Tag Archives: nest

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

DIY Pom Pom Blue Bird Craft :: Easter and Spring Crafting

I was recently visited by an inquisitive momma bird as I sat drinking my coffee. It was an unusually warm and sunny morning and the arrival of my feathered friend cheerfully announced what I had suspected…

Spring is on the way!

 

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

I love to watch birds build their nests and prepare for the arrival of new hatchlings. We have a tree outside our kitchen window that is home to a family of wrens. We love to see them
return each spring and enjoy tracking the babies all summer long.

The tiny baby birds are so adorable that my daughter often wishes she could hold one in her hand.

We remedied this desire by creating Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds. These sweet little birds live in a mossy nest atop our bookcase and are always ready for cuddles and love. They are perfect for an Easter basket or play time.

 

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

I’m happy to share the DIY tutorial with you below…

 

Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds

This simple pom pom craft can be made in minutes using basic craft supplies. Add a nest made from twigs and dried Spanish moss for an adorable woodland friend.

 

Materials:

  •  Blue yarn and cream yarn
  •  Embroidery floss or thread
  •  Hand sewing needle
  •  4 mm black beads for eyes
  •  Orange craft felt
  •  Fabric glue or school glue
  •  Scissors
  •  Lightweight cardboard (use an empty cracker or cereal box)
  •  Table fork

 

Directions:

 

Pom poms are easy to make with a cardboard template or a fork. It may take you a try or two to get the hang of these techniques, but you will soon be a pom pom pro!

 

Step 1: Make the bird’s body.

 

  1. Cut an 8 x 3 inch rectangle out of lightweight cardboard to use a a template. Fold the rectangle in half length wise and cut a slit 2/3 of the way up the center.

 

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

2. Cut a 8 inch piece of blue yarn or embroidery floss. Thread it through the center slit of the cardboard template. This will be the center tie to hold the pom poms together. (Tip: If your yarn is weak or prone to breakage use embroidery floss for your center tie.)

 

Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds Easter Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

3. Wrap blue yarn around the cardboard template 50-60 times as shown. The more yarn the fluffier the pom pom.

 

Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds Easter Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

4. Wrap cream yarn around the cardboard template 40-50 times as shown.

 

Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds Easter Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

5. Knot the center tie around the yarn twice, pulling as tightly as possible. (Tip: Have a partner hold the string down with their finger as though you were
tying ribbon on a present.)

 

Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds Easter Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

6. Slide the pom pom off the template.

 

Simple Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds Spring Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

7. Cut through the loops on both ends. (Do not cut through the center tie.) Trim the ends of the center tie the same length as the pom pom.

 

Simple Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds Spring Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

8. Roll the pom pom in your hands to shape it into a ball and trim into a perfect sphere.

 

Simple Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds Spring Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

9. Trim the sides and bottom of the pom pom so they are flat as shown.

Simple Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds Spring Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

10. Trim the pom pom front and top into a rounded teardrop shape for the bird’s body.

Simple Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds Spring Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Step 2: Make the bird’s head.

  1. Cut a 6-8 inch piece of yarn and thread through the middle tines of a fork. This will be the center tie to hold the pom pom together. (Tip: If your yarn is weak or prone to breakage use embroidery floss for your center tie.)

 

Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds Easter Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

2. Wrap blue yarn around the tines of the fork 40-50 times. The more yarn the fluffier the pom pom.

Simple Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds Spring Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

3. Tie the center tie around the yarn twice, pulling as tightly as possible. (Tip: Have a partner hold the string down with their finger as though you were
tying ribbon on a present. )

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

4. Slide the yarn off the fork and cut through the loops on both ends. (Do not cut through the center tie. ) Trim the ends of the center tie the same length as the
pom pom.

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

5. Roll the pom pom in your hands to shape it into a ball and trim into a perfect sphere.

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Step 3: Assemble the bird.

  1. Use thread or embroidery floss to stitch the pom poms together. Try to get the needle through the center tie of each pom pom. (Tip: You can also glue the pom poms together, but thread is more secure.)

 

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

2. Trim the pom poms if necessary to make into the exact bird shape.

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

3. Use a needle to slightly fray the bird’s tail feathers.

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

4. Cut a two tiny triangles from craft felt for the beak.

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

5. Use glue to attach the eyes and beak. Make a small divot in the yarn to hide the glue.

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

6. Enjoy your pom pom blue birds!

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

More Pom Pom Fun

Baby birds are a sure sign of spring! Check out these adorable pom pom friends for your baby chick.

 

DIY Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Want more creative pom pom tutorials?

Click the image below to visit Bren Did and learn to make this sweet little duckling.

 

DIY Yarn Pom Pom Ducks for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Click the image below to visit Fireflies & Mudpies and get the adorable baby chick pattern.

 

DIY Yarn Pom Pom Easter Chicks for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

DIY Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com DIY Yarn Pom Pom Blue Birds for Simple Spring and Easter Crafting :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Bren Did :: www.brendid.com

 

 

This sweet Easter tutorial was brought to you by my friend Bren from the blog Bren Did. It’s such a lovely site with so many wonderful crafting, cooking and easy-home-cleaning tutorials. Please pay her a visit … you’ll be hooked on her like I am.

You can connect with Bren on facebook, instagram and pinterest.

 

Blessings and magic,

Donni

 

 

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photo of a needle felted nest tutorial

Tutorial : Needle Felted Spring Nest

 

Spring has burst forth in full regalia here in Southern California. the trees are so pretty in their pinks and whites and magentas. And the birds have started to busy themselves building nests. 

Spring is full of crafting inspiration and we have been making pretty needle felted spring nests too.

One of the things I love most about needle felting is that it can be a wonderfully quick and easy craft. You can sit down with a basket of wool and be holding a delightful spring nest in your hands in just a few minutes.

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

Equipment

 

Needle felting requires three tools :

 

  • wool roving
  • a felting needle
  • a protective foam board.

Wool roving looks a bit like cotton
candy. When the sheep is
sheered, the fleece is washed
and dried and then it is
’carded’ – brushed so that all
the knots and clumps are
brushed out and the fibers of
the wool all run the same way.
It is then dyed… any wonderful
color under the sun. This
roving can then be spun into yarn (for knitting) or it can be felted with a needle.

The protective foam board is not always necessary but it is definitely recommended when you are learning to needle felt. The needle is very sharp and if you don’t have a board upon which to steady your work, you will find yourself painfully stabbed more than once.

The felting needle is about 3 inches long. It is very sharp. The tip of the needle has a number of small barbs and it is these barbs that felt the wool. You can see the barbs if you look closely at the tip of your needle. The outer surface of each fiber of wool has tiny, microscopic scales on it. When the fiber is agitated, the scales hook into one another, forming a tighter and tighter mass. The barbs of the needle ‘grab’ the fibers as you stab it into the wool, depositing the fibers deeper. The little scales on the fibers lock together, ensuring that the fibers stay in their new place. By stabbing the wool hundreds of times you can shape the wool into any form you wish.

 

DIY Needle Felted Spring Nest

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

You will need :

  • green and blue wool felt (found online or at a craft store)
  • a needle felting needle (found online or at a craft store)
  • a foam 4cm ball (found at a craft store)

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

 

Step 1

Pull the green wool into a strip about the length of your hand, palm to fingertips, with a width the same as the tip of your thumb. Roll this strip of wool evenly around the bottom half of the foam ball.

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

 

Step 2

Carefully stab the needle around the outside of the nest, poking the needle through the wool and into the foam. It is important to stab the needle in and out of the wool at the same angle. Changing the angle as you pull the needle out of the wool will increase your chance of breaking the needle as you work.

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

Step 3

Evenly needle felt the inside of the nest.

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

Step 4

Remove the foam ball from the nest by pulling it free. The nest will hold it’s shape but it will be very fuzzy. Using the protective foam pad, needle felt the nest, on the inside and the outside. The more you needle felt the nest, the less fuzzy it will become.

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

Step 5

Pull the blue wool roving into a strip about the length and thickness of your index finger. Knot it in the center as you would a length of string. Fluff out one end of the knot, smooth it down over the knot and needle felt it evenly, rounding the end of the knot into a ball. Do the same with the other end of the knot to form a needle felted ball.

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

Make three Needle felted eggs to put into the your nest.

 

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

Tutorial : Felted Spring Nest : The Magic Onions Blog

 

NOTE : For those of you who want to decorate your home for spring with your own needle felted nests, I have put together a DIY kit to make three spring nests in shades of green, available for purchase for $26 in The Magic Onions Shop : DIY Needle Felted Spring Nest Kit.

My children and I picked a few spring branches to put in a vase (here’s a tutorial for making our rainbow yarn vase). We carefully placed our needle felted nests in the twigs and added some feather butterflies for whimsy.

Beauty is all around us and inside us, all of the time.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

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Needle Felting Tutorial : Wool and Moss Hummingbird Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

How To Make A Hummingbirds Nest : Needle Felting Tutorial

Oh my gosh… it’s SUCH a joy to watch the birds begin to build their nests. We are hoping like mad that a bird will build a nest in our garden. More than anything, we are preying that one of the hundreds of hummingbirds that visit us will build a nest in our avocado tree. A few years ago a friend found a hummingbirds nest in her avo tree and it was the sweetest thing we had ever seen. Mr Hummingbird had fastened two leaves together and had built his teeny-tiny nest between them. It was smaller than a golf ball in diameter and was woven with string, moss, lichen and minute little feathers.Oh the enchantment!

I was thinking about this little nest the other day and, remembering how sweet it was, I could not resist the urge to make my own… with wool, my felting needle and a myraid of little nature treasures I collected, ofcourse. After seeing it, I’m sure you’ll want to make one for yourself and so I have put together a tutorial for you to follow. I have also made a needle felting kit available in my shop with EVERYTHING you’ll need for this wonderful little felting project – you can buy it here :  Needle Felting Kit : Hummingbirds Nest.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

Materials you’ll need :

  • a foam ball about 2 inches in diameter
  • a foam board and needle felting needles
  • variegated brown/grey wool
  • white wool
  • moss
  • sticks
  • burlap string
  • feathers

Start by wrapping a length of the variegated brown wool around half of the foam ball. Needle felt it where it overlaps. The foam ball will allow you to needle felt through the wool and into it. I love this method for making a hollow nest shape. Felt all around the ball until your nest shape is pretty firm.

Use your needle to round the edge of the nest by poking your needle between the ball and the inside layer of wool (as in photo #4)

Gently pull the foam ball away from the wool nest and there you have it… a perfect little hummingbirds nest.

Make a Hummingbirds Nest : Neelde Felting Tutorial : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Now we want to add the nature bits that are so enchanting in hummingbirds nests. Hold the little nest in your hands and gently pull the outside layer of wool into loose tufts.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

Wind a few strands of burlap string randomly around the nest and secure by pulling the loose tufts of wool over the string and felting into the nest with your needle.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

Lay some fluffy white wool in the palm of your hand and place a few feathers on top of the wool.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

Place the nest on your protective needle felting board and line the inside of your nest with this fluffy, feathery wool. Needle felt gently to fasten.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

We also want to fasten some feathers to the outside of the nest. Pull off the bottom part of the feather to expose the quill. If your feather looks too big, break it to the right length and use the top half to feather your nest.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

Insert the sharp quill into the wool and needle felt it in place, pulling a little wool over the quill where you need to fasten it.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

Now, randomly add moss to your nest… a little inside and some more outside.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

There you have it… the sweetest little hummingbird nest in existence. If you are like me, you’ll place it in your avocado tree to try to start a trend and show the real hummingbirds that this tree is a VERY nice tree to build a nest in.

Needle Felting Tutorial : Felted Hummingbirds Nest : www.theMagicOnions.com

Notes :

Click here to purchase a hummingbird nest needle felting kit from my shop containing EVERYTHING you’ll need to may a hummingbirds nest just like my own.

Click here to see a photo of my friends hummingbirds nest.

Click here to see me holding a hummingbird in my very own hands and read how this very precious event came about.

Click her to see the other free needle felting tutorials on my Needle Felting Page.

Happy crafting,

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Helping The Birds Make Beautiful Nests

We have really enjoyed watching the birds building their nests this year. We have a family of crows who live in the tree in our back yard.

Apart from the terrible squarking they make in the early mornings, we love them. They are particularly fun to watch when they are building their nests as they choose big sticks to build with, sometimes even longer than themselves. And, they are funny because they bicker and fight and often make each other drop their sticks and then try to find them again.

We have had many a laugh watching them this spring.With our garden birds in mind, we have a tradition of helping them make their nests as comfy as possible.

In years past, we have decorated branches with wool roving for the birds to use as nesting material. But this year, we decided to do something different and made them a yarn ball instead.

 

Yarn Scraps for Spring Birds Nests Craft :: www.theMagicOnions.com

 

We fashioned a bit of wire into a ball to hold the yarn. The birds have been helping themselves all week and we are delighting in the visions of their eggs, nestled comfortably in their colorful yarn nests.

 

To make our yarn balls, we needed nice bendable wire, wire cutters, a ball and bits of yarn.

We cut a long length of wire and wrapped it around the ball to get a round shape, twisting it around itself at the join.

Then we extracted the ball and used the dimensions we already had to make our yarn holder.

When we were finished it looked like a wire pumpkin! We added a little hook for hanging.

Then we cut our yarn into different lengths for the birds.

Stuffed the yarn into our handmade yarn holder.

And hung it in the tree for the birds.

Oh, what pretty nests they’ll have.

Be sure not to miss out on our Fairy Garden Series and Contest.

Blessings and magic,
Donni

Tutorial :: Needle Felted Robin’s Nest


I am so excited to share this Spring robin’s nest needle felting tutorial with you. With Spring coming up, there is so much to inspire our creativity. For me, there’s nothing quite as indicative of my favorite season as a robin’s nest filled with sweet little blue eggs… just like this nest I’ve made. Even if you’ve never needle felted before, you’ll be amazed at how quickly and easily you can make this little treasure too.

Pin It

 
Needle felting equipment – Needle felting requires three tools; wool roving, a felting needle and a protective foam board.

Wool roving looks like cotton candy. When the sheep is sheered, the fleece is washed and dried and then it is ‘carded’ – brushed so that all the knots and clumps are brushed out and the fibers of the wool all run the same way. It is then dyed… any wonderful color under the sun :-) This roving can then be spun into yarn (for knitting) or it can be felted.

The protective foam board is not absolutely necessary but it is definitely recommended when you are learning to needle felt. The needle is very sharp and if you don’t have a board upon which to steady your work, you will find yourself painfully stabbed more than once.

The felting needle is about 3 inches long. As I said before, it is very sharp. The tip of the needle has a number of small barbs and it is these barbs that felt the wool. It works because the outer surface of each fiber of wool has tiny, microscopic scales on it. When the fiber is agitated, the scales hook into one another, forming a tighter and tighter mass. The needle works because the barbs of the needle ‘grab’ the fibers as you stab it into the wool, depositing the fibers deeper into the wool. The little scales on the fibers lock together, ensuring that the fibers stay in their new place. By stabbing the wool hundreds of times with your needle, you have control over the form of your wool and can shape it as you wish. You can see the barbs if you look closely at the tip of your needle.

This tutorial will show how to make this sweet robins nest… a simple and fast project for beginner needle felting.

These are the things you’ll need:
(I have a kit including everything you’ll need to make this nest available in my shop Fairyfolk)

* a vine nest (found at craft stores)
* blue and mossy green wool roving
* a needle felting needle
* a needle felting board
* natural twine

Start by breaking the blue wool into three strips of roughly the same size… as you can see from the photo, the lengths should be about double the width of your hand.

Roll each strip between your hands as you would if you were rolling a ball of playdough into a snake.

With your forefinger and thumb, roll the wool ‘snake’ into a tight spiral. The tighter you can get it, the easier it will be to felt.

Tip: I find that rolling is key in many of my felting projects… if I can roll the wool tightly to begin with, I can greatly reduce the time my form takes to felt.

When the  blue wool has been rolled into a tight spiral, I set it down on the felting board and stab it with the needle many times around the outside of the spiral. Be slow and deliberate with your stabbing in the beginning, and concentrate, please… it hurts when you stab yourself… it’s definitely not the end of the world, but it is better avoided :-)

You will soon see that this stabbing holds the wool in place and the spiral will not unravel if you let it go.

To round the ends so that your creation starts to look like an egg, gently loosen the the outside layer of wool  around the spiral by pulling it with your thumb and forefinger. Fold this pulled layer over the spiral edge and needle felt it gently. Needle felt the edges until your shape becomes a smooth round ball.

Roll your ball in your hands as if you were rolling a marble in your hands… this will help shape your ball. Then needle felt it again into the egg shape you want.  Continue with the other strips of blue wool, following the same technique for each egg.

 Now that your eggs are ready, they need a mossy nest to nestle comfortably in. First, we need to tie our twine onto the edge of the nest so that it will hang nicely. Thread the twine through a strand of vine and fasten it with a knot. Do the same for the other side, making sure that your nest hangs straight before making the second knot.

Now we need to line the nest with moss. Take about a handful of mossy green wool and gently pull it so that it makes a rough circle. Gently flatten it between your hands.

Place this green wool over the nest and push it into the hollow of the nest.

Needle felt the wool gently into the nest. Remember to keep your nest on the protective foam board as your needle will sometimes go all the way through the nest and you don’t want the nest to be sitting on your lap when the needle pokes through the bottom! Ouch!

You will see that as you gently needle felt the wool into the strands of the nest, the nest indent will become more and more pronounced, making a lovely hollow for the sweet little eggs to nestle in.

In go the three little robins eggs and Voila! What a sweet Spring nest you have made. Just perfect for hanging from your chandelier, twig tree on your nature table or anywhere else in your home that is ready to welcome in the Spring.

Just a reminder that I have this kit available for purchase in my shop Fairyfolk, including everything you’ll need to make a robins nest just like this one.

I have other needle felting kits available in my shop too if you wish to try something else… felted pebbles for lovely home decor, felted pumpkins, felted hearts, felted wreaths, felted balls as well as kits of lovely colored wool for you to make whatever your heart desires. Please visit my shop Fairyfolk to see them all and look under the ‘Needle Felting Kits‘ section.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any felting questions.

Happy Spring crafting,
Blessings and magic,
Donni

Morning Glory Nests.

I have a wise old friend who warned me against planting Morning Glory.
‘But it’s so pretty!’ I argued… ‘And, it grows so wonderfully fast!’ I pleaded. I was wanting to plant a vine that would grow over our fence and make our yard look like a jungle of green. As is usually the case with me, I wanted this curtain of green immediately!
‘Donni,’ he sighed, ‘You will work hard for your impatience.’

And, yes I have! I planted Morning Glory, of course, and soon had a wonderful jungle for a back yard. It is so very pretty… deep green leaves, wonderful purple trumpet flowers that seem to change color every time I look at them and enchanting new tendrils that curl and spiral. But, alas, it is like the fabled vine that grew around Sleeping Beauties castle. It grows thicker and thicker, sends down roots and starts new vines all on it’s own. It invades everywhere and covers everything. The one vine I planted has now become countless many. It has choked my roses to death, almost destroyed my passion fruit and is having a good attempt at strangling the banana trees. Every couple of months, we have to be ruthless with it as we free our other plants.

Today was Morning Glory Control Day. Morning Glory Control Day has become synonymous with Nest Making Day as we collect the morning glory clippings to make nests. So, although it’s a day of hard work for me, my children whoop enthusiastically as nest making is on of their very favorite Spring activities.

We collect a big bunch of Morning Glory vine and ‘de-leaf’ each tendril.

To form the base of the nest, we take a few strands of vine and twist them around each other.

And then, we make our nest bigger and bigger by threading pieces of vine through it… around and around, filling in holes as we see them.

It’s just like sewing, Kitty exclaimed!

Voila! Our Morning Glory nests are made.

We leave them in an airy place to dry out and play with them for many, many months. We make big ones and small ones, we add a few little robins eggs, some guinea fowl feathers, moss, wool… whatever we have on hand to make them as enchanting as possible.

Here is a link to last years Morning Glory Control Day where we rediscovered our dear printers tray.

Happy Spring,
Blessings and magic to you,
Donni

Let’s make an Easter Basket.

We are at the grocery store.
Kitty : Mom, we really have to get these Cadbury’s Chocolate Eggs!
Me: I don’t think so, Kitty, it’s not Easter yet.
Kitty: But Mom! (I can see her little brain working furiously) Mom, I want make an Easter Basket and we can keep them in my basket until Easter.
Me: Oh, what kind of basket do you want to make?
Kitty: I want to, um, sew one.
Me: Great!
Kitty: I’ll need your help.
Me: OK.
Kitty: So, can we get the Easter Eggs?
Me: OK… but only for your basket.

(I’m a pushover, I know, but the little girl said she wanted to SEW a BASKET!)

And, sew a basket we did!

When we got home, we collected an old felted sweater, a needle, some thread and some yarn.
Here is a tutorial on how to felt a sweater if you’ve never tried it before and here’s a previous post with a super tip for making learning to sew VERY child friendly.


We began by cutting a circle from the felted sweater. This circle is going to be the base of the basket so it can be any size you want your basket to be.


Then, as we talked about the dimensions of a circle, we discovered that if we wanted to measure the circumference, we could use a piece of yarn! If we laid the piece of yarn all the way around the outside of the circle, the circumference, we could determine how long the material for the sides of our basket had to be.


Indeed, this was a very exciting discovery!


We cut the yarn the right length and then laid it on the felted sweater and cut a length of felted sweater exactly the same length as the piece of yarn… just long enough to fit all around the circumference of our circle.


Despite all the excitement in the working out of our formula, we were amazed that the length we had just cut did, indeed, fit all the way around our circle base! ‘It worked!!’ Kitty exploded.

She put the ‘sides length’ on a flat surface and the placed the circle on top of it…


And then she started to sew the two together.

With great concentration, she sewed the ‘sides piece’ all the way around the circle.


Until the two ends joined.


Then, she sewed the join together.


We turned the basket inside out (which is actually the right side up) and were again amazed at how sweet it looked, all of the stitches now hidden inside the basket… especially when we flipped over the top to make a pretty rim… Kitty is quite the designer!


We cut a length of felted sweater for the handle.

Sewed it on to our basket.


Voila!!! Kitty, can you believe it, actually DID sew an Easter basket! Of course, the chocolate Easter eggs went straight into the soft and fluffy basket.


I adore this photo as it shows just how incredulous she was at the fact that she really had sewn an Easter basket!


Of course an egg did get eaten… an then another. And then ‘Little Brother‘ got into them and had a whole handful… which luckily entitled Kitty to have a whole handful too, and so on, until Mother tried them and then they were gone, leaving the sweet little basket empty. Not to worry, Kitty demised… we’ll just get more the next time we are at the grocery store!


Happy sewing with your child,
Blessing and magic,
Donni

Handmade Christmas Gifts – Paper Mache Nest.

Our granny loves birds nests. She has a collection of discarded nests that she has picked up on her walks. They are so pretty to look at and a wonder to see how intricately the husband birds have woven them together.

Her love of nests in mind, the kids and I have made her this nest for Christmas.

We made the shell of the nest from paper mache. Teddy enjoyed ripping an old newspaper into long strips.

We use an all natural flour and water recipe to make our paper mache.

* 1 part flour to 5 parts water.
* Mix the flour with about 1 TBS of hot water until if forms a smooth paste. Add boiling water.
* Boil for a few minutes
* Allow to cool

We used balloons as our molds. We blew up the balloons (had a little play with them) and then covered them in strips of the newspaper dipped in the flour paste.

Add layer after layer until the newspaper is thickly packed.

I love this flour paste as I can let my kids get wonderfully messy without fearing that they are also getting covered in nasty chemicals.

Set paper mache balloons in the sun to dry. When dry, use a box cutter to cut an oval opening into them… and, yay, pop the balloons.

We decided to cover our nest in a fragrant mixture of dried chamomile and lavender.

Cover the ‘nests’ in glue and roll them in the dried herbs.

Leave in the sun to dry.

Line the inside with dried moss… we use two different kinds.

Add a few wooden speckled eggs.

We think Granny will LOVE her Christmas gift! (but I must admit that it’s sooooo sweet we can hardly give it away)

Merry Blessings and magic,
Donni

Make a Hummingbird Feeder.

We so love the hummingbirds. They are prolific in our area… visiting our garden often. They remind me of UFO’s… they come ‘whirrrrrrrrrring’ in, hover, and then, faster than lightening, zip off into the air and away. They amuse me and make me smile.
Kitty want’s them to stay. She gets frustrated with their fleeting visits. So, in an effort to tempt our hummingbird friends to stay a little longer than they do, we made humming bird feeders.
We needed:
* A pretty, vintage bottle (picked up at a garage sale)
* A Hummingbird stopper (from our local garden shop. You might also find these at pet stores or hardware stores)
* Thin wire
* Pliers
* My trusty old glue gun
This is what the hummingbird stopper looks like.
We used our pliers to cut off a small bit of wire. I used the fine on the pliers to file the ends a little so that they were no longer sharp. We twisted it loosely around the top of the bottle.
We cut a longer length of wire that would fit around the bottle. We molded it to the shape of the bottle and threaded it through the loose top loop of wire.
We cut it and tightened it. Then we cut and tightened the top loop around the top of the bottle to hold the other wire in place.
I used my glue gun to stick the wire in place at the base of the bottle. I used a spoon to stick the wire down… once the glue has cooled and stuck (takes only seconds) the spoon breaks away easily.
We filled our bottle with hummingbird nectar, one blue for Teddy and one pink for Kitty (you can make your own with 1/4 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water and just a little colorful food coloring).
We turned our hummingbird feeder upside down and attached a nice bright and colorful ribbon to it (to attract the hummingbirds) and waited.

We didn’t have to wait long… with in the hour, there was a beautifully colorful hummingbird feasting from our feeder. Yay… what excitement.
Blessings and magic,
Donni