How to Make a Lined Drawstring Bag

heather handmade sewing

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Learn how to make a lined drawstring bag that makes the perfect reusable drawstring gift bag! It’s a great way to decorate for the holidays!

I like to make the holidays easier for myself by making things that are reusable and last a long time. One thing that takes a long time every year is wrapping presents.

We still wrap some presents in wrapping paper or gift bags, but I’m slowly switching over to lined drawstring bags. They are so easy to use and easy to make! I love having a couple around for those last minute wrapping situations.

How to Make a Lined Drawstring Bag

What fabric should I use for a lined drawstring bag?

Quilting cotton is the best fabric to use, but choose a color and print that makes you happy. Quilting cotton is easy to find and easy to sew. You could even coordinate specific fabric or color for each child or family member to make it easier to know whose gift is whose.

I made mine with all red and green solids and prints, but you can choose whatever color or prints you want.

how to make a lined drawstring bag

Do you like to sew? Try one of these fun sewing projects:

how to make a lined drawstring bag

How to Sew a Lined Drawstring Bag


  • Quilting cotton for outer fabric – amount depends on the size of your bag
  • Quilting cotton for lining – same amount – the lining shows even when the bag is closed
  • SINGLE fold bias tape or wide ribbon
  • Twine, thin ribbon, yarn, or cording
  • Sewing tools
  • Sewing machine


Cut two rectangles from the outer fabric and two matching rectangles from the lining fabric. I made a small 8 in by 8 in, a medium 8 in by 12 in, and a large 16 in by 16in.

If you are measuring to fit something give yourself extra inches on the top and the side. Add 1 extra inch on the top for the casing.

fabric rectangles for lined drawstring bag

Start by pinning the top of the lining to the top of the outer fabric. (This is important for directional fabric like the tree fabric.) Pin them right sides together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

match top edges pin and sew

Press the seam allowance up towards the lining.

Understitch the seam allowance towards the lining.

understitch the seam

Place one side of the bag onto the other side with right sides together. Match up the understitched seams. Mark a space for a hole in the lining.

right sides together pin all edges

Sew around the rectangle leaving a hole on the bottom of the lining. Backstitch when you starts and stops. Pivot at the corners.

sew around and leave a hole

Turn the rectangle right side out through the hole. Poke out the corners of just the outer fabric.

Pinch the hole closed and edgestitch it.

turn right side out. edgestitch hole closed

Push the lining down inside the outer fabric to form a bag. Push the lining corners into the outer fabric corners.

push lining into the bag

Cut a piece of single fold bias tape 1 inch longer than one side of the bag. Cut another piece.

Fold the short side over 1/2 inch on each side. Pin it onto the top of the bag 1 inch from the top.

add bias binding to the top

If you are using a ribbon use the same technique by folding the short end over 1/2 inch and pinning it 1 inch from the top. Leave a gap on each side.

add ribbon to the top

Sew a straight stitch along each side leaving the center open. Make sure the sides do not overlap.

sew casing on

Then cut two pieces of twine or ribbon just longer than the circumference of the opening of the bag.

Use a safety pin to insert the twine from one side and thread it all the way around. Bring it out and tie it in a knot. Use a safety pin to insert the other twine from the other side and thread it all the way around. Bring it out and tie it in a knot.

add two drawstrings one on each side

If you use just one drawstring the casing doesn’t stay closed as well.

if one drawstring top doesn't stay closed

Make lots of bags in lots of sizes to wrap lots of gifts.

how to make a lined drawstring bag

Place the gifts inside the lined drawstring bag and pull on both drawstrings to pull it tightly closed. Tie the drawstring in a bow to secure it.

add gifts

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

how to make a lined drawstring bag
heather sewing

I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather

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