Easy Felt Watches and Bracelets for Kids

Monday, June 6, 2011

                              

I love working with felt. It is easy, fun, and forgiving. I can pull it out and make a little project while relaxing in front of a movie, or while my kids are playing around me. This project is certainly an easy one that you can do on your own or you can do with your older children, (I'd say about 4 years and up - or younger one can certainly help with the design!).  This project also is just a basic idea that you can play around with, you can make one of these bracelet's very simply, or you can get really creative.



What you will need:
Embroidery Needle
Embroidery Thread
Felt (I prefer wool felt over synthetic, especially to wear.) or other fabric of your choosing (canvas, scraps of felted wool sweaters...it's endless really. But scraps are perfect! And the thicker fabric is easy to hold and embroider on, especially for doing this project with kids)
Scissors
Velcro
Optional: Buttons, ribbons, sequins



Tip: for doing this project with littler kids, you can buy blunt end needles that won't poke fingers but will still go through felt or wool fiber fabric. The needle eyes are also larger to make threading easier.

What you need to know: The Blanket Stitch (click this link for an excellent  tutorial!):   
First: you will need to measure the wrist and cut 2 felt strips. I usually measure about 2 extra inches (allowance for the velcro closure). One felt strip will be where you do your design and the other will be to cover the back (so all your knots and strings don't show!)

Second: you start  plotting your design. You can make a watch face (by using a white piece of felt and embroidery floss), sewing on buttons, sequins, beads, cut out felt shapes...

Third: just start sewing on your design on one piece of your strip of felt (set the other piece to the side for now). Again, you don't have to worry about what it looks like on the back. But do be sure that the design is on nice and tight, and is secured well to the felt, especially if it is for a child and there are any buttons, sequins etc.

Forth: you will place the finished top strip with your design face up on your second piece of felt strip.Now you are ready to sew the two pieces of felt together using the blanket stitch.

Fifth: just cut a small square of each side of your velcro (fuzzy side and rough side) that is big enough to be secure, but will fit inside the parameter of the bracelet. Be sure to pull them apart so you have your pieces of velcro separate. It doesn't matter which side of your bracelet you sew fussy piece or the rough piece of velcro onto. So you will sew on one piece of velcro to the end of the bracelet on the side of your design.  Then you will sew on the other side of you bracelet (the side that will be on your skin), just flip it over sew the other piece of velcro on the opposite end and opposite side of your bracelet.



(In my photo here, you can see the velcro on one side and then the outline from where I sewed on the other piece on the other side of the bracelet.)



My kids are still pretty small and I am not sure they would be interested anyway, but I think this would be a fun project for a birthday party or slumber party activity, where each child could take their creation as a little party favor.

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