I came up with this idea for an heirloom child’s craft the other day, because I volunteered to do a craft at my first grader’s holiday party next week. I love short garlands for decorations, and I decided to make these multi-cultural pennant garlands as a child’s craft kit. The kids have spent the last month at school focused on a multi-cultural theme, where they have learned about all kinds of holiday traditions from different cultures. We are blessed to have a truly diverse class of 6 and 7 year olds, coming from many different religious and family backgrounds. It’s pretty cool, and very American, I must add!
I created the pennants (and I’ll show you how), and the kids do the “sewing”—weaving a long strand of yarn through the holes using a plastic needle. I was additionally inspired to do this project, because I wanted to use some of the embroidery features on my new Bernina (700 series) sewing machine.
First I cut rectangles of a fabric that is loosely woven and able to be fringed. I used this wonderful cotton fabric that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago, woven at a mill in Pennsylvania. It is loosely woven, and fringes easily, making it perfect for this craft. I also used a spool of wide, red, metal edged ribbon.
I used a wing tip needle on my machine to make the holes. A wing tip needle is a wide needle that has blades on the edges, giving you the ability to puncture holes (an eyelet effect) in loosely woven fabrics such as linen. It is not recommended for standard calico/tightly woven fabrics. I used the daisy stitch (stitch number 711) and an embroidery foot (20C). Look how it makes these beautiful holes across the top—just right for the kids to “sew” through.
I switched to a top stitching needle to use my Italian Aurifil wool blend embroidery thread for the lettering, to make the lettering really pop. A top stitching needle has a larger eye, allowing thicker threads to go through easily. Look at the delicious colors I have of that wool thread:
The words I chose were:
- Merry Christmas
- Heri Za Kwanzaa (Happy Kwanzaa, Africa)
- Chag Chanukah Sameach (Happy Hannukah in Hebrew)
- Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas, French)
- Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid, Islamic. Eid is the celebration after Ramadan ends, and the date varies each year. It was in July this year.)
- Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy Chinese New Year, Mandarin)
- Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas, Spanish)
These can be hung just about anywhere. Darling, festive, and I believe they truly capture the spirit of America and our diverse little classroom. If you live locally, and would like a kit for your child (or a completed one for yourself), message me—cost is $20. I do not ship at this time. Maybe I will open an Etsy store by this time next year, and perhaps I will sell these kits online for 2016. Enjoy!