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Sweet Trick-or-Treat Bags

My niece Lena’s turning one next weekend, and since her birthday’s so close to Halloween, her parents are throwing a fun family costume party in celebration. Hubby and I have been brainstorming potential dress-up options, but our ideas have been a bit lackluster thus far. At least hubby thinks so; he once assumed the role of a narcoleptic super-villain in college, so his standards are quite high! In any case, the best we’ve come up with is Murphy and Gus, our cutie-pie pups. I do have some shaggy minky fabric in my stash that might prove helpful in creating canine costumes, but I don’t know—about the idea, or my execution skills!

Luckily, it doesn’t look like my skills will be put to that particular test. Because yesterday, while going through some old childhood memorabilia I haven’t seen in decades, I made a very happy discovery.


Behold She-Ra, Princess of Power!

Back in the ’80s, She-Ra was all the rage with little girls. She was strong, smart, and able to hold her own when fighting bad guys solo or alongside her twin brother, He-Man. She also lived in a castle and got around via Swift Wind, a talking unicorn with beautiful rainbow-colored wings. I watched her cartoon, collected her toys, and often wished I could be her. And one Halloween, probably when I was about seven or eight years old, I was. Now that we’ve been reunited, I think I’ll be her again—this weekend! Which means hubby will have to be He-Man, because just look at this pair:

she-ra 2

I’m not sure if the birthday bash includes a costume contest, but if it does, we’ll have it in the bag!

And speaking of bags, what’s Halloween without them? Definitely not as much fun, which is why I recently whipped up some trick-or-treat totes.

trick or treat bag 6

These sweet little lined sacks are quick, easy, and fun to make in any combination of canvas, linen, flannel, and quilting cotton. You can also let your creativity run wild with cut-out shapes, ribbons, and trim. I offer instructions for three sizes below, allowing you to create for a variety of ages. Mine will be filled with treats for my one-year-old, four-year-old, and 11-year-old nieces!

To make your own Sweet Trick-or-Treat Bags, you’ll need:
Canvas, flannel, linen, quilting cotton and/or other fabric of your choice
Hand-sewing needle, thread
Scissors, rotary cutter
Pencil or other marking instrument

A Few Notes
On stitch length: When topstitching and quilting throughout this project, I used a 3.5” stitch length. For all other sewing, I used my machine’s standard 2.2”. Adjust as you’d like!

On seams: I used 1/2” unless otherwise specified.

On photos: Many of these instructions can be found in more detail, and with pictures, in my Scrappy Happy Patchwork Tote tutorial. Feel free to take a look HERE!

Cutting Instructions
Small Bag:
(2) 7.5″ x 8.5″ panels for upper exterior panels (I used orange canvas)
(1) 7.5″ x 8.5″ for cut-out fabric (witch hat in my example)
(1) 7″ x 8.5″ for bottom (polka dots in my example)
(2) 4″ x 10″ for handles
(2) 8.5″ x 10.75″ for lining (I used quilting cotton)

Medium Bag:
(2) 10″ x 11″ for upper exterior panels (I used black canvas)
(1) 10″ x 11″ for cut-out fabric (I used metallic copper linen)
(1) 7″ x 11″ for bottom (metallic linen again)
(2) 4″ x 12″ for handles
(2) 11″ x 14″ for lining (I used flannel)

Large Bag:
(2) 12″ x 13″ for upper exterior panels (I used natural/black polka-dot canvas)
(1) 1.5″ x WOF eyelet or other trim
(2) 4″ x 13″ for handles
(2) 12″ x 13″ for lining (I used rust-colored linen)

Let’s Start Stitching!
For the small bag:
1. Draw witch hat or other desired shape on front exterior panel, then cut out. Pin cut-out fabric to back of panel so that cut-out fabric’s right side shows through. Top-stitch 1/8″ around shape. If using, hand-sew hat bow in place.

2. Pin bottom fabric to bottom of front upper exterior panel, right sides together. Sew, press, and top-stitch 1/4″ below seam. Repeat with back upper exterior panel.

3. Assemble bag exterior. Fold long panel in half, right sides together. Be sure to match seams of bottom panel. Sew along both sides and bottom.

4. Make 1″ box corners. (For pictures and more detailed instructions, see step #6 in my Scrappy Happy Patchwork Tote!) When done, press, turn bag right-side out, and set aside.

5. Make lining. Place panels right-side together and pin. Sew along sides and bottom, making sure to leave a 3-5″ opening along one side for turning.

6. Make handles. Fold each strap strip in half lengthwise and press. Open the strip, then bring each outer edge in to the pressed center line. Fold again along that line, and press to make a 1” strip. Top stitch 1/8” away from each edge.

7. Place handles. Mark center of both front and back of bag exterior along top edge. Measure and mark 1.5″ to the right and left of this point. The inner edge of each strap handle will meet these second marks. Pin or clip handles in place so that they hang down outside the bag.

8. Assemble bag. Place bag exterior inside lining, right sides together. Pin along top edge, unclipping and re-clipping handles as necessary. (The handles will be hanging in between the bag exterior and lining.) Sew along top edge.

9. Finish bag. Pull bag right-side out through lining opening. Sew opening shut, then press and top-stitch 1/4″ along top edge of bag exterior.

10. Press, tie on accent ribbons, and enjoy!
trick or treat bag 2
trick 3

For the medium bag:
Repeat the above steps!

trick or treat bag 8trick

For the large bag:
Follow the above steps, minus those related to cut-outs, bottom panels, and box corners. If using eyelet or other trim, sew to the front exterior panel before sewing front and back panels together. (To make eyelet ruffles, I set my sewing-machine tension to 8 and ran the strip through 1/4″ from its unfinished edge. Then I cut accordingly to make two ruffles!)

trick or treat bag 3trick 2

Enjoy your Sweet Trick-or-Treat Bags!

trick or treat bag

trick or treat bag 4


6 thoughts on “Sweet Trick-or-Treat Bags

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