Today I’m excited to share this fun little monster trick-or-treat bag with you! I have been seeing zippers used as mouths everywhere lately – on shirts and dresses – and I’ve wanted to try it for so long. So I created this monster bag for my son to use while trick-or-treating this Halloween! It turned out so cute and the pocket mouth is so much fun!! I think as a kid I would have used this pocket to hide the best candy from my little sister! ;)
I love turning the scary and creepy things of Halloween into something cute! As someone who isn’t a big fan of scary and creepy, I can get on board with this goofy little monster. My kiddos think he is adorable! I have made a couple other cute trick-or-treat bags over the last couple years, like this Black Cat Treat Bag and this Halloween Felt Treat Bag. They are so much fun to create! I have the tutorial and free pattern below for this DIY Monster Trick-or-Treat Bag so you can whip up this fun monster in time for Halloween!
Supplies Needed for DIY Monster Trick-or-Treat Bag:
- Free printable pattern: located at the end of this post in blue
- Black fabric – 1/2 yard. Piece needed measures 11.5″ x 29″
- 7″ zipper
- Scraps of fabric – purple, orange and Halloween stripe for bottom of tote bag
- Pocket fabric – 11.5″ x 10.5″
- Stiff green glitter felt for horns
- Felt scraps – white, orange, and black for eyes and teeth
- Fabric for handles – piece needed measures 8″ x 20″
- Wonder Under
- Thread – I used black, orange, purple, green, and white
Step One: Cut out the pattern pieces
First thing to do is print off the free printable pattern (located at the end of this post). Use black fabric to cut out the large tote bag pattern piece. The smaller pattern pieces – the eyes, teeth and horns – you can cut from felt. All of these pieces will be fused onto the tote bag using Wonder Under. A simple way to cut them out is to lay a piece of Wonder Under over the printed pattern page – with the paper side facing up. Use a pencil to trace the shapes onto the Wonder Under. Cut around each shape, leaving at least an 1/8″ border. Iron each Wonder Under piece to the felt and then cut out the shape along the line.
For the horns, trace just two horns onto the Wonder Under and iron to the green glitter felt. Cut out the horns and peel off the Wonder Under. Iron these pieces onto more green glitter felt and cut out. Now you have two very stiff horns with the Wonder Under sandwiched in between two layers of green felt. Set aside for later.
Step Two: Sew the horizontal fabrics to the front of the bag.
The bottom of the monster bag has three fabrics sewn to the bottom. For these fabrics I didn’t use a pattern piece and I used three scraps of fabric. I finished off one side of each fabric scrap by ironing the edge of the fabric over 1/4″. I then positioned the pieces diagonally and horizontally along the bottom with the finished edge at the top. The top piece (the striped one on my bag) sits about 3.5″-4″ from the bottom edge of the tote bag. I started with the top piece and top-stitched it on along the finished edged. Then I did the orange and then the purple. The bottom edge of the purple fabric should be finished off to meet the bottom edge of the tote bag. I just folded it under and top stitched it down. The sides of these fabrics do not need to be folded under because they will end up in the seam allowance of the tote bag.
Step Three: Insert the zipper and pocket.
This is the biggest step of the project, but if you take it slow, it isn’t as hard as it looks! We are creating a zipper pocket to be the monster mouth. Cut a piece of fabric for the pocket that measures 11.5″ wide and 10.5″ in length. I used a fun piece of Halloween fabric for the pocket as a fun surprise when you unzip his mouth.
Use the diagrams below to position your zipper and pocket piece in the correct place. The zipper should be 2.25″ from either edge of the tote bag and 9.25″ from the top. The diagram below shows where the top of the tote bag will be folded over at 1.75″. I marked the zipper line (shown in green below) with a white pencil on the wrong side of the tote bag.
The pocket fabric should be positioned over the zipper line, with the bottom edge of the pocket fabric 1.25″ below the zipper line as shown below. It will lay on top of the tote bag, right sides together. Make sure if your pocket fabric has a print that you lay it upside down! Transfer the zipper line (green) to the pocket fabric.
Stitch a rectangle around the zipper line 1/8″ away. This is shown in pink below.
Cut along the zipper line, stopping about 1/4 from the ends. Clip to the corners as shown below.
Now the fun part! Push the pocket fabric through the hole you just cut so it is now on the back side of the tote bag. Press so you now have a 1/4″ rectangle hole.
This is what the back should look like.
Place your 7″ zipper under the hole and center it. The zipper should fit perfectly with the top of the zipper and zipper stop visible through the hole. Pin in place.
Stitch a rectangle around the zipper 1/8″ away using a zipper foot.
Yay, the zipper is in! To finish the pocket, turn to the back side of the tote bag and fold the pocket down so the edges meet at the bottom. Pin the two edges of the pocket together, making sure your pins are just going through the two layers of pocket fabric and not the black tote bag fabric.
Grab onto the pinned edges of pocket and push the tote bag fabric to the left. Now you will be able to sew along the pinned edge of the pocket without catching the tote bag fabric. I stitched with a 3/8″ seam allowance.
You can see my stitch line in green along the bottom edge of the pocket.
The pocket is now a little tube. Lay the tote bag out and roll the pocket tube down. Most of the pocket will now be below the zipper. Pin pocket in place along the sides.
Step Four: Sew the eyes and teeth on.
To attach the teeth, remove the paper side of the Wonder Under and iron the teeth in place. Hand sew the teeth on to the bag, making sure you do not sew the pocket closed!
Iron the eyes in place and stitch them down with your sewing machine. My eyes are positioned an inch above the zipper.
He’s so cute!
Step Five: Make and attach the tote straps.
Next up is making the tote bag straps. You can do this “easy mode” and use ribbon or you can make your own straps with fabric. I made my own straps using the same fabric as one of my horizontal pieces. To make the straps, cut four pieces that are 20″ x 2″.
Stitch two of the pieces together, right sides together, with 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn the tubes right side out. I like to use a safety pin to do this. I attach the safety pin to the top layer on one end and then push it through to the other end.
Once the tubes are turned right side out, press them and topstitch about 1/8″ from the edge.
Before attaching the straps, press over the top of the bag 1.75″ as marked on the pattern piece. I folded the edge over 1/4″ first and then along the 1.75″ line so the edge was finished inside the bag. Position the straps 2″ from either side with the ends tucked under so no raw edges are visible.
I pinned some cute purple felt trim I had along the top of the tote bag. I then top-stitched the trim down, which also stitched my tote straps down.
Step Six: Sew the bag together.
Final step!! All that’s left is to sew the bag closed! Pin the horns in place as shown below. They should be positioned about 2″ down from the top of the tote bag along the side edge of the bag.
Start by sewing the bottom of the bag closed. You are just closing up the two “V” shapes. Start with one “V” and stitch both sides of the tote using a 3/8″ seam allowance.
For the second “V”, stitch again with a 3/8″ seam allowance. You won’t be able to sew all the way across like you did the first “V”. Instead, start at the previous stitch line and sew out to the edge of the fabric.
Once the bottom of the tote is closed up, sew the sides of the tote bag with 1/2″ seam allowance. When sewing the sides, you will be catching the pocket and horns and holding them in place.
Turn the bag right side out and it is finished!!!
This monster treat bag was a lot of fun to make! I tried to use a lot of fabrics I already had in my stash – some of them came from the Solar System pillow I made my son last year! You could easily personalize this monster treat bag with different fabrics, different eyes or even give it eyelashes for a sweet girlie monster!
If you make this monster treat bag, or any other BugabooCity Halloween craft, I’d love to see it! Use #bugaboocityblog. Happy crafting!! :)
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