Almost a year ago I created this pot full of joy as my very first fairy garden in a long line of creations that can only be described as an addiction. Who knows where my love of miniatures originated? One may pinpoint it to my sisters and my young obsession with building homes for our Polly Pockets (and taking more time to build than actually play), or my family’s yearly tradition of putting up a tiny Christmas village bustling with activity. There is just something about small scenes that call to me and it would be quite rude on my part to neglect an answer.
I found fairy gardens one day on my mandatory stroll through Pinterest. At this point, I was coming off of what I call my melting crayons phase and I hadn’t one type of craft that I wanted to dedicate myself to but more a scattered portfolio of whatever I wanted to try to create. I was in a type of limbo- and not the fun cruise game. And yet there they were. Fairy gardens as far as the finger could scroll all unique and cute and small. My quest had begun and I very slowly over months of curating and creating, with many stoppages to fulfill the rest of my life’s “responsibilities,” made the pictured fairy garden.
My first step in this process was to list out what I wanted to include and sketch up my dream, but I soon learned my list was too long, or my pot too small. I decided to cut from the design a full-on vegetable garden and swing and leave those details for another day and another fairy. I wouldn’t want to spoil my first. Initially, I designed the fairy garden to be outside and that’s why we went with a heavy duty pot and plant stand, but as the project took shape my family and I felt it needed to stay safe in our abode.
The actual home for the fairy become the most important piece to acquire. The house was originally a wooden gazebo found at Hobby Lobby. It was perfect even though it was technically broken. The gazebos are supposed to have one opening with the three other sides closed off by a railing, but mine actually had two openings. This was ideal because one opening could be covered up by a fairy door and the other left open for us humans to be able to peak in and say hello. The other two sides of the gazebo with the railing were then closed off with a wall of popsicle sticks or fairy lumber. Then came the paint. Did you know that it’s important to take your time and go slowly when painting to ensure the best quality? Yes, everyone knows that and I knew that but I really despise painting and didn’t do that. Although, it really is a good tip because I had to take longer and go back to repaint parts, so do your job right the first time. The outside walls were done in a rich brown with the edging in turquoise and the inside walls got a fresh white coat while the old gazebo banisters were done in the turquoise to stand out and match the ceiling. Of course, I painted my ceiling. Does anyone actually see the ceiling? No, but I painted it. Finally, I went with a nice pebble floor to keep the natural elements of the fairy garden alive.
With the bones of the house finally finished its time to dive into my favorite part, tiny furniture. Since this is a one bedroom cottage I decided to go with a hammock to keep the floor space open as compared to a bed. The hammock was made with fabric from an old shirt of mine that I no longer wore. This was a great way to find fabric especially since I didn’t need much at all and didn’t want to spend much either. The ends are tied up with some twine and secured to the house by a white push pin on each side. The push pins went wonderfully with the found object appeal of fairy gardens and were a lot easier to apply than trying to glue the hammock strings in place. The bed was finally topped off with a fake leaf for a blanket I had in my family’s abundant supplies of crafting items.
On the other side, there is a sewing machine that I bought from the miniature section at my Hobby Lobby and it has some beautiful red and gold detailing that inspired me to add spots of red throughout the rest of the project. It sits on top of a button that balances on two small wooden pots also found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels that I painted the navy blue found in my color scheme. Not pictured above, because it was added a little later, I continued the red through a Coca-Cola bottle cap that rested on a bead to create a stool for the sewing table, and made three balls of yarn and two knitting needles from toothpicks that all rest in an acorn cap. Other smaller accent details are blue flowers in the upper corners of the room, a picture above the sewing machine from my old crafting objects, strings of white beads over the sewing machine and hammock, and a small clay plant made by one of my sweet friends. Overall, the whole decor is pieced together through items found and transformed.
Now that the inside of the fairy home is cozy and neat it’s time to move outside. Landscaping was actually quite hard for me. Maybe I watched too many interior shows and not enough exterior, but nevertheless, I took a swing at it.
I wanted a second tier to my fairy garden and loved the pot stacking look that I had seen over Pinterest. I used a normal sized clay pot to achieve this and painted the top stripe my turquoise to make it pop. To help the fairy or her animal friends who don’t have wings, get up top I add stairs made out of painted rocks and moss. The rocks are nothing special and I have an abundance of them in my driveway so I just picked out some with flat sides to work as stairs. Those stairs were painted in the dark navy to contrast the pot and really make them a statement and then adorned with moss to bring them down to earth and fill any gaps. The top of the pot became an outside dining room for Victoria. The table is a mushroom made out of clay that I found at a local pottery store with the plates being buttons and the tiny forks found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. The chairs are made out of a series of wood pieces I owned from spindles for the legs to the petal-shaped backs. When forming fairy furniture take time to look at individual elements and then work to product design something you love that will fit with your theme and scale. Finally, I put a small pot of fake mushrooms that is repeated throughout the yard and then some real succulents to breathe life into the tiny universe.
The backyard of the fairy garden that was hidden away by the house, little pot, and plants showcases a clothesline. The clothesline was really a labor of love because I made four individual pieces of fairy clothing with my needle and thread. The two blue striped items was a long pencil skirt and crop top combo made out of the same old shirt material I used for the inside hammock. The leaf hanging in the middle was a bought item, but the farthest left hanging item was an apron made out of old jeans material. Your old jeans are a great place to get hardy fabric for your fairy gardens so keep that in mind next time one of your pairs rip. The clothes are all hung on a braided rope supported by two sticks and mini clothespins, a fairy garden must found at any craft store. I also made a basket that housed one other skirt and more clothespins that is not clearly pictured, but I will later in the blog make an in-depth guide to tiny fairy clothes so all will be revealed in due time.
The second picture is a side view of the area humans are able to peak in and say hello to the fairy at home which really just showcases how I used different small plants flanking the opening to make it a secluded retreat. The painted rock I wish I could take credit for making, but it is something I found at a craft fair.
Finally, the third picture shows my other side view from the left by the tiny pot. I made this area a continuation of the critters house, later touched on. The birdhouses I found, surprise surprise, at Hobby Lobby and they are on stakes that are held up straight by being glued to a hefty rock like one of the ones used to create the stairs. This is a great tip to supporting your upright features in a fairy garden with loose soil as the base.
The front of the fairy garden also got some extra details with a place for critters and full mailbox. The little birdhouse that is quite large for the fairy garden was found for a dollar at Walmart and I decked it out with of course some color coordinating paint and a stone roof. The little pebbles were found at Michaels and are also used throughout my design for the front walkways and as the outline on the door for the little hut. I used clear liquid Gorilla glue to keep all the pebbles in place and it worked like magic. Also, a good tip is to make sure to put down a coat of white paint before applying the pebbles or you might see some of your bland wood coming through. The little “I believe” plaque was found at a local gardening center but I have seen many like it online. The birds can be found in the miniature section anywhere you can find a miniature section and the deer was an old plastic toy of mine. I’ve found, for another great tip, that it’s good to give your plastic toys a light coat of matching paint to make them a little less cheap plastic looking and it is a really quick fix to an annoying problem. Behind the birdhouse, I have a low lying and leafy plant to cover the ground and I love the look of this corner with the overhanging succulent from the above garden.
Victoria’s fairy door, that is fastened shut because I’ve never done a hinged door… yet, is made up of popsicle sticks. You will notice popsicle sticks are the go-to wood for me and anything I make because it can be easily cut and transformed. The handle is just a decorative button and I admit the door is a little simple, but I find it sweet. It’s one of my dreams to do an out of this world fairy door so maybe one day I’ll take this blog on that crafting journey. I then made a mailbox out of, you guessed it, sticks. You can find sticks out in that great unknown called the wilderness. I looked for one that forked outward so I could place the actual box on top of the stand. The holder is a wooden pot painted the signature navy and detailed with gold to make it pop. The envelope in the box is made out of wood instead of a small paper one because at the time I thought this would go outside and that reasoning was also applied to the package. I wrote on the envelope in a fine point sharpie to create the stamp and address. The package was inspired by the lyric “Brown paper packages tied up with strings.” I loved that song and I love musicals so it just fit in so well. I couldn’t help but make Victoria a package with a little love. No joke I actually placed a wooden piece shaped like a heart inside as the present that was being shipped to her, and it was all tied up with some gold gilded string.
In regard to putting all of this together, I do recommend taking your time to lay out and add embelishments. Make all your big items and try fitting them into your pot with plants before you add the finer details, but do keep in mind that the fun is in the smallest of details for your smallest of gardens. Overall, fairy garden making to me is all about finding and creating in a balance of nature so don’t be afraid to incorporate other people’s hard work or manufactured odds and ends to create your winged friend’s abode, and don’t forget to name your fairy.