Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flower fairies

We trekked to Moskatels (Michael's) downtown yesterday to scout materials for fairies and fairy gardens. Starboy has been interested in the fairy books we've been reading by Cicely Mary Barker, and we've been talking about having a fairy party for his birthday, which is a ways off. Gnomes may factor in as well, stay tuned.

He was hot to get started on the fairies yesterday morning, on a rainy day.

Tools and materials:
•Flowers for skirts in at least three sizes, plus tiny ones for hats ($4 per bunch)
•Leaves and butterflies ($8 for eight, cut off the heads) for wings
•Pipe cleaners ($3)+wood beads ($4/pack) for fairy bodies
(or use a doll pin, $5/pack or 20c each plus shipping at Caseys Wood)
•Doll stands for drying fairies and allowing them to stand during play
(a wooden doughnut that the clothes pin fits right into, seen below, about $4 for a pack of 25 or more. Casey's Wood has them for 15c each plus shipping.)
•Glitter glue for decor

We got everything at the craft store, in the spirit of instant gratification.

Also recommended:
•Wire cutters for cutting off flower heads
•Glue gun (with plain or glitter glue)
•Roving or yarn for hair
•Small baskets or bowls for holding "parts"
•Trash bowl or container

•Gold thread to create a loop for hanging as an ornament
•Beads to use as hands and feet
•Beads to decorate clothes
•Feathers as hair and decor

Plan ahead, glitter glue takes a long time to dry: Clothespin fairies were dried using typical doll stands. Pipe cleaner fairies were used by stuffing feet into a wooden bead and balancing it into the doll stand, seen above. Maybe glue the bead on permanently. Hanging the fairy from a string loop might be one way to go.

I'll start by describing the pipe cleaner fairies. Although we have made these fairies before at our local Waldorf school faire, we used tiny clothespins for those. The pipe cleaner inspiration came from the brilliant Donni at The Magic Onions.

I used one pipe cleaner per fairy, but this often left the legs a little short. Donni actually cut her pipe cleaners and hot-glued them into the head bead, which may be a better way to go. I was trying to avoid the glue gun altogether, but that might not be the easiest route.

The pipe cleaner mohawk at the back of the head was covered with hair. It occurred to me during this process, which was heavily mommy-driven, that for a party with smaller kids the fairies should be already made up with wings, and the kids allowed to choose skirts, hair and hats. Otherwise the time ends up being parent-dominated, and that was getting frustrating for Starboy.

Separate the flowers carefully; they all are hot-glued together. We used small, medium and large flowers, chosen based on color and price (60% off spring bunch sale at Moskatel's). Save all the other parts cut off from the flower, they can become hats and other accessories.

Slide the legs through the hole, then secure with hot glue. I used glitter glue; I think hot glue would be faster and more secure. Repeat, repeat.

For the clothespin fairies, you will have to cut an X over the hole so the big pin will fit through the flower skirt. Be very careful as the skirt could tear into an "apron" and may need to be glued on with a glue gun.

I started by adding the wings after the skirts, but I'm not sure that's the easiest way to do it.

For the clothespin fairies, I used a pipe cleaner for arms. Not all doll fairies have arms. These are intended to be toys, though, so arms make more sense.

It might be easier to add the wings before the skirt, because I used the wire from the butterfly to secure the wings to the doll. Hot glue would be a plus here, as well.

Ready for clothes and hair.

The Auntie Troi fairy: Hibiscus, zinnea and ranunculus petals, roving hair, a small flower hat, butterfly wings, pipe cleaner arms, glitter glue detail. Blouse leaves something to be desired.

The Mary Jane fairy without hair. This was Starboy's idea, to make a fairy like Mary Jane. He says he's going to give it to her.

Man, I never had any friends who would make fairies for me, when I was growing up.

The Mary Jane fairy with hair. He wanted pink, but I couldn't make the effort to dig up pink yarn from the basement stash. Sorry, Mary Jane.

The Mommy Fairy. I made this one.

The Daddy Fairy. Starboy chose all of the flowers for the skirt, despite my repeated attempts to steer him otherwise, since it was using so many flowers. It's actually the prettiest one of the lot.

For some reason she didn't need hair.

I tried a glitter blouse on this one. Looks a little...well...crunchy. I dunno. I don't think it's attractive. I will have to try some yarn-wrapping blouses on future fairies.

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