Machine embroidery projects for kids (to make with kids)

By on August 28th, 2020
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machine embroidery projects for kids
free machine embroidery designs

If you have kids, you’re probably seeing a lot more of them than usual these days. So why not do a fun project together using your embroidery machine – especially now that you may have a little extra time together at home.  There are a ton of great machine embroidery projects for kids that you can actually do with a kid.

It’s probably too much to ask to have the kids learn all the ins and outs of machine embroidery, but just working on a project together will familiarize them with the process. There are also little jobs that kids seem to enjoy. When mine were very little, they love to press the buttons on the machine to start the next color stop. As they got older I would have them trim strings with embroidery nippers, or peel away the tearaway stabilizer. Working on a machine embroidery project is a great excuse to spend some time together while making something they can use in the future when life gets a little more normal.

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Machine Embroidery Projects to Make for a Kid (with a kid)

Tote bag

ski totebags
I personalized a tote bag (with their initials and a skier embroidery design)  for each of my kids for all of their ski stuff. It helps to keep everyone’s stuff organized when we go skiing.

In effort to keep my kids somewhat organized, I have given them designated tote bags for each one of the activities. It makes it so much easier to just grab the soccer tote bag with the cleats, shinguards etc. already pre-packed, or grab the Sunday school tote bag with appropriate books, pencils, etc. for that activity. Adding a name and a graphic to the tote bag is easy, and something a kid could help design and execute.

Neoprene Lunch sack

personalized lunch tote

A few years ago, I got really tired of bringing my lunch with me to work in a plastic grocery bag. So, I decided to up my game and treat myself to a legit semi-insulated lunch sack. I really like the neoprene variety, because of their insulating quality, and because it’s such a dream to stitch on. If you find one with a wide mouth, it’s pretty easy to float it on a piece of adhesive-backed stabilizer and stitch out a name or monogram.


monogrammed backpacks

So you remember those things, backpacks? Well RIGHT NOW is the perfect opportunity to see what kind of shape your kids’ backpacks are in. (And when you go check out that backpack that probably has not been open since March – I pray that you do not find a rotting banana in that thing…)  The reason why I mention this is because, a lot of the retailers like Walmart and Old Navy have backpacks out on the shelves despite the fact that many of our kids are virtually learning. But, who knows what the situation will be when kids do go back into the classroom? It may be a heck-of-a-lot easier to find a backpack that your kid likes now as opposed to two months from now.

Stitching a name on a backpack is pretty easy because most tend to open up wide, allowing you to float it on a piece of sticky back stabilizer. However, stitching a child’s name on a backpack is probably not the best idea as child predators can quickly learn your kids name and potentially deceive them. In my opinion, it’s best to embroider a monogram or initials on a kid’s backpack

Pencil case

personalized pencil pouch

Pencil cases are super fun to make with your crazy fabric scraps and colorful zippers. In fact pencil cases are very popular in-the-hoop project. (I particularly liked this squared corner style from Sew Sarah Designs – although it does require a 6″ x 10″ embroidery hoop.) But if you don’t have an embroidery hoop large enough to accommodate one, you can easily stitch one together and add a name or monogram prior to selling it all up.

For a while there, my daughter was obsessed with making pencil pouches. Every birthday party she was invited to was an opportunity to make another. I would embroider the recipients name in a bright color on the pencil pouch to coordinate with the zipper before stitching it all together.  Then we would load it up with some fun colored pencils or other fancy pens

Overnight bag

personalized overnight bag

It might be a while I’ve been a while since your kids have done any sleepovers. But one day they probably resume. A weekend or overnight bag is a pretty fun and easy project to make.  I love this barrel style duffel pattern from 4 Girls Designs that comes in a variety of sizes, allowing you to make a bag for any occasion.  I also like the idea of making the bag from a mismatch of fabrics that you may have lying around.

Sound like too much work? Order a simple overnight bag and just add a name or a monogram. My personal favorite is this durable lightweight one that can be zipped up onto itself. I am braided about 10 of them for Christmas gifts and birthday gifts.

Hand sanitizer holders

When kids go back to learning in the classroom, hand sanitizer will be one of their most essential school supplies. Fortunately, there are tons of adorable in-the-hoop hand sanitizer holders that you can clip onto the side of a backpack, always keeping it always within a kid’s reach. As far as in-the-hoop projects go, hand sanitizer holders are really quick and easy to stitch out.  Plus, most styles, like this adorable scalloped edge in-the-hoop hand sanitizer holder from Designs by Little Bee can be made in a 4″ x 4″ embroidery hoop and work really well made from vinyl that you can purchase inexpensively in a rainbow of colors.

Earbud holders

Earbuds to have become a school essential. But they can easily get lost or broken if not properly stored. Fortunately, you can make some pretty fun in the hoop earbud holders and even integrate your kids name or initial. I’ll be there in sure that the earbuds stay untangled and easy to find. I am so in love with this in-the-hoop fox earbud holder from DigiBluePumpkin.


patch made on an embroidery machine

Patches are a blast to make and they allow kids to be designers by deciding where to apply them. You can essentially make a page out of any embroidery design, if you just combine it with a simple appliqué shape. I found several shops that offer free circle and square appliqué  designs, or you can digitize a simple shape yourself (using the free trial of SewArt) to use as the base for your patch.

Glasses cases

If your kid wears glasses or likes to bring sunglasses to school then why not stitch out a fun glasses case? Just like a pencil pouch, you can stitch one from a pattern, embroidering a design on the fabric prior to sewing it together, or you can make them entirely in the hoop as well.  This simple in-the-hoop eyeglass case pattern from Hug Longer can be made in a 5″ x 7″ hoop.

Personalized dress

There’s nothing like going back to school with some new clothes. And it’s super fun to make a personalized T-shirt dress with the kid’s initial on it. Sound out of season? Then just make the dress with a long sleeve t-shirt.

When my daughter was in third grade, we made an a dress with some really fun fabric on the bottom and a teal-colored long sleeve t-shirt on the top. On the t-shirt we stitched out her first initial, I, with my raw edge appliqué letter design.  And let me tell you, it was well worth the effort.  I think she wore that dress at least twice a week her entire third grade year.

Personalized ponytail holders

completed button ponytail holder

These little ponytail holders are such a quick win. I have to give my friend, Jeannette, credit for the idea. She showed me how to make personalized ponytail holders back in the day when our girls were super little.  And they were a huge hit.

All you have to do is though you simply stitch out a single initial on a small piece of fabric, coverable buttons and then attach it to a simple ponytail holder.  They look super high end and adorable. If my girls were still little, I would be making hundreds


And speaking of hair accessories, headbands are another quick and easy project to make with your embroidery machine. Check out how we made them with stretch material as well as a cotton broadcloth and had great results. When you make them yourself, it’s easy to add a name, design or monogram.  If you have a large enough hoop – you can make in-the-hoop headbands as well.


in-the-hoop mask

The reality is that when kids return to in-class learning, they’re likely going to need to wear masks. So, why not make it a fun DIY project to make with your kids? There are so many free as well as paid in-the-hoop mask patterns. It’s a great way to put some scraps to use, while making something really quite useful.

The particular free in-the-hoop maskI tested out required some preliminary pressing and cutting, so it’s a great project to do with the kids as you could divvy up some of the work and really start cranking out some masks.

Feeling inspired?

I hope so.  There really are a lot of fun and useful machine embroidery projects for kids that you can make with your kids. Even if you are frustrated with the current school (or lack of school) situation, I hope that you enjoy the extra time with your kids and are able to share with them the joy of machine embroidery.

Happy Stitching!



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