Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Virtual Advent Calendar Day 1: Felt and Toilet Paper Tube Fairy House Ornament

24 Days Left Until Christmas
Felt and Toilet Paper Tube Fairy Houses
I am so in love with these ornaments!  I can’t stop talking about them to anyone I run into.  In addition to their cuteness, the fairies glow in the dark.  So awesome!

This first installment of the Virtual Advent Calendar was inspired by this project in Spring-Summer 1964 McCall's Needlework & Crafts. 

While not Christmas ornament in the magazine (they were string dispensers), I immediately spotted its yuletide potential.  This is an easy project, and fun.  Plug in that glue gun, gather up your retro supplies, and get ready to build a fairy housing development for your tree.

Supplies Needed:

Tubes—toilet paper, paper towel, wrapping paper, and cardboard tube (I used one from a spool of ribbon)
Felt—a variety of bright colors
Trims, Sequins, Beads for decoration
Plastic Fairies (about 1 inch high) or use other fun miniatures
Thin Cardboard (I used the box from a 12-pack of soda)
Glue Gun

I bought my glow-in-the-dark fairies through a few years ago.  I checked and their current version of this product (Bag ‘o’ Fairies) is out of stock.  I googled "glow in the dark fairies" and there are a few companies out there who still carry these.  If you don’t have fairies, use birds, bugs, gnomes, rabbits, teddy bears, Star Wars figurines, etc.  Whatever you have in miniature form should work.


Step 1:  Cut Tubes.  You can make them whatever size you want.  I cut mine to about 2-2.5 inches.
Step 2:  Cut Door.  Cut a 1 x 1 inch (approximately) square out of the bottom of your 2 inch tube.
Step 3:  Cover with Felt.  Glue felt over the entire tube.  Make sure the seam is in the back!  Glue right over the door; we’ll deal with that next.
Step 4:  Glue Felt around Door.  Cut a “Y” in the felt over the door as shown in the picture.  Put glue on the inside of the tube and fold back the flaps of felt to glue them to the inside.  This will give the door a finished felt edge.

Step 5:  Make the Roof.  Cut a piece of thin cardboard that is slightly wider than the tube;  the length really depends on what you want to do.  A longer piece will result in a higher, steeper roof.  If you don’t like that, then cut it down to a length you think looks good.  Fold this piece in half lengthwise.
Step 6:  Cover the Roof.  Cut a piece of felt that is 1 inch bigger than the roof piece on all sides.  Glue cardboard roof piece into the center of the felt.  Trim corners of felt as shown.  Fold felt over the sides and glue to the other side.  On one of my houses, instead of felt, I used overlapping gold leaf sequins.
Step 7:  Make Gables.  Cut two triangles that fit the pitch of your roof piece.  There is no science to this.  I just kept cutting the triangle until it looked right, then copied it for the other side.  Cover gables with felt.
Step 8:  Make Floor.  Cut out a piece of thin cardboard that is, at least, big enough to cover the bottom of your tube.  You could do a circle, a square, a rectangle....  whatever you want.  I wanted my fairies to be sitting on a porch, so I cut my floor larger than the bottom of the tube.  Cover both sides of shape with felt.
Step 9:  Assemble House.  Glue the roof piece to the top of the tube.  Glue the floor to the bottom.  You now have a little house.
Step 10:  Decorate.  This is the really fun part!  Using your stash of beads, buttons, sequins, trims, etc., decorate the house.  If you are using a miniature figure or two, decide where they should go and glue them on.
Step 11:  Attach Hanger.    I used some beading thread.  You could use nylon thread, fishing line, embroidery floss, etc.  It just needs to be hardy enough to hang without breaking.  I attached mine by taking a few stitches right into the felt on the roof leaving a long tail on each end, then tied the thread at the top to make a loop.  

That’s it!  These houses are addicting.  All I want to do right now is make felt fairy houses.

Cost:  Really super cheap as you probably have everything on hand
Time to Complete:  Each house takes about an hour (or less)
Craft Skill Level:  A really crafty kid could do this with supervision (because of the glue gun); an adult with reasonable motor skills could do it, too. 

See you tomorrow for day 2! Pin It


Janet said...

Holy crap! Those are cute!

Sara from Sara vs. Sarah said...

love them sarah! maybe i've finally found a use for all the toilet paper rolls that audrey insists on collecting! :) Perhaps some houses w/ Thomas on top for my house...

Leslie Armstrong Mills said...

So cute! I have really enjoyed your site, althought it makes me a little sad I don't craft much anymore. That's a shame because I have enough supplies to open my own Michael's- LOL. How do you have the time, Sara, with two kids?
Maybe I can try the ornaments with Lily.
Thanks for sharing such a cute idea!

Sara from Sara vs. Sarah said...

leslie ... hi & thanks! we are having lots of fun here on our crafty website! YES - pull those supplies out and get crafting! I seem to be able to do it mostly when the stars align & they nap at the same time, or late at night after they are in bed. I seem to find my second wind at that time! :-) Take care & hope you are doing well.

Suzzy said...

Adorable houses! I bet these could be made with polymer clay too, if you had the time and the inclination. Could even craft tiny glow in the dark fairies out of polymer clay!

Terry said...

I love the little blue one, how cute they all are tho and then to think they glow in the dark! I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting!

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