Collaborative Embroidery (With Kids)

Having recently discovered that my already generally artistically inclined six year old daughter has a pretty amazing gift for embroidery, it was quite easy to enlist her help with a few gifts this past year.

Even if your kiddo does not want to spend hours pushing a needle quietly through fabric, if you love embroidery there is an easy way to collaborate with your kid regardless: give them a water-soluble pen and some fabric and just see what happens.

While I was transferring other patterns to fabric with the use of the “magic blue pen” my sweet girl wanted to help so I put some fabric in a hoop and set her loose.

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As I stitched she helped me pick colors and gave suggestions but my own choices about how to interpret the marks she’d made and how to build the visual balance also aided in the outcome.

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We both were so happy with the finished hoop and it now lives in her room on her own growing embroidery wall. No joke, I am in love with this piece.

When the holidays arrived I bought a bunch of little wooden hoops and traced the shape a bunch of times on some fabric. As I handed the pen to my Little, I simply prompted her with “what would make so-and-so happy” and she took it from there.

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Making individual gifts for everyone is not always something that a six year old can handle – she can sometimes lose interest pretty quickly even when she is doing something she loves. I loved watching her think seriously about the things that each person liked and the quick and immediacy of drawing was familiar and fun for her.

Overall, I really liked how this project matched both of our personalities and ended up being such an easy way for my child to play a big part in giving something to family that was meaningful during the holiday.

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