I have a daughter entering kindergarten this fall. She’s my oldest, and I have to be honest that I have been freaking out quite a bit. The only problem with that is…she’s freaking out too and when I’m freaking out it makes her freaking out worse and its just this terrible cycle. So – she (AKA we) needed a little something to try to help us calm down.
I was thinking about getting Lily a locket and putting our pictures in it, but I realized that if it was ever lost, I’d have to get another one, and I’d probably have to have a back up in case she came to really depend on it. After thinking about it, I realized that if I could make her a homemade locket, only using fabric, I could whip one out when hers was lost.
We actually call them “hug catchers” at our house. Here’s how it works, Lily puts the hug catcher on and we walk to school together. Then, right before she goes in I give her a big hug and a kiss. The heart catches the hugs and keeps it in there like magic. That way, if Lily needs a hug during school, she can just hug her locket. (It’s helped a little…lets be honest, this can’t erase all the anxiety of school for her, but it gives her something to do). Here’s how I make them.
- 3 strips of t-shirt fabric measuring a half inch by 20-24 inches.
- a scrap of fabric for the heart
- a bit of batting
- a heart template of some sort
- popcorn kernels
- needle and thread
Put the fabric right sides together and trace the heart onto it. Make two tic marks where you’ll start and stop so that you can turn the heart right side out later.
Place 2 or 3 layers of batting under the heart.
Sew on the line you drew for the heart and trim off the excess.
Turn the heart right sides out. This part is definitely hardest, especially if your heart is small. I like to use a pencil to help me out.
Insert 2 popcorn kernels. These are the magic elements that “catch” the hugs.
Fold the raw edges in and hand stitch all the way around the heart – ensuring you stitch the opening shut.
Last, braid the three strips of T-shirt fabric to make the chain. Hand-stitch the heart to the chain and stitch the chain shut so it makes a loop. Ta da! Homemade lockets to go.
FYI: These take me about an hour a piece – so I need to make some back ups, since they could go missing and we would probably realize it with only minutes to spare before school starts. Enjoy!