{ Happy Sewing } … Party Loot Bags

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Quiet Time, Tutorials

princess & the pea fabric loot bags

This is one of those super easy projects that I turn to every time one of my kidlets is having a birthday party. Emma turns 8 tomorrow and we threw a birthday breakfast celebration with a few special young friends on Sunday. We have always had birthday celebrations in the afternoon which has typically meant the whole morning is devoted to organizing and decorating with over-excited kids underfoot. and the day is thus consumed. This time I thought that if we did it in the morning instead, pyjamas and all, we would still have half the day left for some other fun family adventure.

While I enjoy the idea of loot bags, giving some little special thing or collection of things to guests to thank them for coming, I am not a fan of all that instantly disposable plastic. Preferring to offer something that’s pretty and that continues to be useful after the bedlam dies down, I make these little cotton sacs and typically fill them with some crafty stash. The bag hopefully lives many lives afterward. I often find one around the house filled with a collection of wild animals, lego pieces, marbles, pinecones … you name it.

Here’s this year’s stash: a few sweet colouring pages, glitter glue, plastic lacing bundles, googly eyes, mini pompoms, wooden beads, jewellery findings, mini bottle of sequins, paint brush & a pretty flower.

fabric loot bag contents

For a pyjama breakfast party, what better fabric than Princess and the Pea …

What I used:

– For each bag you will need either 1 piece of fabric 24″ long x 6.5″ wide, or if using directional fabric as I did here, 2 pieces 12″ long x 6.5″ wide.
– 1 yard elasticized cord, or a few inches more if it’s not elasticized.

What I did:

Use 1/4″ seams unless otherwise indicated.

Measure and cut your fabric pieces. A clear acrylic ruler & rotary cutter make this easy, but they are certainly not essential. I have a long 6.5″ wide ruler that I place on my fabric to aid in fussy cutting the perfect piece … just zip around the edges.

cutting fabric for loot bags

If using one long piece of fabric, fold it in half widthwise, right sides together. If using 2 pieces, place them right sides together, making sure to match fabric top ends together. As per the following diagram, mark points on either side ¾” and 1½” down from top. Start stitching from top edge on one side. Backstitch when you get to the 1st point. Raise your needle & advance the fabric to the next point. Backstitch to secure stitching. Continue around the base (If using 1 piece of fabric, backstitch at bottom and start again on other side) & up the other side. Treat 3rd and 4th marks the same as the first two.

loot bag instructions

Press top few inches of side seams open. Press under 1/8″ along top edge. Press under again just over ¾”. Stitch ¾” from top edge. Turn bag right side out.
Cut cord length in half. Use a bodkin or safety pin to thread it through the casing, starting and ending along the same side. Knot ends together. Do the same with the other length of cord on the opposite side.

princess & the pea fabric loot bags 4

A yummy cake & a few colourful decorations were peacefully organized the night before, and thus we were set for the festivities.

balloon wall


  1. Cynthia Rathunde
    June 28, 2014

    Such an adorable idea! Love the fabric, too. What line is this?

    • Tamara
      June 30, 2014

      Thanks, Cynthia. It’s from my Quiet Time collection with Michael Miller. The main print is “Princess & the Pea” & the stripe is “Sweet Dreams”.

  2. jennsquared
    June 28, 2014

    This is such a cute idea! I’m worth you, I dislike all the plastics and candies! I’m totally making this for my daughter’s next birthday party! Thank you for the idea!

  3. Karen
    June 28, 2014

    I absolutely adore these!!