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!


  1. Kat says

    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. says

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

  2. says

    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. says

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

  3. says

    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.

  4. Tammy says

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

  5. Tammy says

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

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

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

  6. says

    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!

  7. Emily Peterson says

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


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

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

  8. says

    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. says

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

  9. Vivienne says

    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.