Monday, July 27, 2015

Crazy Garden Bugs to Craft with Kids

This easy garden bug craft is sure to be a favourite with your kids. It uses simple-to-source everyday items and is full of creative possibilities.

All you need to get started is a matchbox, some coloured felt and whatever odds and ends you have around the house or have collected in your craft box.

You can find a step-by-step garden bug tutorial guide HERE but once your kids have got into the swing of things they can let their imaginations run wild designing their own garden bug communities.

Here's a group photo of some of my own garden bug friends:

And if you want more creative matchbox crafts for your kids to create you can check out these links:

Matchbox Doll's House

 Puppet Theatre

Trouble in a Box

Sunday, June 7, 2015

An easy mess-free craft activity for kids

This simplified butterfly mobile is a really easy mess-free craft activity to make with kids of all ages. 

To make this pretty little fellow you only need some felt, a length of wire to place the butterfly on, an artificial flower stamen (which can be bought from a craft shop) to make the antennae from, a bowlful of beads and a little glue. You can find the complete step-by-step tutorial HERE.

Make sure that the wire you use is strong enough to hold your butterfly but thin enough to bend. With younger kids I tend to choose pony beads which are biggish and therefore easier for them to thread but older kids will love using smaller seed beads like the ones I've used in the photos. Threading beads is not only good for your kids' fine motor skills but also gives them lots of scope to play freely with colour and pattern.

This activity is also very flexible and can easily be turned in new directions…for example, you could replace the butterfly with a bat for Halloween or with any number of animal critters that appeal to your child's imagination.

If you'd like to make some wire and bead garden bugs then have a look at these sweet little fellows. Guaranteed not to chew your veggies!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Mothers Day Gift for Kids to Make

It's always nice to find a Mothers Day gift that kids can make and mums can use:

...and although this tutorial is for a fridge magnet you can just as easily make it into a big comfy colourful cushion…and of course you don't have to stop at one…have a happy Mother's Day, Trixi

Monday, April 13, 2015

An Easy Sewing Project for Boys: Tic Tac Toe to Go

To coincide with the ebook launch of Sew Together Grow Together, Sew Mama Sew is featuring my tutorial to one of the easy to sew projects for kids taken from the book. 

The project is my O's & X's pouch - (they call it Tic Tac Toe in the States) - came from the idea of combining a popular children's game with the fact that kids love carrying things around, and I have no doubt that your kids will love both the game and the pouch even more when they make it themselves. 

The version of the pouch taken from my book is more suited to girls so I wanted to give here an alternate version that will make a great sewing project for boys. This pouch is still made exactly as shown in the tutorial on Sew Mama Sew, I've just changed the colours and decorative motifs. Any objects can be chosen for the game counters. I've chosen to use  smooth light and dark stones as they are objects that fascinated my own boys when they were young.

The cord is fake leather and I've used a stripped bead to help pull the pouch closed. I've also added two yellow beads on the ends of the cord for a simple decorative effect.

The "X's" are made from 2" X 1/2" strips of green felt. I made the "O's" by drawing the outside circle around a large coin and placing the smallest coin we had inside this circle and drawing around it. Then I cut out my "O's" using this drawing as my template. 

The ebook is available from Amazon and to celebrate the launch it can be purchased for US$5 during the first week only. The regular price of the ebook version is US$9.95 and high quality print versions can be purchased from Etsy for AU$24.95.   

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ebook Launch of Sewing Projects for Kids

A newsflash to all parents interested in easy-to-make creative sewing projects for kids: the ebook version of Sew Together Grow Together is being launched today on Amazon with an extra special launch price of $5.00.

For 1 week only download your copy for $5.00 instead of the usual price of $9.95

The book features 20 fun and easy-to-make hand sewing projects developed and tested in classes and workshops with children aged between five and twelve. 
You can have a look through the book HERE...

...or get a taste of some of the projects at the following sites which will be featuring selected projects from the book over the next few weeks:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sewing with Kids at the Stitches and Craft Show

Publishing my book of easy hand sewing projects for kids, Sew Together Grow Together, has opened up so many different doors. It's been an exciting time and with the release of the ebook this April 13, I'm pretty certain things will stay on the boil.

In March I was invited as guest artist to give two days of family hand sewing workshops at the Stitches and Craft Show at Rosehill Racecourse here in Sydney. We had a large room, lots of parents and grandparents coming in with their kids, and children as young as 4 years.

Below is a brief pictorial stroll through our two days together in which my mission was to show parents that young kids can sew and really love it:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sew an Easter Bunny with the Kids

Here's a simple Easter bunny project you can sew with your kids.

The first thing I ever remember about the Easter bunny is sitting in preschool in a big group of kids, we were all kind of sitting around the piano like they used to do, the teacher would play the piano and we would all sing. Can't remember what we were singing, but all of a sudden the teacher shouts out "Look the Easter bunny just ran by", and we all turned around to see him but I was too slow and missed him. It was very disappointing but very exciting.

What You'll Need

12" x 16" (32cm x 42cm) piece of  light pink felt
12" x 16" (32cm x 42cm)  piece of dark pink felt
4B pencil
Polyester fiberfil
Wiggley eyes

What To Do

First, download the Bunny template. It's in two halves so you'll have to cut around the two shapes and tape them together to make the Bunny's body.

Place the template of Bunny's body on the piece of light pink felt. Use the soft 4B pencil (a 5B will also work well) to trace around the template so you have the shape of Bunny's body on the felt as above.

Pin the two pieces of felt together and sew around Bunny's body. Leave an opening for stuffing. Remove the pins. 

Draw on Bunny's arms and legs. The dotted outlines of arms and legs on the template can be used as a guide.

Cut off the excess felt from around the arms and legs. Be careful not to cut your sewing.

To suff Bunny, push small amounts of polyester fiberfil into Bunny's long ears. Make sure you poke your stuffing right up into the top of the ears. You can do this with a chopstick as above...

...or just use your thumbs as I prefer to do...

…and when the ears are firmly stuffed, you can take larger tuffs and keep pushing them into Bunny's body until they are evenly distributed... 

…and Bunny feels soft and spongy. When you've finished stuffing, sew the opening closed. 

Glue on wiggly eyes. Cut a small nose from the leftover dark pink felt and glue into place. Draw on the tiny mouth. 

And if you want, you can cut off the top layer of light pink felt on the arms so that Bunny has two dark pink arms to match his little nose as above.

Finally, glue on a pompom to make the tail and your Easter Bunny's complete. You can buy a pompom but I made mine…it's easy to do and loads of fun for kids…here's a simple tutorial.

And now Bunny's ready to get up to whatever Easter bunnies get up to. 

Happy Easter, Trixi.