When most people hear “Makerspace”, they think of a space where students are building with circuits, LEGOs, and 3D printers. Or, students are coding with Scratch, Spheros, or Makey Makeys. Basically, most people imagine students making things with their hands. Unfortunately, needlework (crochet, stitching, embroidery, weaving) is not given its rightful due in makerspaces. This is too bad because needlework has all the makings (pardon the pun) of a good makerspace activity. Needlework is done by hand. Needlework is quick to learn, easy to experiment with, and easy to practice. It’s cathartic. And, it requires minimal equipment and setup, and material costs are low.
From Rebels Makerspace experience, needlework is one of our more popular lunch hour events. The possibilities of what to make are endless, and students from Grade 8-12 all enjoy the challenge of needlework. And from my own personal experience, there’s just something so satisfying about finishing a stitching project. I can proudly say, after completing my own stitched, stuffed, and scented felt heart, “I made that!”
It’s January and we’ve looking for a Valentine’s day event. We want something everyone would be happy to make. We want something that has a low barrier of entry (no previous skill required) yet is also challenging. And, we want something that can be completed in a lunch hour. Two months prior, we held an incredibly successful event in our lavender sachets event. We still had material leftover from that event. We go online to find a needlework project and that’s where we find stuffed felt hearts.
Here’s what we did to run the event at lunch hour
- Felt sheets
- Cotton balls
- Scented essential oils (lemongrass, lavender, peppermint)
- Before the event, cut out felt shapes of the same type and size.
- Another time saver is to cut out yarn to necessary length (depending on the size of your felt shape) and thread through needles. At Rebels Makerspace, we threaded approximately 2 inches of yarn through the eye of the needle and knotted the longer end of yarn.
- On the day of the event, spread felt shapes around a table. Put cotton balls in a few bowls and put a bottle of essential oil beside each bowl. Have a teacher in charge of needles.
- When the activity starts, students pick a felt shape and colour or yarn they want to use. Ensure students have 2 of the same shape and size.
- Next, students will grab 2 or 3 cotton balls and sprinkle their choice of essential oil on it. Use just enough cotton balls as to create a medium bump in the middle of the felt shape. Do not attempt to fill the shape up entirely or else it will be difficult to stitch the shape shut.
- Use a blanket stitch to seal the outside. Please refer to video below on how to blanket stitch.
- Ta-da! Scented felt shapes anyone would be proud to show off!
If you’ve done this activity already and have some awesome pictures to share, connect with us on our Facebook page (@rebelmakerspace) and post your pics.
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Blanket Stitch Video