Friday, June 14, 2013

Alphabet Letter Bags

I was in Hobby Lobby the other day and I noticed these really cute little canvas bags. They were on sale so I had to buy some. Then, I had to come up with something to use them for. So I decided to make letter bags for my alphabet activities. 

**Making these bags is a great teacher summer project.**

Materials needed:
1. Downloads of the letter bag transfers (copied on Fabric Transfer Paper)
2. Fabric Transfer Paper (You can buy these at any office supply store or most craft stores)
3. Canvas Bags (Mine came from Hobby Lobby. Watch for them to be on sale or use your 40% off coupon to save $$.)
4. Iron

Step by step instructions:
1. Run the letter bag labels off using the Fabric Transfer Paper. You don't have to do any reversing to run these off. I made them reversed to make it easier.
2. Cut the labels apart. I didn't want to waste any paper so at the top, I made a little design that you can put on the back of your bag to make it look more professional. You can cut those out too.
3. Heat your iron using a setting without steam. You might want to start out at a lower temperature and turn your iron up a little at a time. Be very careful about the heat setting because it will burn your fabric if you are not careful. I know this by experience. 
4. Iron the bags before applying the labels to get out any wrinkles. 
5. Cut a piece of cardboard from a cereal box to place inside the bag. I was having trouble getting the top edge to stick because of the folds of the bag. The cardboard piece helped make it easier to get a good flat surface. 
6. Start by ironing the transfer label on the front of the bag. Then put it aside to let it cool. After the bag is cool, iron it again and let it cool. I did this about 3-4 times to make sure the label stuck. If you are adding the back label, iron this on before you take the paper off the front label. 

6. Before you peel the paper off, make sure that the label is stuck on all sides and corners. Iron again if anything is not stuck.
7. Gently peel the paper off the bag.

Puzzles, Pointers and Finger Puppets
To get you started with your letter bags, I included:
1. A set of puzzles. These puzzles can be run off on cardstock and laminated. Cut them into pieces depending on the level of your students. I cut mine into 4 pieces but you can use more pieces if your students are great at doing puzzles. Students can do the puzzle under the bag or on top if they need to just match the pieces. I used some little plastic bags that I bought in the jewelry section at Wal-Mart. The regular plastic bags were too big to fit inside the bags. 

2. Pointers. At the top of the puzzle page, there are some boxes with letters and with pictures. I used the letter boxes on a tongue depressor as a pointer.

3. Finger Puppets. I used the boxes with the pictures for the finger puppets. I bought some of those yellow dishwashing gloves and just cut off the tips of the fingers. I hot glued the pictures on and the students can put them on their finger as a puppet. 

Check out the next post to get more ideas of what to put into your new letter bags.  

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