Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DIY Fairy Garden!

What little girl doesn't want to play in a fairy garden!  Grace and I have been talking about making a fairy garden or fairy house for quite some time.  So the hunt has been on for something we could turn into a fairy garden or house.  We've seen bird houses and other structures that could have worked, but nothing ever really seemed right.  It all seemed too closed in.  But today...a stroke of genius!

My DIY fairy garden has a tree house with ladder, a swing, and a campfire with three stools and a bench.  I also made a chaise lounge and small awning along with some "poufs" for sitting.

Supplies for one phenomenal fairy garden...

-  1 Cereal box (that's my stroke of genius)
- Scissors
-  A pair of small hand held pruning shears 
-  Hot glue gun and glue...quite a few sticks
-  Elmers Glue
-  Spray Adhesive (optional)
-  Potting Soil (optional)
-  Paints and Paint brushes
-  Small sticks, leaves, acorns, rocks...pretty much anything you can find in your back yard

First and foremost, the scavenger hunt to find all the sticks and leaves and goodies was so much fun!  First, we have these giant Hickory trees and they are dropping these enormous hickory nuts.  I don't allow the girls to go under the trees right now because they seriously hurt when they fall on your head....but, they turned out to be great fairy boulders or poufs!  More on that later.

First!  Cut off one wide side of the cereal box.  Next hot glue the tabs and sides together to make a box.  In the front portion, cut an L shape into the cardboard, this makes your gate.  Although, I doubt fairies need gates, seeing as they can fly...but hey, my kiddos love the gate!

For the fence, take your pruning shears and start making some uniform cuts length wise on your twigs and sticks.  Some you can just break by hand, for others, I was very happy to have the pruning shears.  Below is a look at how it was going...then I clearly got distracted with the idea of making furniture.  But a word for the wise, if you look at the photo below, you will see that I started the tree house before completing the fence all the way around.  I probably wouldn't do this again because I had to be very selective to fill in those spaces for the fencing.  That part was kind of annoying and took a very long time.  Instead, I would complete the entire fence, then glue in additional parts and pieces in their proper spaces.

After you have made your fence, you can use spray adhesive on the floor and dust potting soil onto it.  After spreading it out, patting it gently and then dumping the remaining soil, just spray again and repeat.  When finished with the second coating of soil and getting rid of the extra, give it another good coat of the adhesive.  You don't have to do this.  You could paint the floor, make beams for it, glue beads or pebbles to it.  You can really use your imagination on all of it.

Filling in the gaps with twigs...not fun.  Also, the original swing...really cool.  It was also supporting the other corner of the tree house!

For the tree house, I simply took a rectangular piece of cardboard and glued leaves to the outside, turning the overhang under and gluing in place.  Next I made a small fence around three sides of the perimeter and hot glued two small plants for decoration.  Next, I figured out how high I wanted it to stand and cut three twigs to that length, my fourth was cut longer so I could anchor it into the corner and not take up floor space (you can see it a few pictures down).   Grace then white-washed the leaves to give them contrast and painted the railings. 

I then hot glued small pieces of twigs to one of the support beams for the tree house (cut using the pruning shears).

I then made a long support beam anchored to the front corner of the garden the the front corner of the tree house to make a swing.  My original swing was way cooler but it broke on the way out to put in the soil.  Once installed, paint it yellow and call it a happy day!

The swing was made from an old hickory nut section with twine hot glued beneath it and wrapped around the twig and secured with hot glue.

Next comes furniture!!

You can see the long anchor beam for the tree house right in the middle of the corner.

Stools are made with a small piece of cardboard (1"x1" roughly) and tiny twigs hot glued to it.  Next hot glue four small twigs to the bottom...then hand it over to your child to paint...done!

The camp fire is actually two parts.  First part is four twigs shaped like a rectangular tic-tac-toe...if that's understandable.  Glue in some tissue paper fire and the camp fire is done.  The bowl on top is two hickory nut sections glued and painted.  It's removable and deep enough so that Grace can put things in it and cook for her fairies.  Oh, and our fire is pink...because Grace said that's the color of fairy fire.  

...You learn something new every day.

Next, I made the chaise lounge.  I think it's my favorite.  Just take a rectangular piece of cardboard, fold one-third of it and glue a leaf to it.  Next hot glue some short legs and it is the cutest thing in the world!  We then gave it a little white wash with some pink highlights.

The awning is just as easy.  I took a rectangular piece of cardboard and covered it with leaves the same way I did with the tree house.  Then I cut out a small rectangle right in the middle that was wide enough to fit the corner support pole for the swing.  Next I hot glued a small twig (same as the ladder) to the pole and the height I wanted.  Attach the awning with hot glue at your desired angle on top of the twig with the support beam in the cutout and it such a nice shady spot for the fairies!

Oh, and don't forget the boulders...the poufs...or whatever they are.  Paint some nuts and put them in there for extra seating!

It's not too shabby!  I love how rustic it is but how colorful it still was able to be.  It really helped when we white washed the fence and put a little color on the gate.

I'm very happy with it and so is Grace.  She's waiting for me to make some fairies...but I'm kind of at a loss as to how to do that and not be overly breakable.  No biggie, I'm sure it will come to me!

Until next time...

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