Easy DIY Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag

DIY Drawstring Bag
DIY Drawstring Bag

We all know that homemade Halloween costumes are the best, but what about the candy bag? Create a cute trick-or-treat bag and upcycle an old t-shirt with this easy DIY guide! Replace plastic Halloween trick-or-treating bags, and use it as a sports bag or sleepover bag after. The best part of this DIY…no sewing experience necessary! YASS!

Get the kids involved by having them decorate the shirt, or if they are a little older, they can help with assembly. Coordinate it with their Halloween costume, or have them decorate it as they wish.



  • Old T-Shirt (Child’s XL or Adult S)

  • Scissors

  • 120 Inches of Thin-Rope or Ribbon

  • Safety Pin

  • Paint or Other Decorative Items


DIY Drawstring Bag Instructions

Time: This entire process took me about 30-45 minutes.

  1. First, turn the shirt inside out and lay it flat onto a table.


2. Cut slits from the bottom of the shirt up towards the top, leaving the sides of the shirt intact. The strips should be a ½ inch wide by about 3 inches long. If you are making this for a smaller child, you can cut 2-3 inches off of the bottom of the shirt to make it a smaller bag. I did not do this for this demo, but I would recommend it!


3. Next, cut off the excess material of sleeves at a slight angle. You will want about 2.5 to 3 inches of fabric left on the outside of the sleeve sew line.

4. Cut the sleeves in the same way that you cut the bottom of the shirt. Take the cut fabric strips to make a square knot and pull tight!

5. Repeat the same knots at the bottom of the shirt. You will want to leave two of the cut strips (from each side of the shirt) unknotted. You will use these later in the process!

6. Next, cut a slit on each side of the neckline, just above where the shoulder seam attaches to the collar.

7. Cut the rope or ribbon into 60-inch strips. I would recommend melting the end of the rope with a match or lighter to prevent fraying.


8. Next, hook a safety pin onto the end of one of your rope or ribbon sections. Thread it through the slit in the neckline and feed it around the entire loop of the shirt, entering and exiting on the same side of the neckline.


9. Repeat with the second piece of rope, but going in the opposite direction you did the first time. Each side of the shirt should have two strands coming out of the neckline.


10. Tie each end of the ropes into a knot.

11. Turn the shirt so it’s right side out, and pull the two untied end strips from the bottom of the shirt. The ends of the ropes should be hanging out of the bottom. Take the unknotted strips of the t-shirt and wrap around the knotted ends of the rope, tying it into a tight knot. Do this on each side. Then, tuck the extra shirt strips into the inside of the shirt.

12. This is where you can have your kids jump in and decorate the bag to their liking!

DIY Drawstring Bag

Voila! You now have the best homemade trick-or-treating bag that is:

  • Easy to carry!

  • Reusable!

  • Not plastic!

Most importantly - no risk of candy casualties with that drawstring! Happy trick-or-treating!


By Emily O’Connor


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