Drawstring Backpack Beach Tote

By  Heidi Boyd 

size: 12"x18"

  • Drawstring Backpack Beach Tote


  • Home décor fabrics: off-white, 1/2 yd.; patterned, 1/2 yd.
  • Cotton Filler Cord (Wrights®), 12/32" (9.5mm), cut into 70" lengths.
  • Round label stickers, 1/4".
  • Reinforcer stickers.
  • Tulip® Paints (iLoveToCreate): Cool Color Spray: Coral Red; Lemon Peel; Simple Spray: Chestnut; Matte 3D Paint™: Cocoa; Soft Fabric Paint Matte: Mandarine; Petal Pink; Azalea.


  • Sewing machine and upholstery thread.
  • Heavy-duty sewing machine needle.
  • Iron and pressing board.
  • Straight pins.

Pattern - Drawstring Backpack Beach Tote

  • 1. Prewash, dry and iron your fabric flat. Cut two 13"x16" rectangles from off-white fabric for front and back of bag. Print out pattern. Enlarge pattern as desired. Carefully cut starfish out leaving background paper intact.
  • 2. Working over a protected surface, lay out front of bag. Place positive paper star shape over center of fabric, if needed use small loops of tape to temporarily adhere underside of paper to fabric. Spray both the Coral Red and Lemon Peel paints to create a background tint around edges of starfish, then carefully remove wet paper pattern.
  • 3. Arrange round label and reinforcer stickers over white starfish. Lay negative background portion of pattern over starfish, lining up the points. If needed, use tape loops again to adhere paper in place. Spray paint the starfish Chestnut, and use paper towels to wipe the over spray off the paper before removing pattern. Carefully remove wet stickers. The fabric beneath the stickers should remain white.
  • 4. Outline starfish with dimensional fabric paint using a loose, wiggly line. Use dimensional paint to outline several sticker circles. Pour a small amount of each of the three soft fabric paints on a plate. Use the plastic lids from the paint bottles as circle stamps. Dip them in the paint and press them directly onto the starfish. Let starfish dry completely before sewing bag together.
  • 5. Cut a 10"x13" section of patterned fabric for the bottom of the bag. Outfit your sewing machine with the heavy-duty needle and upholstery thread. Placing right sides together, stitch bottom of the front of the bag to the top of the patterned fabric bottom. Press seam, ironing selvages flat against the patterned side.  Topstitch the patterned fabric 1/8" down from the original seam. Repeat process to attach other side of patterned bottom to back of bag. You should have a continuous length of fabric with the pattern fabric bottom sewn between front and back of bag.
  • 6. Working along one edge of bag, fold in outside 1/4" of fabric, iron it and then stitch it in place. Repeat this step with the other side to prevent fraying and help strengthen the bag.
  • 7. Placing right sides together, fold bag in half and pin edges together, lining up seams. Starting 1-1/2" from the bottom corner and ending 5" from top edge sew both sides of bag together. The gaps will allow insertion of rope ends at the bottom of the bag and ensure that the top of the bag will divide into two separate channels for the drawstring.
  • 8. To create drawstring channel, fold under the 1/4" along top edge of front and back of bag. Iron folds flat and stitch them in place. Fold edges down again another 1-3/4", iron and stitch them 1-1/2" from folded edge to complete the channel. (Note: Front and back channels remain unconnected and open on either side of bag.)
  • 9. Wrap end of cording with tape to prevent it from unraveling and then pierce end with a safety pin. Entering on right side of bag push safety pin through front channel, pull some cording through the channel before threading it left to right through the back channel. Bring cord ends together and push them into bottom right corner of bag. Repeat process to insert second section of cording into left side of bag, thread it right to left through back channel. Insert ends into bottom right corner of bag.
  • 10. Pull bag inside out and complete bottom of side seams, make sure you trap cord ends in your stitches. Turn your bag right side out.