Now, here is a fun idea, complete with designs to make it, that would make a great stocking stuffer or busy bag learning toy for any preschooler on your list. My daughter was looking for ideas one day and came across one of these cute little guys that had been made with colored felt squares. When she showed it to me I just had to take it a step further and create a bunch of embroidery designs to make one for our preschooler. Now the original idea she saw was called a button snake, designed to practice buttoning skills. Our preschooler, however, dislikes snakes and so she wanted to make a button caterpillar instead. She told me what shapes she wanted to make and I created simple bean stitch designs with the buttonhole in the middle. She helped me stitch them out and is very proud of her new activity. Here is the first set we made:
You can download the designs here to make one of your own. There is not much to the tutorial and this really is an hour long project.
What you need:
A bunch of felt scraps that can be hooped in a 4x4 hoop.
A 17" ribbon
A 1" button
Embroidery and sewing threads
What you do:
To make the ribbon snake:
1. Fold one end of the ribbon over about 3/4" twice and sew a little square around the edges of the folded ribbon so it is flat and will not unravel and hold the button.
2. Fold the other end in 3/4" and then make a 4" loop. Sew the 3/4" square the same way as the first end leaving the loop open. This keeps the caterpillar together while threading but makes it easy to remove them when done.
3. Sew the button on the opposite end from the loop.
Embroider a bunch of the shapes with the buttonholes in the center:
1. We had lots of felt scraps from making this playhouse. We just hooped them in tightly in the 4x4 hoop without any stabilizer since these designs are so simple.
2. Use the same color thread in the bobbin as on the top. Anna helped embroider the designs.
3. Pink around the embroidered designs and cut the buttonholes open.
Here is our finished caterpillar (or snake if you prefer):
Make a little bag for holding these cuties and you have a nice stocking stuffer or travel toy that can be used over and over again. And I know our girls are enjoying the ones we made.
Here a couple more quick and easy project that would make a good stocking stuffers or craft fair items:
Felt cookies - In-the-hoop
Felt coasters - In-the-hoop