In this week's So Many Fairies story, “The Magic in Ward 4”, Little Suzie must spend a few weeks in the hospital. What’s worse, because of her illness, she must stay in a room by herself. But she hears from one of the nurses that magical things can happen in this particular children’s ward, and—if she pays attention—she might discover them, too.
Suzie does pay attention, and, one night, a small man comes into her room and begins polishing her window, making the moonlight coming through it sparkle. His “fairy brightening and magic dusting” is just the start of the magic.
This week's craft project—a beaded light catcher—isn't a magic polish, but it will transform the light coming in your window into beautiful colors. What's more, it would be a great boredom buster for a kiddo who's feeling under the weather.
This light catcher will end up prettier if you use beads that are a bit eclectic, so this is a great time to use up a few beads leftover from another project or the leftover pieces of that broken necklace. I even raided my button stash.
Just two quick things to keep in mind:
First, make sure you encourage your kids to mix heavier beads with lighter beads on each strand, so that the weight is evenly distributed at the end.
Second, if you're working with pre-schoolers, think about getting larger beads (and maybe using a blunt yarn needle and sock weight yarn to string them) to compensate for younger kids' not-quite-as-developed dexterity. Whatever combination of beads and string you use, they key is to make sure the needle will fit through the holes in the beads. As long as that works, you'll be golden!
Or sparkly. Or rainbow. Or whatever other lovely colors you decide to string together!
Rainbow Beaded Light Catcher
Beads, buttons, or any other small, bright baubles that can be strung together
Several colors of embroidery floss
Cross-stitch (blunt) needle
One (more or less) straight stick
Baking sheet (To use as a tray to help contain the beads. Optional, but recommended!)
Cut a piece of embroidery floss to about the length of your arm. To be sure the floss will go through the beads, divide it in half so that you're only working with three strands. Then, thread the floss through the needle.
Choose a large bead to tie to the end of the floss. This will act as a stopper to keep the rest of the beads from falling off. Then, string on your beads. While you can make the bead strands as long as you like, I found that they started to get heavy and unwieldy after about 12-16 inches of beads.
When you've finished stringing your beads, remove the floss from the needle, and wrap the floss a few times around the stick before tying a knot to hold it in place.
Repeat this process with more strands of floss and beads, until your light catcher is as full as you'd like it to be. Then, tie an undivided length of floss (so, use all six strands) to both ends of the stick, to make a hanger.
Put your light catcher in a bright window and enjoy the sparkly light!
--- If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.