August 19, 2014

Shoe Box Drawstring Bag Style #1 ~ Illustrated How-To Instructions

scrappy drawstring bagsI recently shared my drawstring bags I made for my OCC shoe box gifts. They are sized so a shoe box can fit inside.  Operation Christmas Child shared the post for my Scrappy Draw String Tote Bags on their Facebook page and I have received dozens of requests for a pattern.  I designed three bags to share the instructions to and the original post was too long to share them all at once.  So I am sharing them in three different posts (find links to the others below).  I hope you find one you like.

I am all about quality and quantity in my shoe boxes.  When I design a sewing or crochet project I make sure it is well made but also very simply made so I can produce more to reach more kids.  So this is a super simple drawstring bag.  I do not square off the bottom corners, but you could choose to do that easily when you are finished.  I figured it would be roomier without it boxed if the child used it for items not in the shoe box.


NOTE:  The following instructions are for a tote bag just large enough to carry the Operation Christmas Child "Go Boxes".  Below are also instructions on how you can figure the size needed for any shoe box.


Drawstring Bag Variation #1 (sized to fit OCC shoe boxes)  [You can find two more variations below]


Fabric Donated by Kristy at Hopeful Threads
I will be making an apron to match it.

Supplies Needed:

  • 3/8 Yard 44/45" wide fabric
  • 64" for Drawstrings
    • Drawstring options (these are just a few):
      • Crochet a chain from heavy string or cotton yarn
      • cording
      • 3/8" to 1/2" grosgrain ribbon (burn or fray check ends)
      • narrow double fold bias tape (stitch together so it doesn't come open)
      • make your own from fabric (see below)
  • 24" -- Wide Single fold Bias Tape or Wide Double Fold Bias Tape opened out
    • Or contrasting fabric to a make casing from:  24" x 1 1/2"
      • Press under 1/4" along long edges
  • thread
Instructions:

I have used white thread so it will show up well in the images.

Use 1/2" seams.
  1. Cut fabric 12 1/2" by 40" (the design will go sideways on the bag, and one side will be upside down.  If you want both sides going the same direction cut two pieces 12 1/2" by 20 1/2" and make a seem across the bottom--like I said earlier, I try to keep everything simple so I don't mind the directional differences)
  2. Cut single fold bias tape in half to make two 12" pieces
    1. Or cut the 24" x 1 1/2" fabric strip you have prepared into two 12" pieces
  3. Fold under raw end of bias tape and pin on right side starting 1" from side edge and 1 1/2" from top edge; pin across ending 1" from other side with end folded under
    1. Repeat on other end of fabric.
  4. Stitch approx. 1/8" from both long edges to make casing; be sure to back stitch when beginning and ending
  5. Repeat on other side.
  6. Fold right sides of bag together so it is 12 1/2" x 20" and stitch long side seams using 1/2" seam allowance; be sure to back stitch at beginning and end and to finish raw edges
  7. Press seams open
  8. Press down 1/4" on top opening and fold over and press again to hide raw edges making narrow hem.
  9. Stitch close to edge making a hem.
  10. Prepare your drawstrings of choice.
    1. Make two 32" each
    2. For fabric drawstring how-to see below
  11. Feed one drawstring thru one side and then down the other side.
  12. Pull drawstring ends up evenly and tie the two ends together.
  13. Repeat starting at other end of bag.
  14. Pull on both drawstrings at the same time and the bag closes.
How To Make a Fabric Drawstring
  1. Cut each drawstring 32 1/2" x 1 1/2"
  2. Press under 1/4" at short ends
  3. Press under 1/4" along long sides
  4. Press in half
    Finished Drawstring; 2nd pressing of drawstring;  1st pressing of drawstring.
  5. Stitch close to edge (back stitching at beginning and end)
    1. Tip: You may need to move the needle over to the right a bit to get the narrow fabric to be under the needle and to move along with the feed dogs.

Making Drawstring Bags for Odd Size Shoe Boxes

Shoe boxes come in such a variety of sizes. If you'd like to make a special bag to fit a shoe box you have this is how you can do it.


  1.  Measure around the width (the short way) of the box.
  2. Add 4” to this measurement and divide the total by 2.  This equals the width of your fabric.
    1. Example:  22” + 4” = 26” divided by 2 = 13”
  3. Measure around the length (the long way) of the box.
  4. Add 8 1/2” to this measurement and this is your length of fabric.  
    1. Example:  29” + 8 1/2” = 37 1/2”
  5.  Drawstring will be the measurement of the width (no.1 above) plus 11”.
    1. Example:  22" + 11" = 33"

Patchwork Drawstring Bags


If you have scraps of fabric smaller than the 3/8 yard needed for the full the bag just piece them together to make your own fabric to fit the size needed to make your bag.  Finish all raw edges to keep them from fraying and coming apart.  Choose a style of bag above and sew as instructed.

I have done this with a variety of fabrics for one bag as well as patching together pieces of the same fabric to make it wide enough to cover a box.  It is a good idea to stitch your seams down for added strength.

Simple Drawstring Bag Instructions (click image for illustrated how-to)

Click image for illustrated, step by step instructions.

Variation #2 Drawstring Bag  (click image for illustrated how-to)

Click image for illustrated, step by step instructions.

Share These Instructions

So many people have requested a tutorial on the drawstring tote bags that I know I can’t get the word out to them all.   I’d love to have you share this post on social media networks so others can find it and enjoy making them, too.  There are share buttons at the bottom of this post for your convenience. Thanks.

Show Us Your Finished Bags

I’d love to hear from you if you make a bag.  You can share a picture on the Simply Shoe Boxes Facebook page, I’d love to see them!

Including the Finished Bag in a Shoe Box

Tuck the finished bag in a zipper lunch bag and squeeze out the air.
Takes up little room in the shoe box.
Mini Drawstring Bags (click image for illustrated how-to)

Here are some earlier instructions I posted for how to make small drawstring bags, good for pencils, toys, etc.  



Check out my other DIY crafting projects great for shoe boxes.  You can find them all listed on the DIY Crafts for Shoe Boxes ~ How To's and Tutorials Index from Simply Shoe Boxes post.  Happy Packing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cording can be made from narrow strips cut from tee shirts. After cutting the strip, pull to stretch the cord as far as you can. It will roll into a great cord.

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