Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ARTSY: Tooth Fairy Pillow

I'm a total sentimental nut. I keep everything - from every cute Post-It note my husband (then boyfriend) ever penned to a Ziploc baggie full of five used pregnancy tests I took the week I found out I was pregnant with Alice. They are in boxes, scrapbooks, or still in my bathroom drawer (the baggie of pregnancy tests; I found Alice shaking them around just the other day). I surround myself with small, insignificant items that remind me of special moments in life.

So it was no surprise when I pulled Lucy's first tooth recently (I did! With my hands! And I didn't gag!) that I headed straight for the closet and pulled out my special tooth fairy pillow.

My Aunt Barb made this for me in 1983, when I was eight-years-old. She lovingly cross-stitched this cute little pillow with a elfin fairy dressed in blue. The poem reads:
Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy
Please be kind
In this pillow my
Tooth you'll find
Take it out and
Leave for me
A nickel, a dime
Or maybe three

There's a sweet tiny pocket for holding the itty-bittiest of teeth, and also a nickel or dime. While kids today expect much more from this special fairy, we talked about how she was so small and how could she possibly carry too many heavy coins? I stitched a little handmade heart with Lucy's name and date and plan to do the same for Alice when her toothless time comes.

It's my hope that my girls will pass this pillow on to their kids and I really want them to mail the pillow to each other around the country. Of course, I'm overly sentimental and am really tied to rituals and history such as this. I did, however, take into account the changes in economy over time and Lucy got upgraded to 71cents from the fairy that night. I now have that first tooth of hers safely tucked away (in a little bag in my bedroom, of course) and am already brainstorming how I'll craft a new family heirloom with all those teeth I'm soon to aquire. Just like all the baby socks and photos and pregnancy tests and swaddling blankets still floating around our house, these little teeth are physical reminders of babies that were and the girls they're becoming. And, like my pillow, I'll probably keep them all around me forever.


  1. I have a tooth fairy pillow, too! It is actually shaped like the fairy herself, with a little pocket for the tooth/coin exchange. I used it when I was a little girl, and my mom recently passed it along to me. I can't wait to carry on the tradition with the boys. I, too, am sentimental about these things.

    But, because of our sentimentality, I think our kids will understand the importance of tradition, of loving them so much that we want to share our treasured experiences and memories with them in the most tangible way possible.

    As always, love your blog!

  2. Wow, an actual vintage tooth fairy pillow! I never knew that it's something that could be passed on from generation to generation. I might ask my wife to make one. It's a good way to lessen our children's fear of dentistry. They've told us before that most of their friends here in Atlanta, GA already have a tooth fairy pillow, so I guess it's about time. I hope it also stands the test of time.

  3. Eddie,
    Thanks for reading! I know, right? There is actually a resurgence in crafty tooth pillows in the Idaho etsy scene, so check out etsy.com for beautiful new ones to start your own family tradition! -Amy

  4. where can i get the pattern