hearts

Wishing Heart

Let's begin with a wish. A hope. A dream. Let's made crafts to celebrate our wishes. Because the best wishes are from the heart.

This was my first sewing project of the year with second and third grade students (7-9 years old). Most had used needle and thread before. I wanted a project that would let them explore. A project that let everyone be successful. Whether they wanted one decoration. Or a hundred and one :)


Supplies:

  • Felt (two colors for each heart)
  • Needle and thread (chenille needles and crochet thread)
  • Safety pin 
  • Beads and sequins
  • Slip of pretty paper for name and wish
  • Optional: a third, smaller felt heart to decorate

Age: 6+

Prep: Cut hearts. Secure them together with a safety pin. Double and knot thread on the needle. Sew one stitch at the top hiding the knot between the two hearts. The stitch and the safety pin keep the felt together while children sew.

Children: These hearts are a lovely first sewing activity because almost everything is beautiful (expect for tangles). Children add a bead or sequin to one side of the heart. They push the needle through felt anywhere they like. Big stitches work just fine.

Now the needle and thread is on the other side. Add another sequin, bead, or both.

You can also add the little felt heart. Be careful when going through three layers of felt. It may take a little practice.

Add all of the sequins and beads that make your heart happy.

Helper: Just encourage. Sort out any tangles. Take off the safety pin once the two pieces of felt are secure.

Most design choices will be fine. Long strings of beads. Loops around the outside of the heart. Crisscross stitching. It's all okay. This allows children to experiment with sewing. And have fun! They can stitch around the outside if they like, but it's not needed.

Tie a knot. Move the string to the center for hanging if there is enough string left. If not, add a string. Many children strung beads on their hanging thread to catch the light. If beads go on the hanging thread, be sure to tie a knot around the last bead so they don't slip off.

Children: Write your name and a wish on a pretty slip of paper.

Each class hung their hearts in a special area of the room.

One is lovely. A collection is gorgeous. 

Have fun sewing this week!

For more insights about sewing with children and teaching children how to sew, consider our Forest Fairy Crafts book. It shares our favorite needles and threads along with stitches, troubleshooting, and more. The link is an affiliate link. Should you decide to purchase, a small amount returns to the Forest. Enjoy :)


My Heart's Wish

Last week, I went to a teacher-gathering in the evening.  My eight-year-old asked to use some felt and thread while I was gone.  

"Are you sure you're okay on your own?  I won't be here to help you."

"I'll be fine, mom."

A mama's dream.  With a twinge of sadness that this little girl is not so little anymore.  So away I went and, when I came home, she gave me her heart's wish.

She made this mama teary-eyed.  I believe in the power of hearts.  And wishes.

She created two small hearts.  The pink one is 1.5 inches across and the pocket-heart is about two inches across.  They are very simple to make.  The little heart has a heart bead inside of it, no stuffing at all.  She sewed the bell on, then sewed them together, sealing the heart-shaped bead inside.  I doubted her idea at first.  But, sure, enough, I find a great tactile comfort in feeling that little heart shape inside the bigger felt heart.  The fact that the heart is sewn shut and the bead is safe and sound inside is also soothing.  The jingle bell is cheerful.  Again and again, I learn to trust the creativity in children.

Her larger heart is a pocket-heart.  She sewed a heart shape on the back and front separately, then attached both hearts together with an open top.  She gave it to me with a story that the heart is meant to be shared.  I can write her little notes and then she can write me little notes and we can both write wishes.  The heart keeps giving.

I hope to sew enough for each student in her class, or perhaps put a few in the mail for cousins and grandparents.  I asked her where she found her inspiration and she said, "I just thought of it."

I love many things about these hearts (of course), but my treasure is the personal stitching that catches her age perfectly.  We may be tempted to guide children towards neat, even stitching and perfectly cut heart shapes, but really, the imperfections shine.  Even her little knots with the strings fraying are wonderful.  

Children can play with felt like they play with blocks and paints.  Their wishes are magical.

Thank you for sharing, Anika! 

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