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Molly's Sketchbook: Trick or Treat Tote

Halloween tastes are ephemeral. One year your kid might insist on dressing up as a pink princess, while the next year nothing but a ghoulish ghost will do. It’s all part of the fun!  But while costumes change from year to year, one thing abides… candy!

To celebrate this most timeless aspect of Halloween we sewed up this sturdy little Trick Or Treat Tote. It’s easy to sew but so well engineered that it will serve its purpose year after year. Plus, with Orange Reflective Ribbon as the handle, your little goblin will be safer in the dark!

Small and simple, this project would be a great first bag. It’s so quick and satisfying that you may find yourself making them for all the little witches, warlocks, princesses, and ghosts you know! Everything you need to make one is in our Materials for Trick or Treat Tote Kit here! --Molly

ps- The beautiful candies in the photo above are from our favorite Swedish candy shop in New York, Sockerbit!

The Materials

A Materials for Trick or Treat Tote Kit containing….

The Pattern

Finished Size: 7-inches tall, 7-inches wide, and 4 inches deep.


Cut the Canvas into two rectangles 13 inches wide by 11 1/2 inches tall. Assign a right and wrong side to the fabric.

Cut a 29-inch length from the Reflective Stripe Ribbon

Cut two 5 ½-inch lengths from the Bias Tape. Put the Bias Tape aside for now.


Press one long edge of a Canvas rectangle ¼-inch twice towards the wrong side and edge stitch down the fold. Repeat for the second Canvas rectangle. These hemmed edges are the top sides of the rectangles.

Starting at the bottom edge of the right side of one of the Canvas rectangles, pin the 29-inch length of Reflective Stripe Ribbon up the center of the piece. Then, with the top hemmed edges of the rectangles facing one another (as shown above), pin the opposite end of the Reflective Ribbon to the other rectangle in the same manner.

Using the Neon Thread, edge stitch the Ribbon to the Canvas. Make sure to stitch it to the top and bottom of the bag as well.


Pin the two rectangles wrong sides together along their raw sides and bottom (do not pin the top closed). Using the Cotton Thread, sew the two rectangles together along the pinned sides with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Turn the bag wrong sides out and pin the two sides together along the left, bottom, and right sides, as shown above.

Sew these pinned sides together with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. This will encase the raw edges and create a French Seam. 

To create the boxed bottom of the bag, pull apart the sides at one of the bottom corners so that the side seam is directly on top of the bottom seam and the corner forms a sharp point. Orient the seam allowances so that they are facing opposite directions and laying flat.

Mark a line perpendicular to the side seam at the point where the corner is 4 inches across, as shown above.

Sew along this marked line and then trim off the excess fabric, ¼ inch above the sew line 

Repeat for the second corner.

Trim off the corners on the 5 ½-inch lengths of Bias Tape. Place it over one of the raw boxed bottom seams and fold the raw ends of the Bias Tape ½ inch over towards the wrong side. Then fold the Bias Tape over to encase the raw boxed bottom seam.

Pin the Bias Tape over the raw boxed bottom seam.

Using the Neon Thread, edge stitch the Bias Tape into place.

Repeat with the second length of Bias Tape for the opposite boxed bottom seam


Turn your Trick or Treat Tote right sides out and you’re all done!


Reader Comments (8)

this is a brilliant idea and use for the reflective tape.
September 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersuzanne
Wow, I love this tote! We don't have Halloween around here, so I could see myself going to the market with it.
October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
How cute! Loving the bright orange with the naturals.
Love your stuff!
October 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLily
what a lovely project. i wonder if my boys would walk around with one of those bags or if they would think that they are too girly???
October 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbritt
Such a great project. I immediately order two kits and sewed like crazy the evening they arrived. My twin 3-year old boys love them and I like the added safety of the reflective ribbon. I thoroughly enjoyed the different techniques in this project. It will be a pattern that I make use of many times in the future. Great job!
October 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeri B
The reflective ribbon is such a great idea! I really love this bag. Thankyou
October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
Such a great use of reflective ribbon! I'll be featuring this in a round-up on The Crafty Crow soon!
October 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCassi
Totally going to make one of these with my rainbow webbing!
December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRonja

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