Fairy Garden Wire Crafts

wire-and-nail-polish-flower2Never fear to experiment. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe a less than satisfactory result. Even then, chances are you will have learned something from your effort that can be used to improve on the present experiment or be useful to another wire-crafts-for-fairy-gardenscraft project.

Like most of my ideas, I borrowed this one and adapted it to my purposes. I saw a Pin displaying twisted wire flower crafts for making  wearable art and decided to adapt the idea to making a fairy wand. That went ok so I tried a few other things… flowers, a butterfly, and a set of fairy wings.

wire-tree-and-cardinalThen, having seen and admired twisted wire trees and leafy wire garlands on a fairy garden supplies website I went ahead and tried making my own. leafy-garland-wire-craftAnd learned a few things along the way.

If you try this tree start with an even number of wire pieces (I used 19 gauge black craft wire), at least eight to have sufficient wire for making the ‘legs’ or roots at the bottom and a good number of branches. For the leaves a thin beading wire is easy to work with and comes in many colors. I made a leafy wire garland  and added it to the tree .

loop-wire-techniqueThe basic technique for all of these projects is a simple loop. After you have a loop give  it a couple of twists to keep its shape. To make the loop shape more leaf like insert a round object  into the loop and then pinch the outer end of the loop with a pair of pliers.

Brush the leaf or flower petal area with nail polish. This works somewhat the way bubbles on a bubble wand works. If the area to be painted is small enough try to spread the brush out to cover the whole area and gently let the polish fill the hole. For larger areas start the polish in the tightest area holding the piece so that the polish clan flow down across the rest of the area. For the flower in the first picture I used a bit of acrylic paint for the flower center.

Go ahead and experiment with other shapes, paints and wires and as always, have a fairy good time. Marthe

 

 

 

 

Fairy Garden House from Bird House

Sometimes the best things come from just starting a little experiment and letting it take you where it will.

fairy-houses-from-bird-house-croppedI often see cute plain wood bird houses in the dollar store ready for decorating and think there must be a way to turn that into a fairy house. I’ve brought a few home and today I decided to tackle one and see what would unfold. I also had some pine cones stashed away so I started by getting out my garden sheers and tearing it apart into pieces for a roof covering.

While doing so I was eying up the bird house and wondering how I could get rid of the perch sticking out . I took my garden sheers to it and sure enough , that worked. The wood seemed quite soft so I then used a box cutter to cut the bird hole into a doorway shape.fairy-house-from-bird-house-3

I added a little artificial moss to the roof and was thinking I wanted something twiggy to happen next. Then a lovely woman from PEI called and asked If I could paint some fairy houses with some lively colors for some young children coming into her life and suddenly I wanted color. I also had a notion to incorporate some twisted wire and nail polish ideas I had played with lately.

The result was a somewhat disjointed looking mess but I did not despair. I liked the happy color and decided to white wash the pine cone roof..add a poly clay door frame and a window. The thought came that it was getting a bit of a beach hut look so I went with it and made the window a fish shape.  From no where really, I thought I could make the funny wire nail polish thing in the doorway fit in by adding a ‘bead curtain’ of wire and clay.  The brown moss got touches of preserved brighter green moss to color it up. A final touch was some clay flowers hanging from the roof like patio lanterns.

And there it was..my experiment had morphed itself into some kind of beach hippy love hut fairy house. Not at all what  I started out to do!

hippy beach

So experiment..and as always , have a fairy good time, Marthe  And thank you to Mary from PEI for coloring my day!

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

 

 

 

 

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!