Decorating Ideas

Dyed Muslin and Lace – ‘Favour Bags’

I purchased some muslin bags the other day from Kmart. They were cute but plain and I thought they needed some embellishing to make them a bit prettier. I came up with the idea of dying them with the dye from Kmart which you can read all about in a previous post. But then I thought what if the occasion you need them for doesn’t really suit the bright colours. The bright ones would be good for a kids birthday party but would not really be suitable for giving to guests at a wedding. And what about Mother’s day or Grandmas’ 70th! I came up with something a little more neutral and natural but still really pretty!

Here is how I did it…

Give the muslin bags a quick hand wash with some washing powder or liquid. Make sure you rinse them properly and its ok if they are still wet with the next step – the dying actually works better if the bags are wet!


Fill up a small plastic container half full with water. I just used a Chinese take away container. Add a good dollop of Parisian Browning Essence. You can buy this stuff in the supermarket – it will be in the baking aisle with all the other essences. The water will be a very dark brown. Fill up another container with clean water and have this nearby.

DSC_0092[1]Place your bags one or two at a time into the brown liquid making sure they are submerged well enough for the dye to soak into the whole bag. You don’t need to soak it for very long for the dye to work. Squeeze out any excess dye and rinse in the clean water. Repeat for each bag.



Once you have dyed and rinsed all the bags hang them up do dry. Repeat the process with the lace you have chosen to embellish your bag. If you do a few metres at a time you will have some left overs for another project, another day.

DSC_0101[1]DSC_0100[1]DSC_0102[1]Hang your lace up to dry as well. Once your bags and lace are dry the next step is to bond the lace to the bag.

I thought that hand sewing the lace to each bag would take way too long and would be way too frustrating. I found that I had some ‘Spray Adhesive’ in my craft room from a previous quilting project and thought I would give that ago. It worked quite well for this project. It claims to provide light bonding strength which is good enough for a project like this. You can buy this product at Spotlight.


The instructions on the back say that if you want a more permanent bond – spray each surface to be bonded and leave for a minute or two to tack before bringing surfaces together. This seem to work quite well. I just lay the pieces out and sprayed the glue onto the lace and then onto the area on the bag where I wanted to stick the lace. A bit of  overspray didn’t seem to matter too much as long as you get the general area. Leave for a minute and then place the lace pressing down gentley


Repeat this process for the rest of your bags. Undo the knot at the end of the draw string and thread a natural coloured bead onto both threads. You may need to cut the ends if they have frayed a lot and are difficult to thread. Re-tie the knot. Your bag is now finished. Allow to dry properly before use.


Fill with gifts, sweets, tissues etc to give away at your next celebration. Your guests will be impressed. I have made these bags for a Women’s Event that we ran at our church and each of the ladies was given one with a pack of tissues inside on arrival. It was a nice way to bless the ladies who came along. If you don’t have the time or the tools to make these you can purchase them on my Etsy Store.


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