50 Thrifty Fun Things To Do: DIY Sewing Card Tutorial

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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  1. CMarie says

    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!

  2. says

    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 says

      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.

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