Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Ghost Bags

So for me, Halloween wouldn't be Halloween unless candy was involved. However, I have very few friends who appreciate getting a big bag of candy from me for Halloween (likewise). I came upon the cutest candy bags knowing that my friends would appreciate the sentiment but not the contents.

But who does love candy? The nephews.

I spent this Sunday past making a handful of fun felt bags to fill with goodies and send out to the nephews (three of them, ages nearly 3, nearly 4 and nearly 14) and to my stepbrother (age 14). I know that for the two bigger boys the end product may be a bit childish but the goods inside will be appreciated.

I found the idea for the ghost bag online at Better Homes and Gardens (yup, my fave craftie website). I knew that when I finished my test a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to do SOMETHING not involving studying so I guess this was the project.

I downloaded the template from the website and blew it up until I had the size I wanted. I think I ended up with a 9" x 11" template (it doesn't matter as long as the ghost fits!). My next step was the craft store.
Normally, I would just suggest buying squares of pre-cut felt, but I decided to go with the felt on the bolt because in general, it's a bit stiffer. I got a yard of orange and a yard of white (on sale 50% off!) and then a couple pieces of black and purple in the pre-cut pieces. I felt that purple is a more Halloween-y color than the navy blue that BHG suggests for the "Boo!" letters.

When making multiples of anything, make one first to make sure it works. Then you can have one completely done and just tweak the remaining whatevers.

Ghost Bag:
My first step was to cut out a template for the actual bag. I used the 11x17 sheet of paper the ghost was printed on (I had multiple copies) and measured it out. Remember that 90 degree corners are awesome (not 87 or 92, etc). I used that template (cut out) to just draw an outline with a Sharpie (one of the fine point kind). You can also pin the paper to the felt and cut out the bag that way. Don't forget to cut out two!Next draw an outline of your ghost and cut it out of the white felt. You only need one of these.
Now take one of the bag pieces you have cut out and position the ghost piece where you want it with his entire body on the felt - you will cut off the excess in a bit. Pin it on and sew the entire edges with the sewing machine (if you don't have a sewing machine, you can sew it by hand but it will take forever).The next step is to take the ghost felt rectangle and plain orange felt rectangle and stitch the three corners, leaving the top open. Personally, I chose to stitch the bottom of the bag so the stitch was in the inside of the bag (place the ghost felt and the plain felt outsides facing inside and stitch the bottom. Snip the excess fabric and turn inside out.).
Turn the bag so the outsides are facing out. Sew each side of the bag shut. Using shears or regular scissors, cut the excess of the side of the bag.
Now you will have to draw a line from the ghost handle part out in each direction along the top of the bag and cut the excess orange felt. Make sure that the front and back line up while cutting.

Yay! The bag is done! Now for the decorative elements:

Turn on your tv. This part is a bit time consuming.

Decorative Elements:
Using the letters from your template, cut out two eyes, one mouth, one "B", two "O"s and one exclamation point. Using fabric glue (I'm guessing you could use hot glue except that it might leave trace amounts on the fabric if it leaks through) apply the appropriate letters and eyes and mouth. Use a heavy book for weight and lay it on top of the bag. Leave overnight for best results.

Now you're really done!

But, if you are like me, you have multiple bags...so after finishing your bags you may want to make tags.I simply used a cookie cutter to outline a bat shape onto black cardstock (only because I'm lame and like everything to be the same). After cutting out the bat shape, I took a hole punch (well, more like a brad punch because I couldn't find my single hole punch) and made a hole in the corner.

I wrote the recipient's name on one side with a rock star product called (generally) the metallic paint marker. These things are FABULOUS. Except if sniffed in excess, may cause wooziness (please try to avoid sniffing especially if pregnant). They write superbly well and are super shiny! Love it! So anyway, I used that to write the recipient's name and my name on the tag and tied it onto the bag with a black cord ribbon I had lying around. Because I have stuff like that. Lying around.
Now for simplified instructions because I got really wordy up there:
1. Cut out felt (ghost and bags).
2. Sew ghost onto bag.
3. Sew bag together.
4. Cut excess felt off top of bag to align handles with top of bag.
5. Trim with shears.
6. Cut out decorative touches.
7. Glue decorative touches.
8. Label bag.

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