I'm not crafty, but as a kid my mom did teach me some embroidery stitches. To me, embroidery is more like coloring than sewing, so it's less intimidating to learn.
Besides, that's the thing about summer — there's time. Time to learn and time to mess up and start over. That's the beauty of this tiny project. Yes, it's time-consuming, but it's small and open to interpretation. Great for middle-graders.
And FUN. BADGES. You know you want one. I do. I'm gonna suggest this to my almost 10 year-old daughter as a summertime project.
Click through to the Etsy blog for a beautifully-photographed, well-written tutorial.
→ At the Etsy blog: How-Tuesday: DIY Embroidered Merit Badges
Thanks to Claire Robertson at Kiddley for turning me onto this tutorial.
Another adorable idea, this one from CRAFT: incorporating LEDs into embroidery.
Looking for a beginner guide to embroidery? My favorite is Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.