Color Me Christmas

This is the 4th day of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, and today I’m one of the stops along the way!

Be sure to check out the other blogs for today; I have them listed with links for you at the end of this post. Remember that commenting on all of the blogs today makes you eligible for giveaway, too!

Kids and Christmas

When my kids were little, I recall having a mad scramble around Christmas for gifts for teachers, friends, grandpa and grandma — you know what I mean, right? I was always looking for something fun for them to make that didn’t add further stress and cost to the works!

Today I want to revisit an old craft with you for an easy kids sewing project that is relatively easy to do and can be used in a variety of ways. Using some scrap material and a few art supplies, this easy project goes together pretty quickly. So let’s get started.

Gather Your Tools

You’ll need the following items:

  • Light table or sunny window
  • Tape (opt)
  • Simple drawing or design with bold lines for tracing (or you can freehand the design)
  • Pencil for tracing
  • Freezer paper (optional)
  • Crayola® brand crayons (other brands don’t saturate well)
  • Crayon sharpener
  • Two sheets of paper towel OR a sheet of clean paper
  • Iron
  • Small piece of light background fabric (I used a 5.5″ square)
Kids’ Fun for Kids of All Ages

We’re going to be tracing a design on fabric, coloring in that design, and then setting the color with the iron. (Remember doing that as a kid?) Kids should be able to do all of this with a little guidance, depending on their ages.

You can use plain white fabric or a low volume fabric. I experimented a bit and found that low volume fabric adds a bit of fun to the background, yet the crayons cover it quite well.

Color Me Christmas - piecefulthoughts.com

If you are going to be tracing a design onto the fabric, this is where you use the light table or sunny window. Choose a design that is simple and easy to trace. I used letters, but you could find a fun pattern from free online clip art or a small coloring book (you might have to reduce the image), etc.  Place the design under the fabric and center it. Trace lightly around the design. Don’t worry if the lines get dark, it can be covered up in later steps. Besides, those little imperfections will bring a smile in years to come!

Color Me Christmas - Tracing with Light Table - piecefulthoughts.com

Tip: If you are going to freehand the design, or have the kids draw rather than trace a design on the fabric, consider stabilizing the fabric with freezer paper to keep the fabric from stretching and frustrating those little fingers as they try to draw. Taking a scrap piece of freezer paper and lay it shiny side up on your ironing table. Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric. The freezer paper will adhere to the fabric and is easily removable once the project is done. Leave the freezer paper on for the next step.

Color Me Christmas - Freezer Paper Stabilizer - piecefulthoughts.com

Okay, now to the fun stuff. Have the kids color in the design with the crayons. Let them be creative and use whatever colors they wish. Encourage them to color with bold strokes; darker coloring shows up better. This is also where that sharpener comes in handy.

Once the coloring is done, remove the freezer paper (if you’ve used it) by simply grabbing a corner of the paper and pulling it away from the fabric.

Place the fabric between two sheets of paper towel (or paper) and iron to set the crayon. Just run the hot iron over the paper towel or paper a few times, holding it briefly over the design.

Color Me Christmas - How to - piecefulthoughts.com

Working Together

Now that the coloring is done and set, it’s time to jazz it up a bit. This is where you can have all kinds of fun and let your imagination go. Kids can also do this with guidance, depending on their age, but you may have to do more oversight on the following steps. I’ve kept my designs pretty simple, but you can feel free to use your imagination and give your block some personality!

You can embroider around the design, as simple or elaborate as you like. This can be done by a child if they are comfortable with using needle and thread. You can stabilize the block before stitching with a bit of fusible interfacing if you wish.

Color Me Christmas - Embellishing - piecefulthoughts.com

Or you can just outline the design with a permanent ink pen designed for fabric (I use a Micron pen). Be sure to set the ink with a quick press of the iron.

Color Me Christmas - Mug Mat - piecefulthoughts.com

For the mug mat above, I used a 5.5″ square of Moda Grunge for the background. I simply drew a freehand snowman on my block, so you can see how easily and quickly this project can be done. This is helpful for those little ones who just want to quickly draw something and be off on another adventure! I didn’t embellish the snowman much, other than adding some outlining and three tiny buttons on his tummy.

To finish the mug mat top, I used two 1.5″ x 10″ strips of fabric, one light, one dark, and sewed them together on one long side, pressing the seam to the dark fabric. Your strip should measure 2.5″ wide. Then I cut the strip into five 1.5″ pieces and sewed them back together, alternating the red and white squares to form a checkerboard. Sew it to the right side of the snowman block. Spray baste the top, add batting and backing and a little quilting. Bind it, and done!

Here are a few samples of some fun things I did with this crayon art. Let your imagination flow.

A mini quilt with a touch of improv. I just cut around the letter in a wonky shape and added scraps of fabric by following the shape.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Mini - piecefulthoughts.com

A fun little mini garland to hang in a little nook or cranny.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Garland - piecefulthoughts.com

Here’s some other ideas:

  • Rather than mini garland, add a magnet to the back of each letter for use on the magnetic board.
  • Add a colored block to a zipper pouch for a personalized gift.
  • Make ornaments — you could even date them using the fabric pen (don’t forget to set the writing with a press of the iron!)
  • Using a fusible like Steam-A-Seam, fuse the small block to a lunch-size brown paper bag for a cute gift bag.

See? All kinds of ideas! Have fun with this project! I’d love to see a picture of what you and your kids create!

Don’t forget that in order to qualify for the giveaway, you need to leave a comment on my blog as well as the others scheduled for today.

Here are the other blogs to visit today.

Ok, friends, leave a comment and then hop on over to the other blogs!

Wendy

172 thoughts on “Color Me Christmas”

  1. I did something similar to this as a child using a special set of crayons. I loved doing it, but never got to do it again since I didn’t have the special crayons. I never knew regular crayons would work! I’ll have to try this out with my kiddos. Thanks for taking the time to participate in the blog hop!

  2. Great ideas for gift giving and for the younger kids to make. It’s always fun to see what others come up with for quilting projects. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love this idea, fun for young and old. I will have to experiment a little and see what I can do! Thanks for being part of the 12 Days Of Christmas in July Blog Hop 🙂

  4. Wendy, this is so innovative, a wonderful way to have a design on fabric, then in colour. Great way with all the explanation, a lot of fun. And from kids to us who are quite a lot older, this would be a great project to do.

  5. Great idea!! That looks like fun. I’ll have to go look for my box of crayons now. Remember wanting that 64 box of crayons when you were young? The big box with the pencil sharpener on the back. I never did get one that size but I did get a box of 48 and thought I was in heaven.
    kthurn(at)bektel(dot)com

  6. I’ve never seen that technique done before Wendy, and it has so much potential, I’m thinking of all the stuff I could make with my granddaughter. Thank you for sharing, great post!

  7. I love your ideas, particularly the mini garland. I know exactly where I’d like to hang it.

  8. Great ideas-A child’s Christmas coloring book is a great place to find simple drawings to trace too! Love the cute mug rugs! Thank you for sharing, Susan

  9. Wendy, these are great projects and I like getting the kids involved. Thanks for sharing.

  10. What a pretty garland! I have never seen this technique used before and am looking forward to trying it out myself.

  11. Thanks for sharing your great project. It hard sometimes finding fun, creative gift-making things for the children to do. Thanks

  12. Thanks for the suggestions. I love the letters and words and think I may use it for names.

  13. Thank you for the ideas! My little granddaughter loves making gifts for the people in her life.

  14. Great idea Wendy. Thanks for the reminder of a long forgotten fun technique. I remember this from grammar school.

  15. Wendy, that is a great project for kids. I am sure Brevon would love to make one!!! I am thinking perhaps placemat size and then maybe they would actually sit at the table to eat, LOL

  16. Hi Wendy,
    This project looks just great for kids. I am starting to collect these ideas as we are expecting a great-niece or nephew later this summer. Thanks for sharing with us. ~smile~ Roseanne

  17. Love mini quilts, personalizing them is a great idea……brain is spinning with ideas – thanks!

  18. This is a really fun idea for all ages! Love the projects you made — great inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

  19. What a fun idea…whether you have little people around or not! Thank you so much for sharing!

  20. I’ve had my grands do something similar with my Pentex fabric pencils – they can operate my mini machine pretty good and do most of their sewing themselves. Thank you for sharing.

  21. i do this sometimes on my quilt labels. it is still fun to see the difference the heat makes in the colors and gets rid of the lines the crayon leaves when you color.

  22. Great tutorial – looks like a lot of fun. Have to remember to do this for some fun/quick/easy things for our boutique!

  23. Fun ideas for kids. Small projects can be just as satisfying as complex ones. Thanks for participating in the blog hop.

  24. I have done a couple things with crayons, but not for a long time. Had forgotten about it until now. Gives me an idea for a baby gift needed in a few months. Thank you!

  25. I’ve never used crayons in my quilting, but I love your Joy banner. I think I’m gonna try something similar. Thanks for the ideas!!!,

  26. Great craft ideas! Can’t wait until I have some grand children to try them out on.

  27. I like that this craft is kid-friendly and inexpensive. And it can be done by most young children. Thank you.

  28. Great ideas, I’m gathering projects for my granddaughters when they visit, they will love our craft time!

  29. Your miniquilts and garland are very cute. Great ideas for those that are hard to buy for.

  30. I have seen a few quilts made with this process but didn’t know how they were done! Thank you! Such cute ideas!

  31. Oh, Wendy!… What a great idea!
    I’m going to play with this!
    (Love your little snowman, mini quilt, and banner!)
    *Thank you!*
    Pat T.

  32. Wonderful idea! I will have to try it with my grandkids as I’m sure they would enjoy doing it. Thanks for sharing.

  33. I’VE NEVER COLORED ON FABRIC BEFORE SO NOW I WILL HAVE TO TRY. THANKS! READINGTIRZAH AT YAHOO.COM

  34. At the local quilt show this summer, I saw a quilt that was from one piece of white fabric, and the designs were all drawn on. It was gorgeous! I will be trying a smail project to try this out (like a mug rug–yours is adorable!).

  35. I love the project with the snowman. Maybe I’ll get my niece and nephews to draw some pictures, so I can make gifts for their parents and grandparents. Thanks for the idea!

  36. I love that I can make these projects with my little ones. I think the letter magnets will be a hit! Thanks!

  37. Hi Wendy, I love your idea and now I’m kicking myself because I almost bought a light box on Amazon Prime Day, wish I had now….but that’s not going to stop me from making your project. I love your “W” mini, mini quilt.

  38. Been making ornaments for my family members every year for over 35 years, this is a great idea to add to my list! Thank You!
    lstangl482 at aol dot com

  39. That almost makes me wish I had grandchildren to play with these ideas. Your snowman mug mat is really cute.

  40. Great ideas! I always enjoyed making crafts with my son when he was young. We especially liked shrink art for Christmas ornaments.

  41. Great idea for the little ones to color On fabric and then turn it into some special gift. It will be fun to see how they change each year.

  42. Great idea–I’ve never done this before! Wish my kids were still young–we always made gifts for the grandparents, and this is a fun one.

  43. I like the “JOY” hanging letters! Cute idea that doesn’t seem like it would take too long!

  44. What a wonderful idea, and such a fun thing to do with the kids! I can think of so many ways to put these to good use! Thanks for all you put into making the hop a success!

  45. This is a very cool craft…for every age! The mini quilts are adorable and making a banner out of them is such a great idea! You are so creative.

  46. What a great idea, which I’m going to put to use with my Hello Kitty coloring books to make some blocks for my HK themed quilt–thanks for the inspiration!

  47. I love the INITIALS! Maybe I will merge snowman and initial into a mugrug? Thanks for the inspiration!

  48. Wendy, Thanks for the idea. I’m tabling it for later. My granddaughter just turned 4 and we know she has some delays. She cannot hold a crayon to do much yet. She wants to hold it at the top instead of near the point and that just doesn’t work. We are hoping to have her evaluated soon and she’ll be going to Pre-K-4 starting in August. She loves to do things, so as soon as she physically and won’t be frustrated, this will be a winner for her. Thanks.

  49. Very nice decorations! I haven’t tried crayon before, so thanks for tips on using them. I’m also impressed that you readily had Christmas props in your pictures – certainly helped set the mood!

  50. Fantastic ideas, Wendy, I’ll definitely be using some of these ideas with my kids this Christmas! Your snowman mug rug is super cute! Thanks for sharing!

  51. I always loved getting my new box of crayons in the fall for the new school year–I always likes reading the names of the more unusual ones. Thanks for your ideas.
    barbkaup(at)(yahoo)(dot)(com)

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