Tag Archives: gifts for kids

Tic Tac Toe anyone?

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tic tac toe!

tic tac toe!

My sister and I love playing tic tac toe. It’s a fun game when you’re sitting at the doctors office, waiting for your violin lesson or on a camping trip.

My mom and I decided to make this little portable tic tac toe set. This would be a great birthday gift for a friend or just something to make for yourself.

It’s really easy! Here’s how you do it.

The supplies for this project are two pieces of fabric 10 inches by 11 inches]

ric rac or ribbon (although you could just use a zig zag stitch in a coordinating color  to make the lines if you don’t have any ric rac)

10 buttons- 5 of one color and 5 of a different color (you could also use little colored tiles, painted rocks, little pencil erasers, plastic checkers, really anything but they need to be different colors.

supplies

supplies

Start by cutting two pieces of fabric 10 inches by 11. Make the 10 inch side the width and the 11 inch side the height. (you need that 1 extra inch to make the casing on the top to close up the bag)

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Iron your fabric and then lay out the ric rac in a tic tac toe position on one piece of the fabric.

laying out the design

laying out the design

pin on the ric rac and sew on the bottom two pieces carefully.

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Now pin and stitch on the other two pieces of ric rac.

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trim off the extra ric rac and then lay the right sides together of your second piece of fabric.

trim off excess

trim off excess

right sides together
right sides together

Now measure 1.5 inches from the top and draw a line with a pencil. This will be the casing so when you sew the bag together you want to start below this line.

1.5 inches down from the top

1.5 inches down from the top

Stitch around the three sides. We used a 1/4 seam allowance. Don’t’ forget to backstitch at the beginning and end. It will keep your bag from tearing open.

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Once you have the bag stitched together it’s time to make the casing, or tube for the drawstring. Using your iron fold the top over just a little bit (about a 1/4 inch) and press, then fold it over and press again but this time fold it over about an inch. You need your casing to be big enough to fit your cord (or in our case we used extra ric rac as our drawstring)

first fold over

first fold over

second fold over

second fold over

Stitch very close to the edge to leave plenty of room for your cord.

stitching on the casing.

stitching on the casing.

Time to feed in the drawstring. This can be tricky but is MUCH easier if you use a little safety pin to help you feed the ric rac through the casing.

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Now tie off the ric rac so it doesn’t slip back into the casing and you’re ready to play!

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Ohh and for an easier version of this craft we found this fun tutorial for a hand sewn felt version. Check it out here!

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Crayon or Marker Roll Up- take it with you!

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Sunday is my friend Jace’s birthday. He’s going to be 6 like me. For his birthday present I decided to make him a marker roll because he likes to draw.

My mom and I have made these to hold crayons, fat markers and skinny markers. My mom was thinking she might make   a version of this for my sister to hold her matchbox cars in. Really it could work for a lot of different items.

This is a project that requires a sewing machine. You could hand sew this but it would take quite a while.

For this project you need

markers (we’re using skinny ones)

fabric (two colors)- when you go to the fabric store they often have precut squares of cotton called Fabric Quarters or Fat Quarters that are made for quilters. That’s an easy way to quickly pick up a couple pieces of fabric that go nicely together.

coordinating thread

hair band (elastic band)

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Iron both pieces of fabric well before starting. It’s really important to be careful with the iron. My mom helps me with the iron because it’s pretty dangerous.

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Measure and cut your fabric to 10 inches by 12 inches- you can use your first piece as a template to cut your second piece. My mom and I have a self healing cutting mat with measurement marks on it and a rotary cutter that make things really easy but if you don’t have that just use a regular ruler and scissors. It’s important to cut very carefully on this project if you want all your markers to fit.

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pin the right sides together (in sewing when the directions say “right side” they mean the colored or pretty side of the fabric)

leave about a 4 inch gap at the bottom for turning your piece inside out.

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Along the 12 inch side you are going to place your hair elastic. This will become the holder for keeping your roll closed. Measure 4 inches from the top of the fabric and slide and pin your elastic inside the two layers of fabric with about half an inch or so sticking out. (this part will end up on the inside when you’re done. You want the larger part of the elastic inside with the right sides of the fabric- does that make sense?)

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Now it’s time to sew this up. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance (seam allowance are the words used in sewing for how far in you measure and start your stitch) start stitching at the beginning of your opening point. Use a backstitch for strength  after you make your first few stitches.

Most sewing machine feet are about 1/4 inch to the edge. That’s what I use as my guide. I just keep the fabric right next to the foot of the machine and it stays really nice and even.

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stitch all the way around leaving that gap for stuffing in the middle of the bottom.

To turn your fabric you sew almost to the edge. Stop. Raise your presser foot. Turn. Lower your presser foot and continue on..

Here’s some pictures showing that series of moves. Don’t just try to rotate the fabric while your stitching, it won’t look very good unless you want curved edges (which could look cool too)

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IMG_8173 lift foot

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IMG_8177 lower foot

IMG_8176 off you go!

When you get to the hair elastic you need to move very slowly, this is tricky! I pinch the hair elastic with my fingers and press it right up into the bottom of the foot. I then sew it really slowly and then backstitch over the elastic to add some strength to the stitch.

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Now that you have the piece stitched you want to lay it out flat, trim the threads from your stitches and then clip the corners very carefully. Clipping the corners make your corners look a lot nicer once you get it turned right side out just be careful you don’t go over the stitch line!

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Now turn your piece right side out and iron it flat making sure you gently turn the extra fabric inside that is part of your opening.

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Now it’s time to stitch it again! This is called top stitching and gives your piece a finished look and strength. Use that same 1/4 inch seam allowance you used before.

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Once you’re done topstitching you can lay your piece out with the side you want eventually facing out down and fold up the flap. You want the  flap to be about 4.5 inches up. That gives you enough space for the markers with the lids coming out from the top.

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Start on one end and stitch from the folded side up along the topstitched line. Backstitch at the end of the line where the green and blue meet in the above picture)  so the markers don’t rip the pockets open.

stitch lines all the way down the piece starting on the folded edge and backstitching at the top every time. I spaced mine 3/4 inches apart and it fits 11 skinny markers. You could also do 1 inch and it should fit the fat markers. Just try your marker first before you stitch a bunch of the lines! (that would stink if it didn’t fit!)

Once you have it stitched all the way across clip all your excess threads off, insert your markers, roll up and you’re ready to go!

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I think Jace will like this very much and I really enjoyed making it for him. Handmade gifts are the best!!

Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing!

Tenney

Machine Sewn Family Dolls

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These are super simple little dolls you can make and play with all day. You can draw your own pattern or feel free to print out the ones we made at the bottom of this post.

Start by printing out the pattern or drawing your own pattern on the wrong side of a piece of fabric. Use chalk, it washes off easily.

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Pin two pieces of fabric together with the right sides (printed sides) together and think about where you want to leave open for stuffing. It should be an area that doesn’t have any big curves in it. I’ve marked our area in the picture below.

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Stitch up the doll except for the stuffing area and cut it out.

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My mom says that if you snip the area inside all the little curves and turns (like the neck, armpits, inside the legs etc..) area it makes it look better once you flip it inside out. The picture above shows her doing that.

Once you have your doll flipped right side out, stuff it up using a pencil or chopstick to get the stuffing into the head, arms etc..

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Hand sew the opening closed that you used for stuffing and then you’re done!!

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You can make a whole family of dolls and soon we’ll make some clothes to go on them!

Hope you enjoy playing with them as much as my sister and I do!

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mine turned out a little lumpy but I still like him.

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These are the ones my mom made for my sister. She loves green.

Click on the pictures below to open a full sized version of the template and print it. I apologize if you have to do any resizing. I’m new to this and think I did it right but am not 100% confident.

Thanks as always for reading and Happy Sewing,

Tenney

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