Make your own Halloween trick-or-treat bags this year to hold all your little guy or gal’s candy! This easy sewing tutorial requires less than one yard of fabric for the entire bag. This is also the perfect tote bag tutorial to teach a beginner to sew. There are only straight seams and easy handles to sew.
Kids’ Halloween treat bags like this one can be sewn super fast and last minute if you already spent all your time making costumes! Just grab 1/2 yard cute Halloween fabric with pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls, or spooky bats for the exterior and any other 1/2 yard for the lining (because no one will care)!
You could also dress this free bag pattern up with sew-on appliqué or iron-on vinyl cut with a Cricut or other cutting machine.
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF file for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.
These DIY trick or treat bags are a great beginner sewing project because:
- Only a few supplies are needed, and not a lot of fabric.
- No templates are needed, just measuring and cutting tools.
- You’ll learn how to make a basic bag and straps that can be adapted in many ways.
- All of the sewing is very forgiving if you mess up.
Halloween Treat Bag Dimensions
These finished candy bags for kids are approximately 12” tall and 13” wide, not including the handles. This easy reversible tote also makes a great book bag, shopping bag, or craft bag for any time of the year. It’s way more useful than those orange buckets!
The free tutorial below includes step-by-step instructions with photos.
How much fabric is needed to make a halloween bag?
This lightweight bag pattern requires less than half a yard for the exterior and another 1/2 yard or less for the lining. You’ll need a 1/8 or some scraps for the handles, or you can use leftover fabric from the exterior or the lining.
If you want to use fat quarters to make this tote, you’ll need two fat quarters for the outer fabric, two fat quarters for the lining fabric, and another fat quarter or scraps from the other fabrics to make the handles.
Tips for Choosing Fabric and Thread
This project works best with cotton quilting fabric. It’s easy to sew with and available in so many adorable halloween designs. You can make this project in a single fabric or use coordinating prints like mine. Any combination will look fabulous.
You could also use cotton or polyester home decor fabric or canvas.
Polyester thread is a good choice for this project because polyester is strong and has the tiniest bit of stretch to help it hold all that candy your trick or treaters will get!
So let’s get started sewing a DIY Halloween Bag!
What stabilizer will I need?
I didn’t use any stabilizer when I made these bags. That helps to keep the pattern fast and easy. If you would like to add stabilizer to your main bag pieces or the handles, I suggest using the fusible medium-weight woven interfacing SF101 from Pellon. It is soft and drapeable and makes beautiful bags.
You will need:
- 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the bag exterior
- 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the bag lining
- optional: two 4” x 14” pieces of a different fabric for the handles
- Cutting tools: scissors, rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and cutting mat
- A sewing machine
- A fabric marking pen or pencil
- Sewing pins
1. From cotton fabric, cut:
- 2 squares 14” x 14” for the bag exterior
- 2 squares 14” x 14” for the bag lining
- 2 rectangles 4” x 14” for the handles
2. Place your two lining squares right sides together and your two exterior squares right sides together.
3. Use a pencil and a small ruler to mark a 1 1/2” square at the bottom corner of one of the sets of squares. Cut out the 1 1/2” square through both layers.
Repeat to cut a 1 1/2” square from the bottom of both exterior pieces and both lining pieces.
4. Pin the exterior pieces together along the side edges and the bottom edge. Pin the lining pieces together the same way.
You’ll sew these together after making the handles.
Make the Handles
1. Fold both 4” x 14” strips of fabric in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press. Open and fold the long raw edges to the center and press again. Fold in half and press again to make two 1” x 14” strips.
2. Top stitch along both long edges of the strips, about 1/8” from the sides.
Set the handles aside for now.
Sew the Bag Pieces Together
Seam allowances are 3/8” unless otherwise noted.
Tip: The side edge of most regular sewing machine feet is 3/8” from the needle. Beginners will find this pattern easy to sew a straight seam by keeping the raw edges along the edge of the foot.
1. Sew the exterior pieces together along the side edges and the bottom edge with a 3/8” seam allowance. Press the seam open.
2. Sew the lining pieces together the same way, except leave a 4” opening along the bottom edge for turning. Press the seams open.
3. With the bag exterior still inside out, flatten the corner opening so the cut-out makes a straight line. The side seam should be lined up with the bottom seam. Pin the edges together.
4. Sew across the corner. Repeat to sew the opposite corner. Then sew both corners of the bag lining the same way.
Attach the Bag Handles
1. Turn the bag exterior right side out.
Use a pencil or the fabric marking tool to make two marks at the top of the exterior bag piece. The marks should be 4” from each side seam.
Turn the bag over and make the same two marks on the other side.
2. Pin a handle piece to the bag, centering the ends of the handle over the marks. The raw edges of the handle should line up with the top raw edge of the bag exterior.
3. Sew across the ends of the handle 1/4” from the top edge of the bag.
Repeat to sew the other handle piece to the opposite side of the bag.
Finish Sewing the Treat Bag
1. With the bag exterior still right side out and the bag lining still turned inside out, place the bag exterior inside the lining.
Line up all of the edges and pin them together. Match the side seams.
2. Sew around the top edge of the bag with a 3/8” seam allowance.
Tip: If your sewing machine has a free arm you can use it to easily sew around the top edge of the bag.
3. Turn the basket right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.
Another tip! Separate the bag exterior and lining as shown and press the seam that joins them flat. This will help make a nice crisp edge in a few minutes.
4. Tuck the edges of the opening to the inside. Sew the opening closed by hand or using a sewing machine, sewing close to the edge.
4. Push the lining inside the bag. Press carefully. Take care to press well around the top edge so that the seam is right along the top edge.
5. Topstitch around the top edge of the basket 1/4” from the edge.
And you are done! This DIY Halloween Treat Bag Pattern is so fast and fun to make – you will make one for all the kids you know!
As always, I love to see what you make with my tutorials. Please post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can see!
Are you looking for more Halloween themed sewing projects? Check out:
- Adorable Owls Free Sewing Pattern for cute Halloween decor ideas
- Kittens Halloween Party Free Mini Quilt Pattern
- Halloween Panel Quilt with Irish Chain Blocks
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂