A few weeks ago my twins celebrated their 6th birthday. We incorporated a really special party craft that I wanted to share for a few reasons: it is basically compostable, so party guests can return it to the earth when it gets ratty looking, the amount of imagination it inspired with the kids was amazing, and the supplies required where found for the most part in the forest. I am always totally inspired every time I walk into a West Coast forest – the amount of moss, ferns, and toadstools right now is breathtaking. I wanted a way to bring some of this beauty into the party give aways at the twins party. I mean really, it would just be too easy to go into the Green Planet Parties warehouse and start pulling out magical items. I wanted to challenge myself and incorporate a few of the fairy items from this popular category on the site, but also input some creativity. So voila – the concept of creating compostable fairy houses and wooden dolls was born and the effect was quite magical. So here is how you can construct the ultimate craft with a fairy themed soiree!
Collecting Supplies For Compostable Fairy Houses:
This was my favorite part of the craft. I got the opportunity to walk into our local Mall and rather than walking out with purchased goods, I went to all of the shoe stores and asked them for empty shoe boxes. Shoe stores collect many empty boxes during the day from customers that opt out of taking them home. They are just broken down and recycled, but I managed to collect close to 20 over a 2-day period. I would advise getting regular sized shoe boxes…not big ones from boots. Here is what the stack of boxes looked like pre-party.
After we had boxes collected (1 box per party guest), we headed into the forest and started collecting our nature. The bottom of each shoe box was going to be lined with moss. It’s easy to find thick, wet, beautiful moss in our local forest so we collected our moss and fallen twigs. Moss to line the bottom of the box and twigs to create rugs and ladders for inside the fairy house and fallen ferns to create a pretty design inside the house. I thought the ferns might look nice in small section in the fairy house glued to the side of the walls to give a shutter or the allusion of window blinds.
Making Wooden Fairies for Fairy Garden:
We then decided to include a wooden clothespin fairy for the girls to decorate inside their fairy house. We used all upcycled materials for these that included: wooden clothespins, tissue paper for wings, sharpie to draw faces and hair, fabric scraps to make clothing. We pre-painted faces (I did the faces and my girls did the hair) onto the clothespin dolls and we loved how they turned out. The ladies are whispering below how excited they are to get dressed and have a rest on their leaf bed.
The ladies continued to chat to each other about how they wanted to be dressed. Also included in the below picture is some inspiration to avoiding glitter to decorate the fairy wands. We found glass beads and glued them to the middle of the wooden wands (same beads we used for the pond) – loved the effect!
In order to ‘dress’ the fairies, we cut out rectangular strips of tissue paper. We slid the tissue paper up the clothespin opening, then fanned out wings. Then the girls used Green Glue and glued on the little bits of clothing I had pre-cut. The effect was lovely and I wanted the party guests to have a doll and some quality pieces from inside the house that they could play with for a long time. Here is a dressed doll after one of our guests finished gluing on clothes.
Putting Together Fairy Houses:
After the party guests finished making a doll, they painted a few quality pieces that would be reused from the fairy house (the shoebox, moss and twig pieces could later be composted) and they included, fairy doors and beds from Green Planet Parties. The beds had huge impact with the girls because they were able to lay their newly acquired fairy dolls and put them to sleep inside the box. Here are the fairy doors that each party guests painted.
A great idea if using a fairy door for your fairy house is to cut out an opening in the shoe box where the fairy door can be placed. It’s the entry point for all the magic inside the house to be contained! I did this for a few of the guests and they loved the effect!
While the guests were painting fairy doors and wooden wands, I was getting another table ready for the completion of the houses. The guest had their shoebox ready with moss inside, a leaf bed w/ pillow and twig ladder next to it to put inside the box, the fairy they had decorated, I put the guest’s name on the box, then they walked over with their fairy door and wand that was put into the box to dry. They started looking like this:
Another extra I had waiting to put into the box were blue glass rocks. Once a few were added to the corner of a fairy house it looked like a pond where the fairy could have a swim later.
Voila! Close the lid and the fairy garden/house/doll is ready to go home when your party guests. I wrote names on the outside of each box so it was easy when guests were picked up to find their box. With the shoe box lids closed, I loved watching the reaction of parents (probably thinking why is she giving me this?) but then I looked them in the eye and said “compostable fairy house” and the adult’s eyes lit up because they knew these take home gifts were something different and unique.
Prep time for these fairy boxes should be about two weeks before the actual party. You want to enjoy the process of going into the forest and searching for treasures. Try to find sticks, leaves, acorns that have already fallen onto the forest floor. One idea we had was to collect acorns and glue them to the head of each fairy doll but there weren’t any in our area this time of year. It would have been a cute accent but I love how the faces on the dolls turned out. A glue gun really came in handy with making the twig ladders – I would have loved to make and hang some windows with twigs in each box too. Using the glue gun also allowed me to not have to use glitter with decorating the wands. By adding a glass bead to the centre of the wooden wands, the girls just added some paint to them and we by-passed using glitter. I try to stay away from it because it’s plastic. I didn’t want this getting into the compostable materials inside the box.
We had a little over 15 party guests and it’s doable, but a smaller number of children is probably recommended for this craft. I divided the kids up into 2 groups otherwise it would have been overwhelming to orchestrate all of the little steps. It’s fun when you can take the time to listen to the kids and have them decide what all of the materials will be in their house: carpets from sticks, windows, ponds – very fun!
I write this article not as the owner of Green Planet Parties, but as a mom of two adorable little girls and a person with a serious Peter Pan complex; never want to grow up and someone that believes that fairies are real!