April 2020 archive

10 Embroidery Projects for Kids

| Animals, Decor, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Jewelry and Fashion, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler, Tween to Teen, Upcycled, Yarn & Fabric

Embroidery feels so calming to me these days and I’ve wanted to get my kids involved in the craft. Now I’m certainly not an expert embroiderer, but I find it very easy to pick up and to improvise.

Here are 10 of my favorite embroidery crafts for kids out there! If you want to buy some basic materials like yarn, embroidery floss, and kid-safe needles for embroidery projects, visit this page on my Amazon Influencer profile to find some great supplies!

abstract embroidery for kids project

Pretty Life Girls made these cool, abstract patterned wood stitching boards. While it may seem like a lot of effort, just think how much your kids could create and recreate using these wood boards!

perler bead embroidery project

These cross-stitched initial pins from Handmade Charlotte have been one of my favorite projects for years! I love how they used the holes that naturally appear in perler beads to stitch initials.

embroidery craft for kids styrofoam tray

I love the reuse of the styrofoam food tray for this embroidery project from Creative Jewish Mom. If you feel icked out by using trays that held meats, you can use trays that held veggies or even buy some fresh ones on Amazon.

embroidery projects for kids

I made these projects for Family Fun magazine years ago and I still love them! I used burlap as a base so that it would be easy for a kid to push the needle through the holes. Also, the grid mimicked a needlepoint canvas very well and offered nice even lines to work within.

cereal box sewing cards for kids

These simple sewing cards by Say Yes are made from cereal boxes. Literally this project could not be simpler!

diy award ribbon needlepoint craft for kids

Use spice jar shaker inserts as needlepoint canvases to make these cute award ribbons!

embroidered fly swatter project for kids

This project was featured in my first book, Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun and it’s one of the few crafts that I STILL have from that book! It was an ode to my mom, who is a genius needlepointer!

tinkerlab embroidery kids project

I love this more process-art embroidery project that I spotted on Tinkerlab’s Instagram feed! I love the mix of beads and buttons in the design!

free printable sewing cards

How cute are these printable sewing cards by Molly Moo Crafts for the Kids Activities Blog!

cross stitch craft for kids animal sweaters

Another printable project, this one from Mr. Printables just sends me! Using the cross-stitch technique to create a sweater is so darn cute!

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Needlepointed Award Ribbon Craft

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Jewelry and Fashion, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen

I was cooking a new recipe the other day, and it called for a teaspoon of turmeric. When I took off the lid of the spice jar, I had to pull off that little shaker insert that comes with all spice jars. After I removed the insert and set it on my counter, I dipped my teaspoon into the spice to add to my recipe. I was cleaning the kitchen later that day, and I realized that I hadn’t replaced that little plastic circle and for some reason, in that moment, a lightbulb went off in my head. These inserts are like tiny, star-shaped needlepoint canvases just waiting to be stitched!

diy award ribbon needlepoint craft for kids

It felt like one of my most outlandish craft ideas, but I’ve really been attracted to needlepoint, embroidery, and stitching lately. I grabbed some yarn and needles and started playing. Then I went into the spice jar and removed as many shaker inserts as I could find on spices that I KNOW I will never shake!

I turned my stitched circles into award ribbons, but I think there are so many ways to use them: necklaces, refrigerator magnets, framed in a grid and turned into wall art!

diy award ribbon needlepoint craft for kids

Here’s what you’ll need:


diy award ribbon needlepoint craft for kids

Let’s make it:

  1. Remove those goofy little inserts from your spice jars. Who really shakes out spices unless you are making cinnamon toast??
  2. Cut yarn and thread the needle. Tie a double knot at the end of the yarn; make sure it’s large enough so that it won’t go through the hole.
  3. Stitch as though you were working on a canvas. Here are a few tips:
    • When you are stitching through a hole that already has yarn though, try to push the yarn to the side so that you are not stitching through the yarn. That could pull the strands of the yarn in a funny way and mess up the look.
    • Try going around the entire shaker insert to create a sun-ray effect. Think outside the circle!
    • Stitch with two yarn colors at the same time to create a cool striped effect.
    • If you want to create a “french knot,” you can sort of cheat it. With the yarn on top of the “canvas”, tie a knot in the yarn close to the surface of the shaker lid. Thread the needle back through the hole. This is a great way to hide the hole.
  4. If you choose to turn yours into award ribbons, Cut 1-to-2-inch pieces of felt, about 1/2″ wide. Trim a triangle out of the bottom to make it look like ribbon ends, and glue them to the back of the stitched shaker insert. Feel free to add some stitching to make the ribbons dynamic too! Also, if you happen to have ribbon, you can certainly skip the felt step and just use ribbon.
  5. Glue a pin back to the back of the center of the circle.


I had asked Sommer if she preferred the ribbon design or the one that looks more like a military medal, but she had no reference for that, so we went with the award ribbon design. But here’s what that looked like just for your reference!

diy military medal craft for kids

diy award ribbon needlepoint craft for kids

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DIY Yarn Birdcage

| Animals, Decor, Everyday Crafts, Kids Rooms, Nature, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen, Wall Decor, Yarn & Fabric

One of my favorite things to do when I craft is to really transform the material into something so different than it was when I began. Whether it’s using it in a different way, deconstructing it and rebuilding it, or adding a material to change it’s shape, it’s fun to play with the possibilities.

This DIY yarn birdcage is such a cool AHA! project that kids will love! When we made the cage, we left the bottom open, because why cage up a bird that wants to fly around, even if that bird is made from paper? You can have fun experimenting with fun bird crafts like origami birds or pom-pom birds.

This project is an excerpt from my first book, Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun. This post contains affiliate links.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Let’s make it!

1. Blow up a balloon until it fits snuggly in vase. (If you don’t have a vase, you can cut off the bottom of a 2-liter drink bottle.) Adhere a piece of painter’s tape around where the balloon meets the edge of the vase, then cover the whole thing in plastic wrap. Place this on the cookie sheet.

2. Cut 4 pieces of yarn that stretch from the bottom edge of vase to the bottom edge of the vase on the other side. Cut 2 of these in half. Then cut 3 pieces that wrap around the circumference of the vase. Lastly, cut 1 4-inch piece.


3. Pour Mod Podge into a disposable bowl. Dip one of the long pieces into the glue and squeeze off the excess with your fingers. Drape the yarn over the top of the balloon, centered, until it reaches the bottom edge. The yarn will stretch out a bit when wet, so just lay the excess on the wax paper. Smooth it down over the surface of the balloon and vase. Repeat, adhering the next long piece exactly perpendicular to the first. 


4. Take one of the 4 half pieces, dip it in Mod Podge, and adhere it centered in between 2 of the lines. Repeat in the next 3 spaces.


5. Dip one of the other 3 pieces of yarn, and wrap around the base of the vase. Smooth it down. Dip and wrap the other two pieces where the balloon meets the vase, about a ½ inch apart. Set cookie sheet aside and let it dry, about 4 hours.


6. Dip 4-inch piece of yarn and make a circle flat on the wax paper. This will become the hanger.



7. Once it’s hard and dry to the touch, use scissors to pop the balloon. Wiggle the vase, plastic wrap, and balloon out of the cage. With your fingers, scrape off the excess dried Mod Podge. Trim off excess strings on the bottom.


8. Hot glue bead to the top of the cage, then glue the dried yarn circle on top of that.  Thread cord through the top loop for hanging. Tie dowel to 2 pieces of cord, thread the cords through the holes in the cage, and knot behind the hanger.

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Cute Feather Crafts for Kids

| Animals, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Older Elementary, Preschool

We love crafting with feathers…they are so lightweight, they can stay stuck to virtually anything with a little glue or tape.

We got to go deep into our Oriental Trading feather stash recently and craft up some cute feather projects for their Fun 365 website. Head over to the site for all the materials and how-tos!

feather bowls

We had fun getting messy with mod podge to make this cool feather bowl!

diy feather pens

Writing always feels fancier with feather pens!


feather peacock fan craft project kids

This feather fan makes cooling off a whole lot fancier!


feather bookmark craft diy

Start with a tongue depressor and make these cute feather monster bookmarks!

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Wine Cork Crafts

| Animals, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Nature, Toys, Uncategorized, Upcycled, Vehicles

Some may think it’s weird to make kids’ crafts with wine corks. But I think it’s totally natural. Like beyond natural. As natural as crafting with toilet paper tubes…there is always at least one empty somewhere in the house!

Corks are a great craft material…there is so much potential in these cylindrical little gems. Here are some of my faves…

Above: Mix nature, felt, and upcycled materials like a cork and jam jar to make this cute little mushroom and snail vignette. (From Project Kid.)

I’ve seen a lot of cork rafts and boats in my life, but these really blew me out of the water! Such simple instructions from Make n Create.

I’m beyond obsessed with little characters with pushpin legs and ball-pin noses! Found on MerolMerol’s Instagram.

Corks make great stamps because little hands can really get a good grip on them. Art Bar made these stamps by gluing craft foam to the base of the cork.

Corks make the perfect mini-owl shape! Happy Hooligans used buttons and felt to bring these little guys to life!

These balloon-cork characters from Reciclando en la Escuala bring me so much joy, I don’t even know where to begin! Even though I can’t read the instructions, I think it’s best to use small balloons or water balloons.

These cork totems were made from a kit found on Monkey Business, but if you want DIY these at home, you can def make some cute details with felt and ball pins.


Here’s my advice…never throw away a champagne cork! Why would you ever deprive yourself of a cute animal like these from Molly Moo?

Mix your love of wine with your green thumb to make these cute cork succulents from The Decorated Cookie. 



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DIY Puppy Dog Pull-Toy

| Animals, Baby, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Older Elementary, Upcycled, Yarn & Fabric

My kids are obsessed with getting a dog right now. Like consumed beyond imagination. And while we are totally willing to do it eventually, we keep putting them off and promising that it will happen at a later date.

I wonder what will happen if I convince them to make their own puppy dog on wheels? I say it’s the perfect pet…it doesn’t need to be fed, walked, bathed, or cleaned up after!

What you’ll need:

diy dog toy craft materials

• Cardboard

• Pen or pencil

• Scissors

12 small red, 4 large red, and 5 small pink pom-poms 

Tacky glue

• 1 pipe cleaner

• White felt

• 3 tiny black pom-poms

• 3 Matchbox cars

• 2 tongue depressors

• Yarn

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

1 Draw a 4-inch-tall-by-5-inch-long dog on cardboard and cut it out. Don’t worry if your dog isn’t perfect or poodlelike—a general canine shape will work.

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

2 Glue red yarn pom-poms to one side of the dog—two small ones on each leg, two large ones on the body, and two more small ones for the head and snout. Glue two pink pompoms on top of the bottommost pom-poms to make the paws. Repeat on the other side of the cardboard dog.

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

3 To make the dog’s tail, cut a 3-inch length of pipe cleaner and glue a pink pom-pom to the end. Poke the other end into the cardboard and secure it with glue.

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

4 To make the ears, cut two small teardrop shapes, about 1 inch tall, from the felt. Glue the pointed ends to the sides of the dog’s head and finish the dog’s face by gluing the tiny black pom-poms onto the head and snout as the eyes and nose.

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

5 To make the base of the pull toy, glue a 12-by- 4-inch piece of felt around a 6-by-4-inch piece of cardboard.

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

6 Glue the Matchbox cars to the underside of the cardboard (one in front, two in back).

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

7 Glue a tongue depressor to each side of the base to cover the cardboard edges.

diy pull toy dog craft project kids

8 To make the pull cord, braid six 30-inch-long strands of yarn together to make a 24-inch cord. Glue it to the underside of the base, in front of the single car. Glue the dog’s feet to the top of the base.



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Roll the Dice Craft Challenge

| Activities, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler, Tween to Teen, Unplugged Time, Upcycled, Wood

Who gets more intimidated by detailed craft project instructions…you or your child?

Sometimes I think it’s the parent that feels the most pressure making sure everything goes exactly right. Kids are usually more adaptable when it comes to improvising. Which is why I’m introducing this concept of the Project Kid Roll-the-Dice Craft!

I labeled 3 wooden blocks with materials. One block had traditional craft supplies, one had recycled materials, and one had typical household materials. We color-coded ours using our  P-touch label maker, but you can even just write the names of materials on masking tape and stick them on.


Here’s the challenge…roll the dice and craft something using those three materials! And of course there are tools and materials that are always fair game like glue, markers, paint, hole punch, scissors, etc. Here are suggestions of what you can include on your blocks:


  • pipe cleaners
  • pom poms
  • yarn
  • paint
  • glitter
  • wooden spool
  • craft foam
  • felt
  • duct tape
  • washi tape
  • rope
  • shells
  • beads
  • ribbon
  • air dry clay
  • wire
  • styrofoam balls
  • leather string
  • markers
  • tissue paper
  • crepe paper
  • buttons
  • colored paper



  • toilet paper tube
  • bottle caps
  • jar
  • plastic bottles
  • yogurt cups
  • magazines/catalogs
  • newspaper
  • jar lids
  • milk carton
  • egg carton
  • shampoo bottle
  • cardboard
  • cereal/cracker box
  • junk mail
  • wine cork



  • clothespin
  • sponge
  • skewers
  • toothpicks
  • coin rolls
  • cork coaster
  • cupcake liners
  • golf tees
  • photo corners
  • washers
  • rubber band
  • straws
  • sticks
  • rocks
  • binder clips
  • paper clips
  • cotton balls
  • q-tips
  • aluminum foil
  • pencil
  • twine

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