I’m so happy to write about a long awaited eco-activity we’ve recently finished – building a fairy garden and fairy house. It’s been my 6 year old son urging me to help him make fairy furniture and design plans for the house which has been a very cool surprise…I always thought this would be something I’d create with my daughter’s so I’m thrilled my boys thought this was a fun idea. Creating the garden, furniture and house was so much easier thanks to the awesome tutorials at The Magic Onions. I’ve talked about this site before because it’s the ultimate resource for convincing non-crafty folk like myself that I can create some of nature’s magic with my own children.
It was so heart warming to me that one of my son’s was so determined to get this project off the ground. We had so much fun and I’m proud that all of the materials for the garden came from our yard or nearby forests…nothing needed to be purchased and borrowing a glue gun from my friend became another fun highlight for my kids (glue guns make crafting so much fun!). Our garden doesn’t come close to the artistic design that The Magic Onion achieves with her blog but check out the pictures at the end of this article – I think we did pretty good and even managed to create a new item that is the perfect accent for any fairy’s garden (hint: think acorns and hemp string).
I loved the idea of finding a wine barrel for the garden, but we used an over sized planter currently not being used. Whatever you use, make sure it’s large enough because your children will want to play with the garden when it’s completed. Also, have potting soil and make sure the container/planter/barrel has a hole in the bottom for drainage purposes because you’ll need to water your garden to keep the moss and flowers alive.
We didn’t draw out our our fairy garden before hand – but I do recommend it. Having your child map out on a sheet of paper where everything will go is a very magical step in the process and a great keep-sake. We filled up our planter with potting soil and dirt, pulled out a small flowering plant with roots intact from our main garden and replanted it in our fairy garden. Angelo found a plastic container to use for our fairy pond, then we put marbles around it with a path. Now came the fun – fairy doors, fairy furniture, and the fairy house! I followed all the instructions from The Magic Onions except for the one piece of decor within the fairy garden that was dreamed up by my sweet boy Angelo – lantern lights to hang high above the garden to light the way for fairies and gnomes. Angelo is always picking up acorns wherever we go – they are a staple item collected for his nature box. We used some hemp string and tied approx. 6 acorns together and attached to taller branches. These became our fairy lanterns ~ funny what ideas you start to imagine when you believe that fairies really do exist.
We really enjoyed making fairy furniture from the tutorials at The Magic Onions: fairy bath tub, fairy dining table, and our favourite the fairy’s washing line! This is the drying line where fairies leave their extra set of wings or dresses after they’ve been dampened by the morning dew. If you have tiny clothes pegs – that is best. For the clothing line – I used the annoying ties that you need to unwind when receiving a new toy. You know those grey ties that you fight with to ‘release’ the toy after your child unwraps it? Well my mom pointed out a few summers ago that she loves using them for tying back plants in the garden. I started saving them too because they do come in handy. They worked perfectly to tie around two sticks to create our clothing line. Here are our pictures:
After our fairy garden was complete we sat back and enjoyed our accomplishment for only a few days before Angelo decided that a house needed to be built. Thankfully, our wonderful friend Patti had many examples from her own adventures so we followed the fantastic model of no gluing, no tying to get our log house built. We simply cut approx. 20 sticks to the same size and built 4 walls (with a gap for a door) by pushing the sticks down into the soil of our fairy garden. Our roof and fairy door was made from tree bark; easy to break and mold into the shape needed for both. I love that Angelo went into the yard and was so excited that he found the perfect door knob for the fairy door – a dandelion top that hadn’t blossomed yet. It was perfect for a knob and we used the glue gun to attach it to the door. Very easy to build and our garden is almost complete. We used all materials that were already on-hand or found on a forest floor. The last surprise will be the little ladies and goodies I have arriving from The Enchanted Cupboard. I’ve long been a fan of artist and mom Beccijo who hand paints wooden treasures and has truly captured the magic of fairies and mermaids in her lovely Etsy shop.
Here are the final pictures from our fairy garden and house. So fun and hopefully a summer memory that my kids will always remember – I know I will.