In our newest Martin & Sylvia: Learning Days story, “A Handwork Moment”, there’s just so much to do this holiday season that it’s making everyone fuzzy-headed. Momma notices the children’s fidgety hands: “I think our hands are trying to tell us something,” she says. What they need is an afternoon of soothing handwork: knitting, crocheting, and sewing!
Does that sound good to you too?
We’ve partnered with Nicole Spring of Frontier Dreams to offer an easy-to-follow tutorial for making your own hand-sewn candy cane ornaments this holiday season!
More About the Benefits of Sewing Activities for Kids
Simple crafts like these hand-sewn candy cane ornaments aren’t just a fun holiday project! They also have unexpected benefits for your little ones. These soothing, repetitive motions offer physical benefits and help to develop fine motor skills. This is especially important, given that on average, school age childrens will spend 37 to 60% of the school day engaged in fine motor activities.
Simple sewing projects are also a great way to help build confidence through play. This helps to enhance and provide a solid foundation for emotional and mental well-being.
And finally, age-appropriate sewing activities help teach kids patience and dedication while also tapping into creativity and imagination.
Hand-Sewn Candy Cane Ornament Tutorial
You will need: - 1 small embroidery hoop (Nicole used 3 ½”) - Red embroidery floss (or your color of choice) - A needle (the chenille works well for this project and is easier to thread for children) - 1 small piece of white wool felt for the candy cane - 2 pieces of wool felt in your color of choice for the front and back of the ornament - Scissors
- Start out by placing one piece of your wool felt in the embroidery hoop. Then cut out a candy cane shape in the white felt and place it centered on top.
- Now, thread your child’s needle with the full 6 strands of embroidery floss and tie a knot at the end.
- Do the first stripe yourself while your child watches. Bring the needle up from the back of the wool next to the bottom of the candy cane (see images below).
- Then bring the needle back down through the felt on the opposite side and pull all the way through. Voila! The first stripe.
- Now have your child come back up with the needle a little bit above their first stitch and then back down again on the opposite side.
- They will continue this way until they reach the end of the candy cane. Let them make their stripes where they want. Remember, they should enjoy the experience — it isn’t about perfection! Each one will be unique (as you’ll see with ours below).
- Now tie a knot with your floss in the back when your child is done and trim the ends. You can leave it on the embroidery hoop to display or follow through to complete the ornaments.
- To finish making the ornaments, just trim an oval around the candy cane. Then, using that oval as a template, cut another out of the felt for the back. Hold them together and do a blanket stitch to complete your ornaments!
- Now write (or embroider!) your child’s name and the year on the back. Use an ornament hook to hang or attach some baker’s twine or floss to make a loop at the top.
That’s it! Sweet memories to treasure always. Follow Nicole Spring and Frontier Dreams on Instagram for more inspiration.
More About Frontier Dreams
Nicole is a Waldorf homeschooling, homemaking, blessed Mama raising her own Pevensie tribe on her homestead amongst the Amish. She enjoys the homemade simple life and creating any way she can — knitting, sewing, preserving, cooking from scratch, finding new ways to use all the beeswax and honey from her bees, you name it. She can always be found with a camera in hand to document her days so she may look back at these glorious yet exhausting times. Join her over at Instagram @frontierdreams as she cultivates a culture of beauty and shares crafts, tutorials, and inspiration with homesteading life mixed in.
More About our Martin & Sylvia Audio Stories
Click through (below) to listen to “A Handwork Moment,” the latest story in our new Martin & Sylvia Collection, Learning Days. Explore the entire Martin & Sylvia series here.
If you aren’t already a Sparkle Stories subscriber, try 10 days of unlimited free listening on us! Sign up for a free trial here.
About the Authors
Nicole is a Waldorf homeschooling, homemaking, blessed Mama raising her own Pevensie tribe on her homestead amongst the Amish. She enjoys the homemade simple life and creating anyway she can — knitting, sewing, preserving, cooking from scratch, finding new ways to use all the beeswax and honey from her bees, you name it.
Jessica is a content creator, writer, strategist, and vintage pyrex collector. She has a passion for facilitating authentic connection, whether that's through her work at Sparkle Stories or her songwriting.