Fairy gardens are magical places for children and adults alike. Learn how to make a DIY 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 DIY fairy gardens filled with gnomes, fairies, and cute little fairy houses offer children an enchanted play space to develop their creativity and imagination. Miniature DIY gardens also make a lovely addition to any porch, deck, backyard, or garden space. Start your own fairy garden today!
Related: Beach Fairy Garden Ideas
Related: Fairy Garden in a Tree Stump
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 miniature garden with your children so they can begin to learn the basics of gardening and plant care.
DIY 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.
Related: Kids Yoga: Tips for Getting Started
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 DIY 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! 😉
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Fairy Garden Supplies
There are many DIY fairy garden supply options you can choose. Start with just a few plants, accessories, and figurines. Continue to add miniatures and fairy accessories that you would like to include over time.
- Container or space to grow your fairy garden. We used an oak half wine barrel for this tutorial. We have also made a fairy garden in a tree stump, and have lots of tabletop beach fairy garden ideas you can try. More ideas can be found 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.
Related: How to Plant Flowers
Step by Step DIY 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.
Related: Fairy Winter Wonderland Small World
Step 1 – Choose a container and location for your DIY 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. We used a real oak half wine barrel for this DIY tutorial.
A few more fairy garden container ideas can be found below.
Fairy garden container ideas:
- Small pot
- Old wheelbarrow
- Round tabletop planter
- Garden dorado planter
- Raised flower planter
- Half wine barrel
- Raised planter
- Patio garden bed
- Small garden bed
- Amish wagon garden planter
- Next to a tree, tree stump, 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 DIY Fairy Garden Accessories
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 with choosing the types of flowers and plants you will use.
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 Fairy Garden Container or Location of Choice
Dirt is dead while the 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.
If you make your own compost at home, mix some in with your potting soil to create a rich and healthy mini garden.
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.
Related: How to Plant Flowers
Step 4 – Arrange Minature Plants and Fairy Garden Accessories
Fill your container with potting soil and begin to envision the scene or scenes you will create. Arrange your plants and fairy garden 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.
Related: 15 Ways to Raise a Helper
Step 6 – Finish DIY Fairy Garden Features or Scenes
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.
Related: Planting Sunflowers with Kids
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.
Solar String Lights – Solarmks Outdoor String Lights 150 LED Fairy Lights Waterproof White Copper Wire Lights, Ambiance lighting for Patio, Lawn, Xmas Tree, Christmas, Garden DecorationsTonsiki 40 Inch Miniature Fairy Garden Ornament Fence8 Pieces Fairy Garden Accessories Miniature Fairy Garden Stone House for Miniature Garden Ornaments Dollhouse Decor (Random color)Fairy Garden Fairy – Miniature Furniture & Accessories – Fairy Figurine – 14 Piece Starter Kit by PretmannsFairy Garden Accessories Kit – Miniature Garden Fairies – Fairy Garden Figurines & Swing Set – Supplies by PretmannsFairy Garden House Kit – Miniature Fairies & Accessories – Fairy House 7Fairy Garden Fairies – Miniature Accessories & Furniture – 7 Pieces – Supplies by PretmannsMood Lab Fairy Garden Fairies – Miniature Figurines Accessories – Camping Fun Set of 8 pcs – Hand Painted Kit for Outdoor or House DecorJoykick Fairy Garden Fish Pond Kit – Miniature Hand Painted Figurine Statues with Accessories – Set of 4pcs for Your House or Lawn DecorComplete hand painted fairy garden set + magical story booklet! The set comes with fairy friends, pets, and accessories and they all come to life in their Bunny Love booklet! (Multi)Fairy Garden Kit – Miniature Figurines & Accessories – Hand Painted Flower Set of 4 pcs – for Outdoor or House Decor – By Mood LabMiniature Gardening Gnomes Set of 4 pcs – 3,1New Creative Outdoor-Safe Mini Garden Polystone Fairy Houses, Set of 4 – 5.5EMiEN 31 Pieces Mini Animals Miniature Ornament Kits Set, Snails, Koala, Tortoise, Flamingo, Honeybee, Rabbits, Sheep, Elephants, Frogs, Ducks, etc Miniature Ornament for DIY Dollhouse Fairy Garden Plant DécorMiniature Fairy Garden Sisters 4 Inch, Hand Painted Resin Figurines, for Garden Indoor Decor Gift
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Make Your Own Fairy Garden DIY
A DIY fairy garden makes a lovely addition to any porch, deck, backyard, or garden.
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.
Beach fairy garden ideas can be grown indoors on desks and tabletops, and are perfect sensory play areas for children to develop their creativity and imagination.
Follow these easy fairy garden ideas to offer your children an enchanted play space to develop their creativity. Don’t forget to have a look at our fairy garden in a tree stump!
Another fun idea to paint rocks that look like fairy houses and place them all around your garden, or, in an unused area of your yard.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You Like DIY 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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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the power of the imagination, learning through play, making this world a greener place to live, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…