Repurposed Halloween Tote Bag

Halloween is a great time of the year to reuse a lot of fabric remnants and other leftover craft materials to create fun ghoulish pieces. This project is made from an old tote bag I had laying around, an old white tee shirt, some leftover pieces of fabrics, cardboard, and a hot glue gun (or fabric glue).
I drew out an idea on paper and decided on embellishing the tote bag with some trim, a little ghost and two bats. I used an old white tee shirt to make the ghost, a round plastic lid to partially trace onto cardboard for the shape of a ghost head, an orange piece of trim, a small piece of black fabric (round sequins or buttons) for ghost eyes, a small piece of cardboard to make a bat template, and a small piece of green felt (or any green fabric) for the bats.

I decided what size the ghost head would be by holding a round lid against the tote bag. Once I found the size lid that served as a shape for the top of the ghost head, I used that lid to trace a half circle onto cardboard and cut out the cardboard shape. I only needed the half circle cutout for this project (or if you’d prefer, you can cut out a full circle and then cut it in half). This cardboard half circle will later be placed under the white tee shirt fabric to create the top of the ghost’s head.

For the ghost, I used an old white tee-shirt and pinned down the half circle cardboard near the top center of the tee shirt and (freehand) cut the tee shirt (by eye) about a few inches from the cardboard following the shape of the head all the way around loosely shaping the ghost body freely down the left and right sides. You can leave the fabric bottom edge longer than the bottom edge of the tote bag, or trim it in any shape or design you’d prefer.

To create the ghost head shape, I tucked the half circle cardboard cutout under and near the top part of the fabric and tucked the fabric under the cardboard. I then used two big black sequins for the ghost eyes. I wanted to add more color to the bag so I found an old piece of bright orange fabric, cut a narrow strip to make a trim for the top edge of the tote bag.

Next to make a bat template, I drew a bat shape onto cardboard, cut out the shape and placed it on the bag above the ghost to check the scale/size. I then pinned the cardboard bat onto the green felt and cut out the bat and repeated for the second bat. I snipped tiny pieces from scrap pieces of white tee shirt for the bat eyes (or you can use little beads, or fabric paint). Lastly, I placed all the cutout pieces where I wanted them, and used a hot glue gun to adhere all the pieces to the bag. I really enjoyed making this Halloween project.

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