Fun Craft Ideas For Toddlers

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Handmade embroidery stitches used to be taught to most every young lady as a homemaking skill she would use throughout her life. Today, hand embroidery is not thought of as a life skill, but is highly regarded as an artistic touch on fiber art, clothing, accessories, and linens – and I can say it is a professional skill for fiber folk artists like me!

DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape

You'd be surprised at how many things you can do, and how many tutorials out there are obsessed, with washi tape. The versatile paper tape with adorable designs makes great wall decor, paper crafts or can even spruce up your furniture.

DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers

This tiny tool is great for small projects. "This is not only your go­-to tool for opening and closing jump rings, bending wire, and securing crimp beads and ribbon ends, but pliers are also great for cutting through jewelry chain and wire," said Morin.

If you did not learn embroidery stitches as a youngster, it is never too late to try this colorful needle art. Classrooms and living rooms around the world are filled with eager students of all ages who would like to decorate their home, their fiber art and their clothing with embroidery. Many fiber artists are learning hand embroidery as an artistic medium which adds texture and fine details to all kinds of fiber. In my Nestle and Soar studio in Colorado, I use hand embroidery to create intricate images of trees, birds, flowers and landscapes, and I do this in conjunction with needle felting, my primary needle art. You can see my fiber art at nestleandsoar.com.

If you are ready to try hand embroidery, here are a few tips you need to know.

Quality craftsmanship matters: Learn how to tie a great knot! Embroidery stitches should not be too loose or work their way out of the fabric or fiber you are sewing them into. Tying-off the stitches when you are finished is as important as starting with a strong knot that is large enough to stay on the back of your work.

DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife

If you love stationary crafts, jewelry crafts or any delicate work -- you'll need a proper cutting tool. Not all scissors can do the job. "Remember first using scissors and cutting along the dotted lines in grade school?" Morin asked. "Hopefully, you’re attempting more challenging crafts as an adults."

DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint

Acrylic paints are also great for any DIY starter kit. However, if you're looking for a perfect, seamless finish on your furniture, art and home decor -- make some space to spray. It doesn't hurt to keep some cans in your favorite colors (as long as you store them properly).

Learn Basic Embroidery Stitches: The five embroidery stitches I most often use at Nestle and Soar are split stitch, stem stitch, back stitch, running stitch, and blanket stitch. A combination of these basic stitches can fill large areas on my needle felt tree and bird art with great detail and texture. There are basic embroidery instructions in many books and online resources. If you'd like to see some of the embroidery tips I offer at Nestle and Soar, see my Embroidery Basics at Nestle and Soar, nestleandsoar.com/Fiber-Art-Information.html

Use an embroidery hoop if you can. A thin wood embroidery hoop keeps your foundational fabric taut as you sew, which means your finished work will look a lot better. If you are embroidering stitches onto a shirt collar which cannot fit into an embroidery hoop, make sure you stop several times during the stitching to lightly iron the collar to keep the work flat.

The threads and needles you use for embroidery are important. The eye of the needle needs to be large enough to handle the wool crewel yarn I stitch without being so large it creates holes in my work. My tip to you is to buy a package of assorted-size embroidery needles. Most embroidery stitches are made with embroidery floss or pearl cotton. When you use wool yarn it is often called crewel embroidery.

Look for a group of other students who would like to learn hand embroidery because DIY doesn't mean you have to do it ALONE! We can join in with our ancestors who often learned in a small group in someone's living room – create a sewing circle that is fun, inspirational, and friendly. Those are important life skills, too!

DIY Craft Essential #5: Painter's tape

Painter's tape is "perfect for for attempting the c​olor block trend," said Morin. Plus, you'll need something to keep your projects neat and tidy, no matter what type of paints you use.

DIY Craft Essential #6: Hot glue gun

There are some tools that are too functional not to have. "This is one DIY workhorse tool you shouldn't do without," said Morin. Hot melt glue works on a variety of materials.
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