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Embroidery for Kids: Simple Stitching & Beading with Burlap

by Rachel Withers
June 24, 2020
Preschoolers on up can create amazing embroidery with this simple stitching and beading activity using burlap and plastic crochet needles. This post is written by Rachel (our Editorial Manager here at The Artful Parent) who she teaches art classes for kids in her home @littlemainerartstudio.

Before the shutdown this past spring, we did this simple stitching & beading project at our last preschool art class. This project takes major inspiration from Shannon at Hatch Studio and the tutorial she wrote over on Art Bar.

Although the kids had never stitched before, they had so much fun with this simple embroidery project. The room was quiet with concentration as they practiced moving the needle up & down through the burlap. This class in particular reminded me how capable kids are if only we give them the opportunity.

A few months later, I wanted to try another stitching project with my 4 yr old son. But this time we added a painting element (inspiration thanks to  @mericherryla & @thecreatiivenatiive & @makersri ) which was fun to experiment with as well.

Now personally, I could sit and make these all day! After all, they are easy to make with just a few supplies. And I think the little hoops look amazing hung together for some new wall art. It’s definitely a project we’ll be revisiting again and I hope you try it too!

Stitching & Beading with Burlap


  1. Thread the crochet needles with yarn.

    Now thread the plastic crochet needles with yarn & double knot the ends. You may wish to have a bunch of needles prepped with multiple colors, especially if you’re doing this with multiple kids or in a class setting. (Thanks to Erin at Makers for this tip!)

  2. Stretch burlap inside embroidery hoop.

    First place the burlap into an embroidery hoop. Then make sure the burlap is snugly stretched in place. Finally, trim the excess fabric leaving an 1-2 inch border.

  3. Paint the burlap with watercolor paints.

    Begin painting the burlap with watercolors. Then let the fabric dry completely.

  4. Now begin stitching!

    When the burlap is dry, kids can begin to stitch the burlap. I led the kids through the first few times, with “the needle pops up through the burlap and grow up to the sky like a flower! Now have your needle dive down into the soil again!”
    After a little practice, the kids quickly got the hang of this & could stitch more on their own. (My son is 4 for reference).

  5. Last, add beads as desired.

    Since beads make really fun embellishments, kids can add them to their plastic needle and stitch into the burlap. Also, there are so many choices: wooden or plastic beads–glitter, neon, star shapes, etc! Now any bead will do, but be sure the bead hole is wide enough to easily slide over the plastic needle.

Finally, I hope you give this a try as it’s a great bonding activity with preschoolers on up! And if you do, be sure to tag #theartfulparent on Instagram because we really like seeing your kids arts & crafts projects!

More Textile Projects for Kids

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