One of Little Una Fox's favourite fairy tales is The Princess And The Pea and her favourite version is the one by Lauren Child and Polly Borland.
"'What a beautiful bed', gasped the girl. 'Oh, I am sure I will sleep like a real princess in this bed.' And up the ladder she climbed. We'll see, thought the queen"
Lauren Child's text is, of course, great but it is her and Polly Borland's illustrations that I really admire. They remind me of my favourite Fairytale book from my own childhood, which my mother unfortunately did not keep.
Each page was illustrated with posed dolls in 3 dimensional sets. This is an idea that I keep thinking I would like to try my hand at. If I ever get around to making the dolls, the sets and taking the pictures it will be a miracle but I am not ruling it out altogether.
Because this is our favourite it was natural, when Mrs Fox's was asked by a friend for a princess themed party for their daughter's 4th birthday, to turn to this tale. Mrs Fox's created a Hunt the Pea party game, (we made felt peas and pea pods), place mats with the missive; "Give peas a chance" and one of my favourite Mrs Fox's crafts, our Make your Own Sleeping Princess. This is a craft activity for the party that doubles as a party bag for the little guests to take home, along with a packet of sweet pea seeds.
For the make-your-own sleeping princess craft I attached a patchwork pocket to the front of a natural cotton bag. Our princess was a blank rag doll each made up with a different hairstyle. The patchwork pocket on each bag is for the dolls to 'sleep' in. At the party the children designed their own sleeping princess, with fabric pens. It was a huge success, and you can see what an impressive party bag it was too.
I made Una her own sleeping princess doll for Christmas that year, you can see her at the top of this post. I make each of the little foxes at least one Christmas gift each year.
This weekend I was working on updating the, very simple, instructions for this craft as we intend to sell it on our website as one of our crafty boxes. We even have long-term plans to make two versions, one for children that can sew and could make the patchwork pocket themselves.
I just couldn't keep out of it. I was soon, secateurs in hand, fashioning a ladder and we were picking fabrics to make bedding. I admit this is a rather niche craft, but, this is how we made the Princess Bed for our sleeping princess. Just in case you ever have need of such an item!
YOU WILL NEED:
First we decorated the shoe box and it's lid with patterned paper and paint. While it dried...
We measured the bottom of the box and cut out two rectangles of each of our fabrics to these dimensions. We used other scraps of fabric as the wadding for our mattresses. With the wadding between each piece of fabric we sewed round the edges.
The lid of the box is the bed's headboard and to this we attached some netting (off cuts of old net curtains from granny's house) I sewed these onto the lid, you could glue or staple them.
To make the ladder I cut up a thin bamboo cane and tied the steps on with garden twine.
The pea is a green felted ball. You could just use green felt rolled into a ball or paper scrunched up and painted green.
Our Sleeping Princess Crafty Box is available on our website for a very special price at the moment only £6 +p&p (£4.50). Each Sleeping Princess is unique, with their hairstyles and the patchwork pocket on the bag hand-sewn and so each different from the next.