Operation Stocking Stuffer needs sewers

My Girl Scout Troop is doing this project near the Christmas time to give our Marines some treats, snacks and toiletries. It's called Operation Stocking Stuffer. We collect books, DVDs, small soaps, candy and granola bars, and other holiday treats to send to deployed Marines and their families. We need bags to put the gifts into for sending them to our troops overseas. Then the bag is a gift too that the Marines can use all year long.
This project has grown so much in the 5 years that my GS Troop has been participating in Operation Stocking Stuffer, this year we need 1,200 bags! If you have some large scraps and a little time, would you please help us sew some bags? Here are instructions from my GS Troop Leader Laura on how to make the Operation Stocking Stuffer Ditty Bags. Mom has tried to add some photos and other hints. I hope you will have as much fun making ditty bags as us Girl Scouts will have filling them up.
Thanks so much for your help!

Materials/Cutting:  Fat Quarter & 28" ribbon or cord.  Patriotic and holiday colors or novelty prints appreciated. Flannel also works well for this project. If using yardage, there are 4 bags/yd. [Cut 18" strips across width of yardage. Cut strips in half to make 18"x22" rectangle. Cutting layout with pinking shears will finish edges in advance.]

button hole finished with Fray Check
Step 1:  Create button hole at center front  Finish top 22" edge of fabric with sergeing, pinking, or zigzag stitch (or leave as selvage edge). Find top center and measure down 1 1/4" from top (not including selvage). Sew 5/8" button hole below that point. Open/cut button hole. This will be opening for draw string at the end of project. [Or, if you have Fray Check, you can save a little time by just cutting button hole and sealing ends with Fray Check.]

Step 2:  Center Back Seam  Right sides together, fold in half  along button hole to make 18"x11" rectangle. Sew raw edges opposite button hole with 5/8" seam allowance. This is center back seam of bag.
press center back seam and top casing
Step 3:  Pressing  Press seam open. Press bag so seam is opposite button hole and both are in the middle of new fabric tube shape, not on the sides. Fold top down 1" and press.

Step 4:  Bottom Seam  Stitch bottom of bag (last raw edge) with 5/8" seam allowance.

Step 5:  Top Casing  Still working from wrong side, stitch around 1" pressed fold on top edge to create casing.  Turn bag right side out. Seams will be on inside of bag and button hole will be on the outside.
ribbon drawstring in casing finishes Ditty Bag
Step 6:  Thread Drawstring Thread ribbon through button hole and around top casing. Both ends of ribbon will come out through button hole. Tie ends together creating drawstring loop.
Congratulations, you finished OSS Ditty Bag :)


  1. Hello, I would like to get my daughter's girl scout troop involved too. Can you supply some details? Maybe what they would need to do to earn this patch?

  2. Hi Paola! I will ask Girl Scout Leader Laura about your question. However, your Comment ID doesn't link back to an email, so I will have to answer you in a futre blog post here. Please watch for your news before Halloween. Thanks for reading!--Kitty Pearl

  3. Sorry, Paola, we haven't been much help. The best answer I have found is ask your local USO about starting OSS collections.

  4. Kitty Pearl...what an awesome thing for your Troop to do. We are going to do some stocking stuffing for the troops overseas with our Daisy and Brownie troops this year...wondering where you found the patch for it, would love to get some for the the girls too.

  5. Hello Tizzylish,
    The coll OSS badges were custom designed by Shapy Logos. Hope that helps. Just know there is no official badge :)


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