June 2010
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Secret Agent Kit

I put together this gift for my friend’s 7-year-old, who is very into spies and secret agent stuff. The bag is made from an old pair of my husband’s cargo shorts using this tutorial at Noodlehead, though I had to modify the size and shape a bit because I only had shorts to work with instead of pants. I also didn’t have any bias binding on hand, so I used brown piping along the flap edges, which looks just as good I think. I was a bit worried that it ended up looking more like a purse than a secret agent/adventure bag, but I’m told the birthday boy likes it!

The coolest thing in the kit is the “secret message decoder.” I’ve had this idea in the back of my head ever since seeing these secret message Valentine’s Day cookies, and when I was recently re-organizing a bunch of craft and sewing supplies, I came across this:

I don’t remember where I got it, I think it was included in a box of fabric/quilting supplies I got at a yard sale long ago. I do know that I’ve never used it for its intended purpose, which I’m guessing has something to do with evaluating the light/dark values of fabric. So I removed the cardboard frame and made a new one (cutting the red film in half so I could make another one for my own little secret agent).

You can write something in light blue ink or pencil, then scribble all over it with red ink. When you put the red plastic over it, the message is revealed!

5 comments to Secret Agent Kit

  • Holly

    That whole kit is super cool! The decoder is an inspired idea. I’m glad the birthday boy liked his present.

  • fun gift, very creative, you did a great job!

  • Jeri

    Where did the red film come from?

  • Holly

    Jeri: It’s been so long, I don’t remember. But I just did a quick search and found this product that looks like it would work.

  • Jason

    Thank you!! I am putting a spy school training day for some boys, which does not require invites. I just wanted it to be a message for kids. Everything I kept running across on the web was Martha Stewart’s invite or a valentines message template. Thank you so much for posting what seems obvious now but had tied me up for over two hours! :)

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