As I mentioned in my Fall Bucket List post, I looove Fall. The light, the smells, the leaves… But the color show we get with the turning leaves in the Fall out here in California isn’t as showy as those you enjoy on the East coast — so I thought it would be fun to make our own Fall Leaf Garland, as colorful as we want it to be! Plus, I’ve been looking for a good “sewing” project I could do with my 4-year old. Working with a blunt tapestry needle and felt is great practice for fine motor skills – and great fun, to boot.
All you need is felt, yarn and a tapestry needle. You can find tapestry needles at any craft / fabric store; I like these because the points are sharp enough to penetrate the felt, but safe for small people to work with. (Note: I also found even blunter plastic needles but those weren’t quite sharp enough to push easily through the felt.)
Now, about those leaves… At first I tried to get my kids involved in this part of the project. I invited them to draw pictures of leaves (or trace some leaf cookie cutters we have) and cut them out. They had a great time drawing on the felt, but had a hard time producing leaves that were a) easy to cut out or b) big enough to use in making the garland. Also, I found the (cheap) felt I bought was hard to cut with kid scissors, so sharp, grown-up scissors were required. So, in the end, I hijacked this part of the project and did the set up myself. A google image search gave me some ideas to copy, so I drew the leaves and cut them out. If your kids can handle sharp scissors safely, you can recruit them to help out with this part.
Then all you need to do is thread the needle and knot the yarn at the bottom, and you are good to go! (Note: I tied the two free ends of the yarn together at the bottom after threading the needle, so S wouldn’t have to worry about it pulling out of the needle as she sewed. Not sure that was absolutely necessary – the double thickness of the yarn probably made it more likely to get tangled.)
There are certainly lots of ways you could sew the leaves together, depending on your / your kid’s sewing skills and patience. We just chose to do a simple up / down on each leaf (you can tell I’m not a seamstress either – there’s probably a proper term for that stitch!) You can see better what I mean in the completed part of the garland below:
“Mom, I love my new leaf necklace!”
When everyone is finished playing, you can repurpose the garland for your Thanksgiving table!