DIY Halloween Trick or Treat Bags

Courtesy of Arizona Opera’s Costume Shop


● Canvas Tote Bag (pre-washed in basic detergent NO fabric softener)
● Plastic Halloween Stencil
● Permanent Marker
● Acrylic Paint in various colors
● Glow-in-the-Dark Paint (optional, but fun)
● Fabric Medium
● Sponges & Paint Brushes
● Rhinestones, Etc. (to add some sparkle)
● E-6000
● Clothes Iron (to heat-set the paint)


  1. Wash your tote bag in cold water with detergent & dry on Low to medium heat. NO fabric softener.
  2. Using the marker trace out your chosen stencil onto the bag.
  3. Put something waterproof between the layers of the bag to prevent the paint from bleeding through. We used a plastic flexible cutting board or a piece of cardboard covered in plastic.
  4. Mix a small amount of your paint with some fabric medium. 3-parts paint to 1-part fabric medium is an okay guide, the more medium you use the runnier your paint will be.
  5. Using the sponges and brushes paint your design. You can also embellish your paint with colored permanent markers. Always WASH sponges and brushes thoroughly after use.
  6. Allow paint to fully dry.
  7. Apply small drops of E6000 glue wherever you want to apply a rhinestone or sequin. Heat set rhinestones could be used instead.
  8. Allow glue to fully dry.
  9. Press the painted area of your bag to set the paint into the fabric. Use a thin washcloth or scrap of fabric to separate the iron from the bag.
  10. Trick or Treat until your bag is filled with candy and treats!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!