Litha Craft Projects

01
of 09

Craft Projects For the Summer Solstice

Rear View Of Woman Standing On Sunflower Field During Sunny Day
Brett Worth / EyeEm / Getty Images

Celebrate Litha, the longest day of the year, with fun crafts you can make with your family. This is the time of year when the herb gardens are blooming, so make some summer incense, a sunflower ring for your altar or wall, a handfasting basket for that lovey-dovey couple who's getting married, and a Stonehenge sundial.

02
of 09

Blessing Besom

Brooms
Eddie Gerald / Getty Images

Litha is the time of the summer solstice, and it's a season of strong solar energy. A great project to put together is a blessing besom. Sweeping is, after all, one of the best ways of making a space sacred and clean. Make a blessing besom, and you can use it to physically cleanse your home, and then hang it up to keep positive energy flowing around you.

To make a blessing broom, or besom, you'll need the following:

  • A broom—either make your own, or purchase one at a craft store
  • Ivy or vines
  • Flowers and herbs from your garden
  • Ribbons
  • Small bells

Wrap the ribbons and ivy around the handle of the broom. Don't wrap them too tight, though, because you'll want to be able to tuck sprigs of herbs and flowers into the ribbons. Once you've added all of these things, tie a few small bells onto the broom, so that it will jingle as you sweep. In many cultures, bells are used as noisemakers to frighten away evil spirits and negative energies.

If you like, you can consecrate your blessing besom as you would any other magical tool. Use it to sweep around your home, starting near a window or a door, and working in a deosil (clockwise) direction. As you do so, you may wish to chant something like this:

Sweeping, sweeping, 'round the room,
Blessings from this cleansing broom.
From floor to ceiling, and all between,
May this space be fresh and clean.
Sweeping good energy here to me,
As I will, so it shall be.

03
of 09

Lavender Dream Pillow

A bunch of lavender
SVGiles / Getty Images

The use of lavender has been documented for thousands of years. Pliny the Elder says that its blossom, called Asarum, sold for a hundred Roman denarii. The Greeks called it Nardus, after a city in Syria on the banks of the Euphrates. It was used by the ancients in perfuming bathwater, and for strewing on the floors of temples and houses. It was cultivated in England for the first time around 1560, and is mentioned in the writings of William Shakespeare.

At Litha, the herb gardens are in full bloom, and if you have lavender growing, you're probably blessed with all kinds of purple abundance right now! Lavender is associated with calming and peacefulness, so Midsummer is a perfect time to make yourself a lavender pillow, to help bring about relaxing dreams.

To make your lavender sweet dreams pillow, you'll need the following:

  • Fabric in pattern of your choice
  • Cotton, Polyfill, or other stuffing material
  • Dried lavender
  • Needle, thread, scissors

To assemble the pillow, place the fabric with the right sides together. Cut out the shape you'd like your pillow to be—square, circle, whatever. Pin the material together, and sew most of the way around the edges. Be sure to leave a gap where you can stuff the pillow.

Turn the material right side out, and fill with cotton or Polyfill. Add a handful of dried lavender, and stitch the opening closed. As you sew, you may wish to offer a blessing by chanting:

When at night I go to sleep,
sweet dreams will come to me.
Lavender scent bring peaceful rest.
As I will so it shall be.

Tip: If you're making this pillow as a project for a child, you can use felt and cut out shapes of the child's favorite things. Appliqué them on the pillow. Ask your child what sorts of things he or she would like to dream about, and use these shapes as a guideline. The one in the photo includes a witch, a cat, the child's first initial, and an ice cream cone.

04
of 09

Summer Solstice Herb Pouch

Herb Pouch
Use a simple drawstring pouch to blend together the herbs of the summer solstice. Image by Donna Franklin/E+/Getty Images

The summer solstice is a great time to harvest your herbs. Usually, gardens are in full bloom by now and if you do any wildcrafting, midsummer is a perfect season to find some goodies out in the woods. You can take some of the herbs associated with the Litha season and make an herb pouch to hang in your home (or carry with you) as a multi-purpose talisman.

In many magical traditions, the number nine is seen as sacred, so were going to use nine different herbs in this pouch project. These are all herbs commonly available during the midsummer season, but if you don't have access to them, feel free to substitute other herbs that grow in your area. Usually, people use dried herbs in craft projects, but because these are growing right now, you may want to just use them fresh.

Gather equal amounts of the following herbs:

  • Basil, for good fortune
  • Hyssop, for cleansing and purifying
  • Lavender, for calmness and peace
  • Mugwort, for divination and dreams
  • Peppermint, for passion and love
  • Rosemary, for remembrance
  • Sage, for wisdom
  • Thyme, for psychic development
  • Yarrow, for healing

Blend your herbs together in a bowl. If you're using dried herbs, crush them into a fine powder using your mortar and pestle. If you're using fresh ones, it's probably better to simply tear or chop them into equally sized pieces. This will help release the essential oils, and allow you to take advantage of the fragrances.

Stitch together a basic drawstring pouch using a summery color fabric (yellow or orange is perfect, but work with what you have). If you don't have any bright colors available, a plain muslin or cloth fabric will do just fine. Place the herbs in the pouch, and pull the drawstring tightly.

You can keep the pouch on your altar during your midsummer celebrations, hang it over your door to welcome guests, or even carry it in your pocket as a summertime talisman.

05
of 09

Sunflower Candle Ring

Sunflower Ring
Make a sunflower candle to celebrate the sun. Image by Patti Wigington

This sunflower candle ring is an easy craft project to make, and you can use it on your summer Sabbat altars, or simply as a tabletop decoration around the house. Another great option? Instead of laying it flat on a table, place a loop of wire on the back and hang it on your front door as a welcoming wreath for your guests.

Sunflowers are often associated with truth, loyalty, and honesty. If you want to know the truth about something, sleep with a sunflower under your pillow - and the next day, before the sun goes down, the truth should be revealed to you. The sunflower is considered a flower of loyalty because day after day, it follows the sun, from east to west. In some folk magic traditions, it is believed that slipping a bit of sunflower oil or seeds into someones food or drink will cause them to be loyal to you.

Youll need the following items:

  • Grapevine wreath (the one in the photos is a 12 diameter)
  • Sunflowers
  • Mini-LED lights with battery pack, available in craft store floral departments
  • Candles
  • Hot glue gun

Start by determining where you'd like the sunflowers to go. You can use a whole bunch, or a smaller amount - the candle ring in the photo uses just five sunflowers, one for each point on the pentacle. Don't glue the sunflowers in place yet - just have a general idea of their positioning.

Wrap the LED light string around the grapevine wreath, tucking it into nooks and crannies, and weaving it among the vine branches. Be sure you leave yourself a small spot to tuck the battery pack into place so that it will not come loose later. Also, its a good idea to check to make sure the batteries on your LED lights work BEFORE you start this project.

Once your LED lights are in place, go ahead and hot glue your sunflowers into their assigned positions. Be careful not to get hot glue on the LED lights or the electrical strands - this can damage the system and cause light failure.

Place your wreath on your altar, with candles in the center, and enjoy as a summer centerpiece for ritual.

06
of 09

Handfasting 13 Blessings Basket

Basket.jpg
Put together a basket of goodies for friends who are being handfast. Image by Barry Winiker/Photodisc/Getty Images

Many Wiccan and Pagan couples choose to have a handfasting ceremony instead of a traditional wedding. Pagan clergy often are willing to perform a handfasting ceremony for gay or lesbian couples. Also, if a couple (whether hetero- or homosexual) has decided they do not want or need the government's blessing to be together, they may opt for a handfasting instead.

June is a popular month for handfasting (and weddings in general). No matter what time of year your happy couple is being handfast, you can make this simple gift basket easily with items you can find in just about any craft store.

You can make a handfasting basket as elaborate or as simple as you like. The easiest way to do it is to buy a commercially made basket, which you can usually find at thrift stores, and cover it in fabric. Choose something with romantic summer colors -- yellow, reds, flowers, etc. Fabric can be found inexpensively (as little as $1.49 a yard) at most discount stores or at craft supply shops.

Place the basket on a flat surface, and use the fabric to line the inside. Use a piece of fabric large enough that you'll have some overhang. For stability, you may wish to hot glue the underside of the fabric around the rim of the basket. Next, cut a piece of ribbon about three times the length of the basket's handle. Tie it in place at one end of the handle, and wrap it around until you reach the opposite side. Trim off any excess. If you're really crafty, use two different ribbons. Add a small dab of glue to the underside of the ribbon periodically, to keep it from slipping down the handle.

Finally, add some small silk flowers to the handle of the basket. You can find these in the wedding aisle at nearly any craft store. If the flowers don't have wires built into them, use some thin florist's wire to anchor the flowers in place.

Thirteen Blessings

Here's the really fun part. Think about the couple who is being handfast. Are they traditionalists? Are they silly, and willing to laugh at themselves? Consider what you know about them.

To fill the baskets, you'll need a variety of things, each symbolizing some aspect of the relationship. Try to find thirteen items that are meaningful to the couple. Small ornaments are perfect for this, so they can be hung up later, but use your imagination to find the symbols that are right for your couple. Use the following list to help get you started:

  • sun, symbolizing the strength and sturdiness of the male partner
  • moon, representing the woman, beautiful and mysterious*
  • cat, to guard the hearth and home
  • dog, to offer loyalty and protection
  • An owl, for wisdom
  • A star, for the dreams of the future
  • A clock, to remind them that time is valuable
  • An acorn, for strength and longevity
  • butterfly, for all the summers they will be together
  • A car, for the journey they're about to embark on
  • A house, so they have a place to return
  • A pinecone, for prosperity and abundance
  • A heart, for the love that brought them together

* In the case of a same-sex couple, it would be appropriate to use two moons or two suns.

Make sure that while you're creating and filling your handfasting basket, that you're sending positive thoughts into it. If you like, turn this into a small ritual. You can charge the basket by focusing your intent into a simple couplet if you choose, such as:

This basket of gifts I give from the heart
with blessings for [name] and [name]'s handfasting.
With these treasures I offer you joy, and hope,
and happiness and love everlasting.

Include a note explaining to them what each item represents, so that they will always have these thirteen blessings with them in their relationship.

07
of 09

Stone Circle Sundial

StonehengeSun.jpg
Stonehenge is the original sundial. Image by Michael England/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Stonehenge is one of the world's best known stone circles, and many researchers have noted that the structure functions as a giant astronomical calendar and sundial. Most people can't build a Stonehenge replica in their back yard, but what you can do is create a sundial of your own using stones you've found. If you have children, this is a great science project to do, but even if you don't have kids, it's fascinating to create your own sundial. If you can do this around Litha, at Midsummer, you'll have the perfect opportunity to recognize the powerful energy of the sun!

You'll need the following items:

  • A pole or straight stick
  • Several large stones
  • A clock or watch to calibrate your sundial

Find a place in your yard that gets sun for most of the day. Although it's ideal to do this in the grass of even a patch of dirt, if all you have is a sidewalk or driveway, then that's fine too. Mount the pole by sticking it into the dirt. If you're making your sundial on a hard surface like concrete, then use a block of clay or a bucket of soil to secure the pole.

Keep an eye on your clock. At each hour, take note of where the pole's shadow falls, and mark the spot with a stone. If you start this project in the morning, you'll be able to mark most of the daytime spots - if you start later in the day, you may have to come back the next morning to figure out where your morning hours are.

To tell the time with your sundial, look for the pole's shadow. Where it falls between the stones will give you the time.

08
of 09

Ogham Staves

Ogham_1500
Patti Wigington

Ogham History

Named for Ogma or Ogmos, the Celtic god of eloquence and literacy, staves carved with the Ogham alphabet has become a popular method of divination among Pagans who follow a Celtic-focused path. Although there are no records of how staves might have been used in divination in ancient times, there are a number of ways that they can be interpreted. There are 20 original letters in the Ogham alphabet, and five more that were added later on. Each corresponds to a letter or sound, as well as a tree or wood. In addition, each of these symbols has come to be associated with various meanings and elements of the human experience.

Catherine Swift of History Today says, "Dating ogham is difficult and often problematic: although the alphabet itself was created rather earlier, the evidence suggests that the surviving inscriptions of ogham in Ireland belong predominantly to the fifth and sixth centuries... Ogham was developed during the Roman Empire and demonstrates the spread of its influence far beyond the imperial frontiers; the fact that ogham has five vowel symbols (although Gaelic has ten such sounds) is one of the reasons scholars believe that the Latin alphabet, which also uses five vowels, was an influence on the invention of the system. Ogham was not a single, fixed system and the surviving stones show modifications, as new symbols were invented and older ones were lost."

Traditionally, Ogham is credited to Ogma Grian-ainech, who was known for his poetic eloquence. According to legend, he invented this form of alphabet to show everyone how linguistically gifted he was, and created Ogham as a form of communication for the most learned members of society.

Judith Dillon of OBOD says, "At its most simple, the symbols of the alphabet, like those of other early divination systems, spell out a guide through the world of manifestation, the material world of the Mothers. They then provide a return into the World of Time after passing through the dark. At its most complicated, the alphabet contains sophisticated mathematics and alchemical secrets."

Make Your Own Staves

To make your own set of Ogham staves, start with sticks or twigs in even lengths. You'll need 25 of them, or 26 if you want to include a "blank" Ogham. If you have trouble finding sticks that are the right size, you can use dowel rods cut to short lengths. About 4 - 6" is a good size for Ogham staves. The ones in the photo are made from apple branches.

Sand the bark off the sticks so that they're smooth. Inscribe each of the sticks with one of the Ogham symbols. You can do this either by carving them into the woods, painting them on, or using a woodburning tool. The ones in the photo were made with a woodburning tool, which cost about $4 at a craft store.

As you're carving your staves, take the time to think about the meanings of each symbol. Don't just burn them into the wood; feel them, and feel their magic energy being imbued into each stave. The act of creation is a magical exercise in and of itself, so if possible, do this within a magical space. If you can't fire up a woodburning pen at your altar, don't worry - turn whatever work space you choose into a temporary altar setting. Make a point of holding each stave in your hand, before and after you've inscribed it, and fill it with your own power and energy.

When you're done, be sure to consecrate your staves before you use them the first time, just as you would a Tarot deck or other magical tool.

There are a number of methods to reading the staves for divination, and you can figure out what works best for you. Many people like to simply keep their staves in a pouch, and when a question comes up that needs to be answered, they place their hand in the bag and pull out a designated number of staves. Three is a good number to use, but you can pick as many or as few as you like. As you pull each stave out of the bag, use the information at the Ogham symbol gallery to determine its divinatory meaning.

09
of 09

Summer of Love Incense

Use a mortar and pestle to blend and powder your herbs when making incense or other magical concoctions. Image (c) 2007 Patti Wigington

In the middle of summer, your herb garden will probably be blooming like crazy. A few aromatic herbs combined with light floral scents blend together to make the perfect "Summer of Love" incense. Use it for a romantic interlude with someone you care about it, or burn it when you're alone to help give your heart chakras a boost.

If you haven’t harvested your herbs yet for drying, now is a good time to start doing so. Any fresh herb can be dried simply by picking it and tying it up in small bundles in a well-ventilated area. Once they are completely dry store them in airtight jars in a dark place.

This recipe is for loose incense, but you can adapt it for stick or cone recipes. As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the goal of your work, whether your intent is romantic love for another, or building your own sense of self-worth.

You’ll need:

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation, such as:

Love for me, from the heart,
within this incense it will start.
Lavender flowers, and patchouli blend.
Chamomile, catnip, and Sweet Annie to end.
Love is true when it's finally found,
brought to the heart from all around.
Joy and light, and love's blessing for me,
As I will, so it shall be.

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.