How to Make a Fairy Garden with Kids

Looking for a fun activity to keep the kids busy and happy?  Making a fairy garden is a great project for children, and for adults.  This enchanting activity is so much fun, and at the end of it they will have a cute miniature garden of make believe.  With the power of your imagination, you can create a little world of wonder that will enchant the children for years to come.


How to Create a Fairy Garden

The great thing about a fairy garden is that there are no limitations whatsoever.  It can be as large as you want it to be, or as small as you like.  The garden can be elaborate with many different features, or it can be a very simple design.

If you choose to create an outdoor garden, then your fairy garden can be created directly in a patch of soil or you could use an outdoor container.  While this could be a wide open plant pot or dish you buy from the garden centre, you could use something unusual like an old doll bed, a pram, a tray or something else instead.  The possibilities are endless.

Creating a fairy garden inside an old wheelbarrow is a fun idea.  But any item that you like, especially one that could have some kind of childhood sentimental meaning for you or your own children, can be used to start your fairy garden.  Most people do use a container because it gives that small world make-believe feeling that fairy gardeners are aiming for.

If setting your fairy garden outdoors, choose the best place for your container.  Make sure it’s in the right spot for sunlight according to the plants you’ll be using, and ensure it has adequate drainage holes.

Make sure your container is big enough for all the additions you might want to make to your garden, as this hobby can become slightly addictive!


Choosing the Right Container for Your Fairy Garden

A fairy garden can be created in any kind of container, even an easily movable basket for example.  Make sure the basket is sturdy enough to hold some weight, for example a bamboo basket, and you would need to line it to keep the soil from falling out, especially if you plan to move the basket around.  But if you do line it, make sure that there are enough holes for the water to drain.

The reason for having a movable container, such as a basket, is because you can create these as individual fairy gardens and your kids can move them to where they want them to be.

Old wooden drawers are also a popular choice for a fairy garden container.  While this will work for a while, wood will eventually break down because of the moisture from watering the plants.  So keep that in mind if you decide to go with this option.

If you definitely want to use a drawer, then you might consider using fake plants that don’t require watering at all.  Or, if you like the look of wood and you want your fairy garden to have a more natural look, you could choose a resin container with a wood effect appearance.

Clay pots make good fairy garden containers.  These can be painted on the outside to reflect the magical world they contain.  But what you can also do is to use a broken or halved large clay pot.  You can then show the different levels of fairy living just like you see with homes built on cliffs or rocks.


Whatever container you do choose to use, you’ll need to line the bottom of the container with broken up polystyrene or a mixture of large and medium stones and pebbles to enable the water to drain out.  You don't want the roots of your plants to get saturated with water and stay that way because you'll get root rot and kill the plants.

The next thing you need is potting compost, preferably peat-free and organic.  Even if you decide to put your fairy garden directly onto a patch of ground in your garden, you’ll still need this because the potting soil has the right pH balance as well as nutrients needed to make whatever plants that you use grow better.


Choosing Plants for Your Fairy Garden

When picking out the plants, you need to choose ones that remain fairly small as they grow.  If you go with something bigger, you will need to work hard to keep it pruned.

Miniature ivy makes a lovely choice for a fairy garden.  The main things to remember when looking for plants is to choose ones that don’t grow too big or that will take over your container.  Avoid creepers and bedding plants that spread too vigorously as they will cover the bottom of your container and block out all of your fairy world decorations.

While you put in the plants that you want to have in this garden, in the fairies' world, these plants take on a different meaning.  Instead of being just ordinary plants, they become a home to the fairy, offer shade or a magical place to sit.

The kind of plants that you get for your fairy garden is important.  If you choose ones that are too large, they’ll encroach too much on everything else, or their roots could end up outgrowing your container.

Choose plants that have like needs as far as sunlight and water moisture goes.  Some plants that grow well and are perfect for larger fairy garden containers are miniature or dwarf conifers.  Don’t forget that you can prune your plants to such a shape that they resemble trees for a magical fairy world.

Look for miniature Ellwood or Port Orford Cedar trees.  These look like tiny Christmas trees and you will have to keep them pruned back.  Other plants that are perfect for a fairy garden include thyme, oregano and moss.  Irish moss is particularly effective because it resembles grass for the fairies.

This kind of moss also produces mini-flowers so it looks adorable when in bloom.  You can also use plants like brass buttons (leptinella) or baby tears (soleiroleia) to give your fairy garden an enchanted appeal.


Pick a Theme for Your Fairy Garden

A regular sized bird bath is a great container to create a fairy garden in, particularly if you are planning to create one with a theme.

For example, one theme would be a beach fairy garden.  You could use blue stones to simulate the water and have sand for the beach.  Your decorations would be miniature beach items, perhaps adding a beach hut or two.

Fairy gardens are a great idea for kids to make and give away as wonderful birthday or other special day gifts.


How to Create Some Natural Fairy Garden Features

If you prefer a natural look, want to save money, or are waiting to see how well your children look after the garden before you invest in decorations, take some time to fashion decorations from natural materials.  With some bendable twigs and some twine, you can fashion benches or arbors.

What some people have done is to create a fairy garden in a container like a wheelbarrow or a wooden barrel and place it at the bottom of a large tree.  Then they create little steps leading up from the container that are tacked onto the tree.

The bottom of the steps lead to the fairy garden in the container.  But at the top of the steps, there is a little wooden door into the tree trunk.  When this is all put together, it looks like the fairy spends her time flitting from her home in the tree to tend to her lovely garden in the container down below.

Children especially like this fairy garden because they imagine all of the ways the fairy flits back and forth.


Decorating Your Fairy Garden

Decorating is the part of the fairy garden that brings the most delight to kids and adults because it’s such fun to create a miniature world where the fairies will live and play.  Buying or making furniture, features and even buildings for your fairy garden and decorating it is a real delight, and not just for the kids.

You might want to sketch out a basic layout of how you want your fairy garden to look so that you’re not just putting things in there at random.  You can then start looking for larger decorative items like little cottages or houses that are homes for your fairies, and don't forget to add some cute little fairy figurines too.


Choosing Your Fairies

When it comes to choosing your fairies, some people pick out a fairy to represent each member of the family.  So a family of four would purchase four fairies.  You can find these in packs of several or you can choose them individually.  There are also some fairy sets sold that include a family pet.  Choose some little male or female fairies and create their whole little world in your garden.


Fairy Houses

Next, you want to add the housing.  You can have as many of these as you like and they come in all sorts of designs.  You will find fairy houses built into rocks, ones for trees, large houses, tiny houses and cute little cottages.


Landscaping the Fairy Garden

Next create some landscaping that leads up to the front of the cottage or house.  For this, you can put down tiny pebbles as a path or have the Irish moss planted right up to the house to look like grass.  There are also fairy garden ponds that you can buy and get a little wooden bridge to fit over the pond.

There are miniature fairy birdbaths and miniature wells that look so magical in a fairy garden.  Or you could get a trellis for their little plants to twine around.  Anything that you can imagine for a real world can be found and used in your fairy garden container!

Along the path to their house you could lay out stepping stones or faux brick paths, and even give them a tiny lamppost lighting the way to the front door of their little house.  You could even add a little fence around the fairies' own garden.


Adding the Magical Touches

There’s just something magical about all these tiny little items.  To start with you could look for a fairy garden starter kit which will usually have some basic furniture in.  They’ll have things like tables or benches, some fencing, a birdbath and could also have a fairy included.

The good thing is that you can add to your decorations as you go along because you can get lots of pieces separately.  Some fairy gardens contain miniature items like bicycles, globes and cute little garden tools and wheelbarrows.


Kids really love getting stuck into the decorating, adding little mushroom decorations all over the garden and perhaps some table and chairs and plenty of benches for your fairies to sit on.  You can even find adorable little dishes to sit on the table like the fairies are about to sit down and enjoy their dinner outdoors.

Look out for whimsical things to put in your fairy garden like little pink flamingos and miniature birds' nests.  The gift shops at model villages can be useful for these.

Enjoy making your fairy garden.  This is a great hobby for the whole family to enjoy!


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