Whether you spent all spring preparing your beautiful butterfly garden or your green thumb seems like it may be wilting, we have the perfect way to add some midsummer magic to your landscape: build your own fairy garden and gnome home!
This pixie project is fun for kids but also surprisingly therapeutic for adults (trust me!). From easy to elaborate, there are a number of directions to go with your enchanted fairy forest, but we chose a relatively simple and inexpensive route made with dollar store finds. Most of the supplies for this DIY fairy garden - or gnome home neighborhood, if you prefer - can be found in the gardening and craft sections. Now let's get started!
Create Your Own Fairy Garden From the Dollar Store
What you need:
- Clay pots or plastic planters for your base
- Miniature flower homes, fairies, gnomes, animal figurines and other accessories
- Faux succulents
- Silk flowers
- Tiny pebbles or gems
- Hot glue gun
First, plan out the position for your homes, creatures and accessories on your base (or in our case, multiple bases) before attaching anything. Once ready, start with one base at a time and use a hot glue gun to seal the larger pieces in place. While my daughter and I designed most of the fantasyland outside (with water and a Bug Bite Thing nearby, of course...remember that little mosquito magnet I told you about?), we performed this step indoors to power the glue gun.
Once you have your key pieces in place, it's time to spread the moss. We arranged it along the sides and around the homes, but left some space for a pebble "road." We used one color per base, but mixing moss colors can add another dimension. Next, we sprinkled the pebbles, which was my daughter's favorite part and layered in a nice sensory portion of the activity. When the terrain was set, we added the larger succulents on top of the moss.
We chose to use a bit of hot glue before sprinkling the pebbles and moss for more durability, but this step is optional. After this, we pulled the floral tops off of the silk flower stems and separated the leaves before gluing them along the sides to give our sprites some added color.
If you prefer a "living" fairy garden, you may want to skip the glue and faux plants and instead opt for some soil, miniature perennial seeds, live succulents or even tiny-leafed herbs like thyme or oregano in between the moss and pebbles.
Now it's time for fairy dust! We had some glitter glue pens on hand, which worked out smoothly and best of all...stayed in place. Loose glitter will work as well, but tends to be a bit messier. Rather than covering everything, we lightly coated the tops of fairy houses and accessories with matching sparkles to help them glisten in the sun. If you use glitter glue, give it at least 15 minutes to dry before moving onto the last step.
Lastly, determine whether you want your fairies, gnomes and animals to stay in one place or have the ability to move around your elf land. My little helper had strong opinions on where her new friends should be able to sit, sleep and hang with their pals, so we opted to leave them free for playtime.
When we finished arranging and gluing everything, we had some leftover accessories and still hadn't found a use for our mini terracotta pots. At the last minute, I decided to flip the pots upside-down, adorn them with moss, then top them with the extra house, mini mushrooms and sign. It ended up making the perfect fly-up home for a fairy. Bonus: it seems to fill a hole in the larger "community" of mystical creatures once we laid out the architecture as a whole.
Now it's ready! Fairy gardens are perfect for patios and blend in well amongst real flower beds. Since we live in Florida where summers are rainy, we placed ours on our front porch. It adds a sweet surprise for visitors (and more often than not, our mailman, Amazon drivers and other delivery workers!).
Want to add your own touches? Get creative! Make toadstools from leftover wine corks, benches from popsicle sticks, swinging bridges with hemp, or a walkway from seashells. Need a nighttime display? Add twinkling lights to help your fairies dance in the dark.
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