Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cute Loot: Halloween Goody Bags

One thing that I always looked forward to around the holidays when I was in elementary school were classroom parties. Knowing that it was a party day motivated me to move a bit faster on those mornings before heading off to school. Well...at least I didn't fall asleep in the bath tub on those days, as I was notorious for doing! (Someone should have reminded me that a classroom party really just meant taking thirty minutes out of a seven hour school day to eat a cupcake and maybe play one game, haha. But that's not really the point!)

And aside from looking forward to the actual celebrations, there was always the preparation for those parties that gave me little butterflies. Back in the day, before schools got ridiculously PC and so bogged down with rules that the fun was totally zapped out of everything, any parent that wanted to could bring in treats for the class. They didn't limit it to just a few students bringing treats for the class to share. (Lame!) And so you better believe that my cool mom often gathered the supplies needed to make treat bags for my classmates. And I adored helping her put them together!

Here is the loot for this year's bags! See my little piles? *Sigh* Like mother, like daughter. :)

There was always a specific method to putting our treats together. We would open up each jumbo bag of candy, or small toys, and pour them into piles all around the kitchen table. Then together we would grab little paper bags, take one or two items from each pile, and fill those sleeves of fun up! There was always something so satisfying to me as a child to grab from those piles and plunk the treats down into those thin paper sacks. As an adult, I still love the feeling of watching the empty bags fill up with treats. What is it? I don't know! And then of course, there was the glorious "click, click" sound of the stapler, signaling one little completed project, which would be placed to the side as we would reach for the next bag to be filled.

Now it's more popular to use cellophane or plastic bags instead of paper sacks, but they're still fun to fill!

I don't yet have a child that is old enough for classroom parties. Evelyn doesn't even go to daycare. BUT... Halloween is just around the corner (26 days to go!) and I have a neighborhood full of children that I can prepare treats for. About a month ago, I watched a very inspiring video from one of my favorite paper crafters, My Pink Stamper. She put together some bags for her friends that I thought were so darling that I knew I would have to copy her idea someday. Check out her how-to video HERE.

You may think I'm crazy for taking all of this time for some trick-or-treaters who will probably tear these bags apart to get to the candy inside, but I don't care, haha. It's fun. And here's the best part: I strategically shopped and bought the cheapest goodies I could possibly find, yet I'll be just as cool as the Jonses down the street who splurged on full-sized candy bars. When those kids reach into their buckets at the end of the night, will they pull out the individual candies first? Nope. It's the bags, people. Kids love those darn bags! (I got everything I need for these little treats for $9.50 from The Dollar Tree. That's less than two bags of candy bars from Walmart. Score!)

Here's where I dressed them up a bit. Taking a nod from My Pink Stamper, I decided to jazz up the bags to set them apart from the rest. It was super simple, but I think it made a big difference. First, I measured the width of the plastic bags I had purchased, and then cut out colorful cardstock squares about an inch longer than the width of the bags.

I scored the cardstock down the middle and folded it in half. Then, I slipped the bag into the fold of the cardstock and stapled it shut, like this:

Last, I cut a strip of halloween patterned paper to cover the staples.

And that's it! I still plan to add a "Happy Halloween" message to each of the bags, but that's the basic idea. I would definitely add a little more detail if I didn't have to make dozens, but I think these'll do. Really easy, but oh so cute!

Naked Bag vs. Pretty Bag :)

So if you're bored within the next couple of weeks and start feeling a little crafty, put your time and energy to good use and do a little something extra special for the kiddos in your neighborhood. I know some of you already do! And if you have children that are old enough to help, take it from me, this is one project you can do with them that they will love. If you have never personally experienced the joy and elation of watching an empty bag fill with fun treats, then you must try this project. :) You will become a goody bag addict just as I am. And those of you who know exactly what I'm talking about can attest...once you go goody bag, there's just no turning back!


Staci said...

I've done this for my sunday school class (1-3 grade) at Christmas time. I used larger bags and filled them with small toys and candy. I also used the backside of the topper as a gift card.

Adrien said...

I used to the same thing when I taught 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School! It's more fun when you know who is getting the bags, isn't it?? One year we had a "Birthday Party for Jesus," inspired from my excuse to want to have loot bags for the kids, haha.


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