Glove Animals from Happy Gloves

Book Review Happy Gloves l Handmade gifts kids can do and sew l Homestead Lady.comAre you trying to have a handmade Christmas or birthday this year? Want to teach your children basic sewing skills with fun projects? Even if you or your children are new to hand-sewing these adorable sock and glove animals from author Miyako Kanamori are something you can make. I promise, if I can do this, you can, too!


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Learning to Sew Basic Stitches

Last year we check out a book from the library called Happy Gloves wherein author Miyako Kanamori details how to turn basic cotton gloves into animals, flowers and even cars. (There’s another book using socks, too. Both are great!)  I order a copy for us to keep and ever since then these glove animal projects are some of the first hand-sewing projects my kids undertake.

I’m a firm believer in teaching all kids how to do some basic hand sewing. My friend Angi from Schneider Peeps came up with a short and simple course to teach kids how to do beginner stitches. It’s here, if you’d like to check it out:


Hand-sewing is useful as we prepare for a homemade Christmas, too. We try to do as much of our Christmas as we can by hand, which can be a staggering task when so many of the hands are so little. We’re not a 100% homemade by any stretch of the imagination! We feature plenty of store-bought stuff around the tree. However, we make sure that the children’s gifts, the ones they give, are made by them as much as possible.

Handmade Gifts From Kids

That is a great goal but in order to make it possible, we’ve had to make a few adjustments to how we “do” Christmas. Read this post to find out how we stay on top of handmade gifts – we had to start a new tradition, FYI.

That tradition is called Leon Day which is exactly six months until Christmas and spells NOEL backwards. On this day we slap up some Christmas lights, break out Bing Crosby’s Christmas crooning and do our family Christmas drawing.

With so many people it would be impossible for us to make gifts for everyone so we draw names of our immediate family members:

  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • siblings
  • Grandma
  • Great Grandma and Papa
  • a salt and pepper mix of aunts, uncles and cousins

Each person in my family gets about three names from that pool of people, depending on who ends up in the pot that year. Right down to the four year old, everyone knows who will be the recipient of their awesome gift. And everyone helps, as you can see below.

happy gloves 6

Glove Animals From Happy Gloves

We have several months to think about the person, decide what they might like and start earning some money to buy the supplies. Remember, I’m not much for sewing but these glove animals really go together very quickly and the designs are just ingenious. Happy Gloves

I do need to help quite a bit with these simply because my young children either don’t have the attention span for all the detail (think four year old dancing while she “sews”) or they’re still practicing their hand sewing skills. As I said, I make my kids learn to sew by hand before I teach them to use a sewing machine. If zombies attack, I want my kids to be able to sew on a button.

However, there’s a lot of cutting, piecing and stuffing that any kid, any age can do and enjoy. Always supervise with sewing scissors because they’re usually sharper than that dulled pair you keep in the kitchen, though no one uses them because they couldn’t even cut the air on a hot day.Happy Gloves 2

Plus, you’re not limited to glove animals–if cars, flowers, and bugs made from gloves are more to your liking, you can find patterns for those, too. Book Review: Happy Gloves l Handmade gifts kids can make and sew l Homestead

Not Just for Christmas

Lest you think that these happy glove animals are only appropriate at Christmas, I assure they’re not.

  • They’re so simple to put together that you could create a flower for a last minute birthday gift.
  • The Tooth Fairly may decide to up her game and leave a handmade pig.
  • The Easter Bunny, too, might get in on the action and leave a stuffed rabbit likeness of himself. (That would be much more practical that a live chick given to a two year old who will only squish it.)

What you’ll Need for Glove Animals

You’ll need the book, obviously. Aside from that, gather:

  • sharp scissors
  • needle and thread
  • buttons
  • cotton gloves in various colors available at most craft stores or dollar stores
  • you may also want some fabric scraps for various embellishments

I say give it a whorl! If my seven year old can make this, I bet you can, too. Just sayin’.

happy gloves 4

Other Crafts & Gifts Kids Can Make

If you need a few more ideas, check out these simple ideas:

For crafts, recipes service projects and family building suggestions, please see our holiday titles below:



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13 thoughts on “Glove Animals from Happy Gloves

  1. I love the idea of leon! How neat that you do this. I agree that hand sewing should be learned before machine sewing. Almost everything sewn by machine also requires some hand stitching in places. It gives kids a realistic beginning to start with hand sewing. If you are interested, I have an old blog where I wrote tips for grown-ups teaching children to hand sew. sewingwithkids (dot) blogspot (dot) ca Everyone is going to love their gifts…if your children can part with their creations. 🙂

  2. I have never heard of Leon day, but that is super cute! The glove animals are adorable too! I think it’d be a great use of gloves that are too small for my children and to reuse them. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jacqueline! The kids had so much fun with the first round, they came up with more people to make them for. My son is even making a car! I’m drowning in unfinished Christmas projects but tis the season!

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