October 7, 2011

Easy Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial

Here is my son from a couple years ago with his trick-or-treat bag.

Every year I make trick-or-treat bags for my kids. I like to choose fabrics that will match their costumes or just something fun. This year my 4-year old is going as a spider. We went to the fabric store to choose something for his bag and he chose this fabric. It comes in some other colors too. 

For this project I purchased 1/4 yard of fabric. It made a pretty small bag about 10x10". This size is fine (or maybe even a little small--he was concerned about the quantity of candy that it could hold ;) for my 4-year old son, but you will most likely want a larger one for an older child. In that case, get 1/2 a yard or 3/8th of a yard. If you want a GIANT bag, get a whole yard (it would be roughly the size of a pillowcase).

Cut Fabric. The depth will be however deep you want it to be (I did 10" because that is how much fabric I had). If you get 1/2 a yard you could do up to 18" deep. The depth of the bag really is what determines how much fabric to purchase. 
The width of the bag is also just whatever you decide. Take that measurement, double it, and then cut. My measurement was 20" to yield a 10" wide bag.

Fold fabric in half width-wise, right-sides-together. Pin along the side and the bottom. Sew along those two sides. The top, you obviously leave open and the other side is the fold.

optional step
**these next 2 steps are optional**  Pull out one corner from the bottom of the bag. Center the corner. Using a ruler, mark a line one inch from corner and draw a line with a pencil. Repeat for other corner. This doesn't have to be perfect, it's a trick-or-treat bag after all and not a couture purse :)

optional step
Sew along your pencil mark. Repeat on the other corner. This gives the bag a rectangular box shape. You could skip this step altogether. Sometimes I do.

On the top of the bag, fold down fabric about 1/2 an inch and press. If you want a nice hem you can fold it over one more time and press, but I will show you a way to skip making a hem.

Cut out two rectangles for straps . I made mine 4" wide by 18" long. The finished strap will be half the width that you cut it.

 Fold strap in half length-wise, right-sides-together and sew along the long side. Leave the two ends open.

Pull the tube right side out. This is a handy trick that you can use for all sorts of projects. Here are the steps:
1. Attach a safety pin to one side of the strap
2. Flip the safety pin so it is going into the inside of the tube.
3. Feed the safety pin through the tube
4. Keep feeding the safety pin through until it comes out the other side.
5. Pull the safety pin all the way out bringing you fabric right side out.

Press strap flat. Pulling the fabric tube right side out gets it quite wrinkled. Before I pressed, I put the seam in the center of the tube, but you could leave it on the side.

Pin the straps to the inside of the top of each side of the bag. Line up the edge of the strap to the edge of the fold line that we pressed down earlier. I attached the straps approximately an 1.5" from the sides (see the ruler on my cutting mat) Make sure the strap is not twisted. You leave the strap openings raw. Originally I was going to do one wide strap on the two sides, but decided it would be more fun to have straps on either side of the bag so my son could hold the bag open while the kind neighbors deposit candy into it.

Before sewing straps down, have your little trick-or-treater try the bag on for size. Adjust the length or position of the strap if necessary. I did this and decided to cut my straps about 2" shorter.

Sew a zig-zag stictch along the raw edge. The zig-zag will keep the raw edge from fraying and is a fun decorative touch for a Halloween bag. I did a wide zig-zag (width 4) and my stitches close together (length 1). You can adjust the width and length of your stitch to your tastes. Test on a scrap fabric. If you didn't want to zig-zag, you could fold the top over one more time to make a hem.

Turn bag right-side-out and top stitch 1/4" from the top. This helps to secure the straps a little better and also adds a decorative touch. I did a straight stitch, but you could do another zig-zag if you wanted.

Turn right side out. Trim threads and admire your custom trick-or-treat bag!

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