My girls had Halloween parties in their dance classes this week, which I completely forgot about until the day before the first one. The kids were all supposed to bring treats for their fellow dancers. Me being me, I couldn’t just send them in with generic candy. Oh no, I had to pull some crafty thing out that looked super simple but was actually really time consuming.
I decided to go with this witch’s broom treat bag from Martha Stewart. All I needed was brown paper lunch bags, sticks, twine, and a treat to go inside them.
Those look simple, right? Totally can pull 30 of these off…in a day…
They turned out cute, but let me tell you–these babies are time consuming. My kid was 15 minutes late to her first class and we had to eat dinner in the car because I was finishing these bags up. Note to self: don’t let them eat chili in the car ever again…
Definitely not a good last minute craft because of all the cutting. But here are a few hacks that I did to make it go a bit faster:
- I used paper straws instead of sticks. Although this upped the cost of an otherwise very inexpensive craft, it saved me having to cut 30 sticks. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
- I put a bag inside of another bag so that I could fringe 2 at a time. Cutting the fringe bags is what takes forever (5 minutes per bag), so this was huge on saving time.
- I used black masking tape instead of twine. It was hard enough trying to hold the top closed so that I could tape it, let alone trying to tie twine around it. I mean, seriously Martha–that’s way too much work.
- I cut my bags down so that they would be shorter, which meant less fringe. The straws are smaller in width than the sticks that Martha used, so keeping the bags tall looked funny. Plus–less fringe.
Here’s how I made my treat bags.
There are two lunch bags used for each treat bag: 1 to hold the treat, and the other that gets the fringe treatment, which goes around the first bag. I cut my fringe bags to be slightly taller than the inside bags, so that the fringe would cover up the inside bag completely. Pardon the couch night shot, but I was cutting these in semi-darkness while the baby was nursing herself to sleep.
Here’s a picture of the inside bag folded up, after being cut, so that you can get a feel for how short it was:
Once all the bags were cut down, I got to work on cutting all that fringe. You literally just flip the bag upside down and cut strips all the way down to the base of the bag over. and over. and over.
Once they’re all cut and you have a sore patch on your thumb from all the cutting, make an assembly line.
Now you’re ready to fill your bags with goodies. Just to make it even more complicated, I filled the bags with a homemade treat that I’m calling, “Witch’s Brew”. It was inspired by this Harvest Hash, and was composed of:
- Frankenstein’s Bolts (Pretzel Sticks)
- Old Witch’s Fingernails (Fritos)
- Dead Man’s Eyes (M&M’s)
- Ghost Poop (Homemade Muddy Buddies)
- Scarecrow’s Hat (Candy Corn)
To make the muddy buddies:
- Melt one bag of white chocolate melting wafers. I used the microwave; 30 seconds for the first go around, then 10 second intervals, stirring after each time, until melted. You can add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to help the melting process when it’s mostly melted.
- Pour 4 cups of Chex cereal into the melted chocolate, being sure that all of the cereal gets coated nicely.
- Then gently toss the chocolate covered cereal in a gallon Ziploc bag with 1 cup of powdered sugar, until all the cereal is coated.
- Lay out on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet to dry; make sure that none of the cereal pieces are lying on top of one another.
I tried mixing all the ingredients for my “Witch’s Brew” mix in a bowl, but all the candy fell to the bottom, which made separating it into all the bags difficult. I found it was easiest to put each component in each bag individually. The fritos and muddy buddies will leave grease marks that show through the paper bag, so be sure to line them with parchment paper before adding the food.
The salty/sweet mixture of this treat was really yummy.
Then you’ll want to rip off bits of tape and stick them to the edge of a table so that you can grab them easily as you go along your assembly line for the next part.
Place your straw (or sticks, if you planned properly unlike myself and had the time to cut sticks for an hour) in the center of the bag, and fold the top of the bag to meet around the straw. This takes a bit of finesse because the fringe wants to go haywire; try to be patient. Once you’ve got it all cooperating, wrap the tape around the top bit of fringe, tight as you can.
Then you’re done!
Aren’t they cute?
After the dance class mayhem, I decided to make 8 more for the neighborhood kids. I mean, after 30, what’s 8 more, right? I had a bit more time for these, so I threw together little tags with the “ingredients”. To make it look festive, I wrote on white paper, which I glued onto an orange paper, which then got glued onto a yellow paper, giving the candy corn effect. Then I punched a hole in a corner, and used twine to tie them to the sticks.
To enjoy the treat, the kids just tear open the side and dig in!
Happy Halloween, everyone!