Have you ever seen one of those small butterfly nets for kids? Lots of people also use the nets to retrieve bugs and leaves from swimming pools. The nets are usually available at dollar-theme stores and work well to create a unique candy collector for trick-or-treaters. This Halloween, get one of those cheap nets, and make your child a bag that will hold lots of candy and be more unique than anyone else’s candy bag.
As was mentioned previously, the butterfly nets are very inexpensive, and that’s a good thing since the net itself generally rips after a few uses. If you own one of the said nets, and it’s torn, it’s perfect for this craft. Since the nets aren’t expensive, you can afford to purchase one new, then remove the net, and create the trick-or-treat bag which is perfect for kids who will be walking house to house on Halloween night.
The handle of the butterfly net is hard plastic and shaped like a giant magnifying glass. It has a handle, then a large round circle, with the net attached and hanging below the circle. If your butterfly net is in perfect shape, and you don’t want to cut it, just decorate the butterfly net with a Halloween theme, using stickers, ribbons or similar things, and use it like it is. Otherwise, cut the net off and start making the trick-or-treat bag.
There are several different ways you can make the unique Halloween bag for kids. One way is to completely cover the handle and circle of the net with orange or black ribbon, fabric or even a child’s boa in a Halloween-theme color. Start wrapping around the circle, next to the handle, and continue until the entire circle is covered. Move on to the handle, wrapping the ribbon or cloth until you’ve reached the end. Hot glue works well to hold the end of the ribbon quickly.
Cut a large circle of cloth, felt or other material to make the bag itself. The circle must be cut larger than the opening where the net was, and keep in mind that, the large you cut the circle the larger the deeper the bag will be when finished. After you’ve cut the circle gather it in on fist to form the shape of a bag. If the bag seems too large you can always trim a little off the circle, all the way around, then gather it up again. Loosely slip a large rubber band around the top of the bag. Now flare the fabric out until it is large enough to fit around the bottom of the circle of the butterfly net.
It’s easiest to attach the gathered cloth to the net if you turn the bag upside-down. Align the edges of the circle to the edges of the net. Hot glue works quickly to hold the fabric but you can also use other types of adhesives. Spray adhesive works fast, but if you use white glue, place heavy objects around the circle until the glue is dry. After the bag is in place, and the glue is drying, remove the rubber band and take care not to pull the bag away from the circle of plastic.
If the butterfly net is one that has a shape other than a circle – some of them are shaped like butterflies and other designs – it’s not quite as easy to connect the new fabric. Instead of gathering it in your fist and putting on a rubber band, glue the new material around the edges a little at a time. Cut the circle of material, then choose a place on the opening of the handle, then begin using hot glue to attach the fabric. Go around wings, legs or other shapes keeping the edges of the material next to the edges of the opening.
Another choice you have is to cut a large piece of flat craft foam then place it over the opening of the net. For fun, cut the shape of a hand, then glue it on, and cut a hole in the center of the foam. Now people who are giving out the candy will have to drop it through the “hand” and into the new bag. With this method you can cut a circle of cloth, begin gluing it under the hand, and glue it in a circular shape no matter what the shape of the net opening.
Since a bag full of candy can get pretty heavy it’s helpful if you use a second gluing technique to further secure the bag to the handle – or the hand. After you’ve glued the circle of fabric onto the shape of the net opening use narrow ribbon, cloth, felt, or even tape, to give it extra hold. Tape the edges of the cloth, or if you’re using adhesives, glue the ribbon or other material around the edges of the cloth. This will give the heavy bag extra holding power. Kids will love the new Halloween bag that’s unlike anyone else’s they know!