The days leading up to my daughter’s Harry Potter birthday party were all about the finishing touches. Little odd and ends here and there that would help our take on the wizarding world come to life for our guests. At the top of the list was making an Ollivander’s bag for each guest. My wands were already neatly packaged in the Ollivander’s boxes, but I had my sights set on completing the picture for our little guest witches and wizards. I wanted them to feel as if they had just gone shopping at Ollivander’s wand shop in Diagon Alley. So while the wizarding world treats were baking, I came up with this super-easy way to make the bags. Although I know that what’s inside the bag is what counts, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t more than a little thrilled by the bag itself.
- 22″ X 28″ black railroad board
- silver foil heat transfer vinyl
- vinyl weeding tool
- black 3/8″ ribbon
- hole punch
- scoring stylus
- hot glue
First Steps for Ollivander’s Bag
Cut a rectangle out of your railroad board that measures 15″ wide by 18″ tall. Transfer the lines on this template to your board and trace them with your stylus to create crisp fold lines. I will be referring to the side of the board with your guidelines as the wrong side in future steps since it will be on the interior of the bag once we’re done.
Remove the tiny rectangle at the upper right-hand corner, immediately above the 1/2″ tab. Removing this section of the board will reduce the bulk from overlapping edges in the folded bag.
Okay, now that our prep work is out of the way, it’s time to start folding! Begin by folding the 1″ flap at the top of the panel, wrong sides together, and use hot glue to hold it in place. This fold will create a clean edge at the top of your bag. It will also provide reinforcement for your handle.
Next, fold the 1/2″ tab on the right side of the board so that the wrong sides are touching. Fold the board in half with the wrong sides touching. The front and back panels will be touching, and the left edge of the board will line up with the folded edge of the 1/2″ tab. Glue these two edges together. It’s starting to look a little like a bag, right?
Now it’s time to create a bottom for our Ollivander’s bag. First, with the top of your bag facing up, fold the two side panels in toward the middle using the scored lines as a guide. Then fold the top and bottom panels, as shown below. The panels will overlap slightly. Apply hot glue to hold them in place. Make sure that you use enough glue to make this joint secure. Nobody wants a bag with a trap door!
All that’s left is to carefully press the bag into shape. Not bad, huh?
Download the Ollivander’s logo and upload it to your Cricut Design Space. Save the logo as a “Print Then Cut” file. Although we won’t be printing the logo, this setting seemed to work better for me. Insert the logo artwork into a blank canvas and change the fill option at the top of the page to “no fill.” Next, load your heat transfer foil onto your cutting mat with the glossy side face down. Click the “Make It” button and make sure that you click the mirror button on the left side of the screen.
Use your weeding tool to carefully remove the excess vinyl around the letters. I found it easier to remove the negative space inside the letters first. This step isn’t hard, but you will want to go slowly to avoid scratching or tearing the foil.
Center the logo over the middle of the front of the bag. The plastic liner should be facing up, and the O in the logo should be near the bottom of the bag. Turn the dial on your iron to the cotton setting and apply firm pressure to the vinyl. This step works best if you work on a hard surface, such as the floor. Check the directions on your heat transfer vinyl to get an idea of how long you should heat it. Keep in mind that because you are applying the foil to paper, you will probably need to reduce the timing quite a bit. We want to apply enough heat to adhere the vinyl, but not so much that the foil blisters. It can be tricky but the best practice is to check the vinyl after every pass of the iron.
Finishing Touches for the Ollivander’s Bag
Our Ollivander’s bag is starting to look good, but we need to add handles to convert it from a basic paper bag to an elegant shopper bag. Measure 1 1/4″ from the left edge of the bag and make a small mark near the top of the bag (approximately 3/4″ from the top). Then use your hole punch to create a hole. Do the same on the right side and repeat the steps on the back of the bag,
Cut two 18″ long ribbons. Thread one of them through one of the holes on the front of the bag and tie a knot near the end of the ribbon on the interior of the bag to secure it. Next, thread the opposite end through the second hole and tie another knot. Repeat these steps with the second ribbon on the opposite side of the bag.
And that’s all there is to it! Your wand box should fit perfectly, so your guests can carry their loot in style!