Friday, May 4, 2012

Halloween Goodie Bags

We really enjoy holidays at our house -- and Halloween is a big favorite (one year we dressed up a medical skeleton in a tuxedo and sat him at an organ while a recording of Bach's Tocatta and Fugue blared away!  We call him Dr. Feelgood.)

I'm also funny about Halloween treats.  We don't get a whole lot of kids at our house -- so I like to give out good stuff (ie: full-sized candy bars) rather than the bulk bagged things.

The past few years, we've dressed them up a bit -- with little felt Halloween Treat Bags! I size them to fit the full-sized candy bars ... so the size isn't constant; it varies with the kind of candy I find. 

I like to use felt -- you can buy 9 x 12 felt pieces in lots of Holiday colors -- find them on sale and they're 10 for a dollar!  If I were doing a lot of bags (like maybe for a school or a party), then I'd go with a yard of felt.  I put handles on these with scraps of ribbon -- other years I've just hot-glued on pom-poms or scary eyes.Whatever looks like fun!

In this case, I took a 9 x 12 piece and cut it in half length-wise -- to give me two 4.5 inch by 12 inch pieces.

Next, take one side and fold it in half so that you have a doubled piece 4.4 by 5 inches.  Before we sew this, I'm going to use some pinking shears to pink along the unfolded "top".  You don't have to do this -- it's felt, so it's not going to unravel -- but I just think it looks neater.

Now, lets close the sides of the bag; we'll sew a straight stitch down the two "sides" -- AND ALSO along the folded bottom (there's a reason for this).  We're only sewing three sides -- we're leaving the pinked top open.

I used about a 3/8" seam allowance on the sides and about 1/2" on the bottom.

Adding the ribbon handles turned out to be the hard part (as in using up time) -- that's why I don't do it anymore!

Seems like it should be easy -- just take a piece of ribbon 8 about 8 inches long.  Sew one end to the middle of one side of the open top; sew the other end to the middle of the other side.

It should be easy -- but these bags are kinda little and my fingers keep getting in the way!  I ended out having to pin the ribbon down to keep it from slipping -- then I could sew it to tack it in place.  It doesn't have to be a real strong tacking -- you're only carrying a candy bar in this bag after all!

Here's what eight of them looked like. (That's four felt squares cut in half to yield 8 pieces of felt).

This time, I sewed the bags one at a time.  Last year, I placed two 9 x 12 felt pieces together, sewed the bags in place on the 9 x 12 sandwich, then cut out the sewed bags.  I don't know that it really saved me all that much time, though.

I guess it all depends on the size of your candy bars! 

To finish things off, I ran the pinking shears around the remaining three sides of each bag.  That's why we sewed along the folded bottom of the bag earlier!  We're now pinked on all four sides -- which I think makes the bags look "spookier".

And the end result -- here're some bags loaded with full-sized candy bars.  They're all ready for handing out on Halloween.

How do the kids like then?  Well, frankly, I think the kids focus on the candy!  However, their parents really appreciated the bags.  The kids liked them more when I skipped the handles and used glued pom-poms and eyes to make goofy "faces" on the bags.

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