This is a perfect project to get your wee one started on stitching. Buttons and beads are really easy to stitch on and when you make this happy hoop tree, you give your kidlet a chance to decorate yet another tree!
You will need:
*large embroidery hoop
*fat quarter of a happy print
*small piece of felt
*needle & thread
*buttons and/or beads
*large paper plate (optional)
You will be doing a large part of the prep here. Your kidlet can help you choose the colors for the project, draw the tree, cut a little and then stitch.The first thing you will need to do for prep (other than gathering all your supplies) is iron your fat quarter of fabric. Once that is done you are ready to go.
Place hoop over your fabric so that you can eyeball the size of felted sweater you need. Cut a rectangle out of your sweater that will fit into the hoop without filling it. This is going to be your tree.To make your tree, fold rectangle in half and draw half of a tree outward from the fold OR ask your kidlet to draw a tree onto a paper plate and cut out for a pattern.Place hoop back over fabric and center your tree. Pin into place and stitch using your machine.Center your tree/fabric combo onto the under ring of the hoop and place the outer ring on top. Tighten and pull fabric taught. Have your kidlet spend some time playing around with the buttons and beads until they are ready to stitch. If you like, you can add a ring of glue to the outer side of the inner hoop before placing fabric over it. This will anchor it all into place. Let it dry before adding the "ornaments". Trim excess fabric with scissors.Have your kidlet stitch on the buttons and/or beads with a shortish length of doubled up thread. A twelve inch tail is good. Do not worry about sharp needles and all that. Poking happens. My mother taught me cross stitch at 6 and I would go through phases where I was soooo eager to stitch and a lot of poking happened. It still does. You will need to keep an eye out for when to tie the thread and add a new one. Your kidlet can stitch many buttons on with one length. All she or he needs to do is to zig zag from the back.Beads may be easier than buttons as they only have one hole to go through. If you double up the thread you are good. Teach your child to go up from the bottom, thread through the hole of the bead and then go down from the top. They can do it, they really can! If yer not gung-ho about the stitching, get a bottle of tacky glue and have your wee one glue their "ornaments" on. Tacky or Fabric glue is key. White glue won't stick to the felt very well.
Once done with the decorating part of the tree, cut out a small rectangle of felt and add your trunk with a few long stitches. Hang and admire!
A big hoop makes for a bigger tree. Don't go too small. Kids may have little hands but their fine motor skills are still in dress rehearsal. For an added step, have your kidlet paint the hoop before beginning. You can also do a snowman with a button face or a felty wreath with beaded baubels. Happy Holidays!