yarn toys, wire crafts, baba Marta

These storks were easy to make yet they brought a sunny feeling to our snowy days. Our little toy storks were made of crumpled paper, steel wire and thin yarn.

yarn toys, wire crafts, baba Marta

Crumple well two paper balls, making one bigger than the other. The bigger one will be the body, and the smaller one will make the head.

Start winding the wire over the paper balls, twisting and tightening from time to time. At the end of the body piece make a triangle shape for the tail, and at the end of the head piece make one for a beak. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look sturdy – it will be fine once you start wrapping over the yarn.

After you wrap the legs with red yarn, add some extra wire to the feet (see pictures above). We added it to make the three fingers, so the stork can stand upright. The last picture shows how we bent the end of the wire for easier wraping. We made the eyes from two tacks that we glued on for extra safety.

Finish by pasting PVA glue over any end where the yarn might start unwinding.

The storks turn out very durable; they are so pliable even young kids can play with them. Just make sure that the wire is well covered and the whole thing is strenghtened with PVA glue.

What is ‘martenitsa’?

In Bulgarian folklore the month of March is often portrayed as a plump, cheerful old lady, “baba Marta”. The 1st day of her reign is celebrated with red and white ornaments in various designs – as bracelets, brooches, pom-poms… 
The origins of this ritual are lost in time, but the meaning is clear – they are luck charms you give away to wish good health (and good looks, too!) Friends, family, even pets and domestic animals get one.They are also a countdown to spring – you wear them every day until you see the first stork, or swallow, or blossoming tree. Then you take themartenitsa off and tie it to a branch.