My busy book: sewing

Sewing can be a challenge for any preschooler so I have tried to simplify the process a bit and add it to a busy book…

For sewing cards – I had some sheets of cardboard that I saved from something my husband got in the mail. You could cut up cereal boxes as well. Then I punched holes around the edges. I couldn’t find my long hole puncher to punch holes in the center of my cardboard pieces so I used a little corn cob skewer to punch some holes. They were not as pretty but they worked. I slid each of my sewing cards in a plastic sleeve to store in my busy book….

Next I cut up some lengths of yarn. I have tried both thin yarn and fat yarn – either work fine…

For sewing needles, I used pipe cleaners (also called chenille stems). Just place the yarn in the center of a pipe cleaner then fold the pipe cleaner in half around the yarn and twist the pipe cleaner. Sometimes the end of the pipe cleaner can be just a tad sharp. If you are concerned about this, just fold the tip down and squeeze in…

I tucked several threaded “sewing needles” into a sleeve of my busy book so they were ready for use but I also added a sleeve of just pieces of yarn and just “sewing needles”…

This busy book can be used in two ways – you can either give it to the preschooler to explore the pieces and sewing process without adult help or the adult can keep the busy book handy and pull out a sewing card and “needles” of yarn to hand the child when he or she needs something to keep little hands busy.

Check out the Crayon Busy Book here!

To learn the basics of how to make a busy book – click here!

By |2017-03-28T22:25:16+00:00March 20th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Kat March 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    I love love love the idea of using chenille stems as needles. We have had several projects where this would have been good to know. Instead, I just put glue on the ends of yarn and let it harden over night. I will be using this idea soon…thanks!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      It works wonderfully and is very easy to use and reuse!

  2. Lyndsay @ ItMom March 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I ADORE this idea!! I will have to make one of these for my busy kiddos. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Thank you Lyndsay:) Once you get to going – you will probably come up with some terrific ideas!

  3. Linds March 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Hello Deborah-
    Thanks for introducing yourself on my blog! I’m anxious to check out your fun preschool ideas. I already love the idea of using the pipe cleaners to use a needle! Very helpful!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      I have been following you for awhile so it was nice to stop and say hello:)

  4. kewkew March 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! I usually use tape at the end of the yarn, what a great idea to use a pipe cleaner. And the book idea is great.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      I have used tape too but really like this!

  5. Nature Trails and Nature Tales March 20, 2011 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    love this idea

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you:)

  6. Tammy March 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Never thought of using pipe cleaners. We use plastic sewing needles that I get from Banks School Supply.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      I have yet to try those:)

  7. Tammy March 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Plastic Lacing Needles are $2.99 for 32 needles or $1.18 for 8 needles at Banks School Supply.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm - Reply

      Great tip Tammy! I have never used plastic needles – I’ll keep an eye out for them:)

  8. Scott March 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    I’ve used tape…I’ve used plastic needles…but I’ve never used chenille stems. Great idea, Deborah.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      Thank you scott – I have used it all too!

  9. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree March 21, 2011 at 12:13 am - Reply

    This is Great! Love the pipe cleaner needles! Thanks for featuring my post on Tumblr!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 21, 2011 at 12:34 am - Reply

      You are welcome:)

  10. Centers and Circle Time March 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Busy Books! Simply Fabulous…no doubt about it! I’m eager to have my Girl Scouts make these!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      They would be great for a Girl Scout project:)

  11. maryanne March 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    This is fantastic! I love the pipecleaner “needles”, too – so simple and every bit as useful for this type of project as the plastic needles you can buy in stores!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      I find them to be super easy to use and make!

  12. clodagh March 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    this will be a great addition to our “not well” case, thanks

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      That is a good idea!

  13. Darcey March 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Deborah, I love all your busy books. What a great idea o keep children busy during quiet time or in a place that’s not geared for children. I’ve linked up to your post on my weekly favorites here:

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      Wow – 2 links today! I hit the jack pot:)

  14. Emily Peterson May 31, 2011 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Love the sewing and crayon busy books. Will you be posting the others soon?


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 1, 2011 at 2:37 am - Reply

      I will be posting more once I school gets out which is very soon:)

  15. Carla June 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! I’m going to make a sewing binder for our upcoming 3-hour flight! Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by – I hope the 3 hours go smoothly – with a little planning ahead, you should have a terrific trip!

  16. Vivienne September 10, 2011 at 8:57 am - Reply

    I love your busy books. We are planning a trip soon – 2 hour car journey – I would really love to see what you put in your collections busy book. Also what other books you have made beside the sewing and crayon busy books. Thanks. I love the great ideas you have on your site. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      I will try to make that one the next one I share. I need two of me:) LOL!

      • Vivienne September 14, 2011 at 5:47 am

        I know that feeling. Thankyou very much, I look forward to viewing it.

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