Homemade Halloween Trick or Treat Bags

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We've got a fun homemade Halloween craft. Brooklyn-based crafting expert, author and Rowenta CraftLab ambassador Lotta Jansdotter teaches us how to make our own trick or treat bags. This project is easy enough for even the novice crafter. You can whip up a '??spooky'? low-cost, high-fun trick or treat bag in an afternoon. Read on to learn how to make custom trick-or-treat bags with iron-on transfers that have festive designs and words like, '??BOO!'?

Use an iron to prep and finish the project. Utilize the iron'??s steam feature to create an ultra-smooth working surface on the fabric, easily and efficiently. Then use the iron'??s tip on a medium, no steam setting, to set the edges of the transfers so they adhere well and don'??t peel-off.

Materials and tools:

* Plain cloth tote bag (go here for directions on how to make one)
* Transfer printer paper (about $9 for a three-pack)
* A copyright-free image, such as a line drawing or illustration, graphic or logo, text or a simple photograph related to Halloween
* Scissors
* Cardboard or scrap paper
* Computer with image software and ink-jet printer
* Rowenta iron (such as the Rowenta Focus iron)

1. You can buy a ready-made transfer, but it'??s more fun to make your own. First, chose an image. Try scanning an image, such as a photo or illustration your child has made in school, into your computer, or find a copyright-free image online. Graphics such as logos or type will need to be reversed (or '??flipped'??) in an image program, so it comes out the right way on your garment. Also, consider the size of the image in relation to the size of your garment.

2. With an ink-jet printer, make a test print on a piece of plain paper as to avoid wasting transfer paper. Then, print the image on the transfer paper.

3. Trim around the design, leaving at least 1/2 inch border around the graphic.

4. Turn your iron to medium setting, no steam.

5. On an ironing board or clean, hard, heat-resistant surface, place your material or garment and slip a piece of cardboard or scrap paper in between the layers of the garment. Position the transfer on top, design-side down.

6. The package of transfer paper will recommend a temperature for the iron, and the correct amount of ironing time, but generally, the iron should be medium-high heat (and no steam) and you'??ll need about 60-90 seconds of ironing. Place the iron on top of the decal and keep it moving in circles, making sure to concentrate on the edges of the image first and work your way in to the centre.

7. When the edges are firmly adhered to the fabric and the transfer isn'??t hot to the touch, begin peeling the paper away from the design. If the transfer isn'??t separating from the backing paper, iron for another 30 seconds or more.

8. When the decal is cool to the touch, the garment can be safely washed and dried. For longevity, turn the item inside out before washing and air-dry or dry on a cool setting.

If you can't find any artwork to use, head to FamilyFun.com. They have a "free printable" of the day. Here was today's option:

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Rowenta Craft Lab ambassador Lotta Jansdotter turned her love of sewing and screen-printing into the popular label and studio Lotta Jansdotter. Her modern, nature-inspired graphics can be found on everything from linens to fashion accessories, stationery and more. Lotta continues to hand-print textiles, author how-to books on sewing and printing and even finds time to teach small workshops to aspiring Lottas, all from her Brooklyn, New York, studio.

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