Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Felt Monsters .

When I was in elementary school (from third to six grade), we used to have "sewing lessons" every other week . I remember doing some pretty cool stuff , such as a tote bag , pillows , a clown , and much more . I am not much of a "sewing teacher" but I thought it could be fun to introduce one of those fun projects once in a while . That is how I came up with these felt monsters idea .

Grade level : Any grade between 3rd and 6th grade . Make sure the kids are calm enough so they will not jump around with their needles !

Objective: Learn some basic sewing skills , while doing a fun little monster .

Material needed : * two pieces of felt (about   8.5" X  11" )
                               * more felt (use scrap pieces) to decorate the monster
                               * needles
                               * floss
                               * pins
                               * scissors
                               * synthetic fiberfill
                               * paper
                               * pencil
Activity :
  (1) Ask you students to draw a monster on a regular piece of paper with a pencil . They should avoid making skinny legs and arms , as it would be awkward and difficult to fill it with the fiberfill .They should also not draw any details , as we only want them to draw a pattern of their monster at this time . Here is an example of how their pattern should look like :

  (2)The students should cut out the outline of their monster with scissors.

  (3) They will now place their pattern on one of the big piece of felt and trace around with their pencil .

 (4) Now the students have their monster drawn on one of the big pieces of felt . They should pinned BOTH big pieces of felt together . Using their pencil , they should draw a bigger outline around their original monster and cut around on this second line .

(5) Now your students should remove the pins . They have two separate pieces of felt .One piece will be the front of the monster , one piece , the back .

(6) On the leftover of paper , they can draw with their pencil , details they would like to add to their monsters . Such as eyes , a heart , a tooth , etc. Here is an example :


(7) By using scissors , the students will cut those eyes , heart , etc. They will take scraps of felt of different colors and trace those eyes , heart , etc . Once it is done , they will cut them .

(8) It is now time for the students to take the piece of felt that will be the front of their monster . Using pins , they should place and secure those eyes , heart  , tooth . 


 Show your students how to stitch them using a "blanket stitch" .If you don not know how to do that , you may want to take a look at this video by GulfCoastCottage . It will explain it very well .


For the mouth , you may want to show your student how to back stitch . Here again if you do not know how to do this , you may want to take a look at this video by Needlerific

(9) Now , is time to sew our monster together . Your student will put the back of their monster , flat on a table . They will then grab the front of their monster and put it on the top of it , neatly aligned and INSIDE OUT !  (You want the good front of their monster facing the back !)  They will use pins to secure the two sides in place . Like this :

(10) Using a back stitch , they will sew their monster following the line . 


(11) They will have to make sure to leave one area open  , so they will be able to turn their monster around (so it will be on the "good" side ) , and also so they can fill it with synthetic fiberfill .I like to let one of the leg open so the last few stitches are not too visible . But it can be a little tight and difficult for a child to turn it around . So you may prefer to leave the top of the head open . It is up to you . 
In this example , you can see , the leg is open so I can fill it with the synthetic fiberfill .


(12) Once your students are done with filling their monster , they should close up the open are using a slip stitch . If you do not know how to do that , you can easily learn it reading this tutorial from Taffy Talk

Here is an example of the finished project :

Have fun making your own monsters !

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thank you

Hello everyone ,
I just want to thank everyone who ever visited this site and every single person who is following it . We just reached the 4,000 total page views today ! I am so amazed that I was able to reach so many people , and it will definitively keep me going . I will be back next week with a new art project !
flower boy, Thanks ! Postcards

Friday, February 1, 2013

Salt dough magnets and plaques (Part 3)

In this third lesson , we will finish our plaques and magnets . As a teacher , art docent or mother , you have baked your  students art projects and it is now time for the finishing touches .

Materials needed:   * Old newspapers to cover the desks

                               * paintbrushes of different thickness

                               * old rags or paper towel to wipe your paintbrushes

                               * plastic cups (for water)

                               * acrylics paints of different colors

                               * gloss and matte varnishes

                               * paper plates (for acrylic paints)

                               * round magnets

                               * super glue

                               * thin colorful ribbons

Project :  (1) Each student will get their magnets and their plaque back .

               (2) Each student should get a little bit of acrylic paints of different colors . They should paint their magnets and their plaque . This stage should not take them very long .

               (3) Let it dry for at least 24 hours .

               (4) The teacher or art docent can apply some varnish on all the pieces .

               (5) Using the super glue , glue a round magnet on the back of the small art pieces to make the magnets . Let it dry !

               (6) Attach a beautiful ribbon to each plaque .

Examples : Here are the finished pieces I showed you last week :

Glass of lemonade magnet

Apple on a book magnet

Cactus magnet

Little mermaid plaque

And here are more beautiful pieces :

A head magnet

A green head magnet

An army shark magnet

A kid plaque

An Arizona landscape plaque

Here it is . This project is now done ! I certainly hope that you and your students had a lot of fun creating your very own magnets and plaques . Have a wonderful weekend :)