It is so important that in the classroom environment, each student feels like he is a worthy part of the mix. This hand stitched classroom banner is a great way to create something that you can display with pride, allowing every student to be a part of the complete design. In a way, it is like a family shield in a classroom version where every student gets to participate in the meaning. This project works with kids as young as second grade (give or take) but is great all the way through high school. This post is sponsored by DMC but the opinions and ideas are my own.
The first step is to support your students in coming up with ONE image or idea of something that most represents them. This could be done in small group conversations, individual journaling or whole group discussion. Once they have come up with their idea, they should be encouraged to draw it at SIMPLY as possible using only a few colors. This will make the stitching lesson much easier for them and help them to be successful.
Then, you will need the following supplies:
- DMC Embroidery Floss in a Variety of Colors
- DMC Floss Bobbins (Recommended)
- DMC Tapestry Needles (Large Eye)
- DMC Embroidery Scissors
- 3 Inch Squares of Burlap (1 per student)
- Kunin eco-fi Plus Felt for Backing
- Sewing Machine to Assemble Final Banner
Start out by getting your supplies together.
If you are concerned (which you might should be) about the floss getting tangled, I recommend wrapping on the plastic bobbins BEFORE giving it to kids to use.
Teach the basics about stitching including how much floss should be cut at at time, threading, basic stitch and knotting. The burlap is super forgiving so it easy to work with the tapestry needles. The larger the eyes in the needles, the better for younger children. Each student can then stitch the image they determine represents them. Here are few that I love.
When all of the students are completed, which will NOT be at the same time, pin the squares to a large piece of felt.
Using your sewing machine (zig zag stitch), stitch the squares to the felt in rows. If you have an odd number of squares, you can add your class grade, year or mascot to complete a row.
Fold the top over and stitch across to create a whole to put a dowel rod through. By adding a little twine on each side, create a hanger and ta-da, you have a class banner.
Here are few extension ideas for the year.
- Have each student choose a block that is NOT theirs and write about how it also relates to then.
- Have each student write about their block and all of the ways it represents them.
- Scan the banner in and use it to make classroom note cards for correspondence.
- Let the students make additional stitched art works to take home for themselves or to give as gifts.
- Stitch ornaments to donate to a nursing home at the holidays.
Here are some awesome designs by fourth graders at Mountain Vista Elementary. I did an artist internship there and loved working with these kids learning how to hand stitch.
I made these note cards by simply scanning in the banner, doing a little editing and then printing the design.
You can jump back a bit to a post when I shared ways to use DMC’s Prism craft threads in the classroom too! Craft thread is a lot of fun too and designed specifically for crafting whereas the floss is for stitching.
Cheers to back to school, kids learning new skills and classrooms that work together!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for another great classroom idea for the season!