Introduce kids to embroidery with these simple burlap-based projects for every skill level.
Level 1: Ages 3–5
Fill In the Shapes
A cute way to start: Stitch inside the lines.
- Stretch a 10x10-inch square of burlap in an 8-inch embroidery hoop.
- Paint various large shapes on burlap with a light coat of acrylic paint (too much will clog the weave); let dry.
- Thread yarn onto a kid-safe needle, tie a knot at the opposite end, and teach your child a basic stitch (up through the fabric, then back down a few holes away). Have him vary the stitch length and cross lines to see the different effects.
- RELATED: Why Creativity And Art Are Important
Level 2: Ages 6–8
Combine two easy stitches to get wow-worthy results!
- Use painter’s tape to create a guide on a piece of burlap (it’ll stabilize it too). With a fine-tip marker, write your child’s name or a short word (like READ or YAY!) on the burlap in block letters.
- Thread embroidery floss onto a kidsafe needle, tie a double knot, and have your child use a back stitch (see our complete Stitch Guide) to outline each letter.
- Use a satin stitch to fill in the letters. Stitch diagonally on those with right angles (E, L) and stitch horizontally on letters that curve or slant (A, B, X).
- Cut a piece of cotton fabric about ¼ inch larger than your taped border. Coat one side of the fabric with Mod Podge fabric glue; adhere to the back of the burlap. Remove tape, let dry, and trim.
- Optional: Add a tassel!
Level 3: Ages 9–12
Boho Wall Hanging
Vary stitches and yarn types for cool art. Have your child map out her own design!
- Cut a 12x14-inch rectangle from burlap. Trim the bottom edge into a point.
- Using a fine-tip marker, lightly draw on your design, including a border at least 1 inch from the edge. Use the holes in the burlap as a guide to create a variety of shapes and lines.
- Using one color of yarn and a kid-safe needle, back-stitch the border. Then fill in the design with different colors, yarn types, and stitches (see our Stitch Guide). We used a chain stitch, a French knot, a satin stitch, a split stitch, and a running stitch.
- To add beads, knot the thread, stitch up through the burlap, and slip a bead over the needle. Hold the bead in place against the burlap, then stitch back down and knot to secure.
- When the tapestry is complete, hotglue a dowel to the top edge. Hang with a length of embroidery floss.