Children love working with fabric as the textures and colors are so much more interesting than plain old paper and pens. The feel of thick velvet or soft cotton adds to the whole educational experience and children love to experiment with new materials. Another great thing about working with fabric is the lack of waste; so much can be done with little scraps of material. You may even find that you can pick these up for free from a local tailor or dressmaker.
Thankfully the ability to sew isn’t a prerequisite for working with fabric as there are special fabric glues available that even very young children can use safely. You can even buy fabric pens to add to the decoration of the material if you wish. So what kind of projects could be completed with a class?
Items needed: Paper, pens, fabric scraps, scissors, fabric glue
Give each member of the class a couple of pieces of fabric and ask them to draw a picture of themselves making sure that they include their clothes in the drawing. Once they have finished help them to cut out fabric in the shape of their clothes to glue on to their picture. Once they have finished, they should label their picture with their name and add it to a large class mural. They will love seeing themselves on the wall of the classroom every day represented by this art.
Items needed: Fabric scraps, scissors, large piece of cardboard, fabric glue.
Lay the cardboard out on a table and give each student some fabric pieces. If the students are able to use scissors they can cut their fabric into interesting shapes if they wish. Each member of the class should add some fabric to the cardboard and glue it on. The end result will be an attractive mishmash of overlapping fabric pieces that will look like a huge piece of class art. Display it on the wall for the year and make your class proud of their creation.
Allow each student to pick out some material that they like. Lay the material flat and ask them to paint fabric glue on the outside of their pencil. Roll the pencil on the fabric to add a personalized touch. Trim the end of the fabric and place a pencil end on top to cover any rough edges. If you don’t have any pencil ends, use another piece of fabric to cover the end. Students can glue and wrap a set of pens or pencils to match.
If your students are able to sew there are even more possibilities. Over at http://tipnut.com there are instructions on how to make, amongst other things, pincushions, envelope bags, gadget pouches and toy boats.
There are also lots of excellent videos that can be found on YouTube like this instructional video by Vanessa from craftygemini.com on how to make quilted fabric postcards.
The possibilities are endless. Happy crafting!