Glow In The Dark Trick or Treat Bags

I stumbled upon this GREAT idea today and had to share!  This DIY project is a little time consuming but well worth it to keep better track of your child at night!

Glow In The Dark Trick or Treat Bags


trick or treat bag 

What you’ll need:

– 1 sheet black polyester felt (stiffened felt if you can find it).

– 1 sheet adhesive backed black polyester felt (regular felt will work with fabric glue if you cannot find adhesive backed felt).

- 1 sheet colored felt. (Regular, unstiffened, felt is fine here as it comes in more colors. Use orange, yellow, light green or white depending on your chosen decoration.) – 1 plain black tote bag from the embellishment section of a craft store (or a bag large enough to accomodate a 9″ x 12″ window being cut in it).

– Stiff netting that is 8″ x 23″ (1/4 of a yard will do).

- A Halloween decoration to use as a template, something that will fit onto 7″ x 10″ rectangle. (In the Halloween section of craft stores I found paintable wood cut outs, foam cut outs, pumpkin stencils, window clings and hanging decorations that work really well for this purpose. You can also download and trace free pumpkin stencils online. I’ve given some sources below.)

- Six glow bracelets of the same color. (I found $1 tubes of bracelets at Michael’s craft stores, each tube came with three of each color so you’ll need two tubes.)

– Tear away interfacing for delicate fabrics, or tissue paper.

– Chalk or a marking pencil that will show on dark fabric.

– Black thread.

Also helpful to have:

- Masking tape.

– An exacto knife.

– Fabric adhesive such as Fabri-tac.

– Fray Check or a similar product.

– Parchment paper.

trick or treat bag 

1. Cut the window in your tote bag. Flip the bag inside out and mark a centered rectangle that is 7.25 inches wide and 10.25 inches tall. Cut the window out of the bag. I slip a smaller cutting mat inside the bag and use a rotary cutter as normal, clipping into the corners with small scissors. Use a product like Fray Check to seal the edges of the fabric, if you don’t have Fray Check you can sew a quick line close to the edges to keep the fabric from unraveling. Tip: If you slip a piece of parchment paper inside the bag it will make applying Fray Check easier, it won’t stick to the parchment and it won’t soak through to the other side, a cling film will also work for this purpose. Set this aside to dry.

trick or treat bag 

2. Create the decoration. Prepare the silhouette decoration you’ve chosen. If you’re lucky you’ve found something to trace that is already sized well for the 7″ by 10″ rectangle. If needed resize the image in a graphics program or on using a photocopier. If you’re using letters (such as R.I.P.) be sure to reverse them now so they will be correct in the cut out felt. Trace the decoration onto the paper backing of the adhesive black felt and cut it out, still with the backing on, using an exacto knife or scissors.

trick or treat bag 

3. Create the frame for the decoration. Mark 1″ around the sides of the stiff black felt and cut out the center rectangle, essentially creating a picture frame. Trim 1/2″ off of the top and one side of your colored felt (or just be sure to make it slightly smaller than the width and height of the frame as it will be sitting underneath it).

trick or treat bag 

4. Create the mesh pockets that will hold the glow sticks. Cut the mesh to 8″ wide and 23″ tall. Fold the mesh in half vertically and press (using a pressing cloth) the fold. This fold will be the bottom. Cut a piece of tear away interfacing for delicate fabrics or tissue paper (I used tissue) that is a bit larger than 8″ by 12″, and mark it to use as stitching links. Draw seven vertical lines spaced an inch apart (these will create six inch-wide pockets) and one horizontal line 1.5 inches up from the bottom. Place the mesh so that the bottom is flush with your template, and it’s centered over the seven vertical lines.

I’ve found the best way to hold the mesh to the template is to press a few strips of masking tape firmly to the top so that it clings. You could also pin it down, but be careful of pins sliding out. Stitch the seven vertical lines, then the horizontal line, and lastly stitch about 1/4″ in on the sides and bottom (this last step just keeps the mesh flat so it’s easier to work with later). Use a fairly short stitch, it creates more perforations and makes the tissue easier to tear away. Now rip away the tissue or interfacing, I found using a sewing ruler along the stitch line as I’m ripping makes go faster.


5. Assemble the decoration. With wrong sides up, center the colored felt on top of the black felt frame. Hold it in place with a little fabric glue, or put in some quick basting stitches to keep it together. Flip this so the right side is up. Take the paper backing off of your felt silhouette and press firmly on to the front of the colored felt. If your silhouette has narrow parts, such as spider legs, you might need to use some extra fabric glue or a few tacking stitches to keep it in place. (Warning: the adhesive backing on the felt will stick to a needle, so if you need to attach it more securely do this by hand so you don’t gum up your sewing machine.) Once the silhouette is in place flip so that the wrong side is up and place the mesh pockets over the back of the colored felt, lining up the folded bottom edge about 1/8″ up from the bottom. (We’re doing this so that the tops of the pockets don’t later get caught in a row of stitches.) Pin or tack the mesh in place.

trick or treat bag 

6. Sew the decoration. With the wrong side up stitch the sides and bottom of the decoration about 1/4″ in from the edges of the mesh. This will secure all the layers together. Now put some stitches vertically at the top of the pockets to secure the top of the mesh (without closing the tops of the pockets). This is confusing so I’ve drawn green lines on the photo above to show where I stitched.

trick or treat bag 

7. Attach the decoration to the bag. Turn your bag right side out. Place your decoration right side up centered over the cut out window in the bag. Hold it in place using a bit of fabric glue or pins. (Sliding a small cutting mat or using the parchment paper here will help keep you from catching the back side of the bag as well.) With right side up, stitch the sides and bottom 1/4″ in from the edge of the frame. Don’t worry about doing this all in one line of stitching, it can be fussy to get the bag under the presser foot. Now stitch the top of the frame staying about 1/8″ in, being very careful not to catch the top of the mesh in the process.

trick or treat bag 

8. Finishing. Trim threads and pull any basting stitches and you’re done! When darkness falls crack out your six glow sticks and insert them into the mesh pockets. Now have fun trick-or-treating, try not to eat too much of your kid’s candy.

trick or treat bags

All Credits: Megan Reardon

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