Here we are, it's August already and summer is almost over. I'm knee deep into projects using cotton yarns. Aside from making great dishcloths & scrubbies, cotton yarns also make fantastic crocheted bags.
If you've popped into a clothing store within the past several months, you've likely seen cute mini-backpacks in their accessory aisle. Claire has fallen in love with them so I decided to make her the Striped Mini-Backpack (click HERE to see). Shortly after I completed Claire's crochet backpack, my nieces came to visit for a week and the youngest one got really excited when she saw Claire's. She just had a birthday so I decided to surprise her with her very own drawstring mini-backpack with accents of her favorite color. You can find the free crochet pattern in this post below, or an ad-free print friendly version on Love Crafts here, Ravelry here, or on Etsy here.
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Since we're two-thirds through summer vacation, I've been looking ahead and working on new back-to-school and fall designs for Claire. I started a really cute cardigan for girls that will be great for everyday wear and I've also been working on a new winter hat design. It's tough to think about the cold and snow during the middle of July, but if I don't start crocheting winter hats now, I'll never have enough time to make all of us new hats before winter arrives again.
Mini-backpacks are the perfect size bags to take on short adventures when all you'll need are a few small items. They'll easily hold a pair of sunglasses, small bottle of sunscreen, chapstick, cell phone, earbuds, and many more items.
I chose Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton, a 100% mercerized cotton, for this design. The mercerization process gives the yarn an incredible sheen and stitch definition (perfect for crocheted bags). It is available in 24 wonderful colors that include brights (perfect for summer fun!) and neutrals (perfect for everyday). Since I was making this mini-backpack for my niece Alivia, I chose her favorite color as an accent. This yarn is great for a variety of projects ranging from various home decor items to accessories. I recently used it for my Simple Striped Tote Bag and previously for my Cross Stitch Make-up Pouch and Sunny Days Swim Cover-up.
Drawstring Mini-Backpack – FREE CROCHET BACKPACK PATTERN
The free pattern is below, but if you love to work offline, I’ve got a couple other great options for you.
Purchase the ad-free, printable PDF, including all photo tutorials, on Love Crafts here, Ravelry here, or on Etsy here.
Purchase the kit here! Lion Brand also has a full kit of the Drawstring Mini-Backpack, available on their website. The kit includes your choice of 4 colorways and a printed copy of the pattern below.
Pin it for later here.
The Drawstring Mini-Backpack is perfect for boys and girls of all ages to carry all of their most beloved possessions. The combination of Lion Brand Yarn’s 24/7 cotton and simple crochet stitches give this crochet backpack its classic appeal. Crocheted ropes work great for the straps because they do not stretch out like most other crocheted straps have a tendency to do.
THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE 2019 BACK TO SCHOOL BLOG HOP CROCHET ALONG!
Blackstone Designs, A Crocheted Simplicity, Crystalized Designs, and Sincerely Pam are together again to bring you a fun blog hop style CAL.
You can check out our past CALs here:
Valentine’s Day Classroom CAL
Spring Cleaning CAL
Haunted Hop CAL
Each blogger has designed a brand new Back to School themed pattern! Each pattern will be free on our blogs, but you will need to join each designer’s Facebook Community Group in order to participate and enter to win prizes.
Blackstone Designs | Crochet Community
A Crocheted Simplicity Crochet Community
Crystalized Designs Crochet Group
This CAL runs from August 2nd – 16th, 2019. When you finish each pattern, you will post a photo of your finished item in that designer’s Facebook group to enter to win a pattern from that designer and be entered to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon! The more projects you complete, the greater your chances are of winning!
For Bonus Entries, show off your WIPs and finished projects on social media using #BTSCAL2019!
Are you ready to make the Drawstring Mini-Backpack?!?!
This post contains affiliate links.
- Yarn: Worsted Weight / 4; Lion Brand Yarns 24/7 Cotton was used for the sample. 100% Mercerized Cotton Yarn (186 yards / 170 m / 3.5 oz / 100 g). Available for purchase on the Lion Brand Website or AMAZON
- White (260 yards / 2 balls)
- Aqua (100 yards / 1 ball)
- Crochet Hook: G/6/4.00mm, or size needed to obtain gauge (My favorite crochet hooks are the Clover Amour Hooks, I’ve never had an ache in my hand since switching)
- Yarn Needle
- Plastic Canvas (2) 4" W x 6" L (optional)
- Locking Stitch Markers (4 or more)
Many of these materials are available for purchase through our affiliates below:
Abbreviations (US Terms)
- ch(s): chain(s)
- sl st(s): slip stitch(es)
- st(s): stitch(es)
- sc: single crochet
- Rnd(s): round(s)
- RS / WS: right side / wrong side
- SM: stitch marker
- Rep: repeat
- One Size: 6.25" W x 7" H x 4.25" D (does not include hanging loop or straps)
In sc: 13 sts + 15.75 rows = 3"
- I tend to crochet on the tighter side. You may need to go down a hook size (or two) to meet gauge if you crochet on the looser side.
- The first stitch of every row is worked into the same stitch as the turning chain, unless stated otherwise.
- Yarn Notes: Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton was used for the sample on page 1. (3.5oz / 100 g / 186 yards / 170 meters / 100% mercerized cotton). Another comparable worsted weight yarn may be substituted.
- Colors & Yardage: White (260 yards), Aqua (100 yards)
- If you prefer to make your mini-backpack in a solid color, you'll need 2 balls of 24/7 yarn. Approximately 360 yards.
Drawstring Mini-Backpack Instructions
Base (Make 2)
Row 1: With Aqua & a 4.00 mm crochet hook, ch 17, working into the back hump of the chain, sc in the 2nd ch from your hook and in each ch across. Turn. (16 sts)
Rows 2 - 30: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn.
Base #1: Fasten off. Weave in ends.
Base #2: Do not fasten off. Continue below to Base Assembly.
Note: Whether or not you choose to add plastic canvas between the two base layers, the assembly of the bases is the same. I added plastic canvas to mine.
Step 1: (Skip Step 1 & go to Step 2 if you're not adding plastic canvas) Cut 2 rectangles of plastic canvas that are ¼" to ⅜" less in width and length of your base, then slightly snip the corners off. **See Photo A.
Step 2: Line up the last rows of each base and lay one on top of the other. If you're using plastic canvas, make sure to put both pieces between the two bases. **See Photo B.
Step 3: Use stitch markers to hold the bases together (make sure you secure them thru both bases). I prefer to place stitch markers in the 1st and last sts of Rows 1 & 30. If it helps, you can also add one near the middle of each long side.
Step 4: Working through both layers of fabric at once, continue on to Seaming the Bases. **Photo C shows the bases completely seamed & a stitch marker added to each corner stitch. Note the green stitch marker. This is where you'll join to begin the Body of Backpack later.
Seaming the Bases
Rnd 1: Working around the perimeter of the base & beginning with a short edge, sc in each st along both short edges (16 sts along each short edge), sc in the side of each row along both long edges (30 sts along each long edge), and add 1 extra sc in each corner (1 st in each corner). Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. (96 sts)
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Continue on to Body of Backpack.
Body of Backpack
Note: Look at Photo C above. The corner stitch where the green stitch marker is placed is where you'll join your yarn in Rnd 1.
Note: Several rounds tell you not to join. These are worked in continuous rounds (a spiral). Do not join at the end of each of those rounds, instead use a scrap piece of yarn or a stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of each round. Move your marker up as you complete each round.
Rnd 1 (RS): With aqua, join yarn w/ a sc (click here for tutorial) in stitch indicated in photo C above, sc in each st around. Do not join. (96 sts)
Rnds 2 - 3: Do not ch, sc in each st around. Do not join.
Rnd 4: Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to White.
Rnd 5 (White): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Do not join.
Rnd 6: Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to Aqua.
Rnd 7 (Aqua): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to White.
Rnd 8 (White): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to Aqua.
Rnd 9 (Aqua): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to White. Fasten off Aqua.
Rnds 10 - 33 (White): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Do not join.
Rnd 34: Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to Aqua.
Rnd 35 (Aqua): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to White.
Rnd 36 (White): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st.
Highlighting in Rnd 37: If for some reason your stitches got thrown off a little, make sure that the highlighted parts in Rnd 37 are in the proper places. The portions that are highlighted light aqua should be centered along each short end of the backpack. The portion that is highlighted yellow should be centered along the front and back of the backpack. These holes create the openings for the drawstring.
Rnd 37: Do not ch, sc in each of the next 10 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in each of the next 5 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in each of the next 14 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in each of the next 2 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in each of the next 15 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in each of the next 5 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in each of the next 11 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in each of the next 9 sts, ch 3, skip each of the next 3 sts, sc in the last st. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st.
Rnd 38: Do not ch, sc in each st and ch around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Change colors to Aqua.
Rnds 39 - 40 (Aqua): Do not ch, sc in each st around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st.
Rnd 41: Do not ch, sl st in each st around. Join with Special Join Technique (click HERE for tutorial).
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Continue on to Hanging Loop.
Row 1: With white yarn & a 4.00mm crochet hook, ch 25, working into the back hump of the ch, sc in the 2nd ch from your hook and in each ch across. Turn. (24 sts)
Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each st across.
Fasten off leaving a 10" piece of yarn for sewing. Continue on to Attaching the Hanging Loop.
Attaching the Hanging Loop
Fold the hanging loop in half. With the back of the backpack facing you, pin the short edges of the hanging loop to the upper center of the backpack (I pinned mine just above the single aqua line). Using a yarn needle and tail of yarn, sew the hanging loop onto the backpack.
Weave in ends. Continue on to Strap Instructions.
Strap Instructions (Make 2)
Use the Crochet Rope Instructions found HERE to make 2 crochet rope straps for your mini-backpack.
Rep Rnd 3 of the crochet rope instructions until your crocheted rope measures 17" - 18" long, or desired length.
Fasten off leaving a 12" tail of yarn for sewing. Repeat for the 2nd crocheted rope strap then continue on to Drawstring Instructions.
Modify the Crochet Rope Instructions found HERE to make a crochet drawstring for your mini-backpack.
For Rnd 1, work 4 sc instead of 5.
Rep Rnd 3 of the crochet rope instructions until your crocheted drawstring measures 24" long.
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Continue on to Attaching the Straps.
Attaching the Straps
- With the back side of the backpack facing you, use a yarn needle and tail of yarn to sew one end of each strap, onto the back of the backpack, just under the hanging loop.
- With a yarn needle and tail of yarn, sew the opposite ends of the straps to the bottom left or right corners of the bag.
Weave in ends. Continue on to Inserting Drawstring.
- I prefer to begin inserting the drawstring through the front left hole.
- Weave the drawstring in and out through all of the openings around the top edge of the backpack.
- Tie a knot in each end of the drawstring.
Continue on to Drawstring Slide.
Row 1: With white yarn and a 4.00mm crochet hook, ch 4, working in the back hump of the chain, sc in the 2nd ch from your hook and in each ch across. Turn. (3 sts)
Rows 2 - 15: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn.
Fasten off leaving an 8" tail for sewing. Wrap the slide around both ends of the drawstring (see photos below). Whipstitch the first and last rows of the slide together. Tack stitch the center between the two ends of the drawstring. Weave in ends.
More Free Crochet Patterns from A Crocheted Simplicity
If you enjoy making crochet bags, you may enjoy these other projects as well. And if you just want to browse, you can find all of our free crochet patterns HERE.
Are you intimidated by knit-look crochet? Would you love to learn my tips & tricks? Take an Annies Video Class with me and let me ease your fears and help you increase your skills! Click on the photo below to watch a free preview. You can also see the other 4 video classes I have available!
Click on the links below to get to the other patterns in this blog hop CAL:
Clear Window Pencil Pouch - Blackstone Designs
Crayon Water Bottle Cozy – Crystalized Designs
Easy Peasy Desk Set – Sincerely Pam