Monday, February 7, 2011

Flower Fairies

This is a really fun project to do with little girls anytime, but what could be cuter than a fairy valentine? I can just see this handed out with "You are a 'fairy' good friend," or "You make my heart flutter" attached on card stock. (Insert sing-song voice here...) Adorable!!

Materials needed:
Silk flowers (the kind that have petals that can pulled off of the stems)
Jewel Beads (I got mine from Michael's)
Pipe Cleaners (optional)

Tool list:
Needle big enough to thread the ribbon through but small enough to fit through your beads

String a bead onto the bottom of your length of ribbon and tie a knot. I ended up hanging mine on a garland in the girls' room, and I used varying lengths, but about 18 inches will be an average length. **If you are wanting to add pipe cleaner legs, cut a pipe cleaner in half, bend in the middle, and roll the ends 1-2 times to form feet. Then you will need to loop the ribbon down through the bead, around your legs, thread it back up through your bead, and tie the end off ABOVE the bead. Not as tricky as it sounds...

Remove the flower petals from the stems and layer them on over your bead, facing down, with the smallest petals on top of the larger ones (so you can see all of them when they are stacked).
Now add a smaller bead for a torso, and add another petal or two on top for a bodice.

Add a head bead and tie another knot at the top to keep it all together. Cover the knot with any petals/sepals you want to make into a hat or hair or whatever.

Some of the fairies we added wings to, but others we just left as is. To make wings, take a pipe cleaner and bend it in half around your ribbon just below the torso bead, or above it but under the bodice flower petals. Twist it once or twice to keep it attached, then bend each end into a loop and secure (by twisting). Bend the wings 90 degrees. About three quarters down on the outside loop, gently press in, making an "upper" and "lower" wing distinction. Repeat on the other side.

You will use this same technique to add arms, using only 1/2 of a pipe cleaner twisted around the ribbon, rolling the ends once or twice to form hands.

We have also made fairies using pipe cleaners in lieu of the ribbon, so the could sit up instead of hang. If you do this, I recommend omitting the bottom jewel so she will sit a little more easily. This variation also lends itself to adding embroidery floss hair, if you wanted; just wrap the top end of the pipe cleaner around a small skein of floss and push the sharp end back down into the bead. Twist it once, also, for good measure. Trim the loops of the floss and glue a rhinestone to the top of the pipe cleaner for looks.

Voila! Gorgeous! And cheap, too! One bunch of flowers can make many fairies! I like to buy bags of assorted blossoms from the local thrift shop, because then you have a variety of sizes and colors to mix and match hats, bodices, dresses, etc. Just today I got a large bag of flowers for $2. You can often find the small ribbon spools on sale for 3 or 4 for $1 at Michael's or JoAnn's, and the bead packages run about $3 for around 25 big beads and $3 for 50 smaller "torso" beads. So not a bad deal, all together. About $.50 a piece, maybe. Better than other party favors, and they love playing games with them afterward.

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