Saturday, May 23, 2015

Felt Fairy Houses and Crafting for a Cause

Hi friends! Sorry it's been so long. May somehow just picks up speed and is over before I know it! Anyway, I've been keeping out of trouble by staying busy with some fun craft projects. Remember when we made the flower fairies? Well, my sister just returned from a trip to Brazil, where she meet a whole bunch of sweet kiddos that a friend of ours has been getting to know over the past couple of years. These kids are living a very different reality than our kids. I had just showed her these little dolls, and my sis thought that these would be a great way for us to show the girls that we were thinking of them (from afar) and to remind them that they are loved. (We made stuff for the boys too, I'll post about that later).


We are sending them with this verse, and reminder:
 Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?  
          Luke 12:27-29 (The Message)

Our message to them, and to you, is this: you are more beautiful to God than the most exquisite flowers. Flowers are here today and withered tomorrow, and God still made them beautiful to behold. YOU are beautiful and YOU are precious to Him. 


So a few friends and my mom helped make a tiny army of flower fairies and then I decided that every doll could use a little house. So I made up a quick, easy, and cheap little house...and then we made 30 of them! Wanna make one for your favorite little person? Here's how:


Here's what you'll need:
  • 3 sheets of felt (1 for the house, 1 for the roof, 1 for the door, or just a scrap in another color)
  • hot glue and glue gun 
  • colorful buttons
  • green and black puffy paint
You can buy the felt at craft stores like hobby lobby, by the "sheet" they are $ 0.25 You can be creative and use any colors you'd like (see the Frozen house, below). For the houses we sent to Brazil, I used 1 piece of brown/tan and one piece of grey for the roof and then some colorful scraps of colors I had on hand for the doors. Start by folding the brown felt in half, hamburger style. I just line up the edges and hold them together, then slip the scissors into the fold. Stretch while you cut and you should get an even cut every time. Then you can either sew the short sides together, or hot glue them together about 1/8" from the edge, if you want this to be completely no-sew. 

Turn the felt inside out to put the seams on the inside. Then you can glue on a felt piece for a door, and one for a door mat (this helps the house stand up better). I used buttons to make a doorknob and flowers, and fabric paint (puffy paint) to make some flower stems and grass.


After that dried for a couple hours, I flipped it over and made a window with black puffy paint on the back. Almost done!


For the roof, you can measure out a circle about 8" in diameter. I actually traced a small (dessert size) paper plate with about an extra 1/2" around the outside and found this was the perfect size.Then fold the circle in half, and cut through just one layer to the middle.


To give the roof a little peak, put hot glue on one edge of the slit you just made in the roof and along about 2" of the perimeter. Over-lap by about 2 inches and press down to join the sides.

To connect the house to the roof: Place the roof top-side down on a table.  Run a line of hot glue around about 1/3 of the top outside edge of the house, then turn it upside-down onto the roof about 1/2 inch from the roof edge and press it onto the roof from inside of the house. Then hot glue around the rest of the top outside edge of the house and press it down from the inside. Here's what it should look like, as you are looking inside the house from the bottom. The top of the house forms a little lip on the inside and then looks nice and smooth on the outside. (I hope this makes sense!)


Finally, cut through the house along two sides of the door: the doorknob edge and top of the door. Now your door opens, and you have a little house! Ta da! I hope the kids receiving them will like them, and that the dolls will remind them they are indeed beautiful. 


Like I said at the top you can use different colors to make different kinds of houses.  If you want your fairy house to look like a tree stump, you could try using brown for the house and green for the roof. When my boys saw all the little play houses I we were making, they wanted one too. Since we made a little Elsa peg doll, I decided we probably should make a Frozen castle. I did snowflakes and swirls in white and glow-in-the-dark, so this one actually glows in the dark, which Thing Two really likes. :) 


If you'll indulge me a have just a few rambling thoughts to end with.

Sometimes it's hard to think about the very difficult circumstances that people (and especially children) are living in both near and far. We live our easy and fun-filled lives; playing and crafting and baking. While so many are struggling to just survive. I think this all the time when I'm scrolling through Pinterest. I follow moms and friends and bloggers on Pinterest, but I also follow some amazing non-profits and ministries working in difficult places around the world. So I see things like :
"Fluffiest Cupcake Recipe" and "100 Fun Activities for Your Summer Bucket List" 
right along side: 
"Victor lives in Guatemala and has been waiting for a sponsor for 256 days" and " Our teams are working with earthquake survivors to provide clean water and tarps." 

How do we reconcile these things? Right there next to each other. Extreme privilege, and extreme poverty. Hobbies and heart break. I don't know. I do know that I want to see the poverty, I don't want to forget about it. I need to be reminded, so I don't get wrapped up in my own world. I think we always have the opportunity to use our talents and the things we enjoy for others. Sometimes it's just finding a way to connect the dots. If you love crafting and want to help kids around the world, you might want to check out Craft Hope. Years ago Jade had these same thoughts. What if we could combine a passion for crafting/hand-making things, with the desire to make a difference in the world? That is just what she does at crafthope.net. She has led campaigns to send super hero capes to kids fighting life-threatening diseases, quilts and comfort items for orphans in the slums of Kenya, dresses for girls in Mexico, and finger puppets to orphans in India (to name a few). She's always starting a new project, and it's awesome to see the results of so many creative people pulling together to make a difference. 

I think these little fairies and houses would be perfect to fit into an Operation Christmas Child Box. There's lots of opportunities to craft for a cause. It's a heartfelt, tangible way to give. What a privilege. 

The way to be happy is to make others so. 
- Robert G. Ingersoll

Thanks for reading. See you soon, friends!

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