Monday, June 13, 2011

Review of the American Girl Crafts - Funky Felt Pins Kit

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 crafting supplies on had to entertain the kids, especially on those hot summer afternoons.

Since, the American Girl dolls have always been popular in my household,  the idea of crafting with the the American Girl craft kits was met with a lot of enthusiasm.  These kits are available at local craft stores and online.  We wanted to try something portable and not too messy, so we choose to try out the American Girl "Funky Felt Pins" kit which is recommended for children eight years old and up.  The kit retails for $12.99.

The packaging on the "Funky Felt Pins"  is very colorful and a bit deceiving in a positive way.  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, which is great for an easy to do scout troop project.  However, you would have to pick up extra needles for each girl, since this kit only comes with one needle.  You can pick up pins at your local "Michaels Craft Store" or "JoAnns" fairly inexpensively.
The first thing I 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 .

 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.
The third is a funky felt hair band.
The fourth is a funky felt  hair clip for their American Girl doll.

These projects are so fun and easy for the kids to do.  They also provide a great base surface for adding beads, buttons, rhinestones, and more.  This make room for some creative self expression allow by each child.

●  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.

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