Halloween has become so popular in recent years with lots of people dressing up and taking to the streets to go trick and treating. These cute little Halloween treat bags are perfect to pop your collection in and are quick and easy to make. Don’t worry if you are new to sewing as our step-by-step pictures will guide your through.
Here’s what you need
Material (for bag panels and handles)
coloured thread (this can be matching or a contrast colour)
Fuse a web (optional)
Fabric marker or pencil
Here’s what you do
The first thing you need to do is decide what fabric and colours you want to use. As the bag panels are only 12inch square, this is a great opportunity to use up all your fabric scraps. We have used felt for the applique, but you can use material if you don’t have felt to hand. The great thing about using material for the whole project is it will be washable. Although felt comes in a variety of colours and is easy to work with, it does have a tendency to bobble with use. It would be best to hand wash any item with felt as that too could affect the look
Print out the templates above. Use the thickest card your printer will take so that you can use the templates again. You can print each project separately or download all three together.
Carefully cut out all the pieces. Do not use your best dressmaking scissors for this job. (Adult supervision is required) If you are cutting all the templates, it is wise to store them individually so that they don’t get mixed up.
For this tutorial, we have used a product called fuse a web.
It looks like grease proof paper, but has adhesive on both sides. The glue is activated when it comes in contact with heat. It is simple to use and when positioned and stuck, makes it so much easier to stitch around shapes. Once you have cut out the templates, lay them out onto fuse a web and cut them out roughly, making sure that the fuse a web is slightly bigger than the template. Don’t worry if you don’t have fuse a web, you can draw straight onto your fabric.
You now want to stick the fuse a web onto your fabric. You will see that one side is a like greaseproof paper, while the other side has a sheen to it. Place it sheen side down and follow the instructions on the pack with regard to ironing it to the fabric. For most fabrics , use a piece that is larger than the fuse a web. This allows the edges of the material to get a good bond. Take extra care when working with felt as this will stick to your iron and make a mess. It is better to cut the felt marginally smaller than the fuse a web so that you don’t get the iron anywhere near the felt.
Next, lay the templates down on the fuse a web side and place them so that the writing doesn’t show.
This is so all the parts will be the right way up. Draw round the shape with a pen or pencil. If you are putting the fabric straight onto your panel and are not using fuse a web, make sure you use a washable fabric pen or pencil so that the lines don’t show. Put the templates in a safe place so you can use them again and again.
Using a sharp pair of scissors (adult supervision is always required), carefully cut round the lines.
Do the same for all the pieces and lay them out to check you have got them all.
Once you are happy with your design, set it aside so you can make the panel.
Let’s put it all together
When making bags, choose fabric that has a nice weight to it. Canvas or recycled jeans are great. For the lining use a lightweight material like cotton. If you have any old curtains, how about using the lining material. If you are using plain fabric material for the applique design, you can go wild with the pattern of the panel. If however, you applique fabric pattern is really busy, use a plain fabric for the panel.
Prepare your bag ready to add the applique. You will need the following pieces.
2 X 12 by 12 inch fabric for the outer panels
2 X 12 by 12 inch fabric for the lining
2 X 12 by 3 inches for the handles
Applique is worked in layers. Think of it as a 3D picture and place the layer that would be at the back. The ghost is an easy project to start with as there is only a body. Remove the paper from the back and place the body in the centre of one of the panels. Following ironing instructions for the Fuse a web, secure the body to the panel. When working with felt, it is really important that it NEVER comes in direct contact with the iron as it will melt the fibres and stick to it. If you are not using Fuse a web, secure the body in place with pins.
How you stitch applique is a personal choice.
Some people like to work freehand, stitching randomly around the shape several times. This technique allows you room for error, so if you are not yet confident with your machine, you may like to try this method. We have chosen to work a decorative stitch around each piece. Sewing machines nowadays have an array of built in stitches. You want to choose one that looks similar to a blanket stitch or you could choose a zig-zag. A top tip is to get an off cut and have a play first. Try out the different stitches to see what effect they give. Just bear in mind that you really want one that will secure the edges so that they don’t fray.
To make your applique look really professional, turn your panel over and pull the front thread through to the back. Tie off securely and cut near to the panel. You may need to wiggle and tease the thread through.
Sew round the outside of all the shapes to secure the edges.
The next layer is the eyes and mouth so attach them as you did with the body. Sticking felt onto felt is a bit more tricky so take you time here.
The final layer to be added is the tongue. To give it definition, sew a line down the centre of the tongue. You can free hand where you want it, but a top tip is to draw it on first so you have a line to follow. Fabric pens are great for this, but you need to follow the instructions as they differ. Some fade and disappear after a few hours (if you have this type, don’t leave your project or the lines may have vanished when you come back to it.) Others disappear when they come in contact with water. Chalk is good too as you can brush it off once sewn.
Your ghost is now finished !
Let’s make it into a goodie bag
To make the bag (this is the same for all the designs)
Fold the 12 X 3 inch strips in half, right sides facing, so that they measure 12X1.5 inches. If you are confident, you can sew without securing, if not, use pins to stop it moving. Sew down the long edge. As you will be turning these inside out, it is a good idea to do at reverse stitch at each end to stop them coming undone.
Turn the handles right side out. This can be a bit tricky. You can use a pencil or attach a safety pin and elastic on one end, thread through and pull. Press the handles so that the seam runs along the centre. It won’t be as obvious once the handles are attached to the bag.
The next step is optional. Sew a top stitch along each edge of the handle. Not only does this stop the handle twisting, it looks neater.
To position the handles, mark a line 3inches from each side or 3inches and 9 inches from the left hand side. The result will be the same.
With the join on the handle facing upwards, place to the right of the left hand side mark, and pin in place.
Take the other end of the handle and making sure it’s not twisted, place it seam side up to the left of the right hand mark and pin in place. You will notice that when the handle is sewn and lifted, the seam will be underneath and not visible.
Sew the handles in place before you put the bag together.
This allows you to sew lots of times back and forth without the stitching showing, and it makes the handle stronger. Take care where your are stitching, it needs to be fairly close to the edge so that it doesn’t show once the bag is assembled.
Making sure that the handles are tucked down and inside the two layers, place the lining along the top edge, right sides together, and pin in place. Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the top of the two pieces.
You can see in the pic below that the handles are now attached to the top of the bag. Attach the handles to the other panel and lining in the same way.
Now all you need to do is join the two sides
Place the panels right sides together. Make sure that you line up the middle seam (between the panel and lining) so that they match. Sew down one of the sides, starting from the middle seam and working down to the bottom of the bag. If you try and sew all the way round the bag, the centre seams probably won’t match up. This way takes slightly longer, but gives you a much neater finish.
The middle seam has been lined up perfectly.
Once you have sewn down one side, turn your bag over and sew the other side from the centre to the bottom of the bag, making sure they are lined up perfectly.
Once your sides have been sewn, close the bottom of the bag.
You now need to sew the lining side and it is done in exactly the same way as the top outer fabric. Starting at the middle, sew down the edge. As the lining needs to be marginally smaller, sew a tiny bit further away from the edge. Sew the other side the same. With the bottom of the lining, you need to leave a gap so that you can turn the bag right side out. The size of the hole depends on the thickness of your fabric. Make sure you do a reverse stitch so that the lining doesn’t come undone when turning.
Turn the bag right side out.
Make sure all the corners are pushed out on both the inner and outer fabric.
Tuck in and press the opening of the lining, and sew up, stitching as close as you can to the edge.
Push the lining back inside the bag, making sure the lining corners are right down into the outer fabric corners.
To finish the bag and stop the lining moving, sew a line of top stitching close to the top edge of the bag. We had black cotton on the top of the machine and white in the bobbin, so that the thread blended in.
The bat is assembled as below
Sew on the body.
Next add the head, ears and inner ear. The ears are placed just behind the head. The head overlaps the body very slightly.
We decided to use wobbly eyes for our bat, but this is a personal choice.
This bag is not suitable for small children now, so you need to take into consideration who the bag is for.
The pumpkin is more of a challenge as it is worked in layers.
Place the bottom layer down and mark the lines indicated on the template with a fabric pen.
These lines give the pumpkin definition but you don’t have to sew them.
Sew the lines before completing the outside stitching.
The stalk is sewn next so that it looks like it is coming out the centre of the pumpkin.
Place the middle layer and the stalk in place to check you have it in the right position.
Remove the middle layer and sew the stalk in place.
We have used a contrasting green thread to add even more definition.
Add the middle layer and sew in place.
Finally postiton the top layer and sew in place.
Your pumpkin is now ready.
For each of the designs, make sure you pull all the threads to the back.
These are so quick and easy to make and don’t have to be just for Halloween. Keep an eye for future designs.
They would make amazing party bags, or a little bag to take to nanny and grandpa’s house with activities in.
Go on…………. get your machine out and get creating.
We love seeing your creations and makes, so don’t forget to tag us #CraftyCoCreations
The Crafty Co