Friday, April 15, 2016

Native American Medicine Pouch Craft

My daughter's kindergarten teacher mentioned she was preparing for their new Native American unit. She was playing around with patterns and ideas. I told her that sewing is something I love to do and I could look around too. One craft idea I saw was for a medicine pouch. Then I had a vague memory of making something similar with my kids many years ago. But I didn't know much about the history of medicine pouches then and we weren't sure what to put inside our tiny pouches.

After reading about pouches and looking at patterns and pouches for sale, I decided to just try to make one. I looked for some vinyl at home, but wasn't having any luck. I ended up with a scrap of felt cut into a rectangle, rounded the bottom corners and quickly sewed around the edges.  Then I made slits to lace boondoggle through in order to cinch it up. I sent my example into school and the teacher loved it!

After doing more research and purchasing a few supplies, I made a classroom set of medicine pouches and one out of leather to show a slightly more authentic pouch.

The pouches are very simply to cut and sew. Then I made slits and used 32" of hemp cording with tape on the ends. Glue could probably be used as well to stiffen the ends and keep them from fraying. I started the lacing in the center, but it could be started at one side seam instead. After going around the top edge, I added beads to each side before knotting the pieces together. The beads are painted wooden beads that were very inexpensive.

In addition to the pouches, I wanted to make a cradle board with a doll.  I used more of the leather scrap and some wood we had. I even learned about bending a Popsicle stick for the top part of the cradle board. 

No comments:

Post a Comment