Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fairy Gardens from Thrifted Finds

Last week, we had friends over to make fairy gardens. I've been wanting to do this forever and have never gotten around to doing it. While some fairy experts say to use only natural materials as to not scare away the little sprites you are trying to attract, I say use plenty of natural materials accented with a good thrift find or two!

Here is the garden I made with my son:

The wooden door with the round window cut out is from this thrift store find:

I removed the center piece before painting this piece and immediately thought it looked like a little gnome or fairy door. I tucked it away with my fairy house making supplies and think it is perfect as the entrance to our little fairy cottage.

Chickpeas make wonderful pebbles--this was my friend's fabulous idea--and she also brought some plastic egg cartons which we cut up, buried slightly in the soil, and filled with water for little reflecting pools.

We tucked in some thrifted greenery for a touch of color, and for our twig ladders, we used wire that came from a bag of craft supplies I picked up somewhere along the way. The pot was repurposed, so really this was a nearly no-cost morning of fun!

Here is a view of my daughter's garden with its shades drawn closed:

When the fairies want fresh air and sunshine, they pull back the hosta leaves and enjoy their homestead in all its glory:

The campfire ring is a thrifted curtain ring, and other accents like the decorative berry balls and glass pebbles were also picked up secondhand for pennies. I rescued the sweet little rusted bench from a "free" basket at an antique store. It's a beautiful store not far from our house, but when I visited last summer with a friend, the only things I was interested in taking home were from the free basket! Not because they were free, although who can argue with that, but because they were the most charming things in the shop. I felt a little guilty dipping into the free basket without buying anything, but then my friend spent a pretty penny on some treasures of her own from the shop so my guilt was eased.

For her garden, my younger daughter used a heavy brass vessel that I brought home a few weeks ago, thinking it would make a nice display piece in my sitting room. But when I actually got it into the house, I realized it was most likely an old ashtray--the kind that stood on a stand in a lobby or similar location--and after knowing that, I just couldn't put anything nice inside it and banished it from the house. It makes a very regal fairy garden, though!

See the pot of chickpea stew roasting over the open fire? The fairies won't go hungry tonight.

This was such a lovely project, and one that has continued to entertain us even after we settled the completed pots into our garden. We check every day for signs of fairy activity--so far, we can't quite tell if we've had visitors but we remain hopeful that we will have tenants very soon.