Thursday, December 20, 2012

Agressively Tacky - What we did at Girl Scouts

We did a neat ornament project at scouts this week, so I wanted to share.  One of the parents in our troop has been expressing an interest in doing some sewing projects so I've been keeping an eye out for embroidered ornaments.  I had been leaning towards something with decorating felt shapes, but a little reluctant because it seems like felt is hard to sew sometimes if your needle is not super sharp. Ornament Materials
These are our ingredients:  gray felt (made from recycled plastic!), red burlap, metallic silver #10 embroidery thread, #18 tapestry needles.  Not shown:  General Purpose 45 spray adhesive.  It would also be helpful to have a drop cloth for the gluing area.

Before the meeting, I cut enough 5"x 5" squares of burlap for each girl to have one.  I made sure to buy enough needles for each girl to be able to use one all at the same time.

Each girl embroidered a design of their choice (my suggestions included:  snowflake, snowman, 5 pointed star, asterisk  etc.)  with the silver crochet thread (doubled and knotted).  On the first stitch I had them catch through the doubled thread at the knot (does that description even make sense?) so that the knot didn't come through the front.  The project was a good exercise - there was a variety of levels of experience where some girls just needed help with how to get started and a quick overview of which side is the top and others needed a little more about how the needle should exit and then enter from the same side.  When they got to the end of their thread, I tied it off for them with a french knot on the back of the work.  I should have let them know that they needed to end it with 6" or so of thread left.

Once the sewing was done, I had each girl trim down her work to the desired size.  Then I cut out a piece of felt the same size.  I ducked outside the meeting room (outside hallways) to use the spray glue and stick the burlap to the felt.  One of the key phrases in the directions for the spray adhesive was "Agressively Tacky."  It struck me as really funny.  Once the tackiness subsided, we cleaned up the edges again.  Then I took a length of the silver thread and made a hanger, consulting with the girl to make sure it would hang at the right angle.

These are our finished projects.


We didn't use an embroidery hoop - the burlap at that size was rigid enough.  The spray adhesive was really fumey - it should definitely be done outside (or in a chemistry hood).

After doing this project with the girls, I think we're going to find the opportunity to learn how to sew on buttons this year.

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