Many teenagers love their creativity. Whether drawing, writing, or designing, teens find pride in their work and self-esteem through their creations. Cross-stitching is an age old craft, similar to needlepoint but using fabric with tiny holes. Traditional cross-stitch designs include flowers, butterflies, or other nature related pictures. So how can a traditional, time-consuming project benefit a family? By encouraging quiet one-to-one time in designing and working on cross-stitch projects, a parent or grandparent can encourage a teen’s creativity while helping them slow down to enjoy life.
Teens often are on the go. They choose to make themselves busy. As a result, their anxiety can trend upward and their sleep declines. Giving teenagers an outlet to be creative while also slowing down their lives can therefore be beneficial to them emotionally. It also creates an excellent opportunity to have teens listen to background music with their parents or have a conversation during the cross-stitch time.
The traditional cross-stitch patterns may not interest teens, however. In this case, it is time to really be creative. Teenagers could use a favorite band logo or sticker design that they like and create their own pattern. Empty graph paper is available online at various websites like this one. Teens can then print out the logo or image they like, draw a grid pattern over it, and create their own work of art onto a cross-stitch pattern.
Having teenagers create their own cross-stitch pattern is more than motivational. It is also an opportunity to discuss the mathematics behind centering an image on a piece of paper. They can set up a code or key for each color of thread they wish to use in their design. Creating their own design also gives them ownership of the project, giving them more buy-in and building their self-esteem.
These types of projects would benefit the home school environment, too, incorporating math, art, and home-economics into a project. It would target younger teenagers as the math is basic, but some algebra could also be incorporated if scaling a design or setting particular size requirements. Home schooled students could calculate the total number of stitches required to complete their design, and propose a time line for the project. Teens could graph the actual time required each day and see if the final project took as long as they predicted.
Overall, cross-stitching does not need to remain an old-fashioned art project. Using cross-stitching in a modern, creative manner can benefit students of today and foster positive relationships at home. With a little ingenuity, cross-stitching could become the fun craft of the future!
What do you think of these ideas? Is a cross-stitch project too antiquated to use with modern teens? Please comment below.
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