1. Festive Felt Garlands
Working with felt is ideal for kids’ projects since it doesn’t fray, comes in a wide range of colours, and is easy to stitch through. Cut fun shapes from brightly coloured felt, and stitch them to ribbon for an easy hand-sewing project perfect for even the youngest sewists. Add extra embellishment by stitching on beads, buttons, or jumbo sequins.
2. Play Aprons
Easy and practical too, this project teaches kids the basics of measuring and hemming that will serve them well in all their future sewing endeavours. Start with the simplest design–a flat rectangle stitched to a waistband–and as their skills grow, children can work up to more complex techniques, like adding pockets or embellishments, gathering the apron onto the waistband, and more. An excellent project for those first getting started with a sewing machine, this one can also be hand sewn.
3. Stuffed Animal & Doll Accessories
What child wouldn’t want to make a blanket and pillow for their favourite plushie friend, or a simple skirt for their doll? These pint-sized projects are excellent practice work before scaling up to full sized versions of the same.
4. Felt Monsters
No need to be fussy in creating these quirky creatures! With mismatched eyes, waving tentacles, and wild hairstyles, felt monsters are a great way for young sewists to give their creativity free rein. Use scrap bits of felt to add accents like eyes, jewellery, and other accessories to your new monster friends.
5. Easy Tote Bag
For a fun and practical project, try these easy tote bags from crafter and blogger Cindy of Skip to my Lou. Designed specifically for young sewists, it’s simple enough for beginners just learning to use a sewing machine, but turns out charming enough you’ll want to make one for yourself!
6. Pin Cushions
Teach young sewists to keep careful track of pins by letting them create their own pin cushions. Felt works great for these projects, and can serve as an easy introduction to the process of stuffing without the hassle of turning. Simply cut felt into the desired shape, stitch, and stuff! Pinking the edges can add a lovely decorative touch.
7. Button Embroidery
For kids who aren’t quite ready to cut and shape their fabrics, but still want to take part, button embroidery is a great way to get them used to holding and using a needle and thread. Place a length of burlap in an embroidery hoop, thread a large, blunt needle with embroidery floss, and young sewists can easily stitch on buttons, beads, and other items to create their own work of art!
8. Fabric Bookmarks
Break out your stash of fabric scraps! These bookmarks require very little in the way of supplies–just a bit of fabric and some interfacing for added support. As simple as they are, they introduce kids to important facets of sewing, like pressing, clipping corners, and turning their finished projects.
9. Roll-Up Art Caddy
Artists on the go will appreciate this project, which keeps crayons or pencils close at hand. With straight line stitching only, it’s an easy project for beginners just learning to use a sewing machine. Worked in felt or fleece, the edges can even be left raw, pinked, or finished by hand with a blanket stitch.
10. Custom Pillowcases
Let kids customise their space by sewing their own custom pillowcases. For those just getting started, a basic design featuring just one colour is a good option, while more experienced sewists might prefer to practise creating stripes or simple patchwork piecing for their pillowcases.
11. Fragrant Sachets
Stuffed with dried lavender or rose petals, these tiny pillows make lovely gifts. For youngsters just getting the hang of things, use hand-stitched felt cut into simple shapes like hearts or circles. Older kids might enjoy using a sewing machine and a wider range of fabrics to create their own sachets.
12. Bunny Buddy
With only minimal shaping in the ears, these adorable bunnies are a great first foray into the realm of making dolls and stuffed animals. Help young sewists experiment with different fabrics to achieve the look they want, but be forewarned–faux fur is tricky to work with even for experienced sewists, so stick to woven fabrics for now!
13. Drawstring Bags
Keep small toys and games corralled with handmade drawstring bags and pouches. Use soft cotton fabrics that are easy to gather, and sturdy cord or ribbon for the drawstrings. Make small pouches for crayons and pencils, or big ones that can even be used as laundry bags.
Practise working with elastic to create these bright and easy headbands. Use contrasting fabrics for a reversible option, or add felt accents to one side for a little extra flair.
15. Finger Puppets
This project is double the fun! Not only are finger puppets (like these dragons) quick and easy to sew, they’re also fun to play with when they’re done. Make a whole cast of characters to while away a cold and rainy afternoon.
16. Felt Ornaments
Let the kids decorate for the holidays with handmade ornaments they stitched themselves. From simple snowmen to spangled Christmas trees, these are an excellent way to use up scraps of felt, odd buttons, and bits of ribbon to create something fun and festive.
17. Reversible Scarves
Another straight-lines-only project, this scarf pairs cosy wool with patterned cotton for a fun pop of colour. An excellent project for older kids to learn how to use a rotary cutter, with careful supervision, of course!