Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Making Fairy and Rainbow Bowers

After talking with my friend Erin lately, I have been thinking of some of the Imaginative and Creative things we have made in our home. I was saying how I was going to do a birthday planning post and how we make crowns etc.
I had never thought this worthy of a post as I said to Erin 'they are just so easy to do, I thought everyone would know how to make them."

As she scoffed at my words I thought about some of the things we have made and our children have really enjoyed and wanted to share our "Fairy Bowers."
As these were pre-blog days I have no pictures to go along with the making stages but will try to explain how we made them.
They really are very easy to do and very inexpensive as well, especially when you consider the amount of use they have.

We have over the years tried to ensure our children had access to many imaginative and creative play materials.
We have always tried to encourage outdoor play and less TV watching and certainly less Computer games. I have a very big dislike to computer games especially (as our children will testify) I really believe the link between creative play and computer games is huge.

I know when the children play these games, and here I must say, I absolutely, positively almost always say no to our 10 year old and under on these, I notice they play other imaginative games a whole lot less.

I have seen too that they younger ones need a little more help in this area, I have my ideas on this but that is another post altogether.

So when I saw these wonderful fairly bowers for children at least 10 years ago. I knew we had to have one, or more, ( I never believe in just one of anything like this) for our children.
Now at that stage , as it seems typical for us, I knew we couldn't afford to import one from the US and I knew no real reason I couldn't attempt to make one for our children.
It seemed a lot of work at the time and I am not that great a sewer but I have seen our children play with these almost every day and therefore worth every bit of effort I put into making them.
These are the two original ones I made.
I bought 2 different coloured mosquito nets from Spotlight for about $10 each. I then bought some dark green netting for the cut out triangles at the top of our "Fairy Bower". I also bought ribbon and some flowers.
I simply cut the netting into triangles of different lengths and sewed them around the top of the wire circle at the top, overlapping them as I went. Then I hand sewed on the different flowers and leaves from artificial flowers at Spotlight again.

I than plaited three different coloured ribbons (it is really hard to see, I couldn't find a close up photo of this part) and sewed them to the top to hang down over the opening, purely for decoration as well as another pair sewn at the sides of the bower to tie back the opening.
Our "Pink Princess Bower" was actually unadorned for quite some time, although it still got played in as well.
For this bower we (well actually Eden finally made this one) cut out different satin colours into triangles again and sewed them to the circle and then just sewed on some ribbon bows.
They really are so simple to make.
The children have created so many different scenarios of games and either by themselves or together.
Somewhere (on another computer) we have this exact same photo of Vellvin, instead of Moran, having set up the play stands, table and chairs and dolls and Princess bower to play the game exactly the same.
They are a classic play resource in our home.
As they get so much use along with our play stands that we have had even longer. The bowers get draped over the play stands to make houses with a lot more room. Because of this they are starting to get rips up the side of the netting. We have mended them to allow full play with them again but they are starting to look shabby.
When I was at Spotlight last week I happened to see this beautiful rainbow coloured mosquito net. At the bargain price of $25 I couldn't refuse. I did not even need t add embellishments as it has netting draping at the top and little crystals as well.
Of course it was put into immediate use on our "Kid's Veranda" and new games were played in it.
Moran, Corbyn, Myfffwyn and Arwen were the first to dress up and play 'families' in it
You may notice that Arwen is sitting in the manger that Saxon made last December for our Advent activities. You will see how much Arwen has grown compared to then.
Of course you have to have a book in your "Rainbow Bower"...... we never go anywhere with out books.
Here you can see the Rainbow bower draped over the play stands , much as I described earlier.

I hope you have enjoyed this little post on how we use these in our home and perhaps will find a use for them in your own as well ♥
If for some reason I have not been clear please let me know and I will try to help!



The Watts Family said...

that looks like wonderful juice for the imagination there!! thanks for sharing those are beautiful any child would feel inspired to imagine by those indeed~ Blessings Love Heather

Erin said...

Scoff hey?;) Although I've seen in person it's great to see the pics again. You are so creative.

Gardenia said...

Gae, these are beautiful. I'm redecorating my daughter's room in fairies, and this would be beautiful over her bed, or maybe in a play area. where did you get the wire circle, or did you make it? maybe a wire wreath form? also, how do you tehter the fairy bower to the ceiling? with a hook into the ceiling? do you attach wires to the wire circle and have them come to a point at the top and then just hook to a ceiling hook? I'll check back. thanks! so lovely.

Gae said...

Dear Gardenia,
It really is very simple the wire circle is part of the net.
It is a complete item apart from the embelishments you want to add.
If you look carefully at the rainbow bower all collapsed in the photo you can see the inbuilt wire circle. Also ther is a loop at the top to hang it from.
As ours are out on the verandah we have just tied rope to it and tied it over the rafters.
When we had them inside we used a hook that you use to hang pot plants up with. They have like a three prong part that goes into the ceiling to not let it pull out.
They are quite strong as well. We have a net over our bed and the children have all pulled on it even though they are not supposed to, and it has not come out at all.
I hope this has answere your questions. If not just ask again.♥
I would love to see your makeover of the room when you are done. It sounds so exciting.☺

Judy Dudich said...

Simply fabulous!

Gardenia said...

thanks Gae. You've answered all my Q's. I know exactly the ceiling hooks you are talking about too.


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