The Wheel has turned once more to Mabon. The last of the summer days has passed and the leaves start to change. There’s a nip in the air and children are back in school.
While Lammas was a harvest of grains, I see Mabon as more of a harvest of fruits. Suddenly the produce aisle at the supermarket is brimming with pumpkins, squash and apples. Jugs of cider are crammed next to the orange juice and milk. It is the season of the hay ride, the bonfire, and “bring a sweater.” As you may have guessed, I really like Fall.
The first craft I am offering, a Foliage Mask, gives you the opportunity to talk to your children about the changing seasons and the mythology of the Green Man. It also allows the children to use their imagination and integrate their craft with their regular play time, as well as ritual. The second, the Bacchus Wall Hanging, can be used as a seasonal decoration to honor the God of wine, who is also associated with the fruit harvest. Click on the link at the bottom for the printable template.
You Will Need:
Felt in various fall colors
Silk or real leaves (optional)
A plastic or fabric half-mask
Yarn or Thread (to keep it on)
As the Halloween/Samhain season approaches, more art stores and dollar shops offer cheap plastic or fabric half masks, which only cover the eyes and nose. Use this as the base for your mask.
Using felt of various fall foliage colors, cut out a variety of leaf shapes. Oak, Maple, and Laurel are three distinct choices. You don’t need to worry about the leaves looking perfect, as they will be layered for the overall effect. You can trace a pattern onto the felt lightly with marker as it will not bleed through to the other side. (It will, however, rub off on your hands!)
Before gluing, arrange the leaves on your mask to determine placement. The leaves can and should hang slightly off of the mask base. Felt is generally sturdy enough for this. For the eyes, hold the leaf you want in that area where it will be placed, turn the mask over, and lightly trace the eye opening from the back of the mask. You can then cut the opening out of the felt piece.
When you are ready, glue the pieces onto the mask, starting with the bottom-most layer. Allow the glue to dry, and then use the yarn to wear your mask. Enjoy!
Bacchus Wall Hanging
You Will Need:
Light Green felt
Dark Green felt
Artificial ivy strand
Yarn or twine
For this project, you’ll need a piece of cardboard (I used the side of a discarded box). Leave the top edge straight, but cut a gentle curve into the bottom edge. Using your scissors, cut a rough mouth shape, as well as two eye holes. Then cut two small holes in the top third of the mask, one on each side, near the edges. String your yarn or twine through the holes, knotting them on the outside, to create a string to hang the mask on.
Using full sheets of the dark green felt, glue and cover the entire surface of the hanging. Cut a slit in the mouth area, but do not cut out the hole. This will make the mask appear to have rough lips. Also cut out the eye holes. Cut a small triangle of the lighter green felt, and glue it to the mask for a nose. Then, cut out several small circles of purple felt, and glue them in a grape-cluster formation around one of the eyes.
Finally, take the strand of artificial ivy and press the exposed wire through one of the small twine holes. Then wrap the ivy around the perimeter of the mask, ending at the top of the mask. Wrap the ivy around the top several times; this will both imitate hair and secure the ivy. Any excess can be run down the back of the mask and a loop pushed out of the mouth slit to resemble a Green Man. Allow the glue to dry, hang, and enjoy!