7 Fun Sewing Projects (Even If You Don't Sew!)

Whether you're a decades-long sewer or new to the craft, check out these ideas for fun projects using a needle and thread.

Denim Skirt Patches

Give an old skirt a fly new look with a pair of denim patches (5"W x 7"H patches, $1.89 for two; createforless.com). Place patches, wrong sides down, atop parchment paper and iron out any creases. Pin the patches together, wrong sides facing out. Next, download, print, and cut out our bird template. Place the bird shape atop the patches, and trace around it with a fine-point Sharpie. Using sharp scissors, cut out both patches at once, then separate. Topstitch all the way around each patch, close to the fabric's edges. To turn the patches into pockets, pin them to your skirt, as shown. Working atop the first stitch and removing the pins as you go, sew the pockets in place by stitching around the bottom of each bird, from the point of the beak to the tip of the tail. Backstitch at each end to finish your fine-feathered design.

Buttoned-Up Bolsters

Step One: Iron shirt to smooth out all wrinkles. Button it, then pin the shirt's front and back to each other to keep them together when cutting.

Step Two: Cut out the shirt to match the shape of your pillow insert - adding two inches to both the width and length, and centering the row of buttons down the front. (You'll now have two pieces of fabric.)

Step Three: Repin the fabric so the shirt's finished sides face each other. Sew the pieces together using a 6/8-inch seam. Snip the corners at an angle to ease turning.

Step Four: Unbutton the fabric and turn the pillowcase right side out. Iron, then rebutton.

Step Five: Topstitch around the case twice - first 1/8 inch from the edges, then 3/8 inch from the edges - to finish it.

Step Six: Unbutton the case, insert the pillow, then rebutton and fluff.

Plus: 37 new uses for old things »

Hand Embroidered

While it may not provide the same fingers-in-goo satisfaction of plaster of Paris, this new take on the old hand cast - inspired by blogger Megan Heep (myplumpudding.blogspot.com) - does feel a whole lot fresher. Use a fabric pencil to trace your child's hand onto cotton fabric, and write his or her name and the year underneath. Then stretch the fabric on an embroidery hoop (plain 7- and 8 1/2-inch wooden versions, $1.19; joann.com; we painted ours red). Finally, trim the excess fabric and stitch along your pencil lines with a needle and embroidery floss.

Fabric-Lined Baskets

A roll of bakery twine, pinking shears, and hot glue are all that's needed to repurpose a well-worn-though-cherished quilt into a pretty basket liner.

Plus: How to make sidewalk chalk + 9 more fun summer crafts »

Polka-Dot Pincushion

A pincushion is an easy and practical first project. Take two 4 1/2-inch squares of muslin, decorate one with polka dots, sew the cushion together, and stuff it.

Flatware Holder

Delight your host with a gift of vintage flatware, wrapped in a holder sewn by you. Just one large piece, such as a cake server, is also nice. Choose fabrics in jewel tones, or a royal blue; the silverware will glow!

Plus: Get organized with these smart storage projects »

Postcard Wallets

Repurpose a collection of vintage postcards into pocket-size wallets with retro appeal.

See more from CountryLiving.com:

Our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Decorating »
40 Amazing Before-and-After Home Makeovers »
10 Ways to Design a Colorful Bedroom »
20 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen »

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.