crafting a meaningful little project at a time

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tiny Elf Fairies

Tiny Thread Friends

What fairy garden is complete without little buddies to visit and play?

Just before bed last night, I asked Little Lady how she would know if any fairies or little friends visited the garden while she was asleep? She said, with a sparkly, hopeful look and a smile:

“Well, maybe they’ll still be there when we wake up and we can see them!”

How could I not stay up late to create a couple little friends to greet the Littles in the morning? (Find a tutorial to make your own Tiny Elf Fairy at the end of this post!)

After whipping up these little buddies, I posed them in the garden: Boy was climbing the trees, and Girl was taking a dip in the pool!

Little Lady opened her eyes this morning, called, “Mommy- I’m awake!” and when I entered her room, she popped up and said, “Mom! I wanna check the garden! Did the fairies come?”

Tearing through the house, skidding to a stop: smile, reach, pet, explore- she was tickled to find her new friends! Questions:

“Mommy, where did these come from? Are they fairies or elves? Do they have wings? Did you make these? Are these real live fairies? Can they come to life when we aren’t looking? Can I name her?”

I smiled and nodded along, noncommittal. Her decisions:

“Mom, these look like you made them, but I bet they can come to life when we are sleeping or when we’re not looking. I can’t see her wings, but I bet she can fly. She’s an elf fairy. I think she’s magic, and she likes to dance- see how her skirt twirls? She can jump and swim and do gymnastics too, and she can run really fast in the forest- see her long legs? Look, she can sit in this big seashell and row- it’s her boat. You can tell she’s magical because she has bells on her feet. Why doesn’t she have a face? Oh, I know: she can’t have just one face, she needs lots of faces, and you can’t draw all the faces on the same doll at one time. Now she’s happy- look- she just blinked her eyes and winked at me, Mommy- did you see her?”

And on and on and on…this friend was discovered six hours ago, and she’s been on enough adventures in the house to write her own book already. Beautiful, and so worth the time to craft these moments, to encourage these dreamers!

Make your own Tiny Elf Fairy!


·         2 pipe cleaners

·         1 small wooden bead

·         2 colors embroidery floss

·         2 tiny jingle bells

·         hot glue gun

·         scissors


·         Using one pipe cleaner, bend ends in to touch at center; bend in half at center, making a V shape. Glue the open ends and bend inside of the wooden bead.

·         Using one color of embroidery floss, tie the bells to the looped ends of the pipe cleaner V- these will be the feet.

·         Wrap embroidery floss in a double layer ¾ of the way up towards the bead head- these are the legs.

·         Use half of the other pipe cleaner- fold in the same shape, and wrap around the torso- these are the arms.

·         Wrap each arm in the second color embroidery floss. Wrap up to the head, like a turtleneck shirt, crisscrossing the chest, down around the tummy, crisscrossing the legs, and tie off in the back.

·         For the skirt, use a four inch length of lace. Baste along the top- pull to gather; tie onto the waist, and wrap over with embroidery floss to attach and cover.

·         For the hair, just gather six or seven threads; tie in the middle, and hot glue to the top of the bead. Trim to desired length.

·         Faces: I left my friends’ faces blank so the Littles can imagine the emotions on themselves. A smiling doll is always happy, and sometimes our dolls like to experience different emotions- sometimes they sleep too, and open eyes make it tricky to nap in the garden!  J

·         Safety notes on Tiny Elf Fairy: these will be played with as toys at my house, under my supervision. Any of the tiny parts can become detached, and the pipe cleaners do have pointy wires inside. If you make these friends, take care to monitor their structural integrity before, during, and after play to keep your Littles safe.

Make your own Tiny Buddies!

Wake up and see who came to visit the garden!

"Mommy- LOOK!"

"My little buddy is taking a cool bath with this dinosaur pet!"


  1. These are so simple and cute! Your daughters commentary is the real gift though. I love to hear those realities they imagine. My husband once told my daughter a bedtime story wherein gnomes froze into statues when the sun came out. She immediately took that for explanation of why our garden gnomes only seemed to move during the night. So precious.

  2. Ah- I agree! What gets me is that she doesn't skip a beat: fairy garden? Sure- makes perfect sense, let's make one! Elf fairies sitting there when I wake up? Of course- let's play! It's amazing to watch them construct their reality, pulling from so many sources- I love it!