I collect cookie cutters, and am always looking for ways to put them to good use -- when I'm not baking. Because most of my cookie cutters are vintage, I'm still protective of them and are not interested in altering or damaging them; yet their simple & charming shapes seem to beckon to be put to use more often then just to make sweet treats.
Because their shapes are recognizable and pleasing to children -- with styles and objects to appeal to both boys and girls -- and because they are also relatively simple shapes, I've long been thinking that cookie cutters would make great templates for simple crafts for kids.
Saturday, I put it to the test with Destiny, my 12 year old making felt ornaments.
Here's her felt rabbit made from a vintage tin rabbit cookie cutter:
Trace the cookie cutter onto felt with a pen -- twice.
(Note: If using patterned felt, you'll need to cut out one piece, then flip it over and trace it onto the patterned felt; otherwise they pieces won't both be patterned on the 'outside'.)
Cut out the shapes.
Match up the shapes, then sew them together with embroidery floss using the whip stitch. Start stitching between the two layers of felt, hiding the knot; and stop before stitching all the way around, leaving an opening for the stuffing. (The whip stitch was a new stitch for Destiny -- but she picked it up really fast!)
Stuff with cotton balls (as well as felt scraps from cutting & trimming and left over bits of thread).
Finish sewing & then decorate. Children can make the eyes & other details by sewing on other bits of felt, using knots &/or other sewing stitches, or gluing on 'google eyes', pipe cleaners, and whatever other crafty bits you have around the house.
Destiny had so much fun, she kept making more of them -- for 4 hours. And she plans to continue to make more during the week for gifts for family this holiday. (Rather amazing as I had great trouble getting her to finish her latch-hook rug. I think the fact that one of these ornaments can be completed comparatively fast, giving her a sense of satisfaction quickly.)
Other ideas: These do not need to only be Christmas tree ornaments. They can be shade pulls, key rings, jacket pulls, cellphone &/or purse decorations -- and if made with just one piece of felt, glued onto magnets & used to hold up notes and more kids' art on the refrigerator.
It's inexpensive too. Felt pieces are (currently at Hobby Lobby) 5 pieces for $1 for solid colors and 2 for $1 for patterned pieces; embroidery floss runs between $1-$2. Everything else (scissors, cotton balls, needle etc.) can be found in the home.
It's a great simple and inexpensive way to keep children busy when home for the holiday vacation from school.