During our time reading The Little House in the Big Woods, we read about how the family spent Christmas. We also read about the presents they received and the presents they gave to the other family that stayed with them. One of the presents that Ma gave was a little needle book. We decided to try and make a little felt needle book of our own.
Our boys have helped me sew some cushion covers using the sewing machine, but they have never tried sewing by hand before, which is one of the reasons I made these needle books quite small. Less sewing for them to have to do.
What you need:
- felt rectangle for the cover: 14cm x 7cm or 5 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
- felt rectangle for the inside: 13cm x 6.5cm or 5″ x 2″
- ribbon for the tie 35-40cm or 14-15″
- embroidery floss
- craft glue
- embellishments – extra felt for shapes or buttons
How to make your needle book:
First, cut your felt to size and then work out how you want to decorate it. I used a soft felt that was easy to fold.
You could sew a felt heart on the front (as a gift for Valentine’s Day or a Christmas present for someone you love) or do some simple embroidery, but we decided to cut the letter N from a piece of felt. N stands for needles. You could also add some decorations to the inside if you wish.
As our boys haven’t sewn before, I used a small amount of craft glue just to hold the N in place onto the front cover of the book. I let it dry and then showed them how to thread the needle and do a running / straight stitch around the edge of the N.
Then I laid the book flat, with the inside facing up. I used a little bit of glue to hold the ribbon down across the middle of the needle book. I then glued the small felt piece in place on the inside.
When the glue had dried, I helped the boys thread their needles and then showed them how to blanket stitch around the edge of the book to hold the ribbon and the inside piece of felt in place.
You are done! Add some needles, fold your book in half and tie together with the ribbon.
Obviously, using a sewing machine would make this project so much easier and quicker, but back in the day so The Little House in the Big Woods, Ma did all the stitching by hand, and that was what we were trying to do.