April 25, 2018


I am absolutely thrilled FWD started carrying Ripstop Nylon. I’m an avid backpacker always looking for ways to improve my gear. Today we’ll go over how to make three different bags that I use all the time for any hiking trip: fold over, cinching, and folding clasp. I use these bags for utensils, food, and my hammock, but with a few measurement changes you can use them for anything you need to carry. You don’t need to stop at camping, either! The fold over bag can be a reusable snack bag, the folding clasp for a cloth diaper bag, and the cinching as a simple drawstring bag!

FWD is carrying three types of Ripstop. For these bags I choose to use PU Coated 70 Denier Nylon Ripstop. I used this kind so I can completely waterproof them with a seam seal.

Each bag is made from a simple rectangle, with only a few seams, so you can make many in a matter of a few hours, or just one or two in 20 minutes!


  • .25 yards Nylon Ripstop 70 Denier (PU Coated)
  • Thread to Match
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • 1 yard 1.25mm Z-Line Dyneema Cord (Cinching Bag)
  • .02 oz Tiny Cord Locks (2) (Cinching Bag)
  • .5 yards ¾” Grossgrain Ribbon (Fold Over Clasp Bag)
  • ¾” Center Release Flat Clasp (Fold Over Clasp Bag)

Time: 20 minutes per bag

Difficulty: Easy


Part One: Fold Over Bag

*This is the bag I use for utensils, but can be adapted to hold snacks, money, etc. To measure, double the length of your utensils and add 4”. The width will depend on how many utensils you’ll carry. I only carry one spork, so I used 3.5”.

  1. Cut fabric. I used 8” x 3.5”. Use the shiny, gripped side as the “wrong side”.

  2. Fold short ends down 1/2”, sew. You don’t need to worry about loose ends with ripstop, but can choose to create a rolled hem here.
  3. Lay your fabricnext to your utensils (right side up), fold top down. You want your fold line to just cover a small portion of the utensil so it’s easy to get out.
  4. Fold fabricbottom up to just overlap top fold.

  5. Stitch long sides with ½” seam allowance. Make sure you see the seam allowance on this side.

  6. Flip inside out. 

This bag doesn’t need to be seam sealed, but if you would choose to do so, complete your seam sealing before flipping inside out.

Part Two: Cinching Bag

I use this bag for a hammock, but can be used for a tent or regular drawstring bag if you eliminate the second cinch at the bottom of the bag.

  1. Cut fabric. I used 12” x 18”. Use the shiny, “gripped” side as the “wrong side”.
  2. Fold fabriclong ways, sew ½” seam. 

  3. Cut your cording. I cut the width of my bag plus a few inches, twice.

  4. While keeping cording inside seam, you’ll create a casing. I find this method easier, instead of threading the cording through my casing later. Sew ½” seam at the top and bottom of your Fold bag inside out.

  5. Add clasps to each set of cording.

  6. Tie cordends in at least a double knot to prevent clasp slippage. Burn ends of cording.

Again while inside out, seam seal this bag along all seams.

Part Three: Folding Clasp Dry Bag

This is most time consuming of all three bags, but is still very simple. I use this bag for clothing and food storage. The circle this bag creates makes it a great bear bag to hang as well!

  1. Cut For a small bag, I use 9” x 23”. Use the shiny, “gripped” side as the “wrong side”.
  2. Fold fabricin half, wrong sides together (we’re going to French seam this bag).
  3. Stitch ¼” seam on unfolded sides.

  4. Turn bag inside out, stitch another ¼” seam along side seams.

  5. Cut grosgrain ribbon to width between seams of your bag. Fold top down ½”, sew along top and bottom of ribbon onto top of fabric.

  6. Turn bag inside out. Cut grosgrain fabric5” longer than width of bag on each side. Fold top down ½”, center ribbon then sew along top and bottom, stopping at side seams.

  7. Attach clasps to each side of ribbon by inserting clasp half, fold over ribbon, then sew an “x” or “z” through ribbon and only one side of bag.

While inside out, seam seal this bag along all seams.
Three different bags with a multitude of different applications! What kind of bag will you make and what will you put in it?