We have made a lot of garlands lately, we did popcorn for Christmas and leaves for Thanksgiving, so I thought we ought to make a new one to hang up for Valentine's Day. I like to sew in my spare time (what's that?), and when I actually have time to work on a project, Rora and Gray are always right there with me "helping" with little jobs like removing pins or sorting buttons (sometimes I make up "jobs" for them... shh don't tell). Since they're in such a fun phase where they like to do what I do, I thought it would be fun to work with them on a beginning sewing project and see if we could craft a felt heart garland together.
First, I'll give you directions to make your own, and then I'll walk you through the process we used. At first the idea of sewing with a two and three year old seemed pretty daunting, but I'll explain what worked for me and hopefully you'll end up feeling inspired to make this adorable project with your own brood!
- Gather your materials, you will need: felt, scissors, twine, blunt needles (age 3+) or plastic needles (age 2+), fiberfill, embroidery floss, a pen, and a heart template for tracing.
- After you cut out your stencil, trace the heart shape on to the felt.
- Fold the piece of felt in half and cut out two identical hearts.
- Thread your needle and tie a knot in the end of the string.
- (For younger kids, use a plastic needle and punch holes in the felt where they should sew, this will help the larger needle slide through the felt easier.)
- Insert your needle from bottom to top on the top heart, this will sandwich your knot between the two layers so it isn't visible.
- Begin sewing around the edge.
- When you are about two inches away from completing the sewing, stop and fill the heart pouch will fiberfill.
- Finish sewing the gap closed, and then tie a knot to secure the project. Again, make sure your knot is on the interior so that it doesn't show.
- Now that one heart is complete, make some more! Make them ombre, make one each color of the rainbow, you decide!
- Gather your hearts, some twine and the plastic needle.
- String the twine through each heart by gently making an opening for the needle in each heart, once strung, they will easily move about on the string so you can place them optimally, but they won't slide about willy nilly!
That's it! There are quite a few steps involved, but once you get the hang of things an adult can whip out a finished heart in less than five minutes, so don't worry, this isn't an all day project!
The kids and I worked together to make the hearts, I got everything prepped before I invited them in to the craft room, and then I first showed them what to do, and then guided each of them through the process.
Aurora used a real needle for the first time! I made sure to choose a pretty blunt one, but she was pretty proud that she got to use a big girl needle (she of course then made the distinction that Grayson was using a "baby needle"... haha, big sisters). One of the things that really helped her was for me to draw dots where she should be placing her needle. Even if the dots show through, you can always just turn them to the back when you hang the finished product.
I used a nail to poke holes in Gray's felt heart so that his needle would glide through easier. The plastic needle does alright going through one layer of felt, but two was a bit trickier so the nail holes really helped, plus it showed him where to put his needle. Gray's stitches were much larger than Aurora's, but that's just fine, even a one inch stitch will still hold the pieces together well enough!
G's favorite part was stuffing the heart, his is extra fluffy!
We chose to make four ombre hearts for the four members of our family! Aurora helped me string them and I introduced her to the concept of color gradient organization. Some colors are from the same color family and we can place them in order of saturation, so we ordered ours red, dark pink, light pink, cream. You could do any order you desire though, I saw a gorgeous rainbow banner on Pinterest yesterday!
And then, of course, Aurora decided to jump and twirl on the couch while I was trying to get a good picture of our heart garland... she's a silly one. :)
For more fun craft ideas, follow my Pinterest board: Follow Brigette @ Life Lesson Plans's board Kids: Crafts on Pinterest.