Fairy Gardens, Tutorial

Fairy Garden House Tutorial

I love Fairy Gardens.  I love anything miniature.  I’m not sure what the fascination is, maybe it’s the memory of a little girl who loved dolls, and dollhouses, and Barbies,  and all things well…little.  I would most dearly love to build a dollhouse…for myself…and someday soon, I will.  Perhaps that will be one of my winter projects.   Right after I redo the ensuite bathroom. 😉

For now, I am working on Fairy Garden items for Bethany to sell at Farmer’s Markets.  We made some items last year and found they were quite popular.  Perhaps it is the ‘in thing’ for a season, but whatever the reason, I love making them.  We have other Fairy Garden items to view on my website link at the top of my Blog, if you’re curious, but here are some of our ‘new’ creations.











I also made myself a small Fairy Garden last year, for indoors.


I have an outdoor one that is a work-in-progress…I seem to be good at the ‘work-in-progress’ part.

The little swing on the top, right bottom I got for Mother’s Day.  I’ll have to put some ‘grass’ under it so it shows up better!

We also decided we would make our own Fairy Garden Houses, that would hopefully look like a tree trunk.  It’s kind of been an ongoing project; as in, I think we started it Valentines Day 2016…yeah…kinda got put on the back burner.  Any who, I’m going to show you how we did it.  It is very, very, sticky and extremely messy.  Anyone who knows me knows I do not like sticky hands.  I detest mod podge, glue, and glitter…for those reasons. 😦  However, it was still fun!  I should also note these houses are for indoor use only.

You will need:  a coffee can, funnel or bowl that will fit the size of the coffee can for a roof (or none if you want to fashion your roof yourself), hot glue, scissors or exacto knife, tinfoil, paper towels (the ones with perforated sections and no pattern), white glue and water…and a sink to routinely wash your hands when they start to drive you crazy!  Oh, and a variety of paints such as brown, tan, white, and black.  This will probably take you all day, unless it’s just me cuz I’m kinda poky.

First we started with a coffee can…Tim’s of course (just kidding, any can will do), and removed the lid, peeled off the paper, and cut out windows and a door.  I made different shaped windows in both houses; even a ‘flower’ one.  I reinforced the cut areas with white tape, in case the cardboard got too wet when I applied the glue and paper towels.  I was making two at a time, so the pictures will vary depending on which one I was working with at the time.

Next start with a ton of tinfoil (buy anything cheap from the dollar store), tear off approximately a 20″ strip, (you’ll have to judge based on your can, plus the excess needed as described below) and then ‘scrunch’ the strip together, to make what will become ‘bark-like’ lines on your tree trunk house and hot glue each strip onto the can.  I left ample room at the top to insert my ‘roof’, which was a bowl for one, or you could use a funnel (again, dollar store purchase) and I used nothing for the other house as our funnel was too small. 😦  It still worked, I just fashioned my own roof.

I left some of the tinfoil long at the base for ‘roots’ and 6-12″ excess at the top to cover the bowl and to assist in forming the roof on the other house.  On one house I pulled back the tinfoil at the top to make room for the funnel/bowl which I very quickly hot glued to the lid of the can.


It was at this point I forgot to take a picture of the roof!  I smoothed and hot glued the tinfoil over the top of the bowl, and gathered it all together in my hand, then twisted it to make a funky top.  I actually added more tinfoil to my twist as I wanted it to curl like a Dr. Seuss house.  (There is a picture down further of the ‘curl’).

On the other house with no roof, I started to apply my paper towels with a mixture of glue and water.  This is mostly glue.  You want to be able to take a piece of the paper towel (divided along the perforations) and drag it through your bowl of glue and have the glue hang and ooze, but not run off like water.  If you empty a container of glue (approximately 500 ml size) into a bowl and add 2ish tablespoons of water, that should be good.  This uses a lot of glue.  I think we went through 4 bottles.  Also note:  do not use patterned paper towels…ask me how I know…the little bumps show through…and it does NOT look like bark. 😦  (I simply covered over it again, but this note will save you having to do that).

After running my paper towel through the glue mixture, I slid my fingers along the paper towel over the bowl, to remove the excess glue.  Again, this is very messy.  We laid down wax paper, and then switched to parchment paper because it soaked through.  You then apply each gluey, messy strip of paper towel to the tinfoil pushing it into the lines you have made in the tinfoil, and bunching it in places.  I also covered the ‘roots’ and ensured the paper towel covered the edges of my window and door, as well as the top of the ‘roof’, which currently is open.  Use generous amounts of paper towels to ensure you cover all your tinfoil.  It may tear, and when it does, just put another piece on top of it.  It takes on a kind of ‘ghost-like’ appearance, which is what you want, lots of flowing folds.


At this stage, I bent and shaped additional rolls of tinfoil into a circle, stacking the rolls on top of each other, and hot glued them to the top of the can, along the edge, until I felt it looked dome-shaped.  I then smoothed the pieces that are sticking up in the above photo, over the dome and voila!  It looked like a roof!  I did this while the paper towels were wet…don’t worry, no rush, it takes a while to dry.  I also added more tinfoil to make a curly top, and more paper towels with glue for the bark effect.  Sorry, again you’ll have to take my word for it…no pics.

The house with the hand-made dome roof looked like this with it’s curly top complete with paper towels.

IMG_1069 - Copy

Next, we let them dry…for days.  It took probably a week for it to dry completely and I had to turn them upside down and sideways and prop them up to ensure they were thoroughly dry.  Next, about 6 months later, I painted them! 🙂  I told you this was an ongoing project.  This is the ‘bowl-roof’ house.

I took some close ups to show the different colors of paint.  This is key.  I painted the entire house ‘brown’, then with a very stiff brush, I dipped it in one paint and dabbed off the excess, and basically dry-brushed highlights in various spots.  I used a light tan, a black, a bit of grey (black and white), and a combination of dark brown and tan, until I felt it looked like a ‘tree’.  I also used a fine pointed brush, and ‘ran’ my paint down the ‘bark’ to highlight certain areas.

I decided to add features to Bethany’s house; it’s the hand made roof one.  I added moss, ivy and rocks.  Of course there will probably be some little flowers and perhaps some window treatments, but I left that for Bethany to decide.  I only attached ivy to the front; perhaps we will add more down the back, but for now, this is how it looks.

The ‘bowl’ house is not yet finished; that one is mine.   C’mon…another six months hasn’t passed yet!

“Just A Little Something” I’ve been working on for a year and a half.  🙂



2 thoughts on “Fairy Garden House Tutorial”

    1. Isn’t that the truth! TIME! That’s why it’s taken me so long to finish the house. Lol. The one in the pot was fairly quick, an afternoon. It was Wards idea to put the one outside on that little corner tier and I love it! I’m going to do a few more, one in a big coffee cup planter, one in a wire teacup planter, and one in a basket cradle. Should be fun! 😊


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