For my story vine, I used a strand of lights with 100 bulbs, but it would work for any length of strand lights. The materials I tied on include large scraps of cotton fabric in different shades, weights, and textures; tulle; ribbon; and yarn. I did not have a set plan when I started making it, but here is my process, simplified:
- Cut out lots of strips of fabric measuring 1" x 6". The exact number depends on how many fabrics you are using and how prominent you want each one to be. You can mix colors, shades, and textures to make different effects.
- Start tying. It's just a simple right over left, under, and pull tight. The friction of the fabric should prevent it from coming undone. Try to make the ends of even length. Tying can be a tedious process that is best done over several days.
- If you want a fuller look or don't want to see the wire, push the strips closer together where they are tied on and add more strips until you get the look you want.
- Hang it on a wall or drape it over a mantle or door frame. I used small nails to create loops for a more decorative look.
- Wait for dusk and then turn on the strand of lights (make sure all other lights are off). The glow of the lights bouncing off the fabric has a fairy-like appearance. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see mine lit.
- Create or buy some ornaments to represent family stories or traditional fairy tales or fables (see below for some ideas).
To make one of your own, wash out a baby food jar and poke a hole in the center of the lid with a pointed tool, such as an awl or a metal skewer. You may need to tap the top of your tool with a hammer to get the hole started. Make the hole wide enough for a length of yarn or flexible wire to fit through. If you are using yarn, tie a knot on the end that will be on the underside of the lid. If you are using flexible wire, use a crimp bead. Put the strand through the hole in the lid. Attach a small metal ring (like the kind used for making jewelry) to the end of the strand coming out the top of the lid. For yarn, tie a knot around the ring. For wire, use a crimp bead. Use a ready-made ornament hook (or make one of your own) to hang the jar.
Tie a slip knot in one end of the floss and put it on a 1.5mm crochet hook. Make a length of single chains about 2.5-3 times longer than you want the finished lock of hair (if you want it to fold over like mine, use the 2.5 multiple). Once you have your chain, start working back towards the beginning, make three single chains in each chain. This will force the work into a tight spiral. Once you have an inch or so of spiral, leave out some single chains so that sometimes you do three and sometimes you make two in each of the existing chains. This will reduce the tightness of the spiral. When you get close to the halfway point of your chain, do only single chains for about twenty chains (this will be the fold-over segment). Resume the pattern of two and three single chains until you get to the end. Cut the floss so there is a two-inch tail. Weave in both ends so they are invisible. Trim any leftover tail of floss. One caution I will add is that the spiral tends to, well, spiral out of control, so make sure to keep the initial chain as straight as possible to avoid reversing the spiral.
I found instructions for the folded book with pockets in Alisa Golden's book Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures, and Forms. Since I wanted more pages than one book offered, I made two and attached them together. I also added a cover and a title. To hang it, I put an eyelet in the spine and then put a metal ring through it. Since it was already pretty large (about 3" square), I put on a hook without an extension wire. I suggest checking out Alisa's book if you want to make one of your own. It's a fabulous resource and the directions and pictures are clear and easy to follow.
To make thisornament, gather a bunch of twigs and small sticks that are all fairly straight. Break them into 5-6" lengths. Wrap yarn around the bundle tightly several times and then tie the ends together securely. Loop a metal ring onto the yarn. Attach a short length of yarn or flexible wire to the ring (by knot or crimp bead). Attach another metal ring to the loose end of the yarn/wire. Use a ready-made ornament hook (or make one of your own) to hang the bundle.
If you would like to share your own method of preserving and presenting stories, leave a comment for all to read. Feel free to include a link to your own pictures.