There were times when my girls have been sick and had to stay home, but they weren’t feeling so bad that they couldn’t engage in some activities to pass the time. Instead of just sitting in front of the TV, I thought it would be a great idea to do something fun and meaningful, while using up our empty Kleenex boxes: Sewing Cards for the girls to practice hand stitching.
jook recipe to soothe their insides, and plenty of Kleenex tissues for the “gooeys” as they call it. And now we’ll also have something fun to do when fevers go down, but cabin fever kicks in! We stopped by Target to get some Kleenex in preparation for cold season, and saw these pretty holiday-themed Kleenex boxes.
We dug around and found one with four different patterns in a pack. Yes, I’m that annoying lady at the store!
For the purposes of this tutorial (because the boxes are new and we haven’t used up the Kleenex), I removed the Kleenex from two of the boxes and relocated them into one that was just about empty at home (hey, this color and pattern would be nice too for this project!).
I used cookie cutters as well as hand-drawn templates to cut out my very simple holiday-themed shapes. I also used the opening (and the opening flap thing that covers the opening) as “frames” for some of our sewing cards. So here are the supplies needed, all of which I had on hand, because when your kiddos are sick you don’t want to go to the store if you don’t have to:
- Holiday shape templates (cookie cutters or hand-drawn, for example), about 2-3 inches tall/wide
- Cardstock or other thin recycled cardboard
- Twine (you can also use yarn)
- 1/8” hole punch
- Kid-friendly sewing needle (such as a blunt-end tapestry needle), or tape to wrap around the twine ends
I used pretty much all of the box. The Christmas tree is framed with the oval cover of the box opening, with the back showing. I also traced the oval on the bottom of the box to make another frame for an additional tree. For some of the shapes, I added some colored cardstock for some contrast and also as a plain background for the stitching. I traced around the cardboard about 1/4”. The roofs of the houses are scraps. The top piece that is the box’s opening, I used that as a frame to make the lettered cards. Of course, you can make whatever shapes you like!
I punched holes all around the shapes using a 1/8” hole punch, about 1/4 inches apart from each other. The usual size for a hole punch is 1/4”, which I thought might look too big. But, using a larger hole punch is fine, you just need to add extra room when you trace your card stock. A bigger hole will also make things easier for kids when they’re sewing.
For the worded cards, I lightly wrote the words onto one of the very small flaps of the box and punched the holes along the letters.
Time to sew! I first tried to teach the girls how to back stitch. They got it…sort of!
They found this stitch going around the edge to be much easier. I can’t remember if this has a name, it’s sort of like a super basic blanket stitch. Anyways, these are the five they did. For the first time, not bad!
I did the stitching for the worded cards. After stitching out the letters, I glued that piece as well as a piece of cardstock for background/contrast, to the very top opening piece of the box.
I tied them all along a piece of twine to make a garland. We will probably hang them on our Christmas tree when we get one.
They are so proud of their new sewing accomplishments. It was interesting to watch them while they sewed. It’s like they were discovering all the different little skills you need while threading a needle in and out, like holding the thread and needle in your hand and not yanking too hard so you don’t pull the needle off the thread.
I loved the pretty patterns of the Kleenex boxes. Printed cardstock, and especially cardboard/chipboard are so expensive. It’s great to have this alternative for this project and it’s always great to recycle. I’m sure the cardboard is thin enough to feed through an electric cutter too. And I’m glad to have come up with a new activity, fun for when they are stuck at home, or anytime. Make these in different shapes for any time of year (springtime allergies –> empty Kleenex boxes –> flower shapes!).