Monday, May 19, 2014

5th Grade Plush Monsters

The monster on the left is holding a miniature
version of the monster on the right! Brilliant!

Sewing? Really? Boys, too? Oh, yeah. We recently got our Martha Stewart on in 5th grade and broke out the felt, thread, and needles. I'm always surprised at the number of my students who have done at least some kind of sewing before. It's super helpful to have a few extra "teachers" at times during the project. 

We start out, of course, with some sketches. This year, each student got two sheets of 9x12 felt. In the past, I've had students make their plush monsters out of one sheet of felt. I thought going a little bigger this year would allow students to add some extra details. 

After the monsters were sewn and stuffed, students used felt scraps and fabric glue to attach details. These always come out really nice and my 5th graders really enjoy being challenged by an entirely new medium. 

Download my lesson plan!


Daniel Brickwood said...

These look amazing! I may have to try them out for my new art club.

Art Cee said...

Maybe a silly question, but I have never done any type of sewing before... Why kind of tools and supplies do you use to do the sewing? And is there a particular kind of stitch you use for this? I really like these! So cute and fun!!!

Zach Stoller said...

I'm definitely no sewing expert, so I can't give you any technical advice about materials. I use felt, but any material will do. Slightly thicker than usual thread works better with felt. The needles I used are bigger than average needle and have a bigger eye so kids can thread their own needle. Any stitch can work as long as they are relatively small and uniform. Honestly, I just practiced on a couple of scraps before I taught this the first time. My kids love this project.

The Artist said...

I do a similar project too with big needles. My needles have blunt tips and I find it hard to push through the felt. My students like the project so much they make it work. Are your needles blunt or sharp? I have thought sharp needles may be unsafe, but if you have personal experience with a different needle working safely please let me know.

Zach Stoller said...

Honestly, the needles I use I found in my desk drawer when I started teaching at Thomas. I'm anything but a sewing expert. I will tell you that they aren't totally blunt, but aren't nearly as sharp as a typical sewing needle. I have had more problems with the dull needles simply because kids have to push so hard to get them through the fabric!