autumn

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Little woodland fairy box tutorial

Posted by on 11 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: autumn, kids' crafts, tutorial, wooden toys

Well, our sunny, warm weather is starting to turn cool again. Just as we’ve been spoiled with a taste of spring, almost summer, really, we’re back to expecting a wintry mix on Friday. I wouldn’t mind if it were real snow again, but I guess I can’t expect another one of those any time in the next decade. Instead, it will be just yucky enough to keep us inside. Sounds like time for a little crafting.

Here’s the little box I made for our little friend’s fairies — it’s so easy, a child could easily make it, as long as an adult handled the hot glue gun!

Fairy box with mushroom chairs and table

Supplies:

1 large wooden spool
1 wooden circle to serve as tabletop
3 small wooden spools
3 small wooden circles for the seats
small wooden box
acrylic paints in cream, white, red, browns and greens
paintbrushes
hot glue gun

Step 1:
Paint the spools a cream color, and the circles red (you may need a couple of coats of red for good coverage). Once the tops are dry enough, paint little white dots in varying sizes on the red. Paint it on rather thickly, though you may still need two coats to hide the red.

Painted mushroom chair and table parts

While they dry, blend two or more shades of green together, not mixing so they are uniform, just enough so you’ll get some of each color on your paintbrush with each stroke. Paint the top of the box green.

I used a dark brown to paint the bottom of the box, using a thin enough coat that the grain of the wood still showed through a bit. Alternately, you could go back through with a lighter shade of brown to add some details such as knots or shadings in the bark.

Painted fairy box

Step 2:
Once the pieces have dried, hot glue the tops of the seats and table to their corresponding spools. Place them onto the top of the wooden box, spacing them as you would like, but making sure the fairies would have enough room to balance on the stools without the table getting in the way. Hot glue the table and stools into place.

Step 3:
I rubbed some natural beeswax polish onto the chairs and table for a little added durability.

Applying beeswax varnish to painted surfaces

You’re done! Well, almost. Be sure to make some sweet little fairies and add a nice little scrap of fabric for them in their little woodland home bed!

Fairies in their box

Fairies on their chairs

Saying goodbye to the fall nature table

Posted by on 04 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: autumn, nature table

I first read about nature tables when my daughter was just a baby.  I fell in love with the concept of a beautiful little spot indoors that reflected the changing of the seasons and I always had the best intentions of creating one for our family.  As each season arrived I’d find myself unprepared, until finally last summer, as my daughter turned four, I decided to craft a season ahead.  I stalked craigslist until I found the perfect corner shelf, whose lower shelves even the baby could reach, but whose upper shelves would be safe from little fingers.  I pushed aside my guilt over not having a spot for beautiful seashells and other summer treasures, and instead focused on fall.

2008 Fall Nature Table

2008 Fall Nature Table Detail

We have so very much enjoyed our nature table over the last few months.  It’s in the corner of our dining room and often the subject of much attention during the day.  Preschool fall art projects surrounded it, and it amassed quite a collection of pinecones under it from the tree in our front yard.

Winter’s arrival, during the busy holiday season, left me once again unprepared, with little to put on a winter nature table.  Luckily, a bleak nature table is not an entirely inaccurate reflection of the season, so I was just left with the task of putting away our little autumn treasures until next year.

Fall Nature Table Box

I took an unfinished wooden box and painted the bottom brown.  I mixed up my own decoupage mixture with glue and just a little water and used some fall leaf napkins to decorate the top and sides of the box.  It didn’t turn out quite as I had intended.  I should have either been more careful, by making sure the napkin pieces met to create whole leaves, or less careful, by having random bits at odd angles.  The flash of the camera highlighted the glue around the leaves on the sides of the box, but that’s not nearly as noticeable as it appears in the picture.  In any case, it will do to house our little treasures until next fall.

Fall Nature Table Box Contents

We have a couple more little things to add to our winter nature table, but I should be able to share some pictures of it in the next day or two.  And then in February, I’ll start the spring nature table crafting!  Bleak won’t cut it for spring!