Handmade-with-Love: Drawstring Bags

Are you a crafter? Do you like to sew? If you answered “Yes!” then we have your next Handmade-with-Love project: This fabulous Drawstring Bag! 

Whether you use a simple needle and thread or a modern sewing machine, making a drawstring bag is simple and fun! Every time our troops pull out this bag, they will know they are not forgotten, and that we here at home appreciate their daily sacrifices!

What is a drawstring bag used for? For carrying things, of course!

The bags will be filled with the small important items our troops need at a moment’s notice. And because of your time and effort, those items won’t be scattered at the bottom of their backpack!

This bag made-with-love can be tied to the outside of their pack, on their belt, or simply carried by hand so they always have their items quickly within reach!

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

Great News: You can sew this bag by hand–you do not need a sewing machine! A simple needle and thread works just fine!!

Supplies Needed:

  • 9” x 15” square of Heavy Duty Nylon, Ripstop Nylon or a Cotton/Polyester blend fabric.
  • Please choose fabric that has a “camo” pattern or muted colors like tan, brown, or a shade of military green.
  • Needle and thread to match the fabric. We suggest a heavy duty quilting thread!
  • Thimble to push the needle through multiple layers.
  • One 24″-long piece of 550 paracord with sealed ends. (If you don’t have paracord, a strong piece of lightweight rope works.)

Get Started:

Step One
-Begin by laying your fabric face down.
-Create and pin 1/2″ seams on both of the 9″ sides of the fabric.
-Sew seams.
Step Two
-Lay the paracord at the of the fabric along the 15″ edge.
-Fold the fabric over the paracord by making a 3/4″ seam.
-Tie a good knot on each end of the paracord so it can’t be pulled through the pocket by mistake.

Step Three
-Pin seam before seam before sewing to keep it even.
-Sew seam, making sure to not catch the cord in the stitches!

Step Four

-Fold the fabric in half and turn inside-out.
-Pin along the edges before sewing to keep your edges even as you sew.
-Sew around the bottom and side, using a “whipstitch” to keep your stitches close together. -Remember, your seam needs to be as strong as the material you are using to make the bag…and make sure to not to sew the cord pocket closed.
Step Five
Turn the bag right-side out and you’re done!


-Prefer to sew using a machine? Feel free to take advantage of that time-saver!

-We suggest that you double thread your needle for strong seams! (To double thread your needle, simply thread your needle and pull the thread through until the ends meet. Tie both ends of your thread together making it a double thread!)

-You can make 8 bags out of just ½ yard of material! Fold the fabric to make an 18” x 30” rectangle, fold again to make a 9” x 15” rectangle and cut along the folds. You will end up with 8 pieces that are ready to be made into bags!

-Use 550 paracord for the drawstring. By doing so, they can use that piece of cord in case of an emergency.

-Put some extra stitches in the corners to reinforce them.

-Send the bags to us using our Donation Form — once you fill out the form you will receive shipping instructions. (Please use the “Other Product Items” box to write in the number and description of the drawstring bags you are sending.)

That’s it! THANK YOU for your support!

Do you have additional questions or need help? Send us an email: Kelly@OperationGratitude.com

Want more ideas? Learn about our other Handmade-with-Love Progams here.

Last but not least: Is your loved one deployed? Request an Operation Gratitude Care Package today.

Thank you again for all your generous support! “Busy Hands, Happy Heart!”



About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Each package is filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, as well as personal letters of support. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Each package contains donated product valued between $45 and $100 and costs our organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1.6 Million Care Packages.
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6 Responses to Handmade-with-Love: Drawstring Bags

  1. Daniel James says:

    This idea of making DIY bags to remember the fallen is super awesome! I would like to make some DIY bags before the Veteran’s Day and customize these bags in honor of my beloved brother Jaimie and his fellow soldiers to show my gratitude! Thank you for the idea of making this DIY bags! It can be a little time time consuming to make these bags but its worth the effort!

  2. Pingback: “Handmade-with-Love” Inspiration: Diane’s Scarves and Handwritten Notes | Operation Gratitude Blog

  3. nemissimer says:

    What a great organization! My family is planning to donate our leftover Halloween candy and some Handmade with Love Drawstring Bags to Operation Gratitude this year. I posted about our donation and you organization on my blog Adding Shimmer to Life. If you would like to see it, visit: http://addingshimmertolife.com/2017/10/25/leftover-halloween-candy/. Thanks for all that you do!

  4. Pingback: What Should I Do With My LEFTOVER Halloween Candy? - Adding Shimmer to Life

  5. The Mrs. G's says:

    My deployed son got his box from Operation Gratitude last weekend!!! Thanks so much!

  6. Pingback: 2017 “Handmade-With-Love” — More Ways to Show You Care! | Operation Gratitude Blog

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