50 Thrifty Fun Things To Do: DIY Sewing Card Tutorial

19 Mar

As a child I had a set of Holly Hobby sewing cards that I loved and used till the yarn frayed terribly and the holes gave out. Now that Isobel’s older and has leveled up her dexterity I thought it was high time that she have her own. Trouble is, I haven’t found any in stores (not that I’ve been looking that hard, admittedly) so I decided to make some. I’ve been doing more simple sewing around her so I’ve been wanting to give her a preschool-appropriate version so she can practice her sewing right along with Mama. The sooner I can teach this kid a useful skill (other than helping me feed the cats and card counting) the better off she’ll be during the apocalypse. I hope her zombie overlords need lots of string threaded through cardboard.

There are two ways to make these sewing cards: the easy way and the slightly more labor intensive way. I made the latter first and it took about twenty minutes.

The Slightly More Complicated Version

1. My kid is Care Bear crazy, so  I took a coloring book we had lying around and scanned an unused page.

2. I used Photoshop to add color and then I printed it out.

3. Then I took a pair of sharp scissors and cut just the bear out.

4. Then I made the base: I reused a plain old USPS envelope for the cardboard and then glued purple construction paper on top of that. I’m sure you could buy poster board at a crafts store but there are so many bits of it lying around, from packaging to shoe boxes, to old folders and envelopes, that you really don’t need to.

5.  I used rubber cement to adhere the bear to the backing and a hole punch to make the holes and there you have it–a cheap, fun form of amusement for a preschooler.

The Really Simple Version

It was the next day that I realized there was an even simpler way to make these. In the second photo you can see that Isobel was absolutely enthralled by the Hello Kitty valentines I bought for a a few bucks at the grocery store. While she was playing with them I noticed that not only is the cardboard box they came in the perfect weight for sewing cards, it is also adorable. So I took my scissors…

Cut out the kitty shape…

Punched a few holes…

And ta-da! A simple sewing card made out of something that was otherwise considered garbage! I raided my stash for pink yarn and added a wide piece of tape at the end for the “needle.”

I tied it to one end and showed Isobel how to “sew”.

She was a natural! She only once sewed it to the chair she was sitting on.

I keep this in my purse if we go anywhere that I suspect might have a bit of a wait. Long car rides, doctor’s offices, that sort of thing. Now that I’ve made a couple I keep seeing things that could turn into sewing cards wherever I go. This is great for kids who need to practice their dexterity or hand-eye coordination, and really great for kids who enjoy repetitive, absorbing tasks.

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8 Responses to “50 Thrifty Fun Things To Do: DIY Sewing Card Tutorial”

  1. Julie March 19, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    Oh my goodness– kiddo on the coffee table– I DIE of the cute!
    Julie recently posted..S’mores CupcakesMy Profile

    • Carrie Anne March 19, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Did you notice she “decorated it” with Hello Kitty stickers?!

  2. CMarie March 19, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    When I was little my mom used to tear out colorful magazine pages, glue them onto cardboard, then punch holes around the different shapes for the same activity!

    • Carrie Anne March 21, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Your mom was clearly a thrifty genius. Clearly!

  3. Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain March 22, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I’ve been meaning to do this for months. My husband works at an office supply store, so I was thinking lamenating? Either way, it’s a great idea and what a simple way to entertain a toddler when you’re out. Allison has gotten so bored of coloring at restaurants.
    Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain recently posted..Simple Days ~ 3.17.12My Profile

    • Carrie Anne March 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      If I still worked at the library and had access to free lamination I would TOTALLY laminate it! I’m just too cheap and lazy to do it now that it’s not free/convenient.

  4. Windsor Grace March 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    I remember these!, I’d completely forgotten about them! They were the best when it came to crafting. Awesome idea!
    Windsor Grace recently posted..accidental innuendosMy Profile

  5. helgagrace April 5, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    I really need to do this for G! One of our parental ambitions before he was born was for him to become a tailor so he could hem all our pants for us.
    helgagrace recently posted..Book Review: Accidentally the Sheikh’s Wife [2010]My Profile

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