Teach children how to sew a button with this fun apple tree sewing project made of buttons.
Help kids learn how to sew a button with this simple button apple tree sewing project for children kindergarten age and up! Learning how to sew a button is a valuable home-life skill for kids. If your child has never tried sewing before, start with simple hand sewing projects such as sewing with burlap and yarn.
Fall leaf lacing is another easy beginning sewing project for children because it’s another fine motor activity that helps kids develop fine motor skills. And if your children aren’t quite ready to sew a button, try making this apple tree craft with the same buttons instead!
Apple Tree Sewing Project for Kids
My daughter and I began this beginning sewing project two years ago. When we began, I sewed the apple tree trunk for her and was ready to teach her how to sew a button when we discovered that the large, safe blunt darning needle we were using would not fit through all the buttonholes–which was a huge bummer!
I did not feel that my 3-year-old was ready to handle a smaller and sharper needle then, so we put our button apple tree away for a later date. Now that she is five and has had a little more experience with sewing, I decided to dig it out of our sewing box to finish it. She loved it!
We worked for short periods on this apple button tree sewing project, sewing only about 4-6 buttons at a time, so she would not learn to hate sewing buttons. I held the embroidery hoop on my lap and guided her through the process as she worked.
By the time she had sewn her first ten buttons, she no longer needed my guidance, but she still wanted me to hold the sewing project and support her as she worked.
She is now a pro at the basics of sewing buttons, AND we have a beautiful hand-sewn piece of art on our wall!
Button Tree Sewing Supplies
- Wooden embroidery hoop
- Light or dark burlap
- Brown or brown variegated yarn
- Green and red cotton embroidery floss
- Large eye darning needles for yarn and large eye sewing needles for embroidery thread (not all darning needles can fit through all buttonholes)
- Assorted green button try THESE or THESE
- Apple buttons; RED or multi-colored, or wooden
- Disappearing ink pen (optional)
- Embroidery scissors
- Glue gun with glue sticks
How to Sew a Button
Before starting this apple tree sewing project, teach children how to sew a button. If they have never tried sewing before, first invite them to try sewing with burlap and yarn or fall leaf lacing to teach them how to sew–so they can learn a few hand-sewing basics before learning how to sew a button.
Next, invite children to watch the video before asking them to sew a button apple tree. The large button and clear directions make it easy for children to understand how to sew a button.
For this apple button tree sewing project for kids–it is unnecessary to add a shank or tie it off after each button as the video suggests unless you’d like to. Instead, this beginning sewing project makes it possible to sew several buttons with the same embroidery thread before tying it off in the back and starting with a new thread.IN
Related: How to Sew a Pocket Pet Mouse
How to Sew a Button Tree Step by Step Directions
Step 1 – Sew the trunk of the apple button tree
- Place a piece of burlap into an embroidery hoop. Make sure the piece of burlap is large enough to fit inside the hoop with at least 1-2 inches of overhang.
- Draw a tree on the back of the project to use as an outline. You only need to draw the trunk of the apple tree. If I were to do it again today, I would use a pen with disappearing ink. Yes, they work!
- Thread a large eye darning needle with a brown or variegated yarn to sew the apple tree trunk. Make sure you tie a large knot to start that will not pull through the burlap.
- Next, hand-sew a combination of a satin stitch and a running stitch in a diagonal pattern to create a wood-like texture.
- Start at the bottom corner of the tree trunk. When stitches grow larger and longer, use a satin stitch to create the trunk on the front and a running stitch to save yarn on the back.
- Tie it off on the back when the apple tree trunk is complete. Look at the photo tutorial below to see each step in the process.
Step 2 – Sew buttons above the trunk to make the crown of the button apple tree.
If this is the first button your child has ever tried to sew, invite them to watch the video posted above this tutorial, or show them how to sew the first button before you invite them to give sewing buttons a try!
- Thread one needle with green embroidery thread and the other with red embroidery thread. Tie a large knot that can not be pulled through the burlap at the end of each piece of embroidery thread. Or, secure each thread by either gluing it to the back of the embroidery hoop or tieing it to a piece of exposed yarn or embroidery thread on the back.
- Use needle and embroidery thread to sew buttons onto the burlap above the trunk to create the tree’s crown, as shown in the photo tutorial below. Help them as needed.
- When you are happy with how the apple tree looks, tie the remaining strands of embroidery thread off in the back.
Note: We worked with two needles, one green piece, and one red piece of embroidery thread to make it easy to switch between sewing apples and leaves onto the apple tree. Keep the needles and thread separated if you decide to try this. Wind up the needle and thread not in use and secure it to the back of the button tree project.
Step 3 – Complete Button Art Tree Sewing Project
- Use a good pair of sewing scissors to trim off the excess burlap so that it is only 1/2-1 inch larger than the embroidery hoop.
- Use a glue gun to secure the remaining burlap inside the hoop on the back of the project.
Step 4 – Hang it or Gift it!
Finally, hang it on the wall or give it to your child’s favorite teacher as a beautiful handsewn gift!
Apple Tree Sewing Project for Kids
Teach children kindergarten age and up how to sew a button with this simple beginner sewing project for kids and adults. A button tree makes a great homemade gift idea for a teacher that kids can make!
Another fun alternative is this Apple Button Tree Craft for Kids. Or look at this giant list of homemade gift ideas kids can make for parents, grandparents, friends, and teachers for even more great ideas!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE.
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