Reading Together Patterns

These fun projects were inspired by children's books "The Mitten," "The Jones Family Express," and "Stone Soup."
Train Photo Runner

Bring a book to life by basing a craft on the story. Here, we've created a pattern for a train photo runner reminiscent of the story The Jones Family Express by Javaka Steptoe. Send it chugging along the center of a table as a runner -- or fasten it to the wall at chair-rail height, adding cars as your family grows.

Mitten Pillow

We've also created a pattern for a mitten reading pillow from the story The Mitten by Jan Brett. A secret treasure can be tucked inside the downy-soft pocket at the cuff of this huge mitten that doubles as a petite pillow.

Stone Soup Table Cover

The table cover doesn't need a pattern, but we tell you how to make it as a coloring cloth where children can depict scenes from a favorite book.


Train Photo Runner
  • Pencil
  • One sheet each of plastic foam in your favorite colors, such as light blue, bright blue, and purple
  • Scissors (or straight edge and retractable mat knife)
  • Thick crafts glue
  • Tape (optional)


  1. Cut out the pattern pieces and tape them together as necessary.
  2. Place pattern on plastic foam sheets. Use a pencil to trace around pattern. Be sure to trace four wheels for each engine and boxcar.
  3. Cut out the shapes. Cut out windows for photographs.
  4. Glue the wheels to the wrong side of the engine and boxcars. Overlap and then glue the engine and boxcars together.
  5. Cut photos slightly larger than the windows; glue or tape the photos behind the windows so the faces are looking out the windows.


Mitten Reading Pillow
  • 1/2 yard of white chenille fabric
  • 1/2 yard of white fur-like fabric
  • 6-x-6-inch square of red bubble short-pile fabric
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • General sewing supplies (sewing machine, scissors, sewing needle, white and red sewing threads)


  1. Cut out the pattern pieces and tape them together as necessary.
  2. Use the pattern to cut out two mitten shapes (reverse one) from chenille. Cut one heart shape from the red fabric. Turn under the seam allowance and applique to one of the chenille mitten shapes.
  3. For the lining, use the same pattern to cut out two mitten shapes (reverse one) from the fur-like fabric, eliminating the thumb shape.
  4. With right sides facing, sew chenille shapes together, leaving the straight (top) edge open. Clip curves; clip into thumb seam. Sew lining in the same manner.
  5. Slip lining inside the mitten, right sides together. Sew around the top straight edge, leaving a 4-inch opening for stuffing. Turn shape right side out through the opening.
  6. Turn lining into the mitten, then begin stuffing the shape with fiberfill through the 4-inch opening. Maneuver the fiberfill in the space between the lining and the mitten. Stuff the mitten firmly, letting the lining rise from inside the mitten to form a 3-inch cuff. Sew the opening closed.


Stone Soup Table Cover
  • 100 percent cotton tablecloth (or fabric to make your own)
  • Fabric paint pens


  1. Wash and dry the tablecloth.
  2. Lay the tablecloth on a flat, protected surface. Give the kids fabric paint pens, and have them draw their favorite soup ingredients on the cloth, or illustrate scenes and characters from a favorite book.
  3. Let the fabric paints dry overnight, and then use an iron to heat-set the cloth.


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