Invite the magical “wee folk” of the world into your garden this spring with your very own fairy house. You’ll find all kinds of inspiration for your project at Powell Gardens starting Saturday, March 12, when Enchanted Garden: Orchids, Begonias & Fairy Houses opens in the conservatory.
Carpets of thyme, a feather awning, a pinecone petal stairstep—with nothing more than a dusting of creativity you can invent a miniature world from natural materials available in your own backyard. Gather your kids or grandkids for an enchanting time together collecting, building and creating. As you tuck your fairy house into a quiet spot in your garden, take a photo and share it with us for a chance to win a Powell Gardens shopping spree! (Find the complete contest details here.)
To help you get started, our staff and volunteers share some of their tips for creating these whimsical structures:
1. Gather your supplies. Grab a bag and take a walk outside to collect natural materials: pieces of tree bark, twigs, dried grasses, flowers and seed pods, acorns, pinecones, pebbles, feathers, lichen, moss, etc. Craft stores also are a good source for dried natural materials.
2. Assemble tools. A glue gun is especially useful. You might also want scissors or a utility knife, a small handsaw, and wire or twine.
3. Choose your base. This can be a piece of sturdy cardboard, a good-sized piece of tree bark or a dried gourd. Some people start with a cardboard milk carton. Try to keep the base as natural as possible.
4. For a dried gourd fairy house, use a knife to cut a small hole in the side. This will be the fairies’ doorway.
For a bark house, choose a large dried flower like a hydrangea blossom and poke or glue the stem end into the bark. Use your fingers to make a small opening in the flower for the fairies’ doorway.
Use sprigs of smaller dried flowers or seedpods to add interest.
For a cardboard base, glue moss and perhaps a pebble pathway onto the cardboard after constructing a house. Seashells also are a nice addition and can serve as miniature “spas” or fountains.
Outdoor fairy houses are fun to build, too! Find a hollow at the base of a tree or the side of a rock. Use pebbles for a pathway and small pieces of bark for the house roof. Carpet the floor with moss and make a fence outside by poking twigs into the ground. There are so many possibilities, and children especially will have fun making their own creations.
Ideas for fairy house construction and decoration:
- Twigs, hollow logs, tree roots
- Tree bark (birch is excellent)
- Seed pods and dried seed heads
- Rocks and pebbles
- Fur or hair
- Nuts (especially the shells)
We can’t wait to see what you come up with!