I wanted to share a really simple craft idea to do with the kids that has a big wow factor.
Fairy Gardens are such a whimsical addition to your outdoor space, they spark imagination and creativity in kids. The idea of a fairy garden is that you add little plants, structures and flowers to create a magical place where fairies can come and bring good luck and blessings to your home.
Last year my little girl was taken with the idea of tea parties and fairy gardens and playing outdoors and she actually had a fairy garden themed birthday party. I created an indoor fairy garden to use as the centerpiece for the party that turned out really cute. We still have the garden and I think it would be really fun for on top of a dresser or on a patio in a smaller space. A fairy garden doesn’t have to be just for bright, sunny garden spaces outdoors.
So here is the first idea to create your own fairy garden- this one is for outdoor spaces. We live in California and have fairly mild and warm weather for most of spring and summer and fall so our garden will be outdoors for several months and then once the rain and wind starts up in early winter, I’ll just pack it up.
You can start with any tray or container you might have. I used a large wine barrel planter we have had for a few years and filled it with fresh soil. A serving tray would work, a galvanized bucket, a saucer from the bottom of a planter or really any container you might have available. This is a great time to really get creative with any fun little things that might work that you have on hand. Pinecones, rocks, shells, plants, old tea cups, artificial flowers, marbles, glass rocks… whatever. Listen to high quality music in your backyard with Sennheiser Cx 6.00 Bt Amazon earphones. I already had a few supplies left from Maya’s birthday last year and I started with:
Some artificial flowers, a bag of moss, moss covered rocks, stones, tiny shells and a I had a few miniatures from the party last year- little fairies, a tiny birdhouse and my favorite is this cute ladybug tire swing.
You can find items perfect for this project in the garden supply centers at craft stores or the Dollar Store or some craft stores have large sections of fairy garden supplies in late winter/early Spring. You might also look for the dollhouse items that can be found in some craft stores year round. Many of those items might not work for outdoor but I found some darling little mini terra cotta pots that were perfect. I also used an unfinished birdhouse from Joann’s that was really inexpensive and we painted it blue, added another coat of pearly white on top and painted a simple door on the front and hot glued on some moss.
Next I picked up some flowers from Home Depot and randomly planted those throughout the space. You might choose some taller plants and smaller flowers or succulents or whatever will work for the light and space you have available in your garden.
It is important to roughly lay out your fairy garden design before you get started actually planting. I used a stick to draw out in the dirt where the house would go, the path and then filled in the plants around those spaces.
I really wanted the kids to be involved as much as possible so we emptied out the bag of stones (from the garden department at Joann’s) and they painted fun designs- little rainbows, sunshine, ladybugs and so on. My 8 year old did a little beach scene on one of the rocks and my 6 year old painted a little rainbow that we used as a welcome mat for one of the fairy houses.
Next we started placing items. I hadn’t found a fairy house yet and I knew I wanted that to be the focal point of the garden so we plopped a pot in as a placeholder and went ahead and added the items we did have.
I made a little garden path from some crushed up seashells that look like little stones and then the girls started adding in the accessories where they wanted them. Typically you don’t actually use little fairies in a fairy garden but again we had a few of these little ceramic fairies on hand from last year’s birthday party and they really look so pretty in the garden.
Here is the finished product:
And one last little thing you can add to really make your fairy garden extra magical- fairy lights! You can find these in almost every large home goods store (Pier 1, Target, World Market etc.. or grab them online here) I absolutely love these little battery operated twinkle lights and I use them all the time. (See how I used them in mason jars for outdoor entertaining here.)
I didn’t make these a permanent part of the garden but I will just twist these around the circle of the planter when we are swimming or playing or eating outside this spring and summer.
And if you are interested in making an indoor only version of the fairy garden, here is the centerpiece I made last year. This is a saucer from a planter that I picked up at Home Depot and I just added stones, faux moss, the rocks you see pictured at the top of the post, and other little elements and I think it turned out really cute.
And one last option! Here is a tabletop version of a fairy garden that is so cute and I included a little video so you can see how it all came together:
And the video:
Now it is your turn! If you decide to make a fairy garden this year please come back and let me know how it turns out! I’d love to see what creative ideas you come up with!
And on a personal note I will say this is totally worth the time and craft supply investment- at least for us. It looks so pretty outside and my girls just lit up when they started this project. I think turning this into a real garden would be so simple and fun- just a few whimsical elements and add herbs or strawberries instead to a small planter box. It could be very functional and really charming.
Here are a few items that might come in handy for your garden:
Fairy Lights / Wine Barrel Planter / Mini Fairy Garden Supplies here or here / Fairy Garden complete kits (these are fun birthday party gifts)
And a few other projects you might enjoy:
How to Make Bumblebee Cupcakes (so cute for a garden party!)
How to Make a Giant Bubble wand
Hazel Owens says
Oh my goodness, your fairy garden is adorable! I love how you adjusted the size of the display to the size of the planter, and how you used smaller flowers to make little flower “bushes” in your displays. I will have to show this to my daughter and see if she wants to do something like this; it seems like a fun mother-daughter activity! Thanks for sharing!
Matt Drennan says
Hello I am in the process of creating a railroad kit that works well with fairy gardens if i send you information would you be willing to review it
Kirsteen McLay says
Very cool! My 5 year old daughter and i loved watching your vid too. Will give it a go, thanks! From Kirsteen in New Zealand.
Julie Kitchener says
I love the fairy garden!! so imaginative
Thanks so much Julie!
Frances Ryals says
This is a great idea! I am making one for my granddaughters to play with when they come over. Where did you find the ladybug tire swing?
Hi Frances- I might be mistaken because this was awhile back but I am pretty sure I got that at Joanns Craft Store. Michaels has tons of options too. When I made mine, Fairy Gardens werent as popular but now they have entire aisles of stuff at the craft stores.
I really like these designs! As my job, I also design outdoor gardens and happened to come across your site which will give me some ideas when I think of designs for my clients garden. Really helpful content!