Itsy Bitsy Fairy Garden Stuff

Pill Bottle Fairy House

Pill Bottle Fairy House

I’m just nuts about seriously tiny fairy garden stuff. Micro things.

One day I happened upon an open tub of drywall compound (not at all unusual in our house) on my way to toss out an empty prescription bottle. The urge hit, and I quickly had the top half inch and the cap sawed off the bottle and dunked into the muck.

There’s always some buckets of pebbles and stone on hand where ever I am, so I poked a few into the muck – chopped up a bit of bark –  pinched a tad of artificial moss from my fairy garden supplies – a bit of glue -a drop of  paint – voila! A miniature fairy house.

It’s not fancy, and it’s not going to sell on Etsy …or anywhere else for that matter. But the few minutes taken out of a busy day to follow my whim was sheer delight.

Now, the teensy weensy miniature garden pebble chairs and table? That’s another fairy garden story. Now go make a 15 minute fairy garden story of your own!

As always, have a fairy good time! Marthe

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FB Group Rescues the Stone Fairy House

In December 2013, along with picture below, I wrote a post on building a stone fairy house for your fairy garden. The instructions included using a technique for the main part of the house that I described in another post. Well , the main part of the house has worked out fabulous. Not so the roof!

I admit I am a little clumsy and I dropped it on a cement patio stone – the first time – and it hit the edge of a counter the second time. Still, I like to be able to put my fairy houses outdoors. I worried that the roof being on a different kind of plastic base than the bottom, was more brittle and determined that I would find a fix.

DIY Stone Fairy

DIY Stone Fairy House

After trying some silicone suggested in an online article and not being happy with the mess and difficulty of working with it, I decided to turn to the experts. People who do these kinds of crafts all the time. Namely, the members of a great group on Facebook called Miniature and Fairy Garden Chat. I posted my pic, expressed my frustrations and not very long afterwards I had a wealth of great tips, suggestions and information.

Nanci Z-S thought I was on the right track with the silicone and offered a great tip to make it easier to work with. She says she squeezes her silicone into a dish of water with plenty of dish soap and pulls out what she needs with soapy hands. The silicone will not stick to your hands but will stick to everything else. I’ll bet this extends the working time too.

Several people suggested using a sealant of some sort and Melinda T said she uses mortar after gluing the stone down. She added  that using cheese cloth to wipe the excess mortar away does a good job of cleaning all the residue from the stone. Gluing something to the plastic before the stone was also suggested, such as plastic mesh…I tried burlap and it does seem to be helping make the stone adhere easier.

The first suggestion made was jewelery glue, and the discussion came full circle back to this when  Debbie G mentioned E6000 and Jill A-H and Colleen F started to sing the praises of this apparently very useful adhesiveE6000-adhesive- product.

The product description found on Home Depot says  “Amazing E6000 Craft is a unique adhesive formulated to meet high performance industrial requirements, thus making it an excellent crafting tool. Amazing E6000 has exceptional adhesion to wood, metal, glass, fiberglass, ceramics, and concrete. It also adheres strongly to leather, rubber, vinyl and many plastics. Amazing E6000 dries clear and once cured, it’s waterproof, washer/dryer safe, can be painted and is safe for photographs.”

Sounds like ‘amazing’ stuff. What do you use for difficult fastening jobs?

Keep crafting, and, as always…have a fairy good time.

Marthe

 

 

 

 

Fairy Garden Supplies – A Unique Source

I wonder if many fairy gardeners also have fish? If you don’t keep fish, then you probably haven’t discovered that the aquarium store is a surprisingly great place to get DIY fairy garden supplies!

mushroom-log-aquarium-decoration

Mushroom Log Aquarium Decoration

The aquarium decoration isle will yield some interesting results.  This mushroom log is 8″ x 4″x 7″ and sells (in Canada) for $15. It just needs a little DIY fairy door to make it a wonderful fairy house for your miniature garden. Bonus – aquarium decor is non-toxic.

aquasand

‘Aqua Sand’ Aquarium Substrate

Now for landscaping your fairy abode. The substrate section alone can fascinate me for an hour. The unbelievable variety of stone, gravel, and course sands- aka miniature landscaping aggregates- comes in quantities that are ideal for various sized fairy gardening projects. Many of the substrates are coated with 100% environmentally friendly resin, – no dust. The coating also keeps them looking pretty and prevents any undesirable elements leaching into your garden when you water. A 5lb bag runs around $7. Next, take a look over in the reptile section.

small reptile feeder

Small Reptile Feeder

Reptile feeders are designed to blend in with a rock, stone and wood environment and need to have uneven surfaces for reptiles to crawl on. This makes them ideal for use as a miniature fairy garden ponds! Add a little acrylic water and decorate with  some miniature lily pads, a frog or some fish. This feeder measures 4.5″ x 4″ x 1″ and retails for just  $4.

While you’re in the reptile department also take a look at some of the bedding. You can find some nice sized bags of bark chips for your garden or DIY fairy house project. They also have some reptile carpets that make nice lawns that are meant to get wet.

As always- have a fairy good time…this time at the aquarium store! Let me know how you make out…

 

 

Two Brown Thumbs?

Do you want a fairy garden but have two brown thumbs? It can be done. I have two suggestions; artificial plants and flowers,  really easy care inexpensive plants.fairy-garden-french-chateau-field-stoen-tiles-artificial-palts-mostly

This fairy garden uses mostly artificial plants and flowers. The sunflowers in the foreground are commercially made miniature sunflowers. I’ve augmented them a little buy cutting little pieces from an artificial fern and tucking these in around the bottom. I wrapped a bit of wire around the bits and pieces to make them into little picks to make it easier to insert them into the soil. I used these along the edge of the stone walkway for a hedge affect as well.

The tree was also made from an artificial fern (from the dollar store) I butchered and reassembled it on some twigs from the yard to give it a nice tree appearance. The other yellow flowers and the trellis with purple flowers near the fairy house door are made of polymer clay and are very easy to do.

I’ve tucked a bit of artificial moss under the yellow clay flowers, under the windows on the house and under the tree.

Finally, for real plants, small succulents from your local nursery are usually very inexpensive, have a nice scale for a fairy garden and are almost impossible to …shhhh..you know. Moss is also a great idea for an easy care fairy garden, particularly in a terrarium where it should not even require watering… but more on that in my next post

So, brown thumbs or not..go make a fairy garden already. As always…have a fairy good time! Marthe

Make a Stone Fairy House

Fairy HouseBannerpic I’ve always been attracted to the cozy stone homes that dot the landscape along the Lake Erie shores near my home in Ontario, Canada. They appear inviting and almost magical to me. Like real life fairy houses. So when I took up the hobby of miniature gardening almost my very first thought was  to make a miniature stone house of my very own.  After many experiments I stumbled on a quick and easy way to get that tiny stone house look using DIY veneer. Here’s how.

What You’ll Need

  • Glue
  • Ziplock bag
  • A form – bird house, old margarine container, gourd or other item
  • Some small stones
  • Tweezers
  • Shellac or urethane

Optional – Laundry Bad/ Plastic berry box, artificial moss

Materials

Materials

Getting Ready

I live near a lake so I just gather handfuls (and buckets full) of beach pebbles. I’ve also used crushed stone that’s commonly used on gravel roads and driveways. This can be purchased in  bags at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Smaller packs of stones can sometimes be found at craft and dollar stores. Any stone will work that is small and has some flat-ish surfaces.I’ve applied stone this way to gourds, wood, and even glass. This time I am experimenting with a plastic juice bottle and a plastic salad bowl.

EasyStoneWork2The plastic berry box comes in handy to sift out  the tiniest of stones and some of the sand. Remove any stones that are larger than a 1/4″ and set them aside. I now have some fairly uniform sized pebbles. Next,  put them in a mesh laundry bag and give them a good shaking around out doors. This gets rid of most of the sand and the rest disappears when I give the stones a rinse while still in the bag.

What to Do

First squeeze some wood glue onto the Ziploc baggie and spread it around making  several small square areas up to 4 inches square.  Then take some stones and arrange them on the glue. I like working with beach pebble. You can more or less just dump them on the glue, pat them down and do just a little adjusting to get them into a nice little square. The crushed stone takes a little more fussing, so just start with one or two glue squares. The tweezers come in handy for adding the tiniest of stones to fill in any spaces.

Wait about half an hour and check your squares. The glue will dry around the stones much faster than it will dry to the soft plastic.Try lifting the stone from the corner. When its ready you will be able to lift the square of stone without the stones separating. EastStineWork4The trick is, you need to lift the square while the glue is still tacky on the under side and the square is still flexible.  This allows you to apply it on rounded areas. If it dries out completely, no worries. You will still be able to lift it from the plastic and you can add some glue to the back.

Next

Now you can apply the stone to whatever form you have chosen for your project. Cut out any windows or doors you want before applying the stone. You should still be able to pull individual stones away from the veneer if your square overlaps any cut out areas.  Wood glue works well for gluing stone to stone as well for making garden walls, arches and anything else you can imagine. However the finished project can be brittle, so add a couple of coats of varnish to help make it more stable and useful for outdoors.stonegardenwalland arch

For around doors and windows and on the roof of my project I glued stones one at a time to my form. On the roof you might see some ‘flowers’. Pebble mosaics, if you have the patience is a nice touch. Finally, after varnishing I add a pinch of artificial moss here and there to give my project an aged look.

Have a very fairy good time!