Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Make a Stuffed Pillow with a Child


Fun Craft Projects with Children
One of my favorite things to do is crafting with children.  I love to share my knowledge and experience with them.  But even more, I love to watch their eyes light up as they discover how something is created.  I love the unique way they take an idea and turn it into a craft that is uniquely their own. 

Here are a couple of the craft projects I did with a nine-year-old boy.  This kind of project can be done with hand or machine sewing.  This boy was excited to be able to have a lesson on the sewing machine! 

He likes penguins, so we looked through my fabric scraps for black and white pieces.  Then he drew a basic shape of the penguin on paper.  It took a few pieces of paper until he was satisfied with the shape.  He then cut it out and used it as a pattern for the fabric body.  The shape of the pattern was slightly irregular. He learned that we could cut both the front and back at the same time with just one pattern but the wrong sides need to be together as we cut.

We especially liked the fish bead hanging out of his mouth as well as the slightly different size and shape buttons used for mismatched eyes.  This guy is loaded with personality!

Here is how we did it:
  • Draw a general shape on paper and cut it out. (Either add a seam allowance on to the paper before you cut it or estimate a seam allowance as you cut the fabric.)
  • Place front and back fabrics with wrong sides together. Pin the pattern on and cut back and front together.
  • With pieces of felt, buttons and other craft trims we gave the penguin some personality.  Lay it out first to get the look you want. 
  • Sew the face features in place.
  • Adding the wings, feet and ‘hair’ provided another lesson. We placed these elements on the flat front side FACING IN!  
  • Pin the back side to the front side with RIGHT sides together.
  • Now sew around the entire edge of the penguin about 1/2” from the edge.  Be sure to leave an opening at least 2-3 inches.
  • This next step felt like magic to this boy!  He turned the penguin right side out and our crafted creation just came to life!
  • Stuff with poly fiberfill and stitch the opening closed. That’s it!!!  What fun. 
What fun it is to take bits and pieces of trims, ribbons and buttons and craft them into an adorable expression of a child’s imagination.  And the bonus is that along with all the fun, you have had an opportunity to introduce the child to many learning concepts including:
Math and measuring
Drawing
Abstract thought
Visualization
Estimating
Spatial relations
Upcycling
Recycling
Hand Sewing
Machine Sewing

This craft was so much fun, we got started on another one for his sister. 
He chose a simpler shape this time but it still has loads of personality.


For a positive and rewarding craft experience be sure to use good tools and supplies.   
I would love to hear some about your projects and any special tools or supplies you use.



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