If you’ve recently been to a craft fair, you’ve noticed that fairies are in fashion. The wee winged people are turning up everywhere and – legend has it – you can attract them to your yard if you build a house for them, especially if you have a welcoming door.
Before you start gathering materials, it’s helpful to think about how and where you plan to display the house.
Tip: For more craft ideas, check out Bounty arts & crafts tips and articles.
The Door: The door to the house will likely be the first thing to draw your eye. You can make a simple wooden door with some craft sticks. Line them up side by side, and then put another one or two across, using some glue to secure it all. You can even use a small piece of wood or a pushpin for a doorknob.
You can use paint or stain to give the door the colour you want.
There are also some great options when trying to frame the door. Use a horseshoe as a frame, cutting the door to fit inside. You can do the same with a decorative metal letter of the alphabet. Affix the wooden craft stick door to the letter with wood glue and allow it to dry.
Outdoor Houses: If you want to make a long-lasting garden decoration, you’ll need to start with a durable structure, such as an inverted clay pot with a wedge broken out of the rim to serve as a doorway or outdoor birdhouse kit.
Indoor Houses: If you plan to display your fairy house in a terrarium or nestled in a pot with a houseplant, you can use a less durable structure, such as a small milk carton or a decorative birdhouse.
Tip: Craft stores often sell tiny birdhouses for about a dollar. These often have loops of string at the top, making them ideal for hanging from a mobile. While these houses generally come with round holes, the holes are easily cut down into doorways with a small saw or serrated kitchen knife, or simply left as is. (Fairies do have wings, you know.)
Tip: If you’re simply planning to display your house on a table or shelf, create a base for it. Glue the house to a piece of wood or cardboard or a clay saucer and decorate the base with pebbles, shells, sticks or dried moss to create a bucolic setting.
Decorating the exterior a fairy house is fun, because it begins with a treasure hunt. Before you rush out to buy materials, consider what you have lying around the house and in the yard. You’ll be surprised how much can be repurposed.
Materials to Gather: Paint, seashells, sea glass, buttons, bits of broken china, popsicle sticks, bottle caps, old silk or plastic flowers, inexpensive costume jewellery or plastic beads, sticks, stones, bark and acorns.
If you don’t mind spending a bit on your project, wander the aisles of the craft store for inspiration. You’re likely to find tiny wooden welcome signs, glass pebbles, minute bells, plastic vines (a great way to hang a fairy house) and all sorts of other bric-a-brac. Whatever you choose, your fairy house will derive its magic from your individuality.
Tip: For a quick alternative, many craft stores sell fairy house kits that you can use.
Assembling the House
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, make a plan. If you choose to paint your fairy house, you’ll want to apply a coat of primer before top-coating. Be sure any painted surfaces are completely dry before you try to glue on any decorations. As for gluing, a hot glue gun works well, but be sure to carefully supervise little ones during the project.
While you’re decorating, don’t forget about the inside of your fairy house:
- Scraps of ribbon or material make great curtains.
- A large flat button glued to a cork is a terrific table.
- A slipper shell is an ideal fairy cradle.
Tip: Depending on how you’ve constructed your fairy house and where you plan to display it, you may want to give it a quick polyurethane spray.
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