With felt and glue, and some simple sewing, you can conjure up a new Halloween tradition -- with no witchcraft required. Simply stitch or glue felt shapes to a felt rectangle, and then sew the rectangles to one another to create a boxy bottom, with all seam allowances left showing. Felt is durable and easy to work with so you can make a new treat bag every Halloween, or let your treat-seeker use the same one each year.
Use our pattern PDFs to re-create the sacks shown on the next few pages, or let your kids draw their own designs. Children can also help you cut out felt shapes and glue on finishing details.
Cut two equal-size rectangles from felt. (Our bags range in size from 13 x 16 1/2 inches to 14 x 19 1/2 inches.) Using our patterns or your own designs, applique the felt shapes to one of the rectangles, with the design close to the top of the rectangle rather than centered. Lay the appliqued piece faceup on the other rectangle, and stitch the rectangles together about 1/2 inch from the side and bottom edges; leave the top edge open. Use straight scissors or pinking shears to evenly trim each seam allowance to about 1/4 inch.
At one bottom corner, adjust the felt layers so part of the bottom seam is directly on top of the side seam. Stitch edge to edge, perpendicular to the existing seams -- the farther up from the corner you stitch, the more tapered the bottom of your bag will be. Trim off the corner about 1/4 inch from the stitched line, using straight scissors or pinking shears. Repeat the stitching and trimming at the other bottom corner, cutting away an equal amount.
For handles, sew four 12- to 15-inch-long felt strips into pairs, stitching along both long edges. Evenly trim the edges with straight scissors or pinking shears. Align the ends of the handles along the top inside edges of the bag; pin and then stitch into place.
Don't be scared off by this airhead. Sewing the ghost into place before cutting away the insides of the handles makes it easy to align the handle arches.
This scene is haunted by details: Black thread gives the tree branches a rougher, more barklike appearance, and running stitches let the red and orange leaves flutter.