Monday, December 06, 2010

Make-It Monday: Felt Crowns & Dancing Ribbons

Welcome back to "Make It Monday". Each Monday from now until Christmas, I'm going to attempt to post some ideas for inexpensive, homemade gifts. Last week I started off "Make It Monday 2010" with instructions on how to make a Flaxseed Heating Wrap. Today, is your lucky day! You're going to get TWO homemade gift ideas for children instead of just one -- Play Felt Crowns and Dancing Ribbons. They would make a great stocking stuffer -- small, cute and inexpensive! It's easy enough to make several at a time and stash some extras for future gifts as well.

A couple of years ago, I read about the book Creative Play for Your Toddler: Steiner Waldorf Expertise and Toy Projects for 2-4s on a friend's blog. I loved the idea of simple, homemade toys and ordered the book primarily for the toy ideas. The book is filled with lots of projects; however, I discovered that many of them probably required more time than I wanted to spend to create them. One project that particular caught my eyes was "Crowns and Cloaks." At the time, Ella was going to have a Castle Birthday Party, and I thought it would be fun to make crowns for all of our little guests.

Inspired by the book, I decided to make felt crowns with one particular change that my brilliant mother had suggested. Rather than sewing elastic to the sides of the felt crown, I used an elastic headband.  This created a one-size-fits-all crown and simplified the process -- no worrying about how large a child's head was and not having to stitch the elastic on. (You can see the red headband in the photo above -- I got a pack of 5 at the dollar store and they were in basic colors. Perfect!)

For our party, I made the crowns ahead of time and allowed the children to choose rhinestones to decorate them. They told me where to place them, and I affixed them with a hot glue gun. Obviously, rhinestones can be a choking hazard for young children, so a sewn on felt embellishment might be a better choice for little ones. Use your common sense.

Play Felt Crowns

Here's what you need:
  • felt in your preferred color(s)
  • scissors
  • needle & thread
  • elastic headband (I got a pack of five at the 99 cent store!)
  • embellishments (sequins, small shapes of colored felt, rhinestones etc.)
  • hot glue gun & glue  
  1. Draw a template of what you'd like the front of your crown to look like.
  2. Trace your template onto a strip of folded felt and cut out.
  3. Sew decorations onto one side of the felt. If you choose to glue them on, you can do that now or later if you wish.
  4. Slip the elastic headband between the folded felt and then stitch around the crown to close it. You may want to reinforce the stitching near the headband.
  5. Glue on your embellishments if you haven't already done so.
Dancing Ribbons

Like many kids, my girls love to dance around the house. I made these simple dancing ribbons for my niece and my girls. Here's what you'll need:

  • a thick wooden dowel 
  • sandpaper
  • small eye screws
  • craft paint or wood varnish
  • several yards of ribbon in various colors
  • embroidery thread, fishing wire or elastic bead cord
  1. Cut the wooden dowel into several pieces to make handles. I cut mine to lengths of about 5 inches long. Use sandpaper to smooth the wood, especially the cut ends.
  2. Put an eye screw into one end of the handle. This might be difficult -- I used a set of pliers to twist it in.
  3. If you wish, you can either paint the handle or put some wood varnish on it. This takes more time, but I liked having a nice clear finish on mine. That way, you can wipe down the handles to clean them and the wood won't get stained by grimy little hands. I varnished them after I put the screw in so that I could hold it more by the eye screw while I worked and was then able to hang them to dry.
  4. Cut your ribbon into long lengths. Mine were about a yard long each. Fold over one end of each ribbon about 1/2-inch and stitch down to make a little loop. I used 5 ribbons for each handle.
  5. Thread some thread/wire/cord through the little loop and make a double knot. Then place the thread through the eye screw and tie tightly. Repeat with all ribbons. Initially, I tied mine on with embroidery thread, but I noticed that it has a tendency to come untied. So, I've repaired mine with elastic bead cord and it seems to be holding better.
For other "Make It Monday" ideas, visit last year's posts -- the Playdough Kit, Family Calendars, Morning Out Kit, Romance Kit, Pizza Night Kit, and Personalized T-Shirts.

For other frugal ideas, visit Life As Mom on Fridays for Frugal Friday!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

So Angelina Ballerina!!! CUTE idea. You are so super smart!!!!