This is the BEST Project for Teaching Kids to Sew

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Have a kid who wants to sew... but who isn't quite ready for a sharp needle or complex sewing machine? We know you're out there. This personalized wall decor is a great learn-to-sew project that'll end up right where it should: with smiles and a cute finished item (not a meltdown and a mess).

Kiddos will be proud to gift it or hang it in their room, and working the stitches allows them to practice an even, repeating pattern that builds fine motor skills. It's a win all around!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 7” x 12” non-slip placemat or rug pad
  • 9” long 3/4” round dowel
  • Scissors
  • Sharp blade
  • Plastic needle
  • Paperclips
  • Yarn
  • Removable fabric marker or sewing chalk
  • Craft paint

Step 1: Supplies at the ready!

First, cut the non-slip liner to the shape you'd like for your hanging. Make sure to include 3½" extra at the top to hold the dowel. I made a bunting shape, but you can do any shape you like, as long as it has a straight edge at the top and includes that extra space.

Once your shape's set, draw a horizontal line 3½" down from the top of the liner. This space will eventually fold over to hold the dowel, so don’t sew anything into it just yet!

Use a blade to cut small Vs in the sides of the dowel. (Handle this bit yourself, obviously!) This helps when hanging the pendant — you'll see!

Draw your kid’s initial in the center of the area below the marked line. Then cut a piece of yarn double the length of their arm and thread the needle, matching the ends. Tie a knot, leaving a 4” tail.

Step 2: Let's letter!

Find a good starting place on your letter — the top or bottom left corner usually does the trick. Push the needle UP to the front and pull until the knot is almost through the hole. Then, in the next hole over, push the needle DOWN to the back. Loop the needle through the doubled yarn right before the knot and pull to secure it. Don’t cut off the extra yarn yet!

Sew the design, skipping every other hole. For each stitch, you'll push the needle DOWN into the the lining and pull it through, and then pull the needle back up onto the other side. It's perfectly fine to flip the whole lining over each time if it helps keep things on track!

Once you reach the end, stitch back over the same lines in reverse, using the holes you left empty, until you reach the beginning again. Once you're done, with the needle at the back, tie the leftover yarn to the 4” thread tail to secure it. Trim your yarn.

Quick tip! If you run out of yarn before you're done stitching, don't fret. Just knot the yarn around the nearest stitch on the back of the pendant and start up again as before, but don't leave a 4” tail.

Step 3: Fold over the top

Fold the pendant top toward the back and match the holes along the marked line. Hold the fold in place with paperclips.

Stitch back and forth across the marked line using the same technique as before.

Step 4: Hang tight!

Now add the dowel. If you want to decorate it with paint, markers, stickers or something else, now's the time!

Once it's dry, thread the dowel through the casing that you just sewed. Cut two 20" pieces of yarn and tie one to each end. Those V-shaped cuts you made earlier will hold them in place (clever, right?). Tie the yarn together and hang it up!

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