Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A GIFT IDEA FOR A “CLOTHESLINE” WALL-HANGING MADE FOR A CHILD


The inspiration
You know, grandmaS by now. I'm always looking for simple ways to make great gifts for my granddaughters, and I spend hours searching the web for ideas. But, I don't just copy something I find out there in "blogland." I like to modify the gift items I read about and make my own designs. When I draw up my needlework patterns, I have several ideas in mind. First, it has to be simple to make. I'm not a person to spend 200 hours making a gift. There just isn't enough time in my busy schedule to allow for that. Besides, I'd get bored long before the 200 hours and give up. My second idea is that I want to be creative. I want my needlework product to look, at least, slightly different than just about anything that my son and daughter-in-law might find for their girls in most department stores. Third, whenever possible, I want the handmade items to be personalized, so that the girls will appreciate and keep the gifts that their grandma made for them for a long time.

So, here's a design that I think everyone will be happy with. It's a great wall-decoration for a child's room and easy to make. In my opinion, wall-hangings are a wonderful display item because they have a lot decorative impact while taking up absolutely no floor or shelf space. So, almost any room could have space for a wall-hanging. Thus, my inspiration for this gift. It’s a personalized wall-hanging that would look nice on the wall beside a child's bed.

The pattern
Here's the simple design. Basically, it's 5 to 10 fabric rectangles folded over to form square pockets with a tiny flap. The squares are 7 inches on the side. The additions to the simple pocket are a crocheted edge and embroidery. All you have to do is find a nice piece of fabric - whatever you like or have on hand - and crochet around the bottom three sides and around the edges of the flap. The fabric should be very heavy or crisply starched to help it keep its form.  (I’ve made the pockets from fabric salvaged from old blue jeans – dark blue material for the 4-year old and lighter blue for the toddler.)

Now, you may be thinking: "Why would there be 5 to 10 pockets?" Well, it all depends on how many you want to work with. There can be fewer or more pockets, depending on your own design. Both of my wall-hangings will be just 6 squares. One will have the 2 end pockets embroidered with simple hearts and flowers and the middle 4 will be the letters of my oldest granddaughter's name - I R I S. See the drawing that I made of the wall-hanging. The other wall-hanging is also 6 squares but with a moon and stars motif on the ends and the middle 4 with the younger girl's name - M Y R A.

The pockets will be hung on a “clothesline” that is really a braided cord, made with heavy weight cotton rug yarn. Your own pattern could call for any number of squares and combination of alphabet letters and/or tiny figures. If the embroidery is more than what you want to do, you could also applique the letters along with whatever other decorative motif you want on the pockets. This project would be just as good for boys if it included elements that boys tend to find attractive – like dogs, cars, “wooden” blocks, etc.

When all the square pockets are sewn, crocheted, and embroidered, string them along the clothesline with brightly painted wooden clothes pins. Make knots in the clothesline to indicate just where each square should go. The knots are also a decorative touch, done in rug yarn in a contrasting color and tied on the line. Without the knots, the pockets would almost always be replaced on the line haphazardly and, thus, lose their orderly charm. The ends of clothesline cord are tied around small screws and fastened to the wall. You could, of course, use any kind of wall screw. But I plan to use something attractive like the kind that hold back drapery ties.


Notes
- Since the whole project is a pin-up creation, the child will be able to easily remove the pockets from the line and pin them up again. The idea, of course, is for the child to open the pockets and place some small items there. Then the pockets would be closed-up with the “treasures” inside, and and pinned up again to the line.

- You might like to include some tiny surprises already hidden in the pockets when you give the gift.

- Though not seen in the drawing, you may want to add buttons or ties to the flaps on the pockets as another decorative feature.

Related posts:
MAKING HEART-SHAPED PILLOWS FOR LITTLE GIRLS
CREATE A PERSONALIZED, EMBROIDERED PICTURE FOR A CHILD.
MAKE A FAMILY MEMORY BOX
A LOT CAN BE SAID ABOUT A GOOD SCARF.
DOING HANDICRAFTS IS USEFUL AND FUN.


 

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