I can’t remember the first time I heard about fairy gardens, but I do remember that as soon as I heard such a thing existed, I knew I would be making one! I don’t know what it is I love most about fairy gardens. Maybe it’s the tinyness. Let’s face it, miniature versions of full size counterparts are just cute! Or maybe it’s holding on to the childish hope that fairies are real, a hope that something magical and otherworldly exists. I love watching my children get lost in the world of make-believe, fiercely wanting Harry Potter to be real and hoping their letter from Hogwarts is coming any day now, believing that it’s Tinkerbell and her friends who are making the plants grow in the spring and the leaves turn colors in the fall, and wondering if just over that hill, there might be a Hobbit hole. So I decided to jump into the fantasy with them, and create a DIY fairy garden, just outside our door.
And now with this DIY fairy garden how-to, you can too!
Decide on a Location:
Fairy gardens can go anywhere. Originally I thought I would make the fairies a garden in a big pot and keep it on my deck, but instead I decided to make it outside, a small garden within our own garden. We chose a space just outside our front door, underneath our beautiful weeping willow tree.
The crafts stores I frequent often have a fairy garden accessories section. There is a ton of variety including little toadstools, tables and chairs, bridges, fences, fire pits, and even little gardening tools.
For our fairy garden I decided to channel my inner Tinkerbell and tinker us some accessories to hopefully give the garden a more authentic feel, as if fairies made it themselves. I had the kiddos go on a nature walk in our backyard to find items we could use for the garden. They had a great time collecting treasures in their buckets. One of my girls found a few bricks in the brush but we decided ultimately that they weren’t quite nature-y enough.
The kids brought a ton of sticks and bark so we decided to make the fairies a little table and chairs. To do this we snapped the sticks to approximately the same size, lined them up and hot glued them together. Then we glued on thicker sticks for the legs and backs of the chairs. I know Tinkerbell doesn’t have access to a bright pink hot glue gun, but I figured she wouldn’t fault me for using one.
We decided to make a door to attach to the tree, to pretend that the fairies’ home is inside the tree. For this, we went with popsicle sticks. Again, I thought Tinkerbell might be a little disappointed that I didn’t use things found in nature to make the door, but I hoped she would give me another pass on that one. I painted the popsicle sticks and used my hot glue gun to hold them together.
Purchase Small Plants:
The kids and I headed to the nursery to purchase some small sized plants for our fairy garden. This was a little challenge since some of the plants we found were small, but would grow quite large and we were hoping for small plants that would stay small. Luckily, succulents are pretty popular right now and when we found that section, we knew we found plants that would work for our garden.
The plants we used were black hens and chicks, sedum, portulacaria, and my favorite, a mimicry plant called stone faces. Click here for more info about plants that may work well in your yard. I love it because it looks like mushrooms which I believe would totally be found in a real fairy garden. We also bought some small-sized gravel to make a little walkway and patio area.
Design the Layout:
Next, we we tacked the door onto the tree using a small finishing nail. We roughed out a little pathway leading up to the door and a patio area for the table and chairs. We planted the plants around the door and patio. Then we poured the gravel into the walkway and patio. We added the big stones the kids found on their nature walk to border the walkway.
Add Extra Details:
The fairy garden seemed a little plain, so I called my crafty sister, (you can read her blog at eveofconstruction.com) to ask her if she could crochet me a little something special for my fairies. The next day, I had a mini hammock and an adorable pennant banner! I love the way these look; they add a pop of color and make the whole garden more interesting. Then my girls got a little wreath for the front door – from an angel statue in their room. She holds a wreath in her hands and she has several they can change out for the different seasons. I think it makes the whole place look more homey, don’t you? We have plans to add more to the garden too. I think an old toy tire might make an excellent tire swing, and my kids want to add a bridge and a stream made out of glass beads.
Play with your Fairy Garden:
Honestly, I did most of the work making the fairy garden and only let my kids help a little. I definitely enjoyed this project way more than they did. But now that it’s here I’m happy to let them play with it! They took a spin around the house and found a bunch of small size toys: fairies, little dollies and animals, and lots of tiny cups and plates of food and took them right out to the garden for a fairy tea party. I love that it’s not only pretty to look at, but that it’s also fun to play with–a win-win!
Do you have a fairy garden at your house? I’d love to see pictures if you do!
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Janine Huldie says
Love the Tinkerbell theme here and going to have to see what I can do when it warms up here for my girls who have been begging to make a Fairy Garden. So thanks for sharing yours here!! 🙂
I can’t wait to hear how your garden turned out–I’ll bet your girls love it!!
So what are the names of the stores that you spoke of?
Michaels and Hobby Lobby are great ones for this!
We had so much fun making this. Send me a picture when you make yours!
My beautiful wife has begun her fairy garden in a water trough. It is magnificent
It sounds gorgeous!
Ooooh! I see a Fairy Garden in our future! Thanks for the amazing tips!
You’re welcome Meredith! My kids and I had so much fun making this!
In Kansas where we live hot glue does not hold up outside. But don’t be discouraged, there are other glues.
Our fairie houses and barn are made of hypertufa. Wish I could send a photo but don’t know how to do that.
Patty! I’m so sorry that I’m only just seeing this comment now! I’d love to see a photo of your fairy house! Can you send it to my email? firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, I’d love to know what type of glue you use!
I use e 6000 because of the heat factor, it takes time to dry but holds well in heat,if needed you can use glue gun to spot hold so it is easier to keep together then use the other glue.. my stuff holds much better in heat.
Super tip, Lin! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Hi Anne & Patty
I live in Kansas also and have been wondering where to put my fairy garden that would stand up to our extreme weather. I found your blog searching Pinterest for ideas how to set up my fairy garden.
I have been collecting items for awhile as I buy things when they are on sale or decide it something that I like. So I have several boxes of things that collected over the last few years. I’m not even sure I even remember what in the 1st box that have marked fairy garden. so I have a mixture of items that not sure how it will all come together lol
I hesitate to pull it together as small plants like succulents and moss are rather expense I do believe in the end there may be more than one garden!
I think maybe an indoor garden would work best for you? Maybe you can buy a large pot (or a few since you have a lot of accessories) and make your garden in those. That way, you won’t need to worry about any of your items or plants getting damaged by the weather. Or, you could just have a warm weather fairy garden and bring your accessories inside during the colder months! Our garden definitely needs re-sprucing every year, but my kids enjoy making new furniture and putting it all back together after a tough winter. Hope that helps!
Debbie Leonhardt says
I used an old shelf and made my more delicate fairy garden indoors…not sure how to share pics? I have random ones out doors…I live in Alberta, Canada so understand what you mean.
Debbie, how cool! We’d love to see pics! If you email them to email@example.com, I’ll create a link where people can check them out! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I live in Kansas too! I have had a fairy garage outside in a ceramic pot for several years on our covered front deck. I live on a farm and deal with the winds across open fields!! I use picks on my items much as I do when making artificial floral arrangements but I have also used hot glue with some success! This summer, I am in process of making another outdoor fairy garden in my little red wagon from my childhood!! I filled it with sand and am building a campground for fairies!! I am again using picks, hot glue, and trying wire. It is on my back deck where it gets the west sun, all the wind, but a bit of rain protection. We’ll see!! Good luck with your gardens!! Oh yes….I did build a miniature of our farm in an apple crate but I have it inside!! our grandchildren love to put the animals in and out of barn, etc!!
Elaine, this sounds so amazing! I love the idea of using a wagon, and the barn you built for your grandkids is so cool! You are such a creative person 🙂
Hi, I made a 4 season fairy village and the plants survive all winter and summer outside. Why? Artificial grass, succulents, acorn trees, etc.6000 glue is best. I never had luck with glue guns either. I put the pots to bed under several sand they stayed high and dry but were frozen in around the base. I am retired and was not willing to “garden” but felt I shouldn’t be deprived of all the fun I had. FYI everyone says no one wants China so my China houses and flowers etc miniatures are all in my ‘garden, village. I had so much fun and you can too.
Oh Bonnie, this sounds so neat! And what great ideas for making a year-round garden. I’ll bet it really was so fun 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Holly K says
My granddaughter and I started making fairy gardens last year. We did the first one outside, during summer dry season. When rainy season started, we made one inside on a card table. We now have different items for winter, spring, summer, fall, and Christmas. A few weeks ago, we went back outside. The new summer fairy garden is mostly inside the upside down lid of a clear rectangular bin. If it rains, I can pop the bin pride done on top of the lid. There are pictures on my page.
This is fantastic, Holly! And what a special thing to share with your granddaughter. I love it!
What glue have you found that holds up best outside. Here in Texas hot glue doesn’t work either.
That is a good question, Jen! I know gorilla glue is supposed to hold up in hot weather, but I also read somewhere that E6000 glue (industrial glue) worked well for them in the heat? Let us know what you figure out, and enjoy your fairy garden!
deanna kinney says
What glue did you use to attach your door to the tree? Mine keeps falling down. But I also have a heavier door.
Deanna, I actually used a nail to tack my door to the tree!
Commenting for Cathy with these pics of her AMAZING fairy garden–check them out!:
As she explains, “The large fairy house is the dead trunk of a tree. The roots are still on the base. It has a close line with little fairy clothes and leaves drying for wings. It is endless how many fairies can live in one backyard Some of my fairies are 20 years old.”
Thank you so much for sharing, Cathy!!
Cathy, these pictures are incredible! Your fairy garden is just lovely! Thank you so much for sharing your photos with us!
Roberta West says
This Fairy Garden is fabulous! So nicely put together. My two little granddaughters would have hours of fun playing in it. Thank you so much for sharing.
Isn’t it gorgeous, so much fun for littles ones to play with! Perfect to set up for your grandkids 🙂
Audrey A Belanger says
this is incredibly beautiful
Audrey A Belanger says
your garden is
Love your garden, but what kind of glue for outside gardens
Hi Dorie! I used a glue gun because that’s what I had handy. But, my fairy table and chairs only lasted a season. So, I would probably go with something stronger like gorilla glue or liquid nails.
Do you run and own a craft store ? If so do u have a catloge ?
No craft store or catalog! Just a mom who’s done this with her kids 🙂
So happy to read your post.recently me and my son did a fairy garden project which is growing bigger and bigger everyday 🙂
We love hearing this, Sumi! Hope you all get to enjoy your little garden so much this summer 🙂
Jaye Rosales says
We did a fairy farm started 2018. This spring we will build a fairy garden. The family has been shopping and planning for two years.
That is so fun, Jaye! And love that your family does it together 🙂 Enjoy!
Edna Simmers says
New to this page. Found it by accident. Have already made a fairy garden using a large have rotted out log. Bought a fairy house with steps, added fake grass rose bush trees. Covered the log with vines & flowers. Added a path out to a pond with fake rocks that are solar, looks like water but lights up at night. Worked on a gnome bar which is finished. It has tables made out of trees. they look like round bar tables with log seats. curved bar with mirror and very small bottles of beer, pop, &and wine. Outdoor patio looks like slate. Adding a band later. Planting to complete a Fairy, Gnome & Hobbit village. Hope that I can figure out how to do pictures. Thanks
Oh my gracious, Edna! This sounds AMAZING! Thanks so much for checking in here and sharing your garden. Feel free to email me any pics (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I can set up a link to view them on a page. Go you for creating such a creative, fun garden!
Loretta McKey says
I love that you have triplet girls as my granddaughter has 2 year old triplet girls and had a little boy just after they turned 2 in February! I have fallen in love now with these precious Fairy Gardens and plan to get the kiddos into this! I have 12 year old and an 8 year old step-granddaughters that are moving here soon and can’t wait to see what they can come up with in designs, too! Thank you for all your great ideas on how to do this on a budget!
Loretta, how fun that you are doing this with your grandkids–a special memory they will always have! Such a fun project to share 🙂 Have so much fun with it!
Anne K Metz says
Hi Loretta! Yay for triplet girls! I also have a son too, so 3 girls and one boy over here too. It is hard in the beginning, but such an absolute blessing! I love watching my triplets grow up and love on each other and support one another. And, I love that you found this post and will be making fairy gardens with your grandkids! I hope you all have a wonderful time creating together!
I am making a Fairy/Gnome Garden. I used Hot Glue on just about everything. I also used Mod Podge on it along with Polyurethane to seal it. So I hope it holds up. I put it outdoors in Feb. Someone tried to take one of my pewter Gnomes off of my home made post. It is on a ladder made out of clothes pins. I had to regular the ladder together.
Since nothing else was disturb around it, I know someone did try to remove it.
I have made some Seashells into A peacock and painted some shells to look like lady bugs. So they weren’t blown off I know it wasn’t the wind.
I would upload a picture here but it don’t have an icon to do so.
I love all of your ideas and suggestions. If the hot glue don’t hold out I will defiantly try the E6000 glue.
Thank you for sharing all the stories.
You have such creative ideas! How awesome! And I am so sorry that you had someone try to take from your garden 🙁 Hope you don’t have to deal with this again and here’s to enjoying your garden! Thanks for sharing this 🙂