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)
- 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
- Draw a template of what you'd like the front of your crown to look like.
- Trace your template onto a strip of folded felt and cut out.
- 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.
- 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.
- Glue on your embellishments if you haven't already done so.
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
- small eye screws
- craft paint or wood varnish
- several yards of ribbon in various colors
- embroidery thread, fishing wire or elastic bead cord
- 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.
- Put an eye screw into one end of the handle. This might be difficult -- I used a set of pliers to twist it in.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!