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Compostable Fairy Gardens: Fairy Party Craft

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!



Get Outside This Winter

Have some squirrely kids at home these days?  Mine are all climbing the walls and going to school full-day and having physical activities afterwards isn’t denting their energy! I’ve realized this time of year it’s extra important to get that dose of fresh air! We tend to go into hibernation mode this time of year but kids need to get outside even more. Many schools keep kids indoors if it’s raining so they get very little outside time in wet North American climates. I get a lot of inspiration from the websites I’ve listed below – they have amazing ideas for keeping kids engaged with unique activities for encouraging the outdoors! I’ve also teamed up with a new sponsor this season and it’s very exciting. A local mountain, Cypress Mountain has offered my family some excursions on their Mountain to experience this ski season. This is my favorite mountain to ski and I’m so excited to enjoy some bonding time with my children up the mountain. Can I be honest? I went up Cypress Mountain with my boys last winter and it was one of the best days of my parenting journey. I don’t know what happened… could it have been all that fresh air, the memories of skiing when I was a child?  I don’t know but some magic clicked that day and the one-on-one bonding time a had with the boys was intense. You want maximized quality time with your children?  Take them into the wilderness or up a mountain. Talking while riding up a chair lift, the comradely checking on each other while going down the slope, the exhilaration you experience while enjoying a truly beautiful sport is wonderful and it’s one I hope all parents can enjoy once with their children. If you don’t ski – I would suggest an equally great time is snow shoeing, tobogganing or tubing on a ski slope. It is carefree fun and your kids need to see this side of you, completely relaxed and loving the outdoors.

This is a picture of my sons and I on New Year’s Eve. Our first time night skiing and the city lights in the backdrop were stunning!

Two sites that offer wonderful tips on enjoying outdoor winter activities are:

Let The Kids Play – an blog that is probably aimed at more preschool aged children but their articles are so incredible, order children would benefit for the activities too!

The Grass Stain Guru
– helping parents make a resolution to impact physical and mental health for their children – PLAY MORE!

Related Articles:

Resources to Get Parents and Children Outside Enjoying Nature

Summer Fairy Garden and Fairy House

Geocaching – Eco Activity For Entire Family




Summer Fairy Garden and Fairy House

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.

Related Articles:

Fairy Doors, Fairy Dust, The Makings For A Magical Party Game

The Fairy Ring ~ Etsy Wooden Fairy Dolls

Celebrate Your Little Girl’s Love For Fairies – Make A Toadstool!



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