Go to school in style with a personalized drawstring backpack

By Dena Fishbein


We have a fun and easy way to liven up your school look. By adding a bright trim or a few pompoms to an old backpack, you can update your look and make a splash in the new school year. This is a great project to do after school, or throw a slumber party and embellish your backpack with your friends.

Personalized drawstring backpack


  • Your backpack
  • Coordinating fabrics
  • A fun trim
  • 2 large pompoms
  • Fabric glue
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors

Set out your backpack and all your embellishments to see what you have to work with. I like to audition all my fabrics and embellishments on the backpack before gluing or stitching to be sure everything looks cute together.

I added a coordinating fabric to the pockets of my backpack for a fun mix-and-match look. Measure the height of your pocket and add 1 inch to that measurement for seam allowance. Measure the width of the pocket and double the measurement so you can pleat the fabric like I did.

Every inch or so, pleat the fabric and press. Continue doing this until you have a piece that is the width of your pocket plus 1 inch.

I used fabric glue to attach the fabric to the pockets. Start by folding under 1/2 inch on each side of your pleated fabric piece, then simply glue to your backpack.

Decide where you would like to add embellishment to your bag and measure the length of trim you will need. Cut your trim to the appropriate length, adding 1/2 inch to be turned under at the ends.

Pin your trim in place and hand or machine stitch it to the bag along both edges of the trim. Be sure to fold under 1/2 inch on both ends to create a finished edge.

Hand stitch or glue a large pompom to the end of each of your drawstrings for added flare.

We also suggest repurposing an old Christmas ornament as a fun keychain. Choose an ornament with a string and you can simply tie it on to your drawstring.

You can personalize your backpack with a felt initial or even your whole name. Get creative and add fun things like key chains or fabric flowers to make it yours!