While store-bought trick-or-treat bags offer a options that suit almost every child’s taste, a homemade bag guarantees kids may project the image they want.
With a little imagination and items found around the house, you can create fun, functional trick-or-treat bags kids might end up using year round.
Form vs. function
Before you start buying or looking for items for a trick-or-treat bag, think about how functional the sack needs to be. If it might get wet, paper won’t be a good choice. Paper bags are easy to decorate, so adding a plastic liner inside lets you use them with no worries. How much candy will your child likely receive and how far and for how long will she have to carry it? Adding a wrist strap adds security, while two straps can turn a Halloween bag into an easy-to-carry backpack.
Let kids tell others about themselves by drawing or affixing pictures, photos, buttons or other items to their bag that reflect their favorite heroes, activities, music and hobbies. You can have a bag decorating party with lots of markers, iron-ons, printed images made on your computer, pins, stickers and glue to help keep everything in place. Kids who play sports might want to decorate their bags with images of the equipment they use and some of their idols. Each bag should be a conversation starter that lets kids interact with the adults who fill their bags, as well as teachers, classmates and other friends.
Creating your own wildly colorful trick-or-treat bag not only lets you stand out, but also provides another opportunity for family fun or an activity at a kids party. A tie-dye bag only requires an old white pillowcase or other cloth sack, one or a few packets of dye, some rubber bands and a tub or two. You can buy kits made especially for tie-dyeing if you’ve never done this type of project before, and they will come with helpful instructions and ideas for monochrome or multi-color designs. The basic concept is that you bunch-up areas of cloth on your bag or sack and secure them with a rubber band. This prevents the dye from soaking into those areas. After you drop the shirts in the dye and let them dry a bit, you undo the rubber bands to reveal exotic patterns. You can find lots of instructional videos online to show you how it’s done.
Use cloth, crayons or markers to create different bags that represent a child’s favorite animal. Kids can try to recreate their pet dog or cat, or go on a safari by creating leopard, zebra, lion, hippo, elephant, giraffe or cheetah bags. In addition to re-creating an animal’s color, add some cloth legs, a trunk, a tail or a long neck. Add a friendly or scary face complete with eyes, nose, whiskers, tusks, fangs and claws.