DIY fairy garden
I had planned on doing a tutorial on this fun project but there were lots of little hands involved and taking pictures at various points of completion was stressing me out. As soon as the girls and I headed outside to assemble our garden…the neighborhood children descended on our yard…needless to say…we had lots of “extra hands”.
My mom and I came up with this plan as a fun thing for the girls to play outside in our garden. We started brainstorming ideas while we were out shopping on Saturday and started looking for a few key aspects. I had the reclaimed metal tub just sitting around in our garage and knew I wanted to use that to “contain” the fairy garden. It was a nice size, had that thrifted feel, and it was FREE (probably the most compelling reason). The first thing you need to decide is WHERE you want your fairy garden to grow. Our garden is in the back of our yard along a split rail fence. It gets FULL sun as there are only a couple of young trees nearby. You could plant your garden under a big tree (would have loved to do this if we had a tree big enough), in a pot on your patio…or even make one for indoors! I love the idea of a shade garden because you can incorporate more “woodsy” plantings like moss and ferns!
Here are the supplies we used:
metal tub (about 24″ across and 12″ deep): reclaimed
gravel (for the bottom 1/3 of the tub)
birdhouse (unfinished wood section of Jo-Anns)
tree stump (we found tons of sticks and dead branches at a nearby wilderness park)
river rocks (from my craft stash)
larger rocks (from our yard)
shells (for the fairies bathtub!)
colored gems (we chose blue for a river effect – available at ANY craft store and the Dollar Store)
plantings (we chose full sun sedum, marjoram, ivy, and some crazy leafy plant that I can’t remember the name of!)
resin mushrooms (Home Goods)
mushroom stakes (Michaels)
fairies (Michaels…Jo-Anns carries this same kind as well)
“follow your heart sign” (Hobby Lobby)
“dream” stone – Gordmans
Between my mom and I….and the trips out with the girls…I think we hit every craft store within 10 miles of our house This is the perfect time for this project though as most stores have their summer/garden items at least 60% off! We found the fairies first and completely fell in love! I figured we would need to make fairies as I am particular and didn’t want clunky statues in pastel colors. When my mom found these little gems we knew immediately they would be perfect!
We also knew we wanted a house of some kind. Did you know there is some kind of freakish fairy subculture in the US? Sorry if you are part of said freaky culture. But, seriously. There are entire websites devoted to fairy gardens where you can purchase fairy houses for $200+ as well as all the furniture your fairies could ever desire. It kind of takes the fun out of it for me…more fun to just use what you have! We looked around for a humble dwelling for our fairies but all we could find were birdhouses with the traditional circle perch which just wouldn’t do…how would our fairies get inside? They are surely too dignified to be slithering into their houses on their bellies through that tiny opening! We found a couple of cute houses that incorporated doors but at $40 a pop they didn’t come home with us. Instead we purchased a plain unfinished bird “gazebo” and set to work customizing it to look like the fairies had built it themselves. I painted the entire thing brown with leftover paint. Then we hot glued river rocks to the roof and added sticks to the columns. The fairies fit perfectly inside…which is great because in Kansas you never know when there might be a sudden downpour and you might have to seek shelter! I don’t know whether our DIY house with weather the summer heat…but we can always customize a new house next year if necessary!
Once we finished the house we took all of our supplies out to the yard and started to assemble our garden. We dumped gravel in the bottom 1/3 of the bucket (remember to drill drainage holes!) and then added potting soil to the top. We buried our tree stump for added stability (didn’t want to get sued by any falling fairies) and added the house to the top. Then we placed our resin mushroom and the larger rocks in the tub. The girls wanted a river so we used the blue gems to position one that would flow from the mushroom woods. The largest planting (the crazy red leafed plant) went in the back as a nice woodsy backdrop and the ivy got planted next to the stump so we can train it to climb over the house. The rest of the plants went towards the front and then we filled in with rocks!
There is really no wrong way to go about making your fairies a fitting home. One of my favorite parts of our garden are the mushroom stakes I found on clearance at Michaels ($3 each) as they really help draw your eye down into the fairy garden and help “set the stage” so to speak. You could use a trellis, an old door propped up, or anything! We also decided to add some larger rocks around the base of the tub too.
This back portion of our yard has been a MESS since we moved in (shamefully 4 years ago). Making the fairy garden was just what I needed to inspire me to get the rest of that area planted and spruced up! We added a cobalt bird bath (the fairies have taken this over as their swimming pool), a gazing ball, and lots of new colorful flowers. I am working on painting an old bench to set out there as well!
Anyone have any awesome garden inspirations for me? I’ve been bitten by the bug!
If you make your own fairy garden…be sure to SHARE!!!