Upcycle your Onesies into Drawstring Bags!

When my daughter outgrows her outfits, I typically put them on Buy Nothing so they can be used by another baby. Her outfits are extra ordinarily cute, and children grow so fast they are usually fine for several children before ending their lifespan.

Sometimes though, these onesies get permanently stained. I feel like tucking a stained onesie into a bag of nice clothing for someone is a kind of “Wishcycling” where I’m simply giving someone else the burden of throwing them away. Before giving away any clothing items, I always make sure they are clean, stain free, and repaired if necessary.

The stained ones I have kept, and have spent the last few weeks searching for how I can use them. A few weeks before Easter, I hit on the idea to make reusable Easter “Loot Bags” for the kids. I can get bulk candy plastic free, put them in the bags, and cut that much more plastic out of my life.

Onesies are usually incredibly adorable, and the colors and styles are perfect for these little bags. Even if you don’t need a loot bag for Easter, these handy little bags can be scaled to the size of the onesie, and be used for everything from wrapping gifts to organizing small items like coins, my son’s trading cards, or the bits and bobs I collect for crafting with.

They’re also ridiculously easy to make! Here’s how to do it, and a few design ideas to help inspire you.

18 month onesie

This 18 month onesie is too stained to be passed on, but will have a new life in just a few minutes. Here we go!

Cut just below the armpit, and just above the bottom. You want a square of cloth to work with. Save the scraps though! They’ll be good for decorating other bags later.

Cut your square in two

And then quarters. The seams will be the bottoms of your bag.

Remember those scraps from our onesie? You can use the scraps from a different onesie to make added decorations. I cut out a bunny from a white onesie. I strongly suggest sewing or glueing any decorations on first, with the cloth open like this, so you don’t glue or sew the front and back together.

Here’s the bunny sewn on, so you can see what it will look like when it is all done.

Fold the cloth back in half, but inside out. That way no one will see your seam when you stitch it.

Stitch the sides, but stop about 1″ from the top. You’ll need that space so the loops of your draw string have somewhere to go.

If you’ve added sewn decorations, flip your sewn pouch inside out so that you can take care not to cut them for the next part. Fold the front cloth down almost as far as it will let you, and carefully cut 2 slits in the middle. They should be about 1/4″ or big enough to allow your drawstrings to come out.

These are the slits for this one. They could be neater, but I’m an average sewer unfortunately.

Now, starting on the back side of the pouch, take your drawstring and flip the cloth down over it. Make sure there is room to stitch it in without stitching the string to the bag. I used t-shirt yarn for this, and eyeballed how much I needed by wrapping it around the pouch with 3-4 inches extra.

Sew the strip of cloth down, taking care to not stitch the string while you do so. I feel like this is the hardest step of the whole process.

Once the back is done, feed your draw string through the holes in the front.

It should look like this once you’ve pulled them through. Remember this is still inside out.

Now stitch this one, again stitching the cloth not the string.

You’re done! Feel free to be creative about decorating, and use the decorations to hide stains if you want to. The ribbon for the tummy and ears on our bunny was salvaged from scraps just a couple inches long, and we’ve also used flowers fallen off of dresses and more when we made ours.

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