Friday, February 10, 2012

A penny for your thoughts.

I've got one last Valentine project for you, and it's quick, easy and cute.  Well, I think it's cute, anyway.  This is something you might want to make for a smaller class or maybe nieces and nephews.  They're versatile and fun for kids and they sure don't cost much to make...  Now that I've hyped them up a ridiculous amount and you're expecting something BRILLIANT, I'll just go ahead and show you:

Before I show you how to make them, I wanted to give you the history of this idea.  There's some background that might be beneficial for some of you out there.

You may or may not know (depending on how long you've hung around this here blog) that I'm LDS and I work in the organization that's in charge of teaching the kids, ages 18 months-11 years old every Sunday and for some of them on Wednesdays, too.  (Why, yes, it IS kind of stressful, thanks for asking.) But I love it.  And recently we organized a special get together for all of the kids who are turning 8 years old this year.  Why?  Because that is the year that many kids are baptized.  (For reasons why and more information about that, you can go here).  I was in charge of speaking about baptism.  Why it's important, what it means, etc.  While in the process of planning for this talk, I happened to see this post at A Lemon Squeezy Home.  And I thought it could be nicely developed into an object lesson.  Some of you are LDS and might want to incorporate something like this into your homes or Primary Organizations.  But I'm also not naive enough to think that waiting until you are older to be baptized is uniquely LDS, so some others of you might be interested in this concept as well.  

Basically, in my talk, I compared us all to pennies.  They start out shiny and new.  Things happen to these pennies as they go throughout their lives and they become a little beat up, a little dirty and a little worse for wear.  And we are the same.  We are imperfect, we make mistakes, and we become dulled.  Fortunately, through baptism (and we believe through continued repentance, thanks to the atonement and through taking the sacrament) you can make yourself all shiny again.  For the basic tenets I was teaching, I used parts of this talk and this article - in case you are interested in learning more or want to use my sources.

To illustrate the concept, I described the pennies at the beginning of my talk and showed all the kids a shiny, brand new penny.  Then I showed them a dirty penny and explained we could make it shiny again.  I put the penny in a white cup which I had filled with vinegar and salt.  Then I continued to speak about baptism and what we believe in.  When I concluded my talk, I took the pennies out, wiped them on a paper towel and lo and behold - they were shiny and new again!  The kids literally gasped when they saw the "old turned new" pennies - which was great!

I wanted to give each of our kids a shiny penny minted the year they were born so they could carry their lucky penny around and remember what we had talked about.  So I needed something to put them in.  And that is how my Baptism Penny Pouches were born.

I realized very quickly afterward that these would make a really fun little Valentine.  So I'm going to show you how to make the Valentine version - complete with free printables to tie everything together.  So if the above story about baptism and pennies didn't pertain to you, at least the rest of this post will!

To make your own Penny Pouches, you will need:
a pattern that's the exact height and width you want your pouches to be (before folded) cut out of stiff paper.  (Mine is about 1.5 inches by 3 inches)
felt in your choice of colors
simple clips
Pinking Shears
Sewing Machine
Hot Glue Gun

Oh, and a penny.  To put in each pouch.  Otherwise they'd just be "pouches" which is fine, but not quite as cute.

1.  Lay your template on your felt and cut a strip that is the entire width of the felt, at the same height as the template.
2.  You will have a long rectangle.  Make sure you use your pinking shears, it looks cuter.
3.  Fold the pinking sheared edge up about a third of the way to the other edge and pin in place straight across.

Now, for the sewing.  It's easy, anyone can do it.
4.  Starting at the end, about 1/4 of an inch to a 1/2 inch from the edge.
5.  Sew a straight stitch up to where the zig zag edge is.
6.  And backstitch.
7.  Move over about 2 inches.
8.  Straight stitch to the zigzag and backstitch.
9.  Scoot over about 1/2 an inch.
10.  Straight stitch to the zigzag and backstitch.
11.  Move over about 2 inches and straight stitch and backstitch again.
 Continue sewing the whole rectangle in this fashion, so the pattern is wide, skinny, wide, skinny, etc.

Now we'll turn them into pouches!
12.  You end up with a funny looking rectangle with pockets.
13.  Use your pinking shears and trim the straight edge across the top.
14.  Use your pinking shears and cut each pouch apart - cut right in between each pouch where the two lines of straight stitches are really close together.

Do you want to make a bunch of different colors, like I did?  Super easy to do this assembly line style, which makes it go much faster - as long as you don't need matching thread for each different color felt.

Just cut your rectangles out of each color, then sew the little pockets on each different rectangle.  Snip off all the pesky threads and trim anything that isn't straight.  Trim across the top and cut all the little pouches apart with pinking shears.  Done!

And at this point, you should look like this:
From head to toe.  So that when you need to run to the store, the cashier points out not one, not two, but a plethora of felt and thread scraps clinging to inconvenient places which you apparently didn't notice.  This is an absolute must of the tutorial, by the way, or I'll just feel dumb.

So you've got some pouch shaped items, but they need to be way cuter.  So let's go.

15.  Take your glue gun and glue a mini button to the outside top of the pouch - you know the piece that overhangs the folded portion?  Glue it on there, but on the outside so when you fold that piece down, it's visible.
16.  Take a scrap of felt that matches your pouch and slide it into your clip - with the opening of the clip facing up and the felt against the back.
17.  Holding the part of the clip that opens, press the felt up against the back of the clip and spread hot glue all over.  
18.  Press this down against the back of the pouch - just under where the top piece will fold over the opening.
19.  The pouch looks like this from the side when it is laying face down.
20.  And it looks like this on the front of the pouch.

Time to make it even prettier!
21.  Cut out your embellishments - which can be anything you want, but I used felt heart shapes.  Use your hot glue to glue them to the front of the pouch.
22.  Make sure to leave some room for the flap to close so that it won't hide your cute embellishment.
23.  To make it functional, cut a tiny piece of velcro (the prickly side) and hot glue it to the underside of the flap.
24.  When you press the flap down, now it will stay!

Insert your penny and you've got some Valentine Penny Pouches!

That's nice, you say.  Cute, you say.  But what do you DO with them???

I'll show you!
Clip one to a beaded and wire necklace (and make your "thrilled" niece model it)...

Or to a simple chain and let it hang.

Clip it to a bracelet, like this bead and wire beauty.

Attach it to your keys for a cute little key chain,

Or dress up a lanyard or carabiner.

Put it on a zipper - coats or backpacks look super fun this way!

And little fingers love to play with their very own precious penny.

How do we top this off when gifting it?  How about a little card that says "Lucky in Love!" or "I'm so lucky to have you!"  Everyone knows a penny found brings good luck, after all.

Would you like a cute little tag to attach your pouches to?  Great!  Free for all, just right click to download.  To attach your clips, just use an exacto knife to cut two small parallel slits horizontally just under the words.  Then, slide your clip through the slits.

And I believe I'm over the Valentine tchotchke, how about you?  Yeah.  Love is still in the air and all that jazz, but I'm lovey dovey'd out.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Amie said...

This is a great idea! So cute, love the link to baptism too.

alisamm said...

Ca-ute. I really love this.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...