Fiber arts are the hottest craft trend right now. They use simple technique and inexpensive materials to make absolutely adorable crafts. So if you are looking for something to keep your kids busy as the summer comes to a close, try doing a fun fiber arts project!
Here are 12 fiber arts activities that are affordable, easy, and will keep your kids entertained.
Not sure about you, but when we were little we built forts everywhere! We made forts in the snow, forts out of leaf piles, and forts out of blankets. While fort building might not exactly be considered an “art,” you and your kids can still have fun building one. They can design and redesign their forts using chairs, clothespins, blankets, and rope. Throw in some pillows, cushions, and maybe a lamp, and you’re well on your way to some afternoon fun.
If you feel like taking it the extra mile, get crafty with the blankets. Buy cheap sheets from the thrift store or pull out an old set from the closet and decorate with fabric paints or tie-dye. Your kids can make their own wall paintings in their fort!
Whether you’re making pom-pom animals or garland, your kids will love this easy, affordable craft. All you need is some yarn, scissors, glue, and a small piece of cardboard to try your hand at it. Use yellow and brown yarns to make a lion or follow this crafter’s instructions for an adorable bunny. Add your own details like googly eyes or felt ears for flair.
You might notice some crafters use special plastic crescents to make their pom-poms, but you can make your own from cardboard or just use your hands. To make your own pom-poms using a cardboard template, check out this Bernat Yarns video for DIY help:
If your kids love making pom-poms, step it up a notch with pom-pom garland. Decorate their bedrooms, use it for birthdays, or give these pom-pom garlands as gifts. This blogger spruced up her living room with a little coordinating pom-pom décor. She also shows you a simpler option for making pom-poms with a little bit of cardboard. Making pom-poms is fun project to do together.
3. Clothespin Friends
While you might not have any clothespins lying around the house, you can usually find a cheap pack of them at any craft or thrift store. Peg clothespins are best for this craft, but you can use spring clothespins if you are in a pinch.
Follow this wonderfully detailed tutorial to make your own clothespin doll. This crafter shows how to make a dress for their doll, but you can get creative with yours. Use fabric and yarn to make clothing and hair or stick to paint and markers.
This blogger provides a magically useful example of how to use your new clothespin friends even fashion retailers use clothespins for decoration. Check out Anthropologie’s clothespin ornaments or artist Carrie Hill’s Peg People for more inspiration.
4. DIY Stick Pony
Remember those old school stick ponies we had as kids? While you probably threw it out years ago, you and your kids can easily make one at home from a little felted wool and a wooden dowel.
Lia Griffith’s DIY Felt Stick Horse tutorial is simple and quick. Your kids can have fun picking felted wool colors for the coat and mane, buttons for the eyes, and naming their new pony pals. Get funky with patterned fabric and wild button eyes if you like! There’s no end to the combinations. This is a great craft for teaching younger kids how to trace and cut with scissors. They can also learn sewing skills! Once you have made your horses, your kids can have a foot race!
5. DIY Doily Lamp Shade
Doilies used to be commonly found in homes, but nowadays you might have a harder time finding them decorating a home unless you are visiting Grandma. That’s about to change! This crafty mom found a great way to repurpose those delicate doilies by making a lamp shade for her daughter’s room. With a balloon, a little glue, and some doilies you can turn a lamp fixture from blah to beautiful. You will also need a light kit, which you should be able to find for $10 or less.
If you do not already own doilies, you might be able to find some at a thrift store. Otherwise, check out a local craft store for them. Either way, you probably will not spend more than $10 on craft supplies, but you will have a lot more to show for it! While this craft is easy, it does take time, because the glue will need to dry. You want the glue to feel stiff on the doily, so it is strong. Add more glue as necessary and wait at least 24 hours after each application to make sure the glue sets. Your kid will hopefully love popping the balloon when the time comes. If you did not leave a hole for the light fixture, you can cut an opening for it. Hang up around the house and voila! You can even give it a little tap, so your little one can see the shadows from the lampshade dance on the walls.
6. Felted Friends
Felted crafts can be super fun and easy for children. Some of these crafts come in kits, like WoolPets’ needle felting kits. Ranging from easy to intermediate skill levels, these kits have everything you need for your kids to make a furry friend for between $14 and $20.
If you are looking for a less structured felting project, try one of these felted projects. Make wet felted rocks, like this family, by covering collected rocks and wrapping them in many thin layers of wool. Your kids will love both collecting rocks and decorating them with felt. Or get a little more artsy with a wet felted wool “painting,” like these crafters did. It should keep your kids busy, so you can have a chance to relax while they play.
Another cute option is to wet felt wool using cookie cutters, like this crafty little girl did: http://www.fromscratchmag.com/12-homestead-bloggers-christmas-making-wet-felted-ornaments/. You can also use pre-dyed wool for colorful felted friends or embroider your pals once they have dried. Check out these beachy cookie cutters and back to school cookie cutters for some great inspiration!
7. Finger Knitting
This fiber arts activity is bound to please your little ones and you. All you need is yarn! First have your kids pick out their favorite yarn. Just a tip: The chunkier the yarn, the faster the knitting will go. There are tons of step-by-step tutorials online to help get you started. We love this video from Fiber Flux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsZsUBYU0qU&feature=youtu.be
Your kids can make finger knitted scarves, belts, bracelets, and headbands. Let them get creative. Maybe they could even make a bridle for their stick pony… go wild!
8. Roll Knitting
Similar to finger knitting, roll knitting lets you make a simple 3 dimensional knitted piece easily. For instance, check out this roll knitted snake! While the roll knitting methods limits the type of knitted item you can make to only long and tubular, have your kids make a list of ways to turn this snake into something else. Can they make a scarf? Perhaps they can make a garland or decorations for their forts? What about a telephone wire or limbo rope? Add some wire and your kid could be even make a Medusa-style snake crown! This project can take time, so feel free to set it aside and come back to work on in periodically with your little ones. Place it inside a paper bag for safe keeping while not in use so it doesn’t get tangled.
9. Woven Wall Hangings
Teach your kids how to weave with these awesome wall hangings. Your kids will need to make their own looms, but this tutorial shows an easy way to make one from cardboard. This fiber arts craft can take patience. Weaving can also take a while to learn, but it’s worth it, because they are both adorable and affordable! Your kids have a blast trying out different colors of yarn, adding beadwork, and making pom-poms to hang from the bottom of their finished work. You can also send them outdoors to hunt for cool nature items to incorporate into their weaving projects. Once their projects are anchored at the top on a stick or dowel, they can even have fun decorating the yarn hanger by braiding the yarn or adding beads.
10. Stitch Cards
Make DIY stitch cards at home with a little yarn and cardboard. Your kids will have fun creating their own designs and making them come to life with this project. Plus, you probably already have all the tools you need right at home! Once your kiddos finish off their favorite box of cereal, cut it into 5”x7” pieces for them to draw their image. They can have fun trying their hands at tapping a nail through the cardboard with a hammer.
You will probably want to use something underneath your cardboard to protect your work surface. The spacing of the holes will be similar to connect the dots drawing. Once all the holes are made, your kids can go to town threading yarn through the cardboard with an embroidery needle to complete their masterpieces. Your kids will have so much fun switching up yarn colors, filling in color with markers after embroidering, and hanging them around the house. Make stitch cards to give instead of greeting cards for special holidays or even use them as flashcards for a DIY learning tool!
11. DIY Rag Rugs
This rag rug project can be enjoyable for mom and child. You will love how affordable it is, and your kiddo will have a chance to make her/his room unique. You can use old bed sheets, fabric, or t-shirts to loop through the holes of a non-skid mat or you can go hunting together for fabric that will match the décor of your child’s room. This project takes a lot of time and patience, but is well worth the effort–just look at how cute and fluffy this pink and blue rug is! You can make it more or less fluffy depending on how closely you space the fabric loops, so the possibility for personalization is infinite.
12. DIY Batik
Batik, a traditional method of wax-resist dyeing of fabrics. It uses dots and lines to create a beautiful pattern. Batik traditions can be traced to Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Nigeria. It is an ancient textile art form that has been documented as far back as the 4th century BC in Egypt. So it’s not only a fun craft project, it can be a great art history lesson.
Make your own batik designs with your kids using this glue resist tutorial. You might need to make a run to the craft store for washable glue, craft paints, and cotton fabric, but this project is sure to be affordable.
So if you are looking for a great new way to make some crafts with your kids, try a fiber arts craft. Fiber arts are simple, fun, and can make some really amazing things. Try these crafts today!