Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Count Down

As I mentioned on this post, I have been working on a little surprise.I even gave you guys a little preview photo

After looking at a ton of DIY ideas online and scouring though pinterest photo, I found this little bit of inspiration
What I liked most about them was the white with a bit of red and red numbers. The only down side? they are from Land of Nod, and at almost $50 for 25 little bags, I was just not willing to bight the bullet and get them (they are on sale now for $36, still WAY more then this entire project cost me!). So, instead I set out to make my own and I'm going to show you how (even though its a little late, you can just eat the past day's candies now ;) I won't tell, promise). 
Here my tutorial in photos!

Step 1.
Create a lay out for your bags on contact paper. 
 See the line down the center? That's my making to see where the fold will be for the bags. Make sure you make the template large enough to allot for a little seam room all the way around and will be as big as you want it to be once you fold it in half. Once you make your template cut it out and remove the sticky contact paper. Apply the contact paper to the fabric you are using for you bags (I used left overs from my winter wreath project), and cut around it. Remove the contact paper and repeat 25 time (25 days of Christmas, remember).

You will end up with a pile like this.
 Fold each rectangle in half and iron it down so you have a nice square. Its okay if the edges don't line up perfectly, trust me, I'm no sewing expert, all my bags are slightly different shaped (even AFTER using my template!). Just try to get it lined up as best as you can.
 Sew around the edges of the square (minus one, this will be your top) making sure to leave a little room on the sides. Leave about half an inch to an inch below the top un-sewed. This is where your draw string is going to go.
 When sewing around you bag, make sure to back stitch where you started and ended so that your stitching does not fray and come undone.
 Now fold over the half inch-inch you left at the top and iron it down so that the top lines up with the edge of your stitching.
Now take some thread of your choice and sew around the bottom of your fold. I like to knot the end so that it doesn't fray later. Make sure you go all the way through to the center of your bag but not though BOTH sides or you will end up sewing your bag closed from the inside! 
 I decide to hand stick this because I like the uneven stitched look (reminds me of little elves) but if you do not want an uneven stick, you can fold over your fabric and iron it BEFORE you start stitching around your bag, then sew it down using the machine; then fold over the your fabric in half, iron down, and fallow the rest of the steps as normal. This will give you a nice straight stitch.

 Next, use a very small crochet needle or very large sewing needle and thread yarn though it. If you like the look of a thicker thread you might also be able to use some small satin ribbon. I just used what eve I had around that matched.
 Thread the needle and yarn though one end of your bag and though to the other end. I had a little trouble with this part because my bags were so small so I ended up threading it halfway though, then under a stitch, back up the stitch, and finished the thought the other half, because my stitches were far enough apart. (Not sure if that makes much since but hope it helps if you have the same issue)
 Turn your bag outside in and wala! You have a little treat bag; now do this 24 more time. lol
Once you are done making all your bags, you can add your numbers. I found a style I liked online, printed out 0-9 and then used an exact-o blade to cut the numbers out. If you don't feel like doing this part, there is always a great selection of number stencils at craft stores. I'm just cheap and didn't feel it was necessary.
 Using craft paint that I already had on hand, I used a small sponge applicator to dab over the number cut outs and onto my bags. (Ignore the brush in the photo; I used it to get to the bottom of the little jar because my sponge wouldn't fit.) DO NOT use a brush! The paint will go on to thick and soak though the bags and leave a hot mess! Use just a little paint on the tip of you sponge applicator (you can get them for about a dollar at any craft shop) and dab it on carefully, making sure it doesn't go all the way though you fabric. If you like, you can also use a small piece of card stock or cardboard between your bags to make sure it does not go all the way though. 
Once you are all done with your painting, you will have little count down bags! YOU DID IT!
Now you can hang them on a long branch (even spray paint it white or red, or sparkly!) or where ever you want them! Hubby helped be create a board to hang them from for a more orderly look. 
To make the board, we just bought a large piece of wood (not particle board because it will drink up any paint you try to put on it) and nailed some nails in.
Then we just spray painted it with red paint (I already had on hand) and BAM!
A Christmas countdown board that cost me at total of $9! ( $1 for red thread and $8 for the wood board!)So much better then almost $50 (or even $35!). Hope you all enjoyed the little tutorial! 

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