Monday, August 27, 2012

BOO-tiful Trick or Treat Bags!

DIY Trick or Treat Bags:

How to make custom machine appliquéd felt tote bags. 

Create and customize a trick or treat tote bag using felt and one of three free downloadable appliqué designs from Sew Beautiful magazine.

By Joy Welsh and Nicki Hill

Appliqué Designs are available as a free download from Sew Beautiful's Web Extras page or from Applique for Kids.  Refer to download for specific appliqué materials and supplies.

These instructions support the article “Boo Bags” from the article published in the September/October 2012 issue of Sew Beautiful magazine, Issue #144. Instructions for Appliqué are included in the issue. We teach you to construct the tote bags in this blog post!

Materials For Tote Bags
• 2 sheets of bamboo felt or wool felt in color of choice (available at Martha Pullen Co.'s online store)
• 1 sheet of black wool felt
• Colored felt according to free appliqué download design
• Rayon machine embroidery thread for appliqué and lettering as called for by design
• Tear-Away Stabilizer as called for in appliqué instructions in issue #144


Cut out with regular scissors first, then trim seams with pinking shears for a zigzag edge.

•  Cut two sheets of felt 12 inches W x 11 inches H for front and back.
•  Cut two 11 inch x 4 inch strips from contrast colored felt for sides.
•  Cut one 12 inch x 4 inch strips from contrast colored felt for bottom.


1. Follow appliqué instructions to complete machine embroidery and appliqué design on one piece of felt (reserve remaining piece for back of tote, or embroidery another appliqué design on back as well).

2. Stitch front and back pieces to bottom 4-inch contrast felt strip with wrong sides together so that seams are on the outside of the bag. Start and stop 1/2 inch from ends and back tack at each end. Trim seams with pinking shears.
3. Place one side strip to front edge of back and sew from top to bottom stopping 1/2 inch from edge (meet end of bottom seam to form a corner and backstitch). 

Repeat to join other sides of side strip to back of back. Trim both seams with pinking shears.

4. Pinch bottom edges of side and bottom strip pieces together and stitch from corner to corner and backstitch at each end. Trim seam with pinking shears.

5. Repeat these steps to apply remaining side strip.

6. Top edge of bag remains straight, but could be cut with pinking shears if you wish.

7. Make handles from ribbon, braided trims, felt or anything sturdy and stitch ends of handles to inside of both front and back approximately 4 to 5 inches apart centered.

8. Glue decorations such as rickrack, ribbon fringe, trim and buttons to bag as desired.


Check out more fun appliqué designs for all seasons from Applique for Kids.

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