Teaching Kids to Sew: Sleeping Masks & Super Hero Masks

Did your kiddo(s) shake you awake this morning, asking what kind of fun things you had planned for them today?  Mine did.  And they don’t usually like it when I say, “oh, how about we clean out your closets today?!”  “Or maybe we could separate laundry and put a few loads in the laundry!” 

 

Yeah…..they’re crazy.  What’s not fun about that?! ;)

 

In case your kiddos are like mine, then maybe today (or this weekend) should be a sewing day.

 

 

Remember the Teaching Kids to Sew series that I started last month?  It really helps to fight off some boredom…..but also keeps kids happy that you’re not handing them a broom and asking them to sweep all the floors.  (If your kid is totally into that sort of thing though, skip the sewing and get your house clean! Ha.)

 

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Today I have another Kid Sewing project to share, which still doesn’t involve the sewing machine.  But don’t worry, we’ll get to that sewing machine soon. 

 

So today’s project……MASKS.  Really simple and perfect for little beginner sewing fingers.

 

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The reason I haven’t gotten to the sewing machine yet, is that I think it’s a good idea for kids to use their hands first……..to sew items that turn from flat pieces of fabric, into something 3-D and fully functional.  They get such a kick out of it.  But it helps cement the concept of sewing into their brain.

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And really, you can make this as simple or detailed as they want.  Just add a simple strap…….or add some fluff.  It just depends on their skill level and their style.  And if things are crooked or wonky, PERFECT, that’s the beauty of just letting them figure it all out. :)

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Elli was STOKED to make a sleeping mask.  She’s my night owl and has a hard time falling asleep at night, especially when the sun hasn’t quite gone down.  So she told me that this will trick her eyes into thinking it’s dark.  Yes, little lady…..that’s the whole idea. :)

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Oh, did you think she was really asleep above, laying on our hardwood floor with a pillow?  Ha.  Tricked you!!

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And, oh gosh, Connor was not about to be left out of this project.  When he saw me pulling out the felt, scissors, needles, and thread……..he asked what HE was going to be making.  I told him he could make a sleeping mask…….but then instantly thought we could turn that idea into a Super Hero mask, if we just cut eye holes in there.  He jumped all over that idea!

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And he is so proud of that little mask.

 

Because he made it HIMSELF.

(Hooray…..he’s feeling a little bit of that “oh my gosh, it worked!” sensation, that I love about sewing!)

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Oh, gee……what a surprise!  It’s just Connor under there.  Good sewing little dude, I had no idea……… ;)

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SLEEPING or SUPER HERO masks.  Both fun.  And both really great for little fingers to make.

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Would you like to make one too?

 

 

Let’s get started.

 

If you need a mask shape, you can use my pattern piece that I made.  (Click and then scroll down, you’ll find it.)

 

Now, gather some supplies.  The mask needs to be made from felt so that no hemming or edge finishing has to be done.  We want to keep this as simple as possible for them.  Then, grab any sort of embellishments that you can scrounge up.

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Cut out your mask shape from felt.

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Then, let them choose how they want to decorate.  Help them thread the needle and OR have them thread their needle themself.

Direct them to insert their needle from the back side of the mask and then begin sewing whatever embellishment to the front of the mask.  And just like shown in the other lessons in the Teaching Kids to Sew series, just have them sew up and down, up and down.  They don’t need any sort of fancy stitching yet, so a regular ol’ running stitch will work fine.

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As they are stitching, instruct them to re-align their embellishment, just how they want it…..and then continue sewing.  (If it would help to pin the embellishments down for your student, go ahead and do so.  But Elli wanted to do it all on her own.)

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Then, let them sew, sew, sew.

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If they want to change to another embellishment, you may want to help them transition.  Also, if their thread runs out, you may want to help them knot the end of the old thread and thread the needle with a new piece of thread.

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Just remember, it doesn’t matter if things are straight, if thread is showing, or if things are crooked.  Just let them have fun with it and have a positive experience with it.  You can fix other issues later on…….this is solely to help them experience sewing.  And that’s it.

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Now, time for the strap.  I just found a piece of fold-over elastic that had a cute print, but regular elastic would work fine too.  Cut it the length you’ll need to fit around their head.

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Oh, and to keep it from fraying, I just melted the ends with a lighter.

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Then, I let her attach each end of the elastic to the sides of the mask.  Again, just have them sew up and down, up and down.  Don’t worry about thread showing or things looking wonky. 

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Now, onto the Super Hero Mask.

 

We just used the same mask shape as the sleeping mask, but cut two holes for the eyes.  Have your student hold it up to their eyes to be sure they can see out the holes.

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Now, if they want to add embellishments or fancy it up a bit more……go ahead and let them.  But I needed to keep it more simple for Connor and then let him celebrate a simple success.

 

So, at first, I helped him hold the elastic in place, while he sewed the thread up and down, up and down.

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Sometimes sewing can feel like you need octopus arms to hold everything in place, so that’s why I helped him get the hang of it.

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But eventually, I let go……and he totally got the hang of it.  I’m such a sap, but I was totally proud that he eventually just got it.  And sewed his little heart out.  (I helped him with threading and knots….but he did the rest of the sewing.  And tells everyone he made it all by himself.)

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And then, let them enjoy their creations. 

 

And have fun!

-Ashley

 

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Filed under Featured, Sewing, Teaching Kids To Sew

Comments

13 Responses to “Teaching Kids to Sew: Sleeping Masks & Super Hero Masks”
  1. 1
    Sarah R says:

    I love your blog and this little series has been my favorite. My girl is barely a year so we have a while before I will be teaching her to sew, but I hope that in several years when we reach that point she will have as much fun as your kids are having. I hope I can pass on my love of creating. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

  2. 2
    Jodi says:

    I love that you are teaching Conner to sew! Handy skill for everyone to have.

  3. 3

    This is perfect! My mom got my daughter a little sewing kit for her birthday and my daughter has been begging for me to teach her how to sew with a needle and thread! Perfect summer project!! Thank you!!

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Jaren says:

    My kids loved the paper plate sewing! They would love this one too!

  6. 6
    Cathleen says:

    I made my mom a bookmark at about this age, sewing on each letter of Mother. My first project. She still has it nearly 40 years later. :)

  7. 7
    CJ says:

    I love the mask. I am ALWAYS looking for fun and practical ideas for my DS to do during the summer. This should keep him away from the electronics, for a few minutes, anyway. This summer I taught my son how to sew with my machine. He’s 9. It was his idea. He has seen me sewing, on my machine, for years. Sometimes, I would let him sit on my lap and guide the fabric or press the foot pedal. So, this summer we made tote bags and pencil pouches(cosmetic bags), out of CapriSun pouches! Great kids project, because it’s straight stitches and uses only the basics of machine sewing.

    Thanks for the mask idea! Now to make a Superhero’s cape to go with it.

  8. 8
    Kristi Andres says:

    my boys made the masks and wore them around for 2 days straight (then their stitching pulled out and mom had to fix it on the sewing machine). No big deal. They love them! Thanks :)

  9. 9
    jennie says:

    These are adorable! I have started my little girl sewing on the paper plates and she LOVES it!! she was making them to “sell” at the craft show I was in. lol

  10. 10
    Alison says:

    Brilliant! The mask template is just what I’m looking for to complete an outfit for my 5-year old son – thank you! But best of all, thank you for inspiring me to try getting him to sew the elastic on. Your technique of providing hands on help to your son at first, then easing back as he got the hang of it is exactly what I have done and still do for so many little skills that need to be learnt. :)

  11. 11
    Vanessa says:

    You have some great ideas. I love that you are teaching your son too. I taught mine to sew (and knit) early on. In the UK most elementary schools do hand sewing with all the children. My elder son has just helped his 8- year old daughter to cross-stitch a cupcake design for her Mum’s birthday.

    While still in the UK two of us ran a small sewing club at our church once a month for 6-12 year olds. We had 3 boys in the class as well as some girls. We bought some small machines, but they preferred using ours!! We made cushion covers, Christmas stockings, shopping bags, hanging room tidies, skirts/shorts, dresses & vests, chicken doorstops, scissor holders and many other things. They became quite proficient and many were gifted sewing machines for birthday or Christmas as a result of their enthusiasm. It even inspired some mums to take up sewing again, or for the first time.

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