Ely was a cowboy. My mother-in-law made his costume, and took a blue ribbon at her county fair this summer. I made Ely's trick-or-treat tote bag last year. I was in Old Navy in late October and saw some Halloween bags for $3. They were very cute and very cheap, but were made of plastic and I try hard not to buy any plastic or spend money on items my family doesn't need for survival. I realized I could make him a simple bag, as I'd recently taken a sewing class at the local art school and learned the basic "formula" for a tote bag. I already had black kona cotton and orange and black cotton thread in my stash, so all I needed was 1/2 yard of orange kona cotton which I could purchase for less than $3 and maybe would even be enough for two bags.
Tote bags are simple - basic rectangles and straight sewing, with homemade bias tape handles. Depending on how you want the bag to look, the handles can be sewn on before assembly, or at the very end. I wanted a simple bag, so I sewed them on before I sewed the exterior to the interior. I added a fun pumpkin applique to the outside, using wonder under and black fabric scraps. I cut out the facial features, ironed them in place, and edgestitched around them to permanently secure them to the bag. I unintentionally used a dull exacto knife to cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth so the pieces have frayed more than I'd like. Black thread for the edge and topstitching finishes off the bag. The best part about making your own bag is that it can be any size. Personally, I don't think young children need a lot of candy, so I made Ely's bag on the smaller side. A smaller bag is also easier for a young child to carry on his own. Agnes didn't need a bag this year, but I'll make her one next year. I'll probably embroider her name on the outside of her, and add Ely's name to his to prevent any confusion.