How To Personalise Your Drawstring Bag

In this video I show you how to stitch a name/personalisation onto your drawstring bag.

I will be using my bag as a Christmas advent bag to put a new book in each day over the Christmas season. They also work well as Halloween Trick Or Treat bags, and of course to hold all your cross stitch and craft supplies.


You will need:

  • A bag to stitch onto
  • A pencil
  • A water erasable marker
  • Embroidery thread
  • An embroidery needle
  • An embroidery hoop

To start, you need to write out the name or date you would like to stitch onto the bag. You can type it out first and print it as I have done, or you can hand write it directly onto the bag with your water erasable marker. 


If you type it out like I have done, next print it and cut around the name. Line it up on your bag where you want the personalisation to be. I recommend not putting it too high up because when the bag is closed you won’t be able to see it as well. Next, take your pencil and draw over the name so it imprints into the bag underneath. Then trace over the imprints with your water erasable marker. It doesn’t have to be perfect as you can wash the pen off once you have finished stitching.

Once you have finished this part, it’s time to stitch. Choose the colour of your thread (I chose white to stick with my Christmas theme), take 2 strands and fold them in half. Thread your needle with the 4 ends of thread, leaving the loop at the end.

I have just used a simple back stitch on mine, but you can use a different stitch if you know any. Bring your needle up where you want to start, leaving the loop of thread sticking out at the back, when you bring your needle back down put it through the loop and pull your thread to secure it.

When you are stitching, try and make your stitches all the same size. This isn’t necessary, but it will make your finished work look a lot neater. When you need to tie off your thread, simply stitch your needle under some of the thread at the back.

Once you have finished your stitching, if there are any pen marks still showing you can either simply dab them will a clean, damp cloth or cotton wool to get them off or soak your work in some cold water. Once it is dry you may need to iron it. To do this, put a towel down and put your bag right side down and iron over the back to stop the iron from making your stitches flat.


You can add anything else to your bag that you would like to. For example, I think I’m going to add some French knots to make it look like snow. And you would draw small decorations to stitch over too. Also, this tutorial will work for stitching onto any type of cotton bag; it doesn’t have to be a drawstring one. I have stitched larger quotes and personalisation onto tote bags before, and I’ve stitched dates onto tiny bags to keep small keepsakes/favours in. There are lots of possibilities!

If you have any questions about this tutorial please just get in touch. And let me know how you use your finished bag in the comments below or share your photos on social media using the hashtag #hannahhandmakes.

Happy Stitching! x

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