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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: American Girl Crafts- Funky Felt Pins

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

With summer quickly approaching it is a great time to plan some creative activities for my kids.  It is always wise to have some fun and easy kids crafting supplies on had to entertain the kids.  Since the American Girl dolls have always been popular in my household,  the idea of trying out the American Girl craft kits was met with enthusiasm by my girls.  The kit we tried out was the “Funky Felt Pins” which is recommended for children 8 years old and up.  The kit retails for $12.99.  

The packaging on the “Funky Felt Pins” is very colorful.  From the outside of the package, it does not look like you get much in the way of supplies.  However, I was happily surprised to find it was jam packed full of enough supplies for my girls and their friends to give this kit a try and learn some basic embroidery skills.
This kit comes with the following:
● Project & Idea Booklet
● 12 yards of embroidery floss in 4 colors
● 33 plain felt pieces
● 5 embroidered patches
● 12 adhesive pin backs
● 10 sequin flowers
● 1 piece of white practice felt
● 1 needle
● 1 needle threader
The instruction booklet does have some nice colored simple instructions for their versions of the following stitches and knots:
● running stitch
● applique stitch
● cross stitch
● french knot
● finishing knot
The kit is color coordinated with enough materials to create at least 12 pins.  Since it includes instructions and materials, it would make a fun scout troop project.  However, you would have to pick up extra needles for each girl; this kit only comes with one needle.

The first thing we did was to lay out the pieces and then pick out a few different shapes to sew together.

Then I sewed the small floral sequin onto the green felt flower using white thread to make the stitches stand out.
I then sewed the green felt flower onto the orange felt flower.

Which was followed by sewing those pieces onto the darker felt flower.
The kids took a vote and wanted to add some bling to the flower.   So I added beads to finish it off the piece.
As you can see, the steps are very simple and easy to follow.  However,  I did find that it was a little bit challenging for little fingers to negotiate the needle and accomplish the smaller stitches.   

However, even with that frustration, the project certainly kept her attention.

A different size needle did make the difference for her and she enjoyed making her project.
Here are some other projects we made with the die cut felt pieces provided in the kit.  The first is a felt owl pin.
The second is a funky felt ring.  A quick note on this one, my daughter sewed the different pieces together. However, since she wanted a ring we felt that adding glass beads would add some sparkle and interest the ring.


The third is a funky felt hair band.
The fourth is a funky felt  hair clip for one of their American Girl dolls.
These projects are so fun and easy for the kids to do.  They also provide a great surface for adding beads, buttons, rhinestones, and more.  I like this because it allows for creative self expression and personalization.  Since this kit was such a hit with my girls, I will be purchasing some of the other American Girl Craft kits this summer to keep them entertained.
Tips:

  • Lay everything out so you can pick your colors and shapes.
  • If you are using the kit for younger children, you can help avoid frustration by using white glue to adhere the pieces together.  Let dry.  Then sew together with simple stitches.
  • Use up those fun beads and charms you have around the house to use as accents for these fun pieces.
Pros:
  • Plenty of material for a fun party activity or scout craft project.
  • The materials in the kit are versatile, you can use the pieces to create more than just pins.
  • Kit appeals to more than just 8-year-olds.  My 20-year-old thought they were pretty cute and wanted to make one.
Cons:
  • The felt die cuts are a little difficult for smaller hands to negotiate.  I would recommend using a different needle for smaller hands and perhaps backing the die cut felt materials onto a slightly larger piece of felt.
  • Not enough needles, it would be nice if they included more than one needle in the kit.
  • Some of the accent stitches are little challenging for some 8-year-olds.  I would recommend sewing or gluing on beads or rhinestones, if the child gets frustrated.

GIVEAWAY
The folks over at EK Success are giving away kits to two lucky readers. To enter simply answer any of the questions below in the Comments section of this article on our website. One comment per person, please.
What are some of your favorite summer projects for your kids?  Do you have any hand sewing tips for kids or kid craft ideas?  We would love to hear from you.

Winners are chosen at random. Contest closes Sunday, June 12th at 6pm CST. Good Luck!

Disclaimer

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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Maria Del Pinto

Maria Del Pinto

I have been crafting since I was a child and I love seeing what others create. I live near the beach so everything around me inspires me. I also enjoy activities where I re-purpose something old & discarded & make it into something cool. My favorite mantra is "Re-use, recycle, and re-make".

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23 Responses to Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: American Girl Crafts- Funky Felt Pins

  1. Avatar
    Cheryl June 8, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    My daughter likes to make friendship bracelets during the summer.

  2. Avatar
    Toucan Scraps June 8, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    a learning to sew tip: pierce holes in thin card stock for a young child to practice fancy stitches with. – much cheaper than buying binka.

    my eldest is learning to sew at the moment and loves the feel of felt.

    For summer crafts we like making lavender batons (got a tut from last year on my tutorials blog if you want to see how)

  3. Avatar
    Sue D June 8, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    We like to do all sorts of crafts–nature crafts are great in the summer or vacation memory crafts.

  4. Avatar
    isa dona June 8, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    I love to scrap with them and paint, draw…
    thanks for the chance

  5. Avatar
    Vitoria B June 8, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    I use to craft all summer with my boys… bracelets, perls (yes, even with boys), paint.

  6. Avatar
    MJ June 8, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    My daughter, Abby, and I have been making and selling crafts for the past four years for animal sanctuaries and rescues. This craft looks like a big seller for the critters!!!

  7. Avatar
    Amanda June 8, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    My daughter is finally to an age that we can begin doing crafts together and I’m looking for some great ideas. The American Girl crafts look so adorable and FUN!!

  8. Avatar
    smahrty June 8, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    This looks like a fun kit! I love to garden with my kids – they also like painting rocks and other great finds on our nature walks.

  9. Avatar
    paperpapier June 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    the kids posed in the garden against the morning sun and drew their friend’s shadow on newspaper. After that, they cut out their own shape of shadow and giggled looking and comparing each other cut-out. I done this during my term as a teacher in a pre-school. The kids had lots of fun.

  10. Avatar
    Renee June 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    These look like so much fun! I am thinking scrapbooking when I see these!

  11. Avatar
    Isabel Z June 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    My daughter like to make friendship bracelets over the summer and use gimp to create lanyards.

  12. Avatar
    Donna June 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    I’m not a big sewer myself so other than sewing on a button or stitching up a seam I doubt my kids know how to sew very much. But these buttons look like great fun. I would try them with my Girl Scouts.

  13. Avatar
    Rita C. Harris June 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    American Girl products have been very popular with my granddaughters for a few years now. I have bought bracklet making and hair salon and fashion clothes making. They spend many hours inventing new things. I know they would love the card making kit because they are into sending and receiving cards all the time. They are into scrapbooking and taking photos. Card making would just add to their hours of entertainment.

  14. Avatar
    Christel June 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    My daughter likes making jewelry and friendship bracelets.

  15. Avatar
    isabel scrap June 9, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    I like to make friendship bracelets with my girls

  16. Avatar
    Guillauma June 9, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    I love to sew, i learn with my mother, and now i try to sew with my boys… but…

  17. Avatar
    Kathy June 9, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    My DGC are only almost-3 and 5, so we usually do painting. But last time they slept over, I got out some foam shapes and glue….they both had a great time making pictures and flowers with them! I can’t wait till the older one can do this American Girl pin craft…until then, I think I need to make some for my own pages…they are very, very CUTE!

  18. Avatar
    LisaAnn June 9, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    My 6 and 8 year olds adore crafting and cooking. They are learning embroidery so this kit would be perfect! We love the AG books!

    Lhy5@yahoo.com

  19. Avatar
    the mustik June 10, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    I like felt and love to try this funny kit !
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  20. Avatar
    Paulo Marques June 10, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    I’m trying to learn sew to my daughter, so this is a fantastic activity to try. Very girly and very fun.

  21. Avatar
    Lori June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I let my kids practice sewing with a plastic canvas and yarn needle so they can get the basic sewing techniques down.
    lkziegler[at]gmail[dot]com

  22. Avatar
    la zaz June 12, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    My boys love all crafts, even the girl’s activities… creativity is good for kids.

  23. Avatar
    rush June 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    i am not physically close enough to see what my grandkids do every day. they do go to camp, jump on the trampolene and get bored like any other kid. i think the best sewing tip i can give is to watch the fingers. maybe they can stab the needle into styrofoam while they learn.