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Besides thread, you will need:


A pair of 30-inch shoelaces (any color) or two 30-inch lengths of suitable material

(twine, thin cord or crocheted rug or plastic canvas yarn etc.)

which slides smoothly, will not unravel, and has no knots!

***No joined shoelaces or knotty yarn, please!***


Two pieces of washable, sturdy, colorful, but not OLD, cloth which measure 12x18” (different is OK) or one 12x36”

 A yard of 36” wide cloth will give three 12x36” lengths; 45”, four 11¼ x36” pieces and 60”, five 12x36” sections

To prevent cloth from unraveling, cut with pinking shears or, later,

turn hem under, serge or double seam raw edges.

(A 12x18” cardboard pattern is helpful to mark the material for size and list bag notes)


Place the “right” (pattern) sides of the material together, making a 12x18” rectangle (if 36”, the fold becomes the bag bottom)

 BEFORE sewing a 1/4” seam around the two 18” sides and the bottom (to form THE BAG), decide how to handle the casing formed by a 2” hem created next from the open bag top

Some sewers sew the entire 18” length, then cut the seam threads between 2 ¾ and 3 ¾” from the top edge

Others choose not to sew that one-inch space when sewing the 18” seam.

However you do it, take a second afterward to finger press open (flatten back) a 4” length of seam salvage from the top down on both seams.

(NOTE: It is through these seam openings, which will be visible later only on the outside of the bag, that the drawstrings will be placed. This “extra” effort allows the drawstrings to easily move in or out of the casing).

After you make the seam all around about 3/4” from the fold-over,

then hem another seam an inch lower, close to the cut edge.

Turn the bag inside out before doing the drawstrings.


Insert one drawstring (using a safety pin or some type of “threader”) at either hole, bring it around and through the casing to exit at the SAME hole and knot both ends tightly together. Do the same at the other hole.


Razors                                                               Shave cream/gel                                    Floss

Toothpaste                                                        Toothbrush (1)                                       Travel sized Kleenex

Playing cards                                                     Mending kits                                          Shoelaces

Deodorant                                                        Shampoo (8 oz. size bottle)                     Travel-size first aid kit

Nail clippers                                                      Soap/body wash (8 oz. size bottle)           Small writing pad  

Socks (2 pair per bag maximum)                         Puzzle Books                                           Knit hats

                                                                        1-2 pens or pencils

                ****If you're filling ditty bags with these items, please keep in mind weight of each bag. ****

                                              Keeping the weight no more than 2 or 3 pounds.  

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