Wednesday 26 September 2012

Tutorial - Autumn Fairies

~by Emi

I would like, today, to share with you our Waldorf-inspired Autumn Fairies!

Quite often, they are rainbow coloured, and simply lovely. However, in the spirit of celebrating the Autumn Equinox, Ru and I (with a little help from our good friends who came to stay with us for a few days, Emma and Connor) decided to give these awesome mobiles an autumnal twist!

Firstly, you're going to need a few things.

*watercolour paints in autumn colours - we used greens, reds, yellow, orange, browns and a little purple


*very thin white material - I used silk, but thin white cotton would work just as well, as would a polyester habotai (which is only a couple of pounds a meter)


*needle and thread

*stuffing - we used scrumpled-up kitchen roll, but you could use scraps of material, cotton wadding, whatever you have

*offcuts of ribbon and ricrac

Firstly, cut your fabric up into squares. I ended up with 16 - 15 ended up on our mobile and Ru insisted on giving one to Ava! Mine were about 5 or 6 inches square, but this is totally up to you!

 Next, (and this is a good step to do outside if the weather is good!) soak your square in a bowl of water and lay it, wet, onto your work surface. Liberally dot with spots of watercolour paint and hand your Little a brush. Get them to mix the colours together, blending them and playing with them until the entire square is covered.

I like to gently bleed and blend the colours together. Ru... not so much. He likes big and bold!

At this point, I realised that the finger-paint and paper I had set Pixie up with was going slightly... awry.

I like to think that she wanted brightly coloured hair like her Mama!

And yep, she does have some of the paper in her mouth. (Don't worry, put away your 'Worst Mother of the Year' award - the paints are non-toxic! *grin*)

As you complete each square, hang them to dry. We were blessed with a lovely sunny day and our fabric dried in no time at all!

Once they're dry, we're going to make up our fairies. Ru lost interest in this part, instead choosing to dig in my flowerbeds, wreaking havoc on some courgette plants.

Take your square of fabric, pop a ball of whatever you're using as stuffing in the middle and tie up with your ribbon offcuts. The fabric will feel a little stiff at this point, that's normal and nothing to worry about, you can soften them back up if you wish by rolling them in your hands/scrunching and unscrunching several times.

We soon ended up with a veritable mountain of them...

Your next step is to sew a long thread to the top of the 'ball' end of the fairy, and thread on some beads. We stuck with our fall colourway. (And you could add in a little colour-recognition for younger kids here, getting them to find all the red beads in a little bowl, or orange and so on.) You could also use pasta tubes for the threading part.

Finally, you can hang them up! Simply tie the end of the thread onto something and hang! We hung ours on an unused embroidery hoop wrapped in green ribbon, but you could just as easily hang these in a window or from door handles (I do NOT advise this if you have cats. Don't ask. Just trust me on this one.)

The best part is that you can change the colours of these to suit any season. We'll be making red, green and blue ones for the Winter season, complete with silver beads. Imagine pastels for a Spring and vivid pinks and yellows for Summer... They could even be made with favourite colours or to match existing decorations.

And there you are, beautiful Autumn Fairies!

Emi, x

And finally, I'd like to share with you one of my favourite Autumn poems... And to those of you who celebrate it, Merry Mabon!

Dance on Autumn Breeze

"Hear the gentle Autumn breeze
inviting you to share
the cornucopia of colours
floating through the air

Pick up your faithful lantern
bring a favourite cloak
Gather near the shady wood
by maple, birch and oak

We'll dance upon the arms of Njord
and sail where dragon flies
We'll revel in sweet music
that soars through amber skies

Pray upon the evening sun
Swim among the fae
Join a troupe on Nature's stage
and craft a sacred play

See the stunning, golden views
observe the cyclic power
that visits the deciduous
upon this wondrous hour

Now's a time to celebrate
When Greenman takes his rest
The harvest has been copious
Our spirits have been blessed

Sit back, relax, and ride the wind
Join the Festival of Leaves
See the world through Nature's heart
and all that she perceives"
Theo J. Van Joolen


  1. These are beautiful and so simple. Definately a craft for next week. Also love the poem, I am going to copy that out. Thank you for the inspiration, keep it coming!

  2. So happy I could make your favorites list, especially being linked to such a wonderful art project and educational philosophy. Happy Autumn,

    Theo J. van Joolen