It’s almost Summer Solstice!!!  We are getting ready by decorating our house, to honor and welcome the longest day of the year.  This is a fun nature craft for you and the kids.  They delight in finding their own materials, putting together their own creations, then getting to enjoy looking at them.

litha00I have the kids collect their own materials.  They are always excited to go through our large button and bead boxes–its like treasure!  Just use whatever you have around the house.

2016-06-13 11.03.36Dehydrating citrus is easy!  Follow the instructions here.  Cinnamon bark can be found in the baking isle of your local grocery store.

While we make the craft, we talk about the Summer Solstice and I tell  my kids stories of the Legend of the Holly and the Oak Kings.  We talk about summer being a natural time for growth and what things we can harvest in the summer.  It’s also generally just a good time to chat and spend time together.

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Sun sifting through our button box.

These citrus mobiles are very pretty, and they are meant to be put near a window.  When the summer sun warms the fruit and the cinnamon, it lets off a faintly sweet smell that, combined with a warm summer breeze makes your house smell amazing.  It brings a smile to my face everytime I catch the scent.  They are also quite beautiful with the summer sun shining through the dried citrus segments, reminiscent of a kind of natural stained glass.  2016-06-13 17.27.44

You can make these mobiles for any event, or for no reason at all.  You can adjust the colours to make them more festive for specific occasions.  For the Summer Solstice, we mainly used sun colours: red, yellow, orange.

How to Make your own Citrus Mobile

Materials

  • Sticks.  The should be about the size of your thumb in circumference, the length maybe from your elbow to wrist.
  • Dehydrated citrus
  • Embroidery thread.
  • Yarn
  • A sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Buttons, beads, etc.

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Instructions

Begin by selecting your first embroidery thread and threading the needle.

Run the thread through the edge of a slice of citrus and tie a double knot.

Then add a few beads or buttons.

Then thread through a cinnamon stick.  This part can be annoyingly tricky.  EIther break your bark to a size that the needle can reasonably go through, or you have to do a lot of finagling and tapping to get it through.  Obviously, the wider the holes in the bark, the easier it will be.  Mostly I just break mine to a smaller size.

Then add some more beads or buttons.

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Wolf using needle and embroidery thread to attach his citrus, buttons & beads and cinnamon bark.  Great craft for practicing sewing skills, and for hand-eye coordination!

Now attach it to the stick by winding the thread around it a few times and tying a double knot.  If you’re of a witchy nature, you can infuse a little magic into this part of the process with a simple wish or spell.Closeup thread ties

Repeat with as many threads as you want dangling.  Make sure you are careful when you set your stick down with more than one thread on it.  They do tend to tangle something awful.

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Wolf’s mobile is hanging by our back door, across from the kitchen table (ignore the laundry hanging on the line!)

When you have attached all your threads, it’s time to wind the yarn around your stick.  Start by wrapping one end with the yarn and tie a double knot, then leave a little slack for hanging and wind yarn around the other end and double knot.

Cut any yarn or thread tails you don’t want.

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Sun chose to hang her mobile near her bedroom window.

Now you’re done!  Find a sunny spot in a window to hang your citrus mobile and enjoy!!

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