DIY & Crafts

How to make a Halloween tote bag

By: Heather Camlot and Tara Nolan

Author: Canadian Living

DIY & Crafts

How to make a Halloween tote bag

By: Heather Camlot and Tara Nolan

As you prepare those special Halloween costumes for your little trick-or-treaters, think about what you want to do for their most important accessory: the candy bag.

While you're sewing up a storm -- or taking the costume from the package -- your princess or pirate can be colouring in their own personalized tote bag. We chose traditional spooky characters, like a witch and Count Dracula, but if you're sending out a cowboy, you may opt for a Western theme or anything else that relates to this year's disguise.

Cotton or canvas bag
Fabric paper (we used Avery Ink Jet Printable Fabric)
Fabric markers or paints
Sponge or paintbrush (if using paint)
Inkjet printer
Ribbon (optional)
Velcro adhesive or needle and thread (optional)

Step 1: Choose an image
• Visit clip art sites to find your images or inspiration for your design. We used Microsoft Office Online (visit and Hassle Free Clip (go to You can also scan a colouring book page into your computer or, if you're particularly handy with a pen, draw outlines of spooky characters.

• In your photo-editing program, if you are using clip art, remove any colour from the images so you are left with solid black outlines.

• Open a new 8 1/2- x 11-inch horizontal document and paste in your Halloween outlines.

• Add text if desired. We added "trick or treat" using a font called Chiller.

Step 2: Print your image
• When you are ready, test-print your image on plain paper.

• If you are happy with the results, insert fabric paper into your printer, according to the package directions.

• Be sure to change your settings accordingly to accommodate the specialty paper.

• Once printed, leave the sheet flat for a few minutes to allow the ink to dry.

Page 1 of 2 -- Learn how to design your Halloween tote bag on page 2

Step 3: Prep the bag
• Trim the image, if necessary.

• If you'd like, embellish your bag with ribbon to make the printed picture pop even more. Make the ribbon border slightly smaller than your trimmed fabric paper, then use Velcro Adhesive, as we did, or needle and thread to affix the ribbon.

• Place your trimmed paper over the ribbon so there is a slight overlap.

• Iron the printed image to the bag according to fabric paper instructions.

• Allow to cool.

Step 4: Colour between the lines
• Arm your little artists with fabric paint or fabric markers (we used SetaSkrib fabric markers) and have them colour in their picture.

• Allow to dry, according to the package directions.

Once the candy has been sorted and the little tummies are full, store your bag for next year's sweet mission.

Does too much sugar turn your kids into frightening ghouls? Read here about the health-conscious Halloween Fairy.

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DIY & Crafts

How to make a Halloween tote bag