Skip to Content

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

See how to easily make this fun DIY trick-or-treat bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

It’s such a cute, personalized design that is perfect for Halloween!

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

[Many thanks to the awesome folks at Expressions Vinyl for sponsoring today’s fun! Thank you for supporting the brands that support WTSHB!]

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

So it’s almost Halloween and I have a two-year-old son.

This year will be his first time really partaking in the All Hallow’s Eve festivities including the best part…trick-or-treating!

Last year, Rowan dressed up as the cutest little Sons of Anarchy biker baby you ever did see, and we were all so excited for him to trick-or-treat and get lots of candy for mom and dad himself.

I even made him a custom AND personalized hard-core pumpkin trick-or-treating bucket!

Sons of Anarchy Toddler Halloween Costume: Toddlers of Anarchy Cuteness!

However, our fun was canceled at the last minute thanks to a…ummm…diaper explosion of sorts that ruined said costume and left the poor boy feeling miserable (teething poops are the worst).

Well, this year our fingers are crossed for a TRUE trick-or-treating experience!

So, in honor of this special occasion, I decided to whip up a tote bag that is just perfect for trick-or-treating for years to come since it’s not costume-specific.

It’s also super cute, personalized, and glows in the dark!

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag Supplies

Here’s what I used to make this DIY trick-or-treat bag:

My Personalized Skeleton Design

My design was created with two different daily freebies from Daily Art Hub (see, there’s a reason why I included them in my huge list of awesome FREE digital resources!):

  1. Their funny skeleton set
  2. Their cute jack-o-lantern set

I simplified the pumpkins to make them work as balloons and removed the silly faces in order to insert my son’s name.

If this looks a little familiar it’s because I used these fellas when I added them (faces included) onto a shirt for my son to wear to the pumpkin patch!

This is just the perfect shirt to wear to the pumpkin patch!! Cute Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Faces Shirt | Where The Smiles Have Been

I then hit up my favorite site to preview all my fonts at once and found one that looked kinda like bones called KG Melonheadz.

Also, a really cool part about this design is that the skeletons and letters will look like regular white vinyl in the light…then start to GLOW a cool green color when it’s dark out!

Yep, this glow-in-the-dark HTV is pretty cool (just wait for the photos below!).

Personalized Halloween DIY trick-or-treat bag design.

Cutting Out the HTV

Once my design was complete, I got to cutting out each of the colors with my Silhouette Cameo, one at a time.

As you will see, I cut out the letters in white and also out of the colored pumpkin balloons.

The ones on the balloons, however, were slightly smaller than the white ones thanks to a tiny internal offset.

I did this intentionally for two reasons:

  1. To allow the white letters to adhere to the bag itself as opposed to only the colored HTV but still have a little overlap thanks to the offset
  2. To allow for easier placement of the letters

The offset and cutting out of the balloons were probably not necessary though, and I like to add a thousand extra steps to every project for some reason, but that’s what I did and it worked just fine.

Moving on…

I usually use the default Heat Transfer Material: Smooth settings when cutting HTV, however, for this project I bumped the speed waaaaay down…there were lots of teeny tiny intricate details here!

  • Blade: 2
  • Speed: 4
  • Thickness: 4

Thankfully (and surprisingly) I actually remembered to flip my design horizontally before making any cuts too.

I love when that happens.

Personalized Halloween DIY trick-or-treat bag design.

One sheet of HTV at a time was placed on my cutting mat (shiny side down) and loaded into my Silhouette Cameo, then the cuts were made.

I trimmed everything up and weeded (or removed) the excess vinyl.

And man, those little skeletons were nearly the death of me! (Ha! Did you see what I did there?) ;)

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

Prepping the Canvas Tote Bag

My HTV pieces were now ready to go, so I got to prepping my canvas tote bag.

This black bag was also the same type as the white one I used for my Farmers’ Market ‘Eat Local’ bag.

DIY Farmers' Market Tote Bag: Eat Local! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Since I’m lazy and HATE dragging out our big clunky ironing board from the laundry room, I instead like to get my craft on at our dining room table, much to my husband’s chagrin.

Normally, I use a flattened cardboard box to protect the table while applying HTV, but we were out of them on this day so a cookie sheet made the perfect substitute.

I gave the bag some quick passes with my hot iron to remove most of the wrinkles and create a nice, smooth surface for the HTV to adhere to.

Applying heat transfer vinyl to a tote bag.

Applying the HTV to the Tote Bag

To keep the spacing and placement of the balloons correct (and once again, because I’m lazy), I applied the skeletons and balloons all at the same time.

I made sure, though, to trim away all of the excess clear backing from the bottom of the balloons’ strings so there wouldn’t be any extra underneath the skeletons’ hands.

That would not allow the hands to adhere to the bag and be very bad come time to remove the backings.

No overlap = good.

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

I then placed a sheet of multi-use paper on top of the HTV and got to ironing!

My iron was preheated to the Cotton setting and all it took was a few passes over the surface, applying firm and even pressure for 5-10 seconds.

I would periodically check to see how the HTV was sticking to the bag.

If any started to come up as I pulled away the clear backing, I simply laid everything back in place and got to ironing again.

How to apply HTV (heat transfer vinyl) to a tote bag with an iron.

When there was no more peeling up of the HTV, all of the clear backings were removed.

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

Now it was time to add the white glow-in-the-dark letters to the balloons, so I placed them into position and repeated the same steps described above to adhere them.

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

The Completed DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

How stinkin’ cute is this custom and personalized DIY trick-or-treat bag for Rowan?!?

I mean, seriously.

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

Those skeletons are so fun, and the pumpkin balloons are so unique, and you know how I love me some personalized goodies!

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bag that GLOWS in the DARK!

Oh, and let’s not forget about this cool GLOW-IN-THE-DARK HTV!

Glow in the dark heat transfer vinyl (HTV).

I have to say I am super impressed by how much glowing there is, too.

It looks and feels like regular white HTV, then once in the dark, BAM!

A cool bright green hits you from out of nowhere!

I think this is perfect for Halloween, and especially trick-or-treating. :)

Glow in the dark heat transfer vinyl (HTV).

If You Enjoyed This…

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for all of my other crafty creations, tutorials, and freebies, especially these other fun Halloween and Fall ideas!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a very Happy Halloween! :)

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.

Lou Lou Girls

Friday 30th of October 2015

Super cute! Pinned and tweet. Thank you for being a part of our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, because we love to party with you! Happy Halloween~Lou Lou Girls

2015 Halloween Spooktacular Link Party Features #5 - My Pintervetures

Thursday 29th of October 2015

[…] Fun Skeleton Trick or Treat Bag ~Where the Smiles Have Been […]


Tuesday 27th of October 2015

I love all of your Silhouette creations. You're so creative :-)


Wednesday 28th of October 2015

Awww, thanks so much Erlene! It's a really fun tool to play with and you can do so many things with it! :)

Emily @ Two Purple Couches

Monday 26th of October 2015

This is so super cute, Christine!! And I love that it has a glow-in-the-dark feature - it's so perfect for trick-or-treating!


Wednesday 28th of October 2015

Thanks a bunch, Emily! That glow-in-the-dark HTV was a lot of fun to play with, and it was perfect timing too with Halloween right around the corner! :)

Skeleton shirt with glow in the dark vinyl (and GIVEAWAY!) - A girl and a glue gun

Friday 23rd of October 2015

[…] source source […]