Jul 7, 2009

Fairy houses and fairy wings for your dolls

After we busted out a couple of the "fairy house bottles" from the recycling to make the mermaid kingdom yesterday, I thought that we should do the others while the kids were excited by it.

I had four bottles stashed away that I cut out windows and doors and open spaces from with an exacto knife. It was pretty easy to do and there are a lot of bottles that will work for this. The wee one was a bubble bath bottle, the round one was a bleach bottle, the other big white one was a tropicana juice bottle and the humungous pale blue one (not pictured) was a fabric softener bottle that I swiped from my mate's recycling (they are used to my weird antics now). Once they were thoroughly rinsed and dried then we could get crafting with them.




I gave the kids sharpies and any stickers I could find around that looked a bit fairyish. The dollar tree had a great packet of tinkerbell sparkly stickers, which worked a treat.






We tied on some of the flowers from an old broken lei and some of the left over autumn leaves that we used in the mardigras masks and the halloween pumpkin trick or treat jugs.

I made a little pipecleaner ladder for the fairies to wash their non existant windows (shhh, it doesn't have to make sense), then the kids wanted to play with the polly pocket dolls, but oh no! They don't have wings! So, we had to make some. This is where the fairy house post goes off in another direction, because the kids got really into the making fairies project after this.




I drew out some butterfly wings at about the right size for the polly pocket dolls. They are meant to be representations of actual butterfly wings, because I thought we might as well get some kind of educational scrap out of this. There's a Blue Morpho, a Monarch and a Tiger Swallowtail in the polly pocket size.

I scanned them in, and made mirror image duplicates of each, so that we could have both front and back coloured. Printed out a few and the kids coloured them in. Then we glued them back to back (against a window so we could see through to get them registered correctly).




If you want to make some of these with your kids then I have uploaded the drawings I made for you to use. Just click on the thumbnail below to see the full size image and remember to "fit to page" when printing if you're using anything other than US letter sized paper.



Then I cut them out (too fiddly for my 3 and 4 year olds, but older kids could do this themselves) and laminated them with a teeny laminating machine that my freinds gave me to use (thank you Jessen and Lani!).




Once they were laminated I cut them out and poked four holes with my penknife so that I could thread pipecleaner arm straps through. You can see here how the straps go in from the bottom at the back, go around the arms and then back through the top two holes to meet behind the neck in a little loop that the fairy can hang from.



We made four of these little polly pocket fairies. I realised after we had made the first three that I could laminate them before the kids coloured them, then they could colour with sharpies and I could mr clean magic erase them for them to colour differently another time.



Initially I tied a bit of yarn to each fairy and then to a ring, so the kids could run around with the dangly fairies flying from their hands.







I only had two rings, and so the other two fairies got little hooks on them (plastic hooks that I had saved from packets of socks and underwear etc). Once the kids saw these then they wanted to replace the rings with hooks so they could hang them all from the pretend window in their bedroom.



We made this pretend window last weekend. We're in the process of trying to make the mini house in their room kick ass, and I'm sure I will post about all the little projects involved in it when it's done.









After this the kids wanted to make fairies out of all the bigger barbie type dolls too, so I drew out another butterfly in a larger size (this one is a European Peacock butterfly). If you want to make this one then here's the thumbnail linking to the full size image. Remember to print two, so you have the front and back of the wings.



This was too big for our little laminator, so I just put packing tape over both sides of it and my four year old spent a good while making sure she coloured the wings symmetrically (which I guess is an educational aspect to this craft).




Here's Barbie prepped for flight...



The kids have been playing with these and the fairy houses all afternoon, despite the fact that barbie in no way is going to fit into any of the houses. They are telling me that she is the mummy fairy and the polly pockets are her babies, which leads me to wonder, are baby fairies just mini fairies, or are they a weird kind of caterpillar? I bet fairy caterpillars would be sparkly.


If you have thin elastic handy, which we didn't, then it would make a great substitute for the pipecleaners, because then you could take the wings on and off easily and swap them around with different outfits ;)

57 comments:

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

Holy cow, you blow me away with your fantastic ideas. I like to imagine I have some good ideas myself at times but you take it to a whole other level. I may never leave your blog again! Despite the hours of fun I could have making a mermaid kingdom and fairy houses, my daughter recently announced that she is 'not a doll person' (true - she never has been!) so I am trying to think of other things to do with the little houses. Maybe a dog kennel? She is very sporty and really into science (not to mention dogs and any other animals) - any ideas?? If I come up with something that we do I will send you a picture!

Anonymous said...

You are SERIOUSLY talented, and your two little girls are very lucky to have a mom like you. We're lucky to have you sharing your fabulous ideas with us too. Thank you!!

Beth- the mama bee said...

oh goodness, this has us written all over it. We are going to have fun with this. thanks!

Karin said...

Wow, another fantastic post. We don't have any pollypockets -- but do have a growing collection of playmobile, and at present, the only thing they have to live in is a barn! I better go find some jugs... And pipe cleaners.

And why oh why did I forget to grab that pack of multi-colored sharpies at Sam's Club last week?!? It was on my list even!

Thanks for these great ideas and art to color!

School for Us said...

My thoughts were the same as Katherine's... you blow me away! Thanks for the wonderful step by step instructions!

MONICA said...

congratulations!!!!!

LiEr said...

Flabbergasted. Completely and utterly. In all the best ways. I LOVE the fairy jughouses. And the anatomically-accurate butterfly wings. I must not let the girls see this post (and probably all of your other ones) until I gather courage and supplies to try and make some for their tiny dolls. After wresting the dolls from between the jaws of the baby, I mean. That fairy window looks fabulous, too! I don't have a laminating machine so I'll have to use floppy old contact paper. Barbie as the fairy mother is so funny! How can a person/doll have so many children and still have coiffed hair? It goes against the laws of the universe. Thank you for the jug idea, KM - I really, really like it and I really, really want to do these sometime with the girls. Maybe fall, when things slow down a little around here and there are moody-looking brown leaves everywhere on our lawn. We'll put some out in the backyard and have the girls go hunt for them. About fairy babies - please let them not be caterpillars. I shall faint and never like fairies ever again. I think, though, that they are mini-fairies. They may not even have wings when really tiny. I remember reading about them in Enid Blyton books, having nursemaids and perambulators and little milk bottles and everything.

MaryAnne said...

What a fairly wonderland you created! I love the fairy wings, the houses, everything. And thanks for the magic eraser sharpie on laminate tip - I had no idea you could do that!

Vone said...

Great ideas - you are making excited for when my girls get a little older.

Kitten Muffin said...

Thanks for all the lovely words gals.

Catherine, Girl scientists rule! We've done a few science bits on the blog so far, but most of the science playdate stuff we've done isn't on here because we do it with another family with older kids, so it doesn't so much fit the preschool art/craft theme of this blog. If you'd like to know about some of the stuff we've done with science for kids ages about 4 to 8 then please feel free to email me and I'll bend your ear off with overexcitement about kids and science ;)

LiEr, the idea of you fainting at the thought of caterpillar fairy babies really made me chuckle. Looking forward to seeing your Autumnal fairyfest!

By the way, the last shot of the barbie fairy is cracking me up. The 1980s barbie arms on my old doll are slaying me. Beware of the mamma ninja karate fairy! hiiiii-ya!

Leah said...

Wow! I am a recent subscriber to your blog and I LOVE your ideas. These are great. I have a 4.5 year old who will love the houses, butterfly wings, and sparkliness. We may just have to get some Polly Pockets to turn into fairies. Thanks for the great ideas and the free art to use.

Kitten Muffin said...

Hi Leah! Definately keep an eye out for the polly pockets at garage/yard sales. All ours are from garage sales. We've got about ten from three different sales.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

You are soooo fabulous!

Pececito arcoiris said...

You are incredible!! Thank you very much for sharing your ideas.

karin said...

And again you bring us wonderful ideas. I love all the things you do with your children. Very inspiring!

Aylin'in Pastalari said...

We did the butterfly wings for Winx Club dolls with my doughter. She went crazy!!! Thank you so much for such a wonderful idea. :) Lots of love from Istanbul, Turkey.

Valerie said...

Those are sooo cute. I can't wait to show my daughter. I was trying to come up with a fun craft that she would actually use.

PlanningQueen said...

Tweeted about these and they have been very popular on Twitter. Such gorgeous creations.

trixi said...

wow, I think your fairy house idea is amazing.It ticks all the right boxes, you recycle,the kids get to let their imagination run wild and the end product is always going to look great because you start with that great cut out bottle.Really, really like it.

J. Paige said...

So creative! So fun! Your kids are blessed to live in creative heaven. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

What a fabulous idea - this makes me want to do these for myself even more than the kids! I stumbled across your blog and just love all your creative ideas! Very inspiring. I'm adding your blog to my blog's fave list:)

Sandra said...

I cannot begin to say how much I love this. Racing to the curb to beat the recycling truck now...

Amy said...

wow. I'm a new reader. I must say: you are a genius.

Jasmine Johnson said...

I saw this and loved it--ran to the dollar store to get pipe cleaners cause i was out, printed your wings, ran to the basement and got the old bottles, and after helping the kids for about an hour had peace and quiet for the rest of the afternoon and considering it had been raining all week and I have my two (6 and 7) and the step-grandkids (7 and 8) it was well worth the mess. thank you thank you thank you

mama billie said...

Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful creativity! I'm going rummaging for the "fairy project" list right now~ the girls may have to wait a couple of days~ but they will LOVE it!!!! Your girls are so blessed to have your talent & so are we! :) Thanks again! Billie

Crafty Mom said...

WOW!!! Just found your blog through The Crafty Crow. I was quite impressed and intrigued by your fairy houses (love the pipecleaner ladder and the puffy paint), and then you put me over the top when I saw the fairy wings you made for all the tiny dolls!!! I'm off to read your previous posts, they've got to be amazing given this one! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

Pink & Green Mama said...

So fun!! Can we come over and play, my girls want to play fairies with yours and I want to play with your mini laminator!! : )

Joi said...

I am just amazed by this wonderful project! Your children are very lucky to have you for a mom. I cannot wait to save my empty bottles for these.

I found you via The Crafty Crow. I cannot wait to explore your blog more.

Lara said...

I love the fairy wings ideas.
I noticed you wrote about having lots of neat science ideas, could you share them with me as well please? Appreciate the time you spend posting all these neat ideas!
Thanks!

Barb said...

Wonderful ideas, beautifully constructed. Please tell me - HOW in the world do you get the bottles clean of the printing on them?

Barb said...

Oops - forgot to checkmark email follow-up comments.

Kitten Muffin said...

Hm, good point Barb. I guess I was lucky with the bottles we had. The littlest one and the round white one had those shrink wrap plastic labels that you can just cut off, and the big blue one had a label that soaked off in soapy water. The Tropicana bottle was printed onto the plastic, but that was the big hole shape that I cut out of it and the rest was plain white.

Montessori Mama said...

Okay, I've decided you are the most creative, amazing mom I've ever known!
WOW, what lucky children you have!

Lisa said...

i already commented about how great this is, but i wanted to tell you that i gave it a go and blogged about it, too. if you're interested, look here.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, man. I am SOOO glad I found your blog. Great ideas on the fairies!

(I've subscribed to you now. Too bad, you can't get rid of me now!!! Mwah-ha-ha!)

Elizabeth said...

Just posted about the fairy houses we made. Thanks for such great ideas. We enjoyed our rainy day inside for once!
http://sixgoldencoins.blogspot.com/2010/03/flower-fairies.html

Kristin said...

I really wanted to try this out now that my little ladies have Polly Pockets. We don't have a laminating machine, though, so I had to use a bit of creativity. I decided to use your wings as a template to cut the wings from milk jugs. I think they turned out great. Thanks for such a fantastic idea!

youclevermonkey said...

After finding some moss today, I promised my three fairies we'd make a fairy house tomorrow (school holiday here) thinking of your toadstools you'd posted recently but this will complete our play perfectly. Am printing out the wings now so we can get started straight after breakfast :)

Love your work!

sammarei@yahoo.com said...

...catching my breath... hold on... THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!!

maggy, red ted art said...

Just to let you know, I featured you today on "Recycled Get Crafty" - http://www.redtedart.com/2011/01/01/recycled-get-crafty/. Thank you for a fabulous craft idea!

If you like you can grab a Featured button here: http://www.redtedart.com/get-crafty-badges/

Many thanks

Maggy

Luschka @ Diary of a First Child said...

These are BEYOND awesome. WOW! Definitely bookmarking this till my daughter is older!(Found you via REDTEDART's blog.

Tedd and Joanna Szeto said...

Thank you for this wonderful idea. We are SO doing this!!

Tedd and Joanna Szeto said...

Thank you for this idea! We are SO doing this!

Mel M. M. McCarthy said...

Such clever & fun play. All of these beautiful jug house and wing artworks make me wanna be a kid again. Thanks for sharing!

Lightleaf Studio said...

I love your ideas, thanks so so much for sharing. I have a daughter and am crafter, I'll make her fairy houses now I guess. That's great.

Simply Deluscious said...

Wow, these are sensational and the wings, what a fab idea......definitely on my to do list.. Thanks for the inspiration!

playmobil said...

You are very resourceful. Those are very beautiful art works. Kids will really enjoy playing with those.

bioluminescence said...

Thank you! We made these today. My almost 5 yo is still very scribbly so I convinced her to paint the 2nd Barbie pair, inkblot style. Fortunately we were hitting bedtime so she was fine with waiting for them to dry. They are BEAUTIFUL.

Holly Budd said...

So awesome! I love your bottle houses. I Saw them first on Pinterest, without credit to you, and linking to a spam post. So glad to track you down. I have reposted with the proper link to your blog.

Joanne said...

Got to your blog via pinterest and I have to say this the cutest idea and so readily available! I love the fairies!
Blessings, Joanne

Sef said...

Great idea, love the quirky shape of the fairy jug houses! I will look at my bleach and shampoo bottle in a whole new light! Repinning!

arandomharvest said...

You have such great ideas here! I am emailing my DDIL the links for her little ones. ~ Linne

arandomharvest said...

@Catherine Hansen Peart:
If your daughter isn't into dolls, why not have her make a variety of terrariums? She could add insects, found items from a nature walk (or 10) and use her scientific knowledge to add interesting details. For example, one could illustrate the life of a butterfly, beginning with the egg, then on through the caterpillar . . . you get the idea.
Or any other aspect of nature that catches her interest. ~ Linne

Kami said...

I kind of hate you for your artistic ability to hand draw butterfly wings :/ however, Im going to go finish off the juice in the fridge so I can rinse it out and have it dry by morning for my 4 year old to create a fairy house of her own :D Off I go now to see what other brilliant ideas you have!

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing! We did this today, and I have never seen my little girl play so long with anything we've made. What a fabulously fun activity!

Zara said...

Found your blog and your fairy houses via Pinterest. A great idea - thanks for sharing! Made two with my daugthers today and wrote a post about it (in Swedish) with a link to your blog. http://zararooke.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/lekhus-av-plastdunkar/

Trudy Antone said...

If you tape the wing template face out on a window you can trace the opposite side, using a sharpie, to create an identical double sided wing to save a sheet of paper :)