Keeping kids busy and out of trouble can sometimes be a challenge. Most parents simply put the television on, put a movie on, or are content in letting their child spend hours upon hours playing video games or surfing the internet. I admit, I was a child once and enjoyed all of these things. Of course, nowadays, us adults should know better. While I’m sure that surfing the web can be helpful to a child’s growing computer skills, there are also many potential dangers that come along with it. Doing arts and crafts with your children can often end in a mess, but there is a craft that comes to mind that will leave no mess at all- sewing. Not only is sewing time consuming (depending on your project) but it also helps your child be more self-efficient (he or she can patch ripped clothing). My favorite project is making a pillow.
The great thing about making a pillow is that it doesn’t have to be square! Sure, traditional pillows are square but your child has probably imagined tons of different shapes that can all be incorporated in making a pillow. I, myself, actually enjoy making heart shaped pillows and clouds, but your child can make anything his or her little heart desires. Another awesome reason to make a pillow? Your child can use it or can give it as a gift.
In order to make a pillow you will need:
Fabric (the length all depends on how large you want it)
Pins (pin cushion is optional)
Pen or Chalk
The first thing your child will need to do is decide on a shape. Once that is done you will have an idea how much fabric and stuffing to get. Have your child draw the shape onto the inside of the fabric. Next, cut the shape out. Now you’ll want to trace this shape onto either extra fabric or a whole second piece (for a two-tone look). Cut this out as well. After both pieces are cut, lay one wrong side down and place the other wrong side up. Make sure the two pieces line up and then secure them using pins. Basically, you’ll want to skewer the fabric onto the pins. Also, make sure there is enough of an edge so your child has enough room to sew. Now your child can begin to sew!
Once your child has sewn most of the pillow shut, it is time for the stuffing. You don’t need to leave a huge hole, but make sure it is big enough to fit the stuffing through. Before you start stuffing, you need to turn the pillow inside out (which actually makes it inside in). The reason for this is to hide the raw edge. Next, you will need to pull the stuffing apart, into little pieces; This will help cut down on lumps. After your stuffing is shredded you can begin stuffing the pillow. I personally like fuller pillows, so I use a lot of stuffing but you don’t have to. Once the stuffing is packed into the pillow, all you need to do is finish hand sewing it closed. This last bit of sewing will be seen, so have your child be extra neat.
Making hand-sewn pillows is not only a great way to pass the time, but also an awesome way to teach your child a lifelong skill. Once your child really gets the hang of it (probably about 1-2 pillows in), he or she can start making them as gifts or for decoration! He or she can also move on to more complex projects if he or she chooses. Always remember to supervise the more difficult or ‘dangerous’ steps in a child’s project and be available to kiss a possible boo-boo or two.