Preschool Embroidery

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links!) 

I recently posted about Lulu's new obsession with embroidery and I had quite a few questions, so I figured I'd post about it here! 

Lulu came along to a midwife appointment a couple weeks ago and spent the entire time working on a couple of those lacing cards. My midwife mentioned that her daughters loved doing simple embroidery and explained how they did it. I knew right away and it was something Lulu would enjoy and we stopped at the store on the way home to get the supplies!

We picked up a few things at Value Village, but you can find everything at JoAnn's or Amazon.

Yarn: If I was doing a knitting project, I'd choose something nicer, but for this, stick with the cheapest stuff you can find (like this!). We picked up a bag of random small balls of yarn at Value Village for $2.99 so we can use a few different colors.

Embroidery hoops: We got a 6" hoop for $2, and later picked up a variety at Value Village for a little less. Lulu is excited to try something bigger with the bigger ring, and I can imagine a cute tiny project in the small ones! Here's a good option on Amazon. 

Yarn needles: I got 4 of them for $4 at the fabric store. Lulu already managed to bend one beyond repair, so I'm glad we had a couple back-ups. They're thick and durable, not very sharp, but easy to maneuver through the burlap. You can get 16 of them for around $5 here!

Burlap: I picked up a yard of burlap at JoAnn's for around $2.50. I almost got 2 yards, but when she laid it out I realized that's way more than we need! You can get burlap on Amazon as well, but not in such a small amount! 

You'll also need scissors, a pen or marker and lots of patience....

Lulu chose to do a butterfly for her first project. I put a piece of burlap in the ring (be sure to pull it really tight!) and she lightly drew on the back of it. I traced over it to make it a little easier for her to see where to stitch. I helped her do the first few stitches, but really found that my explaining made it more confusing for her sometimes. 

A few tips:

- Tie the yarn to the needle, Lulu lost her yarn a bunch of times before I tied it and that was frustrating for her.

- The most common mistake she makes is that she stitches on the same side twice, so the yarn twists around the hoop instead of making a stitch. It's a super easy fix and I made sure she knew that. I did have to tell her to come to me right away if she needed help, because at first she'd make a mistake and then keep on working, asking for help half an hour later. Of course, this meant I'd have to pull out a half hour's worth of hard work!

- Go slow! I made the mistake of praising Lulu for how fast she worked, which made her try to work even faster and led to more mistakes and some tears. I had to backtrack and explain that this is not a fast project and it doesn't matter how long it takes!

- Keep it simple. Lulu's butterfly was a perfect first project, although switching from the body to the wing was tricky for her. 

- When she wanted to do a project with words, I had her write the words on a piece of paper and then I traced it (backwards!) onto the back of the burlap to make it easier for her. 

Lulu has been very proud of each project she completes, and I love them too! She's given a few away as gifts and is currently working on a special project to hang by her bed:

It's really fun to have a project that can so easily be personalized for her and what she's interested in. I'd love to have her embroider her full name, a sweet way to remember her 4-year-old handwriting! 

She spent a full day working hard to make a birthday gift for Austin to keep on his desk at work: 

I bought a handful of frames at Value Village ($1-$3 each) and I've been putting her work in frames before displaying it or gifting it. Lulu has been thrilled with the finished product every time, I love to see her so proud of the work she's done! 

I also love that this is a non-messy, quiet activity that can be easily transported (she likes to work on it in the van or while waiting places) and that she can work on it for an hour or 2 minutes at a time! It's easy to store and even if (when) Abram gets into it, it's not hard to clean up. 

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Lulu often works on hers as soon as she wakes up, during quiet time or if she needs some alone time. Especially as she needs less help, she's starting to pick it up on her own and working diligently by herself. 

I have to admit, I often feel a little jealous when I watch her sitting and peacefully working on her embroidery!