These totes are super easy and can make trick-or-treating that much more fun for the kiddos. My kids love anything that was made just for them, especially my daughter. Her favorite expression when she spies something I’m working on that might possibly be for her is “For meeee?” and then a silly little happy dance once her suspicions are confirmed. She’s one of those little kids you love to give gifts to simply because her over the top antics make the gift giving that much more enjoyable. She was over the moon with her pumpkin tote and it will be well used long before Halloween rolls around.
Here’s what you need to make your own trick or treat bag…
- 2 – 17″ H x 18″ W pieces of fabric
- 2 – 17″ H x 18″ W pieces of fusible interfacing (heavy weight like decor bond, if you want the bags to stand on their own)
- 2 – 15″ L pieces of 1″ wide webbing
- Note – this bag is not lined, but the interior seams are concealed as you’ll see below.
After you have everything cut to size, use your iron to apply the interfacing to the back of each piece of fabric. Most of the fusible interfacing products include application instructions, if you are unfamiliar with them.
Using a ruler and marking pen, you’ll need to mark strap placement on the top of each fabric piece. For this particular bag, you want to mark each side 5″ inches in from the side and 2.5″ inches down from the top. You can use disappearing pen or a marking pencil, whichever you prefer. The strap will cover these marks, so don’t worry about the marks you make being visible later on. Once completed, you should have 2 marks designating strap placement on each piece of fabric.
Now lay your two pieces of fabric on top of each other, wrong sides together. Using your ruler again, you need to mark a 3.5″ x 3.5″ square in the bottom corners of the top fabric piece. Using a rotary cutter (pin if using scissors, this will keep the bottom layer from shifting) cut out each square.
To keep the bag from having exposed seams, we’re going to do what is called a “french seam”. With the wrong sides together stitch down each side and across the bottom of the bag with a 1/4″ seam. You can pin the sides before sewing, if necessary.
Once you’ve stitched both sides and the bottom turn your piece inside out (you should see the interfacing). It’s always a good idea to iron all your seams nice and flat before stitching the next step. After ironing, stitch a 5/8″ seam along each side and bottom. This stitch line will enclose your previous stitching, so there will be no exposed seam along the interior sides of your bag.
To create the gusset for your bottom, match the side seam to the bottom seam, pin in place. Stitch a 5/8″ seam across and then trim down the excess. This seam will be left exposed, but the interfacing will help keep anything from unraveling. If you’d like you could use some double fold bias tape and finish off each exposed end.
Turn your bag right side out. It’s time to finish the top hem of your bag. Fold down approx. 1″ all the way around, iron to help set the line and then repeat (two inches total should be folded). If done correctly, the strap marks you made earlier should be near the top of the bag now. You can use these marks as guides for your fold lines. Stitch near the bottom of your folded hem and stitch a second line near the top as shown below.
For the straps you’ll want to fold in about a 1/2″ and then repeat on each end. Stitch a line across each end to keep the folds in place. This will make things easier when you go to attach them to the bag. Compare the length of your two straps before finishing the second strap and adjust the folds on the last end of the second strap accordingly. You want your straps the same length, so you may need to fold it a little more or less to match the first strap. Depending on the type of strap you used, you may want to finish the ends before folding to prevent any unraveling. I use polypropylene so heat is required to seal the ends properly.
Now it’s time to attach the straps to the bag. Find the “x” mark you made earlier and place the strap directly over that mark. Stitch in place. I stitched a box with an “x” stitched the middle for some reinforcing. Make sure you don’t twist your strap and then repeat the placement and stitching for the other end of the strap. Repeat all of the above for the second strap on the other side of the bag.
The finished bag should look something like this…
This is a good size treat bag and measures approximately 6″ D x 10″ H x 9″ W. You can easily increase or decrease the size by adjusting your original fabric pieces. Happy sewing!