Craft Ideas for Kids | Flying Merino Birds
There are times when you are crafting that it feels like a sort of magic has happened - when you look down at your hands and realise that the combination of simple materials and your imagination have created a thing of beauty and wonder. Working with Merino wool feels especially magical. Not only is it incredibly soft but it's almost as if it floats in the air by itself, giving your creations a life of their own.
With one knot and two twists you can turn a piece of wool into an ethereal flying bird.
1. Separate two pieces of wool from your Merino roving, ideally making one a bit shorter than the other. It can be hard to be exact when pulling off bits of Merino but you can always take off extra tufts after.
Tip: If you hold the wool at the point you want it to separate it won't budge, but if you hold it at the end of the roving it will come apart easily. An extra bit of magic that kids will love!
2. Tie a loose knot in the middle of the longer piece of Merino.
3. Place your other piece of Merino across it, lying just underneath the knot.
4. Fold your knotted piece of Merino in half, over the piece you have just placed across it.
5. Separate some of the fibres from the bottom of one side of the Merino which you placed crossways. (These may now be identifiable as your wings!). Wrap these fibres tightly around the folded piece of Merino, for the body of your bird to start to take shape.
Tip: The strands of the fibre usually stick to each other but if they come loose you can tuck them under themselves.
6. Separate some more fibres from the top of one of your wings and wrap them tightly around the body again, just under the knot this time.
(You can do step 6 before step 5 if it feels easier, either is fine).
7. Adjust your bird as necessary, tightening in places and shaping the ends of your wool.
8. Cut a piece of thread which is twice as long as you would like your bird to hang and thread your needle. Take your needle through the top of your bird a bit below the knot, out the other side and then back up again.
Tip: The birds are often top heavy with the knot so you may need to adjust the positioning of your thread, depending on the angle at which you would like your bird to fly.
And... dare I say it... I think this might be the moment where some magic has happened... and so quick and easy! In the blink of an eye a flock may have descended on your lives.
These beautiful birds lend themselves perfectly to making a mobile. We pulled some old Ivy from a tree trunk and wound it round to make a hoop, but a Weaving Loom is a great ready-made option.
Baby's eye view:
Made in White, these birds are perfect as Whitsun Doves for the Nature Table.
After the giddy celebrations of the beginning of May, blazing with colour, warmth and high spirits, Whitsuntide allows us an opportunity to slow down, settle and see things more clearly - as the dove of peace descends.
As our collection of things for the Whitsun Nature Table has grown, with the beautiful crafted items my children have made with their kindergarten teachers each year, our attachment to this festival has grown also.
So calm and soothing, I anticipate that the Whitsun nature table will recur in our home for many years to come. I hope that in time it will graduate from an aesthetic experience for my children to a consciousness of the flames burning bright within each of us, and reflection upon how we can keep spirits alive whilst working together for peace.