DIY Fairy gardens are magical places for children and adults alike. Learn how to make a fairy garden with this easy Step by Step tutorial. Use these easy fairy garden ideas to learn how to start a fairy garden today!
Miniature gardens filled with fairies, gnomes, and fairy houses offer children an enchanted play space to develop their creativity and imagination. They make a lovely addition to any porch, deck, backyard, or garden. Start your own fairy garden today!
Related: Planting Sunflowers with Kids
Related: Fairy Winter Wonderland Small World
What are Fairy Gardens?
A fairy garden is a decorative miniature garden usually grown in a container or other small space. They are magical gardens filled with small plants and accessories.
They can be created as static garden to imagine into, or a mini garden to play with and enjoy. Either way, a fairy garden offers an enchanted play space or “small world” that children (and adults) can use to develop their imagination and creativity.
There are many lessons to be learned in the garden, and fairy gardens are no exception. Make a minature garden with the kids to teach them the basics of gardening and plant care.
Fairy gardens also make a fun sensory play area for kids. Manipulating and playing with the soil, plants, accessories, and figurines provides much needed sensory stimulation to the developing child.
We also use our mini garden as a self-regulation strategy in our home. Imagining into, or meditating upon, a fairy garden is a wonderful space for children (and adults) to calm down and focus.
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Related: Painted Rock Fairy Houses
How to Start a Fairy Garden
When I was pregnant I envisioned all of the things that I would do with my daughter. Starting a fairy garden was at the top of the list.
I wanted to create an enchanting space filled with wonder and magic. A place to imagine into. A place to escape.
When my daughter began to enjoy imaginative play I knew it was time to create the miniature garden I always wanted. For her of course! 😉
Fairy Garden Supplies
There are many fairy garden supply options you can choose. Start with just a few plants, accessories, and figurines. Continue to add miniatures and accessories that you would like to include over time.
- Container or space to grow your fairy garden (We used a half wine barrel. You can find more options in “choose a container” below.)
- Potting Soil
- Peat Moss (optional)
- Small plants from your local nursery. We used two small bonsai trees, Corsican Mint, Scotch Moss, and Mini Blue Isotoma.
- Gardening Trowel
- Fairies, gnomes, wizards, fairy houses, and other fairy garden accessories and miniatures.
- Stones, pebbles, glass gems, sea glass, wood slices, sand, moss, etc.
Step by Step Fairy Garden Tutorial
Learn how to make a fairy garden by following this easy step by step fairy garden tutorial. The final picture in this step by step photo collage is of how our mini garden looked after it had been growing for 3 months.
Full descriptions of each step in the process can be found below.
Step 1 – Choose a container and location for your fairy garden
The type of miniature garden you create will depend on where you want to plant it. You can grow one inside or outside, the options are endless!
There are many places and types of containers you can use to plant a fairy garden. A few of our favorite fairy garden container ideas can be found below.
Fairy garden container ideas:
- Old wheelbarrow
- Raised planter
- Half wine barrel
- Small bed
- Stacking planters
- Next to a tree, house or shed
- A special spot in the garden
- Any other space suitable for fairy’s and gnomes to find a home.
Step 2 – Pick Plants and Accessories for Your Fairy Garden
Miniature gardens can be created as static gardens to imagine into, or they can be made to play with and enjoy. Choose plants and accessories that will work for the fairy garden that you would like to create.
Our fairy garden is for my daughter to play with and enjoy. If you look closely you can see a bit of dirt on each of the fairies. My daughter loves to move them around and chit-chat with them as she plays.
Your plant choices will also depend on the location of your mini garden, the climate, and your purpose or theme. We used two small bonsai trees, Corsican Mint, Scotch Moss, and Mini Blue Isotoma. Ask your local nursery for help.
Start with a few plants and items that will work in the space that you have available. You can purchase and/or make your own fairy garden accessories like these super cute painted rock fairy houses. Choose features and elements that make your heart sing.
Step 3 – Add soil to Container or Location of Choice
Dirt is dead while soil is alive. Dark soil is rich with nutrients, while light dirt has nothing to give a plant to help it survive. Do not use soil from your garden if you will be planting your miniature garden in a container. Use an organic potting soil for best results.
While potting soil has everything a plant needs to stay alive and grow into a healthy plant, not every plant likes the same type of soil. Make sure you ask the staff at your local nursery which potting soil is best for the plants that you purchase for your fairy garden.
If you will make your fairies a home in the garden, or next to a tree or structure outside, mix peat moss and potting soil with the existing soil before planting. You may even need to add a few soil amendments. Again, ask your local nursery for help.
Step 4 – Arrange Fairy Garden Plants and Accessories
Fill your container with potting soil and begin to envision the scene or scenes you will create. Arrange your plants and accessories on top of the soil to see how it looks before planting. This is your chance to play with the layout and how you will arrange your mini garden.
You want to create at least one scene in your fairy garden. If you have a large space you can create several scenes. Think of them like rooms in your outdoor dollhouse.
You can also create hills, paths, streams, rivers, ponds, caves, etc. These can work to divide the scenes and create interest.
We created a hill in the back of our half wine barrel. Before we planted we decided to create a river that wrapped around it ending in a pond with a house on the beach. You can see how we started it in the step-by-step photo collage above.
Step 5 – Plant and Mold Fairy Garden Features
- Add water to prepare the soil to plant.
- Dig small holes to place your plants in.
- Carefully place plants and cover the roots with soil.
- Mold and create the scene by building streams, ponds, walkways or paths in the soil as you plant. Step 3 (arranging the plants on the soil before you plant) is a key step in this process.
- Water plants again when you are finished planting.
If you have kids allow them to help plant their fairy garden. You can see my 3-year-old daughters experienced gardening hands working in the step by step fairy garden photo collage above. We are raising a helper, so she has been learning how to garden since she learned to walk.
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Step 6 – Finish Fairy Garden Features
Fill in the areas that you molded to be rivers, ponds, walkways, and paths. Any of the elements below can be added to finish these features:
In the photo above you can see my daughter adding some glass gems to make a small stream. She carefully placed every single gem, river, and stone in the garden all by herself. It was so sweet to watch her create her own fairy garden.
Step 7 – Add fairy garden accessories and miniatures
Add in your fairies and any other miniatures or figurines. Start small to keep it simple at first. You can always make or purchase more accessories later.
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Make Your Own Fairy Garden
A DIY fairy garden makes a lovely addition to any porch, deck, backyard, or garden. Follow these easy fairy garden ideas to offer your children an enchanted play space to develop their creativity.
Fairy gardens make a lovely place for both children and adults to imagine into, and are magical play areas that are perfect for imaginative and pretend play.
Another idea is to paint rocks to look like fairy houses and place all around your garden, or in an unused area of your yard. Start your own fairy garden today!
Learn more about Rhythms of play HERE!
If You Like Fairy Garden Ideas, You May Also Like:
- Mud Pie Nature Art
- Planting Sunflowers with Kids
- Planting Spring Flowers
- Fairy Winter Wonderland Small World
- Acorn Peg Dolls
- DIY Rainbow Peg Doll
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