Learn how to make your own trick-or-treat bag to use for this Halloween and many to come!
Are you tired of those crummy, cheap plastic containers for trick-or-treating that are always breaking and needing to be replaced? Maybe you’re looking for a more eco-friendly or stylish option. Whatever the case may be, this DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial should do the trick (or treat, ha!)!
My grandmother started the tradition of making all of us grandkids trick-or-treat bags, and I have carried it on for my children and their cousins. And now I’m going to share it with you and your family!
These trick-or-treat bags are super easy to make and can be made with under a yard of fabric.
I wanted these bags to be big enough to grow with the kids. So although they seem a little large when the kids are small, I think they will last through all the trick-or-treating years.
So the dimensions of the finished trick-or-treat bag are 17 inches tall by 15 ½ inches wide. Plus, I used half-inch seams. So the dimensions for the two pieces of fabric that make up the lining are 18 inches by 16 ½ inches.
For the outside of the trick-or-treat bag, I did a stripe of contrasting fabric to add a little bit of interest. This is totally optional, and if you’re looking for something a little more straightforward, you can omit this part easily enough by using two panels of fabric the same size as the lining panels for the outside.
So for the outside of the bag, I used two strips of contrasting fabric that were 4 ½ inches wide by 18 inches long, and I used two pieces of the main fabric that were 13 inches wide and 18 inches long.
Sewing up the Seams
If you’re like me, once you get the pieces cut out, things start to move much more quickly. Cutting seems to be the most time-consuming part, to me. So now, you’ll need to sew the seams for the lining and for the outside.
For the lining, you’ll want to be sure that you are sewing the two panels together with your right sides together and leaving one short side open for the top.
For the outside, the first thing to do is attach the contrasting fabric strips to the main fabric panels. Again, you’ll do this by facing the right sides together and sewing a half-inch seam, backstitching at the beginning and the end. Once this is done, take an iron and press the seams one direction or the other so that they lay flat. Lastly, sew the two outside panels together, right sides together, leaving one short side open for the top, just as for the lining.
Once I had the seams all sewn up and the two pouches created, I went through and cut off some of the excess fabric from the seams to reduce some of the bulk. I used a pinking shear disk for my rotary cutter to do this.
I added box corners to the bags to give them some room in the bottom, you know, for maximum candy collection.
To construct the box corners, you’ll want to fold the side seam of either the lining or the outside (you’ll do four bottom corners total, two on the lining and two on the outside) flat, lining the corner up with the side seam. Iron this flat and then measure an inch from the corner on each side of the triangle you created, making a mark at each of these points. Connect those two marks across the triangle and sew across that line, backstitching at the beginning and end. Then cut the corner off. Do this same thing for each of the four corners.
(If you’re like me, before you go cutting the corner off, especially if you haven’t made box corners before, you may want to just turn the part you’re working on right side out to make sure that it looks right. I found this page very helpful when reminding myself how to do box corners .)
Assembling Your Trick-or-Treat Bag
This is the trickiest (ha!) part of making the whole bag. It had been a few years since I made one of these, and it actually took me a couple tries to remember the logistics of this.
All right, so just like before, you’ll want to remember to keep your right sides together, just this time, it’s going to be the right sides of the lining and of the outside. For assembly, you’ll want your lining to be right side out, so when you look at just the lining pouch, the pretty side of the fabric will be on the outside and the backsides will be on the inside, touching each other. The outside pouch will be inside out, so when you’re looking at the outside pouch, the pretty side of the fabric will be on the inside, touching each other.
Then, take the lining pouch and put it inside the outside pouch, lining up the side seams. As you can see in the photo, you will have the right side of the outside pouch touching the right side of the lining pouch.
Adding the Handles
For the handles, I used 1-inch, black, nylon webbing because, like I said, I want these bags to last. Also, you can buy it at Hobby Lobby and JO-ANN by the yard super reasonably. This time, I found it at Hobby Lobby for less than $2.00 a yard.
Before placing the handles on the trick-or-treat bag, I take a lighter and melt the ends of the handles so that they don’t fray over time, even on the inside of the bag.
The handles on my trick-or-treat bags are 12 inches long upon completion (using 13-inch-long sections to account for the 1/2-inch seam) and are placed 5 inches apart, each end being 2 ½ inches from the center. You’ll want to be sure to line the handles up with each other on each side of the bag.
When assembling the trick-or-treat bag you will want to place and pin the handles between the lining pouch and the outside pouch. So you will have the handle between the two right sides, that of the lining and of the outside. The second handle will be exactly opposite the first on the bag.
Completing your Trick-or-Treat Bag
Now that you’ve got your trick-or-treat bag assembled with the pouches and handles in the correct arrangement, the last step is running a ½-inch seam around the top of the bag, leaving a 3-inch gap open.
Once you have your seam, you will turn the bag right side out. It should look like the picture down below. Next, push the lining down into the outside pouch of the bag. Iron down the gap in the seam, and run a stitch right along the edge of the bag to close that gap up.
And that’s it! Now you have your very own custom, reusable trick-or-treat bag!
Go Forth and Trick-or-Treat!
I hope that my family tradition brings your family some joy. Make it your own, have your kids pick out their fabric, tweak the size, mess with the handles, just have fun with it!!