Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Super cute birthday goodie bags for under 5 bucks per kid!

I always agonize over goodie bags, wanting them to be cute & fun, but not wanting to break the bank or fill them with junky plastic toys and/or gross candy. Not to say I'm above that, I've definitely hosted birthday parties where I've essentially thrown my hands up and sent the kids home with a bag of junk that I'm sure was tossed into the trash at the first possible opportunity. I vowed that this year would be different. I started scouring the internet for ideas. I came across an article from iVillage that had a few good ideas including this one...

I loved these little travel sketchbooks from Under the Sycamore
There is a full tutorial on her blog, but although a brilliant idea, it seemed a little labor intensive to me (for this project at least) so I simplified it a bit with modifications to avoid using any glue or sewing! Here's what I came up with!

The finished product; an assembled bag and it's contents. Sketch pad with 4 attached markers, pencil and puzzle eraser, mini alphabet stamp and stamp pad. Cute, right? And all for under $5!
I also didn't have a lot of time (I have a LOT to get done in those precious 3 hours that my kid is in half day kindergarten!), so it was really helpful to be able to get all the stuff at 2 stores: Staples & Michaels. Here's what I got with the price breakdown...

From Staples: scratch pads, erasers (on clearance!), pencils. From Michaels: markers, bags, mini stamp sets, stamp pads, cardstock

 Additional tools needed for this project: scissors, stapler, rotary trimmer (you could just use an x-acto and straight edge), a bone folder is helpful, but not necessary.

First I cut the cardstock into strips the same size as the scratch pads. They ended up being like a quarter inch too short, but I wasn't too worried about that, just put that in the back.

I folded the cardstock so that it would fit from the front of the pad, up over the top and down the back so that it serves as a front and back cover. Next I cut and stapled strips of elastic (I forgot to add this into the inventory picture above because I just had this on hand already left over from a Halloween costume). I cut the strips to be about 2 inches longer than the width of the pads to allow room for the loops and interior fold-over. I just eyeballed this part starting with one staple in the very center (staple through the elastic, cardstock and the cardboard backing of the pad. For the next loop hold a little bump up with your finger and pace another staple halfway between the middle one and the edge. For the last loop just hold up a little bump again and fold the elastic inside and staple it all together right along the edge. Then just do the same thing on the other side. That was the most labor intensive part, and really it went very quickly once I got in a rhythm.

And here's the finished product! I just used scraps of the cardstock for the name tags and punched holes in the bags and tied them with baker's twine. I didn't include the baker's twine in the price breakdown because I have a giant spool of it for things like this and really you could just use any string or ribbon that you have on hand.