I’m excited to share my review of a craft book for teens and tweens, along with a beginner-friendly weaving project, so read on for details!
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free PDF review copy of Stitch Camp: 18 Crafty Projects for Kids & Tweens – Learn 6 All-Time Favorite Skills: Sew, Knit, Crochet, Felt, Embroider & Weave by Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman was provided to me by Storey Publishing. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.
Stitch Camp: 18 Crafty Projects for Kids & Tweens – Learn 6 All-Time Favorite Skills: Sew, Knit, Crochet, Felt, Embroider & Weave by Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman is a book designed to inspire a love of creativity in kids. Focusing on six fiber crafts (sewing, embroidery, felting, knitting, crochet, and weaving), the book shares vibrant and detailed photo tutorials and simple yet fun projects that kids will love.
In Introduction: Get Ready, the authors open by sharing some of the science behind how crafting helps brains (in kid-friendly terms, of course). They also talk about crafts being part of the “slow movement” to allow people to spend time on enjoying projects in a fast-paced world. This section also includes a discussion about whether to craft “solo or social,” tips for lefties, and links to helpful resources. This chapter also includes illustrated instructions for three different types of knots and explains that words can be looked up in the book’s extensive glossary.
The book continues on to chapters organized by craft. Each of these chapters includes an overview of the craft, important supplies, fun facts (like the history of the craft), and written and photographed tutorials for the basic skills (like threading a needle for sewing). These introductory skills are followed by three projects which include both written instructions and tutorial photographs. The projects combine simple supplies with colorful materials and are shown photographed on or with children. The book ends with a glossary of terms and a list of additional reading for each craft, as well as a detailed index.
If you want to inspire a love of crafts in a kid you know, or help nurture the development of an existing interest (or just get them unplugged for a few minutes a day), Stitch Camp is a great place to get started! There are great visuals and clear instructions and a variety of projects that both boys and girls will love. I also appreciated that the book showed diverse children crafting and using and wearing the projects.
Beaded Key Fob or Necklace
Tutorial by Nicole Blum & Catherine Newman
Text © 2017 Nicole Blum and Catherin Newman. Photos © 2017 Margaret Lampert. Shared with permission from Storey Publishing.
This is a great little project for beginners because you get to make and use a loom. But the loom is nice and small, so you can finish something in one sitting — like this cool key fob, which is just an old-fashioned way of saying key chain. The beads give the project enough weight and substance to keep it from getting lost in your pocket — or, if you’re making a necklace, from getting tangled in your hair.
What You Need
- 10-inch × 31/2-inch piece of heavy cardboard
- Masking tape
- Sturdy string, garden twine, or jute
- Blunt needle with an eye large enough to fit your string
- 6 beads
- Split-ring key ring, carabiner, or swivel-eye lobster snap clasp hook (a long name for a small hook!)
How You Make It
Making and Setting Up the Loom
1) Wrap the top and bottom edges of the cardboard with masking tape to make it sturdier. Hold the ruler along the top edge and mark 1 inch in from the edge, and then every 1/4 inch until you get to 2 1/4 inches. You will have six marks.
Repeat along the bottom edge, making six marks at the same intervals. Use your scissors to make a tiny cut — about 1/4 inch long — at each mark.
2) To make the warp, tape one end of your string (or twine or jute) to the middle of the back side of the loom. Slot it into the rightmost top slit, then flip the loom over like you’re turning a page, so that the front is facing forward (the string will now be on the left).
Wrap the string down to the bottom side of the cardboard and wedge it into the corresponding notch, then stretch it up the back side, and slot it into the second notch on top, and then down into the matching notch on the bottom. Continue wrapping, pulling the string tight in the notches, moving left to right, until you have six vertical strands.
Tape the string to the back of the loom, then cut the tail. Run an extra piece of tape across the warp strings on the back to secure them.
Weaving the Weft
1) Start the weft by cutting about a yard of yarn, string, twine, or jute, and thread your needle (see page 15). Starting about 1 inch from the top of the cardboard, weave the needle under and over the warp threads until you get to the other side (see page 166).
3) Repeat, going back and forth, until the weaving is as long as you like (this one is about 1 inch), stopping occasionally as you weave to push the rows together snugly with your fingers or the needle. If you want to change colors at any point, simply snip the string you’re using, and knot on a different color.
6) Use a needle to weave your two 6-inch weft tails into the back of your weaving, threading each one over and under the weft a few times and then tying them together where they meet
in the middle. Snip off the ends.
7) Untape your warp strings and gently remove all the strings from the loom. Separate the warp strings into two groups of three strings each. Knot each set of three warp strings snugly against the weaving.
For a Key Fob
You can find more creative book ideas for kids from Storey Publishing on Amazon!