I'm going to tell you something that you probably already know: not everything I make, my children enjoy. Even the things I think, "Oh now this will be a hit!" The kids sometimes say, "Meh."
But this project, this right here, is something my kids have absolutely loved and haven't stopped playing with since I gave it to them!
I'm so crazy that this was an idea that woke me up early one morning. Kids love faces, don't they? They do. They love them and study them and observe them in a way that only a growing noggin can.
My kids now spread this Face Mat out on the coffee table and spend long chunks of time moving the different accessories around. And the coolest part is that I can keep dreaming up accessories! I only made one of these Face Mats, but I plan on making another as well and when I do, I'll post about her too.
Here are the fun looks we came up with:
And here's how you can make one of your own!
Black Fabric Paint
Cut your fabric (two pieces) to the size of approximately a placemat. Cut one piece of felt the same size.
Lay one piece of fabric on top of the felt (front of fabric facing felt) and one on the back of the felt. Sew around the edges leaving a small area open (not on a corner) so you can flip the mat right-side out.
Flip the mat right-side out and sew the opening closed.
Create your template on Freezer Paper. Draw your face on the non-waxy side. I drew my face as you can see--making sure (this part is important) to use double lines for al of my features. Since the template will be an outline of a face, you'll need to draw your line in this manner.
Cutting out the face can be a bit tricky so here are some tips. Cut first all the way around the most outer line of the face. Once the face is removed, go back and cut out (remove) the strip between the outer an inner line of the outline of the face by cutting along the second line. Cut out the lines of the features.
When you get to the eyes, cut out the circles then add an additional hollow portion in the center.
Iron on the face template using the DRY setting of your iron and taking care to press along all the edges of each detail. You can use the tip of your iron to do this.
Pour a little black fabric paint into a shallow container and paint your template. Don't use excess paint. Use what is on your brush until that is gone. You could also do this step before you begin sewing--but I knew if I used just enough paint (and not too much) the felt inside the mat would absorb the remaining and it would not seep through. It did not seep through using this method, by the way.
Remove your template and allow the paint to dry.
Use your creativity to make accessories for the face. I used felt for the accessories and for each design I doubled the felt then sewed the two pieces together. I used my zig zag stitch and used thread colors that were fun contrasts to my felt colors.
So here is how I sewed the gray hair for example. I cut out the shape of the hair. I used paper to form a template, placing it on top of the face then cut that out onto my felt. I sewed the two felt pieces of the gray hair that I cut out together with a pastel rainbow thread on a zig-zag stitch to give it a fun, cartoon-like, outlined look.
Once I sewed all the accessories I laid them out alongside the mat and surprised the kids. They really enjoyed themselves! See? Sometimes, just sometimes we get it right!
Happy Face Making!