Updated: Sep 9
I had an idea a few weeks ago to make something for teachers that they could use in their classrooms. Unfortunately it took me a little longer to get it done than I planned, but it's finally here!
I can't wait to tell you more about this Alphabet Caterpillar and all the different ways it can be made and used! You are going to LOVE how easy this is to make!
Good thing it is never too late to make something for a teacher. Not only does this work for a teacher's classroom but it works great for children's rooms, homeschools, preschools, and even children's church!
Now that it is finally done and ready to share with the world, I have decided to host a special event with this cheeky little Caterpillar.
In my Orchid and Bee's VIP group, I host an event once a month. For September, I have decided to host a "Random Act of Kindness - Education Edition" event using this ABC Caterpillar Pattern.
This is how it works:
We will choose a teacher, child/student, school, or family to make this Caterpillar as a gift for.
On Saturday, September 11th, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. CST, Orchid and Bee's will be going LIVE in the VIP Facebook Group to kick off the event! Do not worry if you can't be there at that time -- you can definitely watch the replay and catch up.
Come in your PJ's (or pajamas, or jammies, depending on what you call them haha), bring your hook and some yarn, and a cup of coffee or tea. We are going to crochet the Headpiece and the 1st Caterpillar Segment together on the LIVE Event!
After the LIVE kick-off event, you can work at your own pace to finish your Caterpillar!
You can either make the whole Alphabet or choose a child's name, teacher's name, or school's name to put on the Caterpillar.
All participants will earn a copy of the Caterpillar/Alphabet Pattern from my Ravelry shop for downloading and printing at the end of the event. To qualify for this prize you will need to post a finished photo or progress photo in the VIP Facebook Group with the hashtag #RANDOMACTOFKINDNESS by September 30th.
I will do a Grand Prize Giveaway for participation on October 1st! To qualify for this prize, you will also need to post a finished photo or progress photo in the VIP Facebook Group with the hashtag #RANDOMACTOFKINDNESS by September 30th.
How fun does this event sound?! We are going to do something kind for someone else, and I get to do something kind for you! I love opportunities to give!
The cool thing is that even if a teacher can't hang it on a wall because they are doing virtual school, they could use the segments on LIVE video to add a little extra fun to their lessons.
So let's talk a little bit more about this Caterpillar and the different options you have for creating this fun little creature.
This ABC Caterpillar can be made useful in so many ways! You can add some Mod Podge or Fabric Stiffener to the back and then use some command strips to hang it on a wall. Or, if you wanted to put it on a chalkboard, you could totally add magnets to the back!
Another option is to make all the pieces separately, put a clothesline on the wall, and then use clothes pins for children to rearrange the letters to practice their spelling or the alphabet.
Here are a few different ways to put your Caterpillar together for teachers, students, or parents to use:
For a Stiff Wall Hanging Piece, here is my recommendation:
Turn section face down
With a sponge brush, dab Mod Podge onto the entire back.
Add second coat and/or third coat if desired to make it extra stiff!
Hot glue your pieces together.
Attach command strips or magnets to the back to hang up.
I did a total of 3 coats for extra sturdiness but you can get away with 2 coats. You can decide how much you want to add after each coat dries so it is totally up to you -- there is no right or wrong answer.
Below you can see how the backs of each piece dried when I tried it and how they looked:
The pieces can still bend, but they are stiff now and will not flop over like they would without the coating of Mod Podge on the back. You can see below how the antenna holds its shape when I hold it up in the air.
Here is how it looks from the front. You can't see the Mod Podge at all from the front! Super cool, huh?!
Even the sections of the body keep their shape and do not collapse when they are held upright.
Now I am able to help the Caterpillar keep its shape while it is hanging up. The surface that is created by Mod Podge allows for you attach something to hang it up with. If you want to get your Mod Podge delivered to your house by Amazon, here are some quick links to grab some!
Note: This post contains affiliate links in which I may earn a small commission for clicks and/or purchases at no extra cost to you. This helps me provide the blog, website, and pattern free to you. Without your support, I could not provide these services and products, and my family and I thank you!
You could use command strips or hot glue magnets to the back, or even attach Velcro. The possibilities for hanging it are almost endless now!
I tested out a command strip, and so far it seems to be holding pretty well. I tried hanging it on my sliding glass door on my back porch so that I could show you how it looks from the front and the back. I am going to wait a few days to see how long it holds and will try to update the blog with the results.
Here is the front view of this segment being attached to my back porch door:
And here is what it looks like from the back. Sorry for the glare -- it was a little trickier to take a picture from the outside with all the sunlight and reflections!
I might add a dot or two of hot glue between the strip and the Mod Podge layer for extra security. The particular strip I used did not seem like it was as sticky as I thought it would be and I do not have a whole school year at my disposal to test its full strength when applied to Mod Podge ha ha!
If you do not want to hang it on a wall or vertical surface and would rather turn this into a learning/educational tool you can do as follows:
For a Pull-Apart Caterpillar version, here is my recommendation:
Make the head section, 26 body sections, and all 26 alphabet letters or letters of the word you want the kids to be able to scramble and arrange.
Assemble the head.
Attach the letters to the 26 body sections.
Hot glue or sew Velcro to the sides of each body section. You will want the hook section of the Velcro to be under the back right side edge of the head and on all of the body section pieces and you will want the loop section of the Velcro on the top left side of all the body section pieces - this will allow them to stick to one another in any order. You can see in the photo below how they would connect.
If you would like to make a 3D "pillow/plush" type educational tool that kids and/or students can play with to spell words or practice their alphabet, here is my recommendation:
Make one set of the eyes and mouth.
Make two of the head pieces and two sets of the antennae.
Sew the two sets of antennae together.
Sew or glue the eyes and mouth onto one of the headpieces.
Sew the two headpieces together leaving a small opening for Poly Fil or stuffing of choice. Sew shut once stuffed.
Stitch antennae to the top of the head. *As an alternative you can leave an opening at the top of the head to tuck the antennae into and then sew everything shut.
Make two of each of the body sections.
Make the letters that you want to go on the body sections.
Sew or glue the letters to one of each body section.
Sew the matching body sections together leaving a small opening for poly fil or stuffing of choice. Sew shut once stuffed.
There are just so many different ways to make this guy! I can't wait to see how you make yours!
My testers loved this pattern! One tester has a special bedtime routine with her grandkids, and she put their last name on the Caterpillar to hang up to add to their little bedtime ritual they do together. Here is a little snippet of the story behind their bedtime caterpillar routine:
This is how her Caterpillar came out! It's adorable and I bet her grandkids will cherish this forever! I have a sneaking suspicion this might become a family tradition!
OK, now that we have established that there are a lot of creative ways to put this guy together and a lot of different ways to use it, let's get to the crochet instructions so that you can have fun making this for a special teacher, student, or family!
First I will share the pattern instructions for making the Caterpillar, and then I will share the instructions for the Alphabet. Since there are 26 letters I will make links to each letter so that you can jump to the letter you need more quickly each time you visit this blog post.
Worsted Weight 4 yarn
White for eyes
Black for eyes/smile
Colors of choice for body
H or 5mm
Hot Glue - optional for assembly
Stiffening spray or Mod Podge - optional for assembly
Command Hooks / Magnets - optional for hanging on wall
Ch - chain
Sc - single crochet
Sl st - slip stitch
Hdc - half double crochet
Sk - skip a stitch/space
Sp - space
St(s) - st