My youngest children have been asking quite a lot lately for me to teach them how to sew, knit and crochet. They are very young so I thought I would begin by making some threading cards so they could practice the actions of sewing before moving on to making the felt hearts with real needles.
As it was coming up to Valentine's day we made our threading cards out of red paper hearts which were then laminated. Any picture could be laminated for the budding sewing enthusiast, it could be something that sparks their interest or even a drawing of their own. If you don't have a way to laminate paper, any plastic or stiff card could be used like a box or a picture from an old board book. Holes were then punched all around the outside for the stitches.
Shoelaces would be the ideal thing to use for the stitches, the rigid ends make a good needle substitute but we didn't have any colourful ones to hand so we have used wool instead. I wound a piece of sticky tape around the end of the wool tightly to try to imitate the end of a shoelace and to make it stiff for easy threading. If you look at the end of the pink wool in the above picture you will see what I mean. They played around with these cards for a while, getting a feel for how the stitches looked and made many different patterns.
Then we moved on to the 'real sewing', a cookie cutter was used to draw the heart shapes in the felt and two hearts were cut out and put together for each child. Using quite large chunky needles and wool as thread, they both managed to do a simple running stitch all the way around the heart. Each heart was stuffed and had a piece of ribbon stitched to the top to finish off.
The children were so excited about this project and very pleased with the results, I have to say I love them as much as they do. A perfect first sewing project to keep forever, very simple and very beautiful.
They are now hanging in pride of place on our pin board for all to see.