How to Make a Fairy Doll
Fairies are enchanting to all children. Because they're mythical creatures, fairy dolls can be as imaginative and as original as you like, with hair of any colour and clothing of any style and fabric. Make a fairy doll with a soft body, hair of brushed embroidery floss, a dress of soft light organza, wreaths of flowers and leaves and wings of wire, tissue paper, and feathers. Use your child's favourite colours to make her fairy doll.
Draw your fairy doll's body by making a paper pattern. The body can be simple since you'll add definition later. Cut out your pattern, lay it on ivory-coloured cotton, and trace it onto the fabric. Cut two pieces of material.
Assemble the body by turning right sides together and pinning the two pieces of fabric to each other. Using needle and thread, stitch all around, leaving about an inch and a half open on one side. Turn the doll inside out. Stuff with quilt batting, using the eraser end of a pencil to push stuffing inside narrow arms and legs. When the doll is filled with stuffing, sew up the last inch.
Make a simple knee-length A-line dress for your fairy doll with the organza or other light material. Trace around the doll's body to make a pattern on paper, leaving a half-inch all around. Leave a hole for the head and arms. Cut out the pattern, trace it onto fabric, and cut out the fabric in two pieces. Lay the pieces on top of the doll to be sure the dress will fit. Pin them together, turn it inside out, and sew up the sides and shoulders. When you're done, turn the dress right side out. Slip it on over the doll's head. Pin it to her shoulders to hold it in place.
Sew a small piece of pipe cleaner through the back of the fairy's dress to her body to anchor her wings. Make wings by shaping thin wirelike simple butterfly wings as in the pattern. Trace the wire wings onto tissue paper. Cut out the tissue wings, cover the wire to make sure they fit, and glue the tissue in place. Allow time for drying. Attach small store-bought feathers to the edges of the wings by gluing them to the tissue paper. When the wings are dry, sew them to the pipe cleaner centre to hold them in place.
Make your fairy doll's hair using embroidery floss or yarn. Thread the floss or yarn through a needle. Make a row of knots along the top of the doll's forehead to hold the hair in place, cutting the ends to make the hair as long as you want. Once you've covered the top of the head with knots, use an old brush to brush out the strands of hair gently until they're fluffy. Brushing yarn and floss over and over thickens it and gives it substance. When you're done, use hairspray to make the hair sticky and sprinkle it with glitter.
Turn your fairy doll into a forest fairy using tiny strands of ivy and miniature silk flowers. Make a wreath small enough to fit the top of her head. Cut the ends and lay the wreath in place, tucking it under her hair to secure it. Take a long strand of mini ivy and wrap it around her dress, starting at her shoulder and changing direction as it wraps around. Tuck tiny silk flowers in among the ivy leaves.
Make her face either by drawing simple features with a pen or marker, or use embroidery thread to stitch on simple knotted eyes, a single stitch nose, and a straight-stitch smile.
Make woodland slippers by cutting ivy leaves off the stem and gluing them to the bottoms of her feet. Let the tendrils curve upward over the top of her feet.
Give your fairy doll a braid instead of leaving her hair loose. Use your imagination to decorate your doll. If you like a certain flower, use those in the design. Choose colours like purple, pink, yellow and green for woodland fairies.
- Illustrations by Karen Frisch