Make Your Own: Trick or Treat Bag

October 7th, 2011

Halloween will be here before we know it!  Do you have your costume planned?
I am still deciding if I’ll be dressing up in something fun or not.

Even though I don’t have a costume yet, I now have a stylin’ treat bag!

While trolling down the Halloween aisles at various stores, I have never been a fan of the trick or treat bags/buckets/etc they have for sale.
So, I decided to decorate my own by making my own stencil.

To start, I picked up a 3-pack of canvas tote bags from Wal-mart {had I actually planned ahead, I would have used a coupon for Hobby Lobby…but that’s what you get after 9 at night}.

It took me some time to figure out if I was going to decorate both sides or just one side of the bag.  In the end,  I decided to decorate just one side.  Then I had to decide on a design.  I decided to use a word graphic from Jen’s Spooked Halloween Elements digital kit.  After I decided on my design, I traced it on to freezer paper.

I choose to use freezer paper since I don’t have any sort of machine to assist with those duties.  I just used a laptop, pencil, freezer paper, exacto knife, and cutting pad.  When I trace the pattern, I just {lightly} trace it directly on the laptop screen.  {I do this, because it’s a MacBook and has a glass-like screen.}  Otherwise, I would have printed off the design and then use that to trace the pattern on to the freezer paper.

{Yes, the laptop is upside down…it’s easier to trace that way!}

To trace, be sure that the glossy side is down, and that you are tracing on the side that is paper-like.
{The glossy side needs to stay face down, as that is what is used to iron the paper to the fabric/bag.}
Once tracing is completed, cut out the parts of the design that you want to be painted.  And yes, it will take some time.

Next, I ironed the ‘stencil’ on to the bag.  I apologize for the brown spots on the stencil/bag.  I guess that is what happens when you use your iron for crafts and never clean it.  :)

If you look closely, I also reinsert the ‘insides’ of some of the letters.  I also labeled them, just to be sure they were placed where they were cut from.

Now it’s time to paint!  Since I have a wide variety of acrylic paints, I like to use a textile medium to make my acrylic paints more fabric friendly.  {Be sure to read the instructions on the bottle.  I don’t know how the various brands differ for application instructions.}

I started out with black, then finished off with a mustard yellow.  I decided to go with the mustard instead of orange…because of the accessories I wanted to use.  Plus, it just works!  :)

One thing to remember when painting on fabric, be sure that you do more of a ‘sponging’ technique.  This means to not drag your paint brush across the freezer paper/fabric.  Dab the paint brush up and down.  {Had I had an actual sponge brush, this would have been easier.}  If you want to give your letters/design a more rustic/worn look, you will just go a little lighter on the amount of paint you are applying.

Once you finish painting, let it dry completely.  After the paint has dried, carefully pull the freezer paper off.  It seems that any time I do this, I do need to use my exacto knife to help get some small pieces off.

Now have fun with accessorizing the bag any way you see fit!  I added a couple of buttons, one on each side of ‘OR’.  Then I added some trim from the Stella Rose Hattie “Boy” Trim collection.  {As I’m sitting here now, I am wondering how I can also add the velvet light blue trim to this bag.  I might be adding it later!}  To attach the buttons and trim, I just used my trusty glue gun.

And here is my final product!  I love it!  Now, I just need to find a reason to use it.  Maybe I can use it for handing out candy to any trick or treaters that stop by.

If you have kids and if they are old enough, have them help you!  Let their little creative minds help with designing a bag they would be proud to use this Halloween, as well as Halloweens to come.  {Just be sure that an adult is the one doing any cutting with an exacto knife or any gluing with the hot glue gun.}

Have a fantastic weekend!

5 Responses to “Make Your Own: Trick or Treat Bag”

  1. Melody Lake says:

    Very Cute! I never thought of using freezer paper as a stencil…. Definately something I must try.

  2. Kim says:

    A-DOR-ABLE!!!!! I wanna make one for me to carry this time of year!!! how fun! great tutorial!

  3. Gina says:

    That looks great! Too bad I didn’t have kids around to send them out trick-or-treating. And no one will be coming to my door!

  4. Mindy W says:

    Way to go, Farmgirl!! Makes me feel brave enough to try it!!

  5. Joy says:

    WOW! What a SUPER-DI-DUPER super cute treat bag! Love it! Likey the embellishments too!!
    Thanks Nicole!

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