided we did not need more pictures for this project?

  • khamby 10 Aug, 2011

    I've made this project. It's super easy, super cheap and so much fun. Get the cord at Walmart and don't use nylon fabric. :) I used cute cow material for the outside and hot pink for the inside. My niece loved it!

  • Sheryll 5 Feb, 2011

    By the time, you buy the cording, the back pack nylon and the lining fabric, it is too expensive. And no padding on the cording, so I would not make this project.

  • GoodnightGracie 3 Jun, 2010

    It would of been nice if there was a picture showing it on someone