How to make a drawstring bag

How to make a drawstring bag

Drawstring laundry bags are handy for stashing your dirty clothes, taking them to the laundromat, or hauling your supplies from the dorm room to the showers. The bags are simple to make even for those without much sewing experience, and you can use a variety of materials. Here are some instructions for making your own drawstring laundry bag.

  1. Decide how large you want your bag to be. ¾ of a YARD OF MATERIAL will make a bag with a finished size of about 22″ by 24.” If you want to make a larger bag, purchase more material. Sturdy cotton material is best for making a bag; denim is good but is harder to sew than lighter-weight materials. If you sew, you may already have some suitable material around the house to use for a laundry bag. If you’re a student, you could get some fabric in your school colors; look around a fabric store or discount store for just the right material. Make sure you do not get stretch material, such as knits that T-shirts are made from; although you might be able to stuff more clothes into a stretchy bag at first, it would soon lose its shape.
  1. You’ll also need about 1 ½ yard of cable CORD. The cotton cord comes in different diameters and colors; usually, ¼ inch diameter is about right. You could also use any type of string-like material you might have around the house, such as cotton rope, old strings that came out of a hoodie, etc. The cord will be the drawstring for your laundry bag.
  2. After you have found your fabric, WASH AND DRY it; iron the material if it comes out of the dryer with wrinkles. If the ends of the fabric look frayed, use scissors to cut a straight line across each end.
  3. Put the right sides of the fabric together, and FOLD the fabric in half. One side of the fabric will have the two edges open, the other side will be folded fabric, and there will be a top and bottom with open edges. Begin sewing, using a sewing machine if possible, at the bottom edge closest to the folded edge of the fabric. The bottom and top will be alike; decide which end you want to be the top by looking at the pattern of the material. If there’s not a pattern, it doesn’t matter which end is top. SEW along the bottom and then continue onto the side with the two open edges, using an ½ inch seam. Stop sewing a couple of inches from the top. Sew back and forth at that point to make the stopping point sturdy.
  4. Iron the seams open, continuing onto the unstitched area at the top. Fold under about ½ inch on the top edge and press it towards the wrong side of the material. Fold over another 1 ½-2 inches and press this also to the wrong side. Sew along the top edge very close to the folded material’s edge on the inside of the laundry bag. Leave the ends open; this will be the drawstring’s casing.
  5. Push the CORD THROUGH THE CASING. To make it easier for the cord to go through, attach a large safety pin to one end of the cord. Push the safety pin and cord through the casing, using your fingers to bunch up the material as you go along. Make sure that the other end of the cord remains out of the casing. After the cord is through, tie a knot in both ends; the knot should be big enough so that the cord won’t go back inside the casing. You can also use a big button, a CORD STOP (available in sewing departments of stores), or anything you can tie on the end to keep the cord from going back inside.
  6. Turn your laundry bag RIGHT SIDE OUT; it’s finished! To use, put your clothes inside the bag and pull the drawstring tight.


If you don’t have a sewing machine or don’t want to sew, use a PILLOWCASE for a laundry bag. A king size pillowcase will make a nice-sized bag. At the top opening of the pillowcase beside one of the seams, cut a small hole on each side of the seam. Do this with scissors, making sure not to cut all the way through the doubled material. Thread a cord, or even an extra-long shoelace, through the hemmed part of the case. Tie a knot in each end of the cord, and you have a laundry bag. When you get time, stitch around the edges of the holes you cut so they won’t tear, or paint them with clear fingernail polish to stop fraying.


Use an old skirt for a drawstring bag; a DENIM SKIRT makes a good bag. Sew the bottom shut, and pull the drawstring through the belt loops. Voila! It’s finished. If you’re a total non-sewer, use oversized safety pins or diaper pins to close the bottom

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