Sunday, March 25, 2018

How to make a Fairy Basket from an Acorn Cup

This tutorial was originally posted exactly five years ago.  How time flies!  I'm in miniature making mood, and I still love making these little baskets at Eastertime. I thought I would reshare it, in case you feel like joining me.

I’m slouched behind my computer, supposed to be concentrating on  work.  But somehow my mind only wants to wander today…  It is autumn in the Southern hemisphere, and staring through my studio window, I see that the trees are loaded with acorns.  Which makes me think of squirrels and hoarding things for winter.  Which makes me wonder what the fairies are harvesting right now?  And what are they using to bring the harvest home in?  Which brings me back to acorns.  Acorn cups specifically.  Wouldn’t an acorn cup make just the perfect gathering basket for a fairy?  So, let’s drop what we are doing and go help the fairies make some baskets to bring in the harvest!

Here is what you will need:
Acorn cups, duh, can’t do anything without those.
Something to make a handle with.  Materials that would work well—a platted pine needle, a pliable twig, a snip of wire, a sprig of grass, a scrap of ribbon or string.
If you want your basket to stand, you will need to sand the bottom flat, or glue a small button, metal washer or a flattened ball of polymer clay to the base.
Line the basket to cushion a fragile load.  Use materials that a fairy would typically choose—moss, tiny feathers, a scrap of lace or fabric, cat hair. Huh?  Just checking to see if you are still paying attention :-)

Constructing the basket:
Start by making the base of the acorn cap flat so that it can stand.  You can do this by rubbing the base over sandpaper, or by gluing a small button, metal washer or flattened ball of baked polymer clay to the base.

If you prefer a more finished and durable look, varnish your acorn cup.
Glue the handle to the sides of the acorn cup.  My handles are made from wire, platted pine needles, twisted polymer clay, ribbon and rope.  If you are using wire or rope, you could drill two small holes to put the ends of the handle through the acorn cup instead of gluing it.  I made a polymer clay grip for the wire handle.

Advice when platting pine needles:
These make the most natural looking basket handles, but they require a bit of patience to assemble.  I like to use dry pine needles, because of the natural brown colour.  Soak the pine needles in water for a few hours before starting, this will make them pliable and less prone to breaking.
Tape the end of the pine needle to your work surface with masking tape, and put a pin through it to stop it from pulling out.  Carefully and tightly plat the pine needle.  Rub over the platted length after every few twists to make sure that it is lying flat.  When you get to the end, tape the needles down with a second piece of masking tape, and leave in position to dry. 
I find it easier to glue one end of the basket handle to the acorn cup and let it dry, then cut to length and glue the other end.

Line the basket:
I used a variety of linings—moss in the wire handle basket, feathers in the baskets with pine needle handles, lace with the ribbon handle, and knitting wool fluff to resemble raffia and moss in the basket with rope handle and basket with polymer clay handle.
As you can see, some baskets have a more naturalistic look, and others are more colourful. 

Tip for lining material:
Some wool shops have an amazing variety of chenille and boucle knitting wool.  It can be unravelled or snipped into tiny pieces to make moss and raffia to line your acorn baskets.  Chenille sticks (pipe cleaner) also come in a variety of colours.  Use small sharp scissors to cut off the fluff and use it to line your baskets.
Fill the baskets with goodies and drop off at the Fairy Depot.  Here are some ideas to get you started.


22 comments:

  1. These ar soooo cute baskets, incredible! Thank you for showing, Best wishes, Susanne

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  2. Thanks for the tutorial. Your baskets are wonderful. I have shared a link in my Facebook page, Away With The Fairies. Hope that's OK?

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    1. Thank you so much Tilly! I'm a follower of your FB page. We need more fairy stuff in the world.

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  3. Love these...can't wait to try it! Thank you!

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    1. Had a look at all your beautiful Fairy stuff on Etsy. Love your work!

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  4. Brilliant! Thank you very much for the great instructions! I'm definitely going to make some of these!

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    1. Thank you. Even after several years, I like to make a few at Easter. Such fun little things to give away.

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  5. ¡Fantásticas Megan! me han encantado, gracias por compartirlo :-)

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    1. Thank you for liking them! I hope that you will make some too.

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  6. These tiny baskets are too cute, Megan, thanks for sharing!
    Hug, Ilona

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    1. Thank you Ilona. I'm sure you could make one and fill it with flowers.

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  7. What super cute baskets! I am saving this post for a future project. It is supposed to be spring here, but my heater is still coming on enough to remind me how cold it still is outside. I don't want to think how quickly fall will be here again! Enjoy yours - I am sure you are welcoming cooler weather!

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    1. Thank you, Jodi! Yes, the cooler weather here is bliss. We never have much of spring. It goes from cold and dry to hot and dusty and windy, with rains only starting much later. But autumn always seems to linger and the days are beautiful.
      Ideal crafting weather!

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  8. Hello Mega,
    This is great! what a clever idea and such lovely baskets in the end.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Wow, that is twice this morning I spelled your name wrong in a comment...I give up! More coffee!

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    2. Big hug back Giac! I love the spelling variations, ha ha!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this tutorial once more with us... one can never have enough baskets, especially when so cute and original as yours.

    Greetings
    Birgit

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    1. Thank you Birgit. Maybe you can make a few for your little bears!

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