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Metal Cloth Embroidery Art

1 May 2006
Tepki Skoru
Help your preschooler make colorful metal cloth embroidery art using using only a metal screen, a few lengths of yarn, and other decorations. Your child will practice color recognition and develop her fine motor skills while she weaves the yarn in and out to create her design. At the end she'll have a colorful piece of art to hang on her wall!

Metal hardware cloth is a steel wire screen that is often used for the tops of hamster cages and it comes in various gauges. For this project, look for hardware cloth with a 1/4" mesh. If you can't find hardware cloth, you can also use soffit screen, which is similar to hardware cloth but more pliable.

What You Need:
Metal screen with 1/4" mesh, cut into a 6" x 6" square
Yarn in a variety of colors, cut to the length of your child's arm
Plastic, blunt yarn needle
Paper tape
What You Do:
Use the paper tape to tape the sharp edges of the square metal screen to prevent poking little fingers.
Show your child how to thread the yarn through the needle and how to embroider the metal by pushing the needle in and out of the mesh holes.
Encourage your child to create patterns, or images using specific colors.
Help her to tie off the end of the yarn in a knot when she is finished with a color. Alternatively, you can help her tape it to the back of the mesh.
Helpful Hint: For more texture, she can thread beads onto the yarn and use them in her embroidery!

Helpful Tip: If you don't wish to use a needle, you can just tape the end of each piece of yarn so it can easily be threaded in and out of the mesh squares.

To create textural complexity, try threading beads onto the yarn while stitching or attaching feathers, bits of paper, or confetti to the finished design. You can also vary the yarn with lengths of ribbon or lace for a truly unique work of art.

By Ellen Dean

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