Sniffles happen. Most kids are happy to use a tissue if they have one handy, but too often the sleeve is the most convenient! Try this simple solution: craft a tissue cozy that fits neatly in a 3-ring binder so your first grader is never far from a clean tissue. With your child's help, you can put the cozy together in 20 minutes, using little more than a piece of fleece fabric, a button, and a few sewing supplies. She'll learn a handy new stitch now, and be prepared for sniffles later!
What You Do:
- Lay the fabric flat on your work surface, long side facing you. Help your child measure and draw a line down the fabric, 4 ½ inches in from the right edge.
- Help her fold in the right edge, lining the edge up with the line you drew.
- Draw a dot for the button near the edge. Help her sew on the button, or sew it on for her and invite her to snip off the thread ends.
- Tape the folded edge down. Next, fold the left edge over the right edge, so that it overlaps by ½ inch, and tape it down. Have your child place a mark on the left edge over the button.
- Mark two dots 4 inches apart along the left side of the cozy, about ¾ inches in from the fold. Cut short slits over the dots for the binder rings, then slit the button hole.
- Time to sew! Blanket stitch looks tricky, but your first grader should be able to handle it with a little practice. Notice the needle always points up and the sewing edge is always at the top.
- Lay the cozy flat, with the edge to be sewn at the top.
- Tie a knot at the end of the thread and insert the needle into the top left corner of the cozy, through the top layer of felt only. The knot should be sandwiched between the layers of felt.
- Bring the needle down through both layers of felt to the right of where the thread is coming out of the fabric.
- Pull the thread most of the way through, then slip the needle through the loop from back to front and tighten. You've made the first stitch!
- Continue stitching until you reach the right edge, then turn the cozy around the repeat for the bottom edge. Encourage your first grader to do as much of the sewing as she can.
- Once the top and bottom edges are sewn, stitch along the button hole and binder slits.
Fill the finished cozy with a fresh pack of tissues, and place in her binder for easy access all day long.