Snowflake Fairies Tutorial

Snowflake Fairy with Face

In between chilly outings, when we’re inside warming up, is a wonderful time to appreciate the beauty of winter. Paper snowflakes are festive and look lovely decorating windows and our family cuts beautiful snowflakes every year.  Here is a project for making lovely snowflake fairies to flutter and dance in the air. Hang them over a heating vent to see them blow about, just like a real, falling snowflake.

Note: Some Waldorf educators recommend that you not make needle-felted figures and animals in the presence of young children, who may find the action of repeatedly needling the woolen bodies to shape them somewhat disturbing.



  • coffee filter
  • chenille stems
  • needle and thread
  • scissors
  • wool batting
  • needle-felting needle and pad

IMG_9664 IMG_9665

Start by forming the skeleton of your fairy. Cut your chenille stem in half. Twist a loop into the center of one half; this is your fairy’s head with arms attached. Fold the other half over (body and legs). Then put one leg of the folded chenille stem through the loop. The two pieces are now interlocked. About an inch farther down, where the pelvis of the figure would be, twist again to make two legs. You should now have a wire “stick figure” like you see in the right photo above. Fold the smallest possible bit of wire over at the end of each limb, to form tiny hands and feet and keep the cut wire from poking anyone.


Take a small bit of wool roving, roll it into a ball, and insert it into the loop of the figure’s head. Then wrap a bit more roving around the head and begin to needle it in place into an attractive head shape.


Using very small bits of wool, wrap around the figure’s body and arms. I find making a crisscross of wool that goes from shoulder to waist in both directions to be a good method. Needle this wool until it’s firm and stationary. The fairy’s arms may need more needling than the body to make them graceful and slender.


Now add a bigger fluff of wool to create a woolen petticoat. You can either allow the fairy’s feet to show below the fluffy skirt, or make the skirt extend below the feet.


Fold a white, circular coffee filter into quarters or eighths and cut a snowflake. Cut a very small tip off the snowflake and unfold it.


This is the only tricky part: Gently guide your fairy’s head through the center hole in your snowflake. Go slowly to avoid tearing the paper. If the head won’t fit through the hole, refold the snowflake and cut the tip just a tiny bit more to widen the hole and fit the head through.

Snowflake Fairy in Progress

You have a choice now. You can either put the fairy’s arms through holes in your snowflake (if you have such holes) to make a dress (see above), or you can gently move one arm at a time up through the neck hole of the snowflake to make it a skirt instead of a dress. This part is not unlike carefully dressing a small child, except your fairy will wiggle less.


Next, use another chenille stem and form a circle. Twist the two ends together to seal the circle. Then twist the circle into a figure eight. These are your fairy’s wings. Use a bit of wool to tack the wings onto the fairy’s back. Now give your fairy some white hair, and allow it to flow over the center of her back where the wings meet the back.

Snowflake Fairy with Belt

If you made a dress, you might wish to belt it with a ribbon, bit of string, or a braid of wool roving.

Snowflake Fairy with Up-do

Here is a fairy with a skirt. You can give your fairy a fancy hairdo, if you like, by coiling wool into a bun and needling it onto her head. You can also add a face using tiny bits of color needled in for eyes and a mouth (as seen in the top photo). The fairies are adorable either way.

Snowflake Fairies

Now, you can make more snowflake fairies and hang them near each other to dance in the air, or display them with other snowflakes.

 Snowy Garland wih Snowflake Fairies

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Snow Days


We were on a school vacation last week, and Ian carved a few days off his work week. So we were able to leave town for one of our delicious, infrequent snow vacations.



We had a new family member along with us this time. I fell even more in love with Solstice. What an intrepid snow dog he is!





I love to see my children roaming, to see them march off on their own mission in whatever direction they choose. I love to see them free.








We had plenty of time for games and new hobbies, and that was enchanting, too.













What more can I say? It was perfect.

Dear Asher: Fifth Birthday Letter

{This letter was started on January 31, worked on again February 24, and finished today, February 28.}


Dear Asher,

Happy birthday, my love! You are 5-years-old! You are so very excited to be 5 now. Every day for the last week I had to tell you how many sleeps until your birthday.

So let me paint a little picture about you and your life right now. You are the most precocious child, always chatting and singing through nearly every moment. You tell wonderful and hair-raising stories to anyone who will listen, especially about Earthland and your adventures there, your pet dragons of various breeds, the battles you engage in to save the world, and your wife Jennifer, who is having a baby with you. (This development is very recent.) The baby is a boy and his name is Morlassus. I hope to hear more about Jennifer and Morlassus.

You are very much at home in the Red Rose Kindergarten at our Waldorf school. Your teachers both adore you and you seem rather popular. Yesterday you told me that there are two girls who are in love with you, but since you were being discreet, you only told me the first sound of their names. What a gentleman you are. Lucas promptly guessed the girls’ names, and you eagerly confirmed he was right.  It seems that you have many friends that you run around with on the playground. I hear a lot about Elijah, Lilly, Enzo, Landon, and of course, Noah, and many others. It’s fun to watch your world expanding to include new people. When I’ve had the privilege of watching your class during circle time, I’ve been delighted to see that you enjoy the songs and movements so much. You pay attention and participate with joy. You love to clown with your buddies.

Asher and N

I hear more about battling from you than I remember hearing from your brother when he was your age. I don’t know if that’s part of being a younger sibling, for your interests tend toward the more mature things your brother likes.

At home, you and Lucas spend a lot of your free time together. Usually you get along pretty well, although now that you are older, the two of you fight more often. When you do, there’s all kind of shouting and often tears. I think you work very hard to get your point across and, in the long run, I think this is good for you. You stick up for yourself well; you push back when he’s trying to control or manipulate you. You are possessive of your things and sometimes don’t like being told how to play with them, which Lucas often does. At other times, you are happy to let him lead your games and imagination play. When the two of you work together, and allow each other space to create, you can be so agreeable and amazing—magical things happen in your minds. That part is fun to watch quietly, out of the corner of my eye so you don’t catch me. Together you are making up your own language, which as far as I can tell involves both of you making up words and Lucas correcting yours. You both enjoy hatching and training creatures and playing with your pet dragons.


February 24

Mama-made Dragon Hat

Asher, I can’t believe how much time has passed since your birthday. Here it is almost a month later and I still haven’t finished this letter. I’ll continue to try to paint a picture of who you are now.

Face Paint Crayons: Dragon Boy

At 5, you are formidable. You are confident and brave. You seem to know what you want and what you’re about most of the time. Although you often happily follow in your brother’s footsteps, you also sometimes pursue your own path with a kind of determination and certainty that I deeply admire.

You talk constantly. When you’re not talking, you are singing or jibber-jabbering in a steady stream-of-consciousness narrative.  I love to hear you singing, and I think you have a beautiful voice. Sometimes you and Lucas will sing together; he takes the low parts and you take the high and you weave your music together in a spontaneous and exciting way. You seem to have an instinct for it. I confess I sometimes find it hard to think in the midst of all your music-making. But I know you are processing your world, changing it through the power of your words, figuring out how things work, and joyfully plucking from it all the wacky humor and opportunities for fun as possible.

You also tell lots of stories. You enjoy tricking people, so you now tell stories that aren’t true in the hopes that people will believe you and you can have a giggle. And sometimes, I think you believe your stories yourself. The line between reality and fantasy is, well, rarely observed and certainly never hard and fast. You have been known to doorbell ditch, both from the outside and the inside of the house, by which I mean that you will knock on a hard surface until an adult goes to answer the door, only to find no one there.

Light Saber Battle

For fun, you love to play with LEGOs and building spaceships is your specialty. You also enjoy blocks, but choose them less frequently nowadays. Once in a while you pick up a stuffed animal or your little Waldorf house elf Miko and play and play. When Lucas is home, you two enjoy “fighting” or “training” in martial arts. Lucas has convinced you that he is in fact a martial arts ninja master, and you are his willing and obedient student. He’s even got you calling him Master within the context of your game. Sometimes this play is relaxed and groovy, and you both enjoy it a lot. Other times, the sparring can lead to hurts. You were both given lightsabers for Christmas, and you love to battle each other in the evening, when the lightsabers glow beautifully in the darkness. Basically, you and Lucas are best friends and brothers, which is something special, I think—you compete, fight, and play with each other; you stick up for and cover for each other; and you learn from each other constantly. I often watch with wonder at how you interact, knowing that you’re both learning so much and gaining so much by being brothers. It’s marvelous.


We’re at the cabin in Tahoe for a family vacation now. Today, I watched you playing in the snow with great vigor and enthusiasm—never mind that it’s been two years since we came to play in the snow. You rambled through the woods near the cabin, enjoying your freedom and time to explore. You threw snowballs at your brother and didn’t mind when you got hit yourself. You never got too cold or out of sorts. I love to let you and your brother roam. Opportunities to do so safely are fewer than I would wish. To see you tromping through the woods, following your nose or the fairies or whatever it is that pulls you onward is a wonderful thing.



February 28

Blade and Shortbow

Your latest obsession is Dungeons and Dragons. You now talk about it constantly. We probably should have held off on this for a few years, but as your brother is the perfect age for this kind of role playing and you absolutely will not be left out, we have compromised. Daddy is a wonderful DM. He has painted miniatures for your characters according to your descriptions of them and he is creating quests for you and Lucas that are good for you, requiring that your characters work together as friends and companions. I like this, for it’s a way of exercising your imaginations in cooperative ways instead of competitive ones. Once, many years ago, a friend told me how to raise brothers, for he himself was raising two boys in a way quite opposite how his own parents raised him and his brother. He said, “You must find ways to make your boys work together, even if that means they strive against you, the parent, as a team. Avoid all situations where your boys are striving against each other. That is how to foster brotherhood and closeness in your sons.” I’ll never forget that, and my heart tells me he is right.

Anyway, you are currently playing D&D as a “dorf” named Shortbow, which may be the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. You are beardless, because you don’t care for beards, and you are an adult. Not a child. Not a teenager. You like to inject all sorts of things into the story Daddy is telling during a game.


You have great new skills now. You can snap your fingers. You can throw a mean snowball. You recently braved the two-wheel bike (with training wheels) and Lucas gave you his old bike for your birthday. You ride it often on our street now, while Lucas rides his bike or his scooter. You seem to like the speed you can achieve now. You also can hop on one foot quite a distance and you can count pretty well up to 30, missing a few numbers along the way. Same with your alphabet, but we’re not worrying about that. I think it is rather funny that your interest in letters has come mainly from the kids on the playground. (Take that, Doubters. Waldorf kids not pushed will learn their letters and numbers in their own time, probably in Kindergarten.) And of course, you pay attention to your brother writing and practicing his spelling words. One of my favorite sights is seeing you both absorbed in a book or writing away in your own blank notebooks. A few days ago you wrote an entire page of “spells” in crisp, neat, blocky, made-up scribble letters. I love them.

I can go on and on, of course, for you are endlessly fascinating to me. I love you completely and I’m so proud of you.




Top 10 Winter Books for Children

The Story of the Snow Children

Here are our Top 10 Winter Books for Children. These are our tried-and-true, beloved “read-it-again” books. Many are inexpensive paperbacks, and you might even find some at your local library or used bookstore. I needn’t rank them, I think. If you do delve into any of these with your children, please comment here and tell me what you think. Also, please tell me if you have other favorite winter books to share!

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic. You probably read it when you were a child. Have you seen this book lately? The simple text beautifully describes a sweet day of snow play and all of the experiences of snowy weather that would appeal to young children. The boy, Peter, pays attention to his footprints, finds a just-right stick, makes snow angels, pretends, and tries to keep a snowball in his pocket. When he comes inside, his mama helps him take off his wet socks. Sound familiar?

Snow by Cynthia Rylant gently reminds us that playing outside among the drifts and snowflakes and then being snug and warm at home are the great gifts of snow. Others are angels, new friends, and the reminder that only memories last forever. “It will say that it is all right to be happy.” I like books that say that we can be happy in simple things, such as tumbling down a hill or taking a walk to see how beautiful the world is. Underneath all this lovely snow, the flowers are sleeping and the soft green gardens wait.


When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan answers some very good questions about how birds and animals adapt to winter’s cold temperatures. Chances are good that your children have asked these exact questions of you at some time. The language is lyrical and rhyming. A mommy, daddy, and child explore nature together to find out what happens “when winter comes and the cold winds blow.” I feel this book models how you can enjoy nature outdoors even when it’s cold and dark in winter.

This one we don’t own, but we are greatly enjoying our library copy. Animals in Winter, by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder, explains in simple language what the birds, butterflies, bats, woodchuck, pikas, squirrels, mice, deer, rabbits, and foxes do to survive the cold season of winter. The authors deftly explain the concepts of migration, hibernation, food storage, foraging, and hunting as survival techniques. The book also tells you how you can help birds find enough food in winter by building bird feeders and keeping them supplied with seeds, nuts, and fruits.

Another science-oriented library book that nevertheless is filled with wonder at the beauty inherent in snow crystals is The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson, Ph.D. There are several amazing snow crystal photography books on the market, but this one does the best job of explaining to children how snow crystals form. The macro photography is beautiful and your child may gasp with delight upon seeing the intricate shapes that snow crystals form in nature. These photos make my heart soar.

The Story of Snow

The Tomten is a perennial favorite. We have a beat-up old paperback copy that we read again and again. This book was adapted by Astrid Lindgren from a poem by Viktor Rydberg and has a delightfully slow pace. Not much happens, and what does happens in a repetitious and comforting way, just the kind of simple rhythm that young children respond to so well. A Tomten takes care of the animals of the farm during the dead of night, when everyone is sleeping and no one can see him. No one has ever seen him, but they know he is there. He whispers to the cows in tomten language, “Winters come and winters go, Summers come and summers go, Soon you can graze in the fields.” He has a similarly reassuring message for the horses, the sheep, and the chickens. He is a special friend of the dog. He wishes the children were awake so he could talk to them, too, in tomten language that they can understand, but of course children sleep through the night.

The Tomten

Sybille von Olfers is a favorite among Waldorf-oriented families for good reasons. The Snow Children is the story of Poppy, who goes to play outside when her mother is running an errand away from home. She meets the snow children, who happily take her to visit the Snow Queen. She travels through the snowy woods to the Queen’s ice castle on a sledge pulled by Swirly-Wind. She meets the Snow Queen and the Princess, and gets to join in her birthday celebration featuring white chocolate and sweet ice-cold tea. After a fine time, Poppy is ready to return home to her mother, and eagerly tells her all about her adventures.

The Story of the Snow Children

Winter Waits by Lynn Plourde is part of her series of seasonal books, all of which are illustrated by Greg Couch. In this story, Winter is personified as a rambunctious little boy who tries to get his dad, Father Time, to play with him. Unfortunately, Dad is working. While he waits, Winter paints the grass with frost and makes the world sparkle with white. Dad asks him to be patient a bit more. In the meantime, Winter carves ice sculptures out of mountain waterfalls. He wants to show Father Time his creation, but the father’s work still isn’t done. So the boy cuts intricate snowflakes and sprinkles them about. Finally, when presented with the miracle gift of a snowflake, Father says, “Thank you, my son, you fill me with pride.” And then they play, play, play together in that special way that fathers and sons do. This story captures that excruciating waiting that so often accompanies childhood, the exuberance that comes when the wait is finally over, and the special bond between fathers and sons.

Winter Waits

Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root is a magical tale about an old woman who keeps a flock of geese. All through the spring and summer, Grandmother Winter carefully gathers the goose feathers that the birds drop. In the autumn, she begins to sew a quilt and fills it with feathers. Grandmother shakes out her finished quilt and causes the snowflakes to begin to fall. Children catch the flakes on their tongues and grown-ups stack the firewood high, and the animals get ready to slumber under the mud of the pond or in their cozy dens. She climbs into bed under her new quilt—fine as a blanket of snow—to stay warm through the winter, and her geese tuck their heads under their wings to wait for spring. I adore the artwork by Beth Krommes.

Grandmother Winter

Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr are three Swedish boys in a series of books by Maj Lindman. Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the The Yellow Sled is a gentle story that my sons love. The brothers see a fancy yellow sled in a shop window and ask their mother if they can earn the money to buy the sled, which they can all ride at the same time. Mother agrees and gives them special chores to do to earn the money. The boys go about their tasks cheerfully—washing dishes, helping with the cooking, doing laundry and the shopping, and scrubbing and dusting the house—just as you want your own children to do. They even bring Mother tea, flowers, and cake on her birthday. After two weeks, Mother agrees to take them to the shop to buy the sled. When they arrive there, they see a little boy who also dearly desires to have the yellow sled, but whose family cannot afford it. The boys agree to give the yellow sled they have earned to the less fortunate boy, and they make him and his siblings so happy in doing so. Mother is pleased with their generosity and agrees to let Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr earn another yellow sled for themselves. I love the example these brothers set with their helpfulness and generosity.

Science and Beauty

I am not usually one to wax on about science. Don’t get me wrong. I love science and I think it’s perfectly marvelous. People who do science (wait, that’s everyone!) are amazing and clever and inspiring. But usually, I don’t consider myself a science geek …

Except sometimes, when science and beauty intersect. There! Right there is where my interest is captured fully and profoundly.

Enter my latest scientific fascination: W.A. (Wilson Alwyn) Bentley. Mr. Bentley was 17 years old in 1885 when he first paired his love of snowflakes with this newfangled gizmo called the photographic camera. He created on his Vermont family farm the very first photo-micrograph of a snow crystal and thus launched his career. In 1931, the year he died, he published Snow Crystals, in which he published 2,500 of his some 5,000 photographs of snow crystals.

I checked out Bentley’s book (Dover, 1962) from my local library.

And it is AWESOME.

Snow Crystal Photos by W.A. Bentely

Snow Crystal Photos by W.A. Bentely

Snow Crystal Photos by W.A. Bentely

That’s it. Page after page after page of white snow crystals on a black background. Perfect and fragile and exquisite. Fascinating and mind-blowing. Two hundred and one such pages, depicting unique crystals, including snowflakes, ice flowers, windowpane frost, rime, glaze, and graupel. There are only eight pages of text in this miracle of a book.

My dear Mr. Bentley, I think I love you.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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