Our Latest Simple Kids Sewing Project

Since the success of our button sewing I have been looking for another simple sewing project for Immy. In our local haberdashery/craft store I found this stiff, plastic mesh sheeting (in all honestly I have no idea what it is called or what it is used for – please leave a comment if you can help me) and I grabbed it thinking that surely we could do something with it.

The sheet was a little larger than A4 size so I cut it into smaller pieces and decided to draw a simple shape with permanent marker on one of them, the idea being for Immy to hand stitch around the shape. Immy was easily able to manage this with a large, blunt-nosed metal needle and embroidery thread.

It is a work in progress. One to be popped into her toddler sewing basket for when she would like to keep working on it. I encouraged her to try to stitch on the line and she is managing that really well.

Next time I will let her draw her own image on the mesh first and I can imagine once the outline is complete it would be lovely to add some coloured buttons or large sequins to the image. What I like about this project is that I can see that it would be easily adaptable to interest older children as well.

Have you taught your children to sew?

You’ll find our previous kids sewing projects at;

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  1. Oh how clever, get the next generation crafting too :)

  2. What a great little project, I will have to try this one with my daughter when she gets a little bit older. Perfect for those rainy days in!

  3. It is called plastic canvas, and it used for crosstitching patterns

  4. I believe it is called plastic canvas. Great idea.

  5. What a great idea! I’m sure my 4yo would love it, especially if she could make something to keep or give as a gift.

  6. What a great idea! I do a lot of cross-stitching and my toddler has been setting next to me to do his own “stitching” since he was about 18-months…I’ve always used plastic canvas and let him just free-form stitch (lots of patience getting out all the knots for him). I’ve never thought to draw pictures to make it more structured, but I’m going to try it!

  7. Jocelyn Nelson says:

    So cute! When I was little we would use the plastic canvas to make a bookmark with wool/ yarn cross stitch decoration. We would give them as gifts and would spell the person’s name or ‘Christmas’ along the length of the bookmark in cross stitch. I think a few times we also cut the canvas into circles and made Christmas ornaments as gifts too.

  8. You are sending me on a trip down memory lane – back to when annie was nearing the end of 3yo kinder:

    We’ve also sewn pages of paper together to make book bindings and blankets.

  9. May all children learn to sew!

  10. Memories….I did this when I was a kid.

  11. Oh yeah! We did something similar recently with my three year old and a picture drawn on cotton fabric and then stretched accross an embroidery hoop. As an obsessive sewer myself, I encourage my kids to sew all the time. My ten year old is quite good with the sewing machine now and is currently in the middle of making a soft toy dog. My seven year old hand sews together scrappy curtains and clothes for her dolls and doll’s houses and my three year old can do the in and out thing with a needle and spends lots of time sitting on my knee while I am on my sewing machine. They are all very involved in my choosing fabrics and designing their own clothing and bedding too.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Sewing into the thick weave of hessian is also a great starting place for kids – or draw onto wool blanketing as it’s also easy to get the needle through.
    I started teaching my girls to sew on my machine too – they are now 5 and still love it – when I let them on there!!

    I’m planning to get the girls making some basic felt decorations for their friends at Christmas time.
    So, so love your blog Christie.

  13. Oh! This is such a cool idea! I could see my 2 year old engrossed in this activity!

  14. Really good idea!! My daughter is 4 years old, and I think the fish might be a bit too advanced.. but I could see drawing simple designs – even just squares, circles, hearts, etc.. I think she could tackle that. Thanks for sharing!

  15. This is exactly the sort of activity I have been wanting for Mr Magoo. He loves to watch me hand stitch and is bursting to try. This would be the best starting out project for him.

  16. Love this idea Christie. My 7 and 5 year old would enjoy this.

  17. It looks great. Doots has an embroidery hoop and in truth, she just helps herself to my yarns and threads – it might be time to put together her own sewing basket. I found some brightly coloured jute / hessian at Spotlight, and bought some yellow for her to stitch. I haven’t drawn a design for her, she likes to freestyle it, but I might see if she’d like to draw a design to follow with stitches… great idea.

  18. Love this idea. I have some of my cherubs doing some basic cross stitch work and they really enjoy it. I love that it is a nice quiet activity.

  19. Love getting the kids to sew. I worked on getting my girls to sew at Easter. They made everyone a little Easter cushion…how thrilling was that!

  20. Lenora Carney says:

    The mesh is called Plastic Canvas, and I found is more popular in North America than in Australia. Its more like needle point than Cross stitch. Before kids I use to make heaps of different crafts with it. Now that the kids are older maybe I’ll try to get them to do things, you inspired me. Here is a link where you can find heaps of patterns to make things for kids, home, holidays etc. since many of the stores in OZ don’t carry Plastic Canvas patterns.

  21. Plastic Canvas was more popular in the 90’s & before – I actually have a little pattern book that has how to make a travel doll house, furniture, baby sock dolls, & accessories totally out of Plastic Canvas that would be awesome for crafty little girls! Published around 1990-93

  22. I have a similar pattern book that tells how to make dollhouse furniture, etc. for Barbie dolls. Also have one for making a Christmas village. Started the church for that but never put it together!

    When my kids were young we would take a piece of plastic canvas, lay it over a simple design in a coloring book and trace the outlines with a permanent marker. Then the child would fill in the design (using a simple half cross stitch) with the desired colors. My girls would work on these by the hour!

  23. Julie M says:

    I went on a 2 month RV trip with my grandparents when I was 12, and my MawMaw started me out on a plastic canvas project. That was my first experience with stitching and it holds lots of fond memories for me. MawMaw’s Christmas tree was decorated only with hundreds of plastic canvas snowflakes that she made. When she died last fall, I got some of her snowflakes and added them to my tree. I’ve just started getting back into plastic canvas again and think that’s the perfect way to get my girls introduced into crafting and sewing!


  1. […] not sure I trust MM with needles yet but seeing this cute, easy sewing project for littles at Childhood 101 makes me want to […]

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