Teach kids to sew using burlap and yarn for an easy first lesson in the mechanics of sewing. Learning how to sew is a fun way to practice fine motor skills and learn how to do handwork.
One of my favorite activities as a child was sewing burlap with yarn. I loved practicing embroidery stitches and making elaborate pictures that I cherished for years. I wish I still had them today but they were discarded during a move long ago.
You may also like the next lesson Teach Kids to Sew a Line by Hand, where kids can begin to practice sewing a basic running stitch.
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Teach Kids to Sew Using Burlap and Yarn
Recently my 3-year-old daughter demonstrated that she could string beads directly onto monofilament line. I knew she had developed the fine motor muscles in her hands enough to try this beginning sewing activity.
Another good indicator of readiness is if your child has been using lacing cards for a while, or is beginning to learn to how to write.
To keep things simple, I decided to start with the action of placing the needle back into the same side of the fabric that it came out of. I wanted to give her something easy for her first attempt at sewing so she wouldn’t get discouraged.
Later we will work on following patterns and other fun projects. Sign up for my newsletter below so you don’t miss the next lesson!
Teach Kids to Sew Using Burlap and Yarn Materials
- Cotton Yarn or Embroidery Thread
- Darning needle or plastic needle
- Embroidery Hoop (You might be able to find these second-hand. We inherited ours from grandma.)
- Embroidery Scissors
- Needle Threader (optional)
Teach Kids to Sew Using Burlap and Yarn Set Up
1. Cut out a square of burlap slightly larger than the embroidery hoop. Make sure you leave about 2 inches on all sides.
2. Place the burlap square into the embroidery hoop.
3. Cut a section of yarn or embroidery thread about twice as long as your child’s arm. Too long will be difficult for them to pull through. Too short will not be enough to sew more than a stitch or two.
4. Show your child how to thread the needle by placing the yarn through the big eye. It helps to moisten the yarn first. You can show them how to use a needle threader if you prefer.
5. Tie a double or triple square knot at the end of the length of yarn to make sure it doesn’t pull through the burlap. Normally the end closest to the eye of the needle is pulled through and left loose. You can tie a small knot that will easily pull through the burlap if you think it will make it easier for your child(ren). You can cut it off the needle when finished.
Present Sewing on Burlap using Yarn
Before you hand the needle and thread over to your child(ren) it is best if you show them how to sew. Kids learn best by imitating others.
Show them both how to set up the activity and how to sew a few stitches before inviting them to give it a try. Use slow deliberate movements with minimal verbal instructions. (See below)
Invite Child to Sew Burlap Using Burlap and Yarn
1. Insert needle through the back of burlap in the embroidery hoop.
2. Pull through until the knot catches.
3. Insert needle through the same side that the yarn or thread is coming out of.
4. Turn over the embroidery hoop and once again pull the yarn all the way through until it catches. Don’t pull too hard or the yarn will slip out of the needle. (Unless you have tied a small knot to prevent this.)
5. Insert the needle into the back of the burlap and pull it through to the front. Don’t worry about having them place the needle close to where it came out of or teaching stitches yet. Just allow them to practice the calming action of sewing in their own way. They will begin to learn what works best through practice.
6. Repeat until you run out of yarn length. Tie it off in the back or tie it to another section of yarn and continue to sew.
Allow your child to practice sewing on burlap using this technique a few times before trying to complete more advanced sewing projects. We will be sharing some more fun sewing projects over the next few weeks so be sure you sign up for our newsletter below!
Teach kids to sew using burlap and yarn for an easy first lesson in the mechanics of sewing. Learning how to sew on burlap is a great sewing lesson for beginners. Sewing with kids on burlap is a fun fine motor activity to practice before trying more advanced forms of handwork.
For another simple burlap sewing project for kids check out starting with embroidery for kids from Childhood 101.
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