The kids and I made these for gifts last year and it was one we really had fun with. I posted it on the Five and One Facebook page before the blog was up and running, but wanted to give it a proper place here on the blog. It is such a simple craft and can be a very freeform activity, creating an abstract design, and using the burlap makes it very easy to see the needle while little hands are embroidering. The inspiration for these ornaments came from the embroidery work of Evelin Kasikov, which is quite stunning. Take a look at some of her work here.
4″ embroidery hoop
embroidery thread – any colors
creme colored cotton thread for stitching pieces together
creme burlap fabric (roughly a 6 inch square)
creme felt – 2, 6″ square pieces
8″of twine for hanging
stuffing or cotton balls
Place a piece of burlap into the hoop and secure it. The kids might want to start with a pencil drawing or just create a freeform shape with the thread (if starting with a pencil drawing, be sure to do this before placing the burlap into the hoop). Start with a color of embroidery thread and help them thread it, if needed. You can tie a large bead to the end of the piece of thread so they do not pull the entire piece through while they are stitching. Experiment with different colors. When they are finished, draw a circle on the back inside of the embroidery hoop and then remove and cut out the design. Cut two circles of felt, one 1/4″ larger than the design and the other 1/4″ larger than the first piece of felt. See the final image above. It might be a little harder for them to stitch the entire piece together, so you may want to help with this. First, we stitched the design to the smallest circle of felt and then started to stitch the larger circle of felt to the back, leaving enough room to stuff a few cotton balls in and the ends of the twine for hanging. Now, stitch to close and you and your children have together created a simple, unique handmade ornament for giving!