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Make a Recycled Pillow Cover

Fifth Grade Fabric Projects Activities: Make a Recycled Pillow Cover

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The next time your child decides he needs to press restart on his wardrobe, don't ship his clothes off to Goodwill so fast -- dive into his closet to collect all those pieces, and help him create a unique pillow cover. He’ll be proud of his handiwork and learn about the function of recycling in society. Along with re-purposing his old clothes, he’ll create a keepsake that he’ll enjoy for many years to come!

What You Need:

  • Old clothes
  • Scissors
  • Large-eyed needle
  • Craft thread
  • Straight pins
  • Small pillow or pillow stuffing

What You Do:

  1. Help your child go through his clothes and find items he’d like to use in his project. Look for clothing with bright colors or distinct decals and designs.
  2. Offer him some scissors and have him cut out squares and rectangles from the clothes to use for his patchwork pillow.
  3. Once he’s got a good collection started, let him experiment with arranging his squares and rectangles into an interesting design or pattern, eventually arranging them into a square shape. He’ll need two finished squares of equal size to make his patchwork pillow, so invite him to begin laying out a front and back for his pillow.
  4. Offer your seventh-grader some straight pins to secure his front and back side patchwork pillow arrangements in place.
  5. Even if your child doesn’t think he’s good at sewing, it’s simpler than he thinks! Invite him to take on a basic stitch to put this pillow cover together. Have him cut off a length of craft thread and thread it in a large-eyed needle.
  6. For a basic stitch, he can use a straight stitch, which is just like making a dashed line! Have him press the needle through both pieces of fabric, pulling the string through and then carefully brings his needle back through the fabric from underneath, pulling gently. Don’t forget to knot the end of the craft thread!
  7. Have him attach all the pieces of his pattern using the basic stitch.
  8. Once he’s finished putting together the front and back, have him begin sewing the two sides of his patchwork pillow together with the insides of the pillow facing out, stopping when there's one corner remaining and leaving a hole to put the stuffing through.
  9. Have him carefully turn the pillow cover inside out, so the side that will be seen is visible on the outside.
  10. At this point, he can either slip an old pillow through the opening, or put the stuffing throught the hole he has left open.
  11. Now your seventh-grader can finish stitching the pillow together by folding over the remaining fabric sides and sewing them securely together! His colorful patchwork pillow is finished, and he can enjoy it in his room or on the family couch!
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

Updated on Jan 29, 2013
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Fabric Projects
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