A Crafty Mix


Re-purpose a Lunch Box and Make a Gypsy Caravan

Do you believe in fairies? I do, I do and I love re-purposing odd bits and turning them into fairy abodes. Like this little gypsy caravan that we made for a group of traveling fairies that camp out at the bottom of our garden in Spring. And I bet you would never have guessed that we recycled an old lunchbox to make it too.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

Yup, this old, plastic lunchbox 😀 If you remove the handle at the top it’s the perfect base for a gypsy caravan.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

Okay, before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. And don’t forget to click the subscribe button so you’ll never miss a post!

Transforming the Lunchbox

We used some spray paint to paint the lunchbox blue. You can skip this step if you don’t have any spray paint, but I was worried that the ice cream sticks I used to clad the outside wouldn’t be flush and I’d end up with gaps where the old color showed through. For the roof, we took a piece of bark, which we soaked in a bucket of water and then tied to the lunchbox lid. As the bark dried it took on the shape and curve of the lid. Depending on how thick the barks is, it can take a few days to dry completely.  If I remember correctly ours took about a week.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

Once the bark was dry, we removed it from the lid so that we could stick it down permanently using Gorilla glue. There were still a few gaps between the lid and the piece of bark, but that was easy to fix.

All you need is love, trust and a little bit of fairy dust.Click to Tweet

We were out of fairy dust so we used ice cream sticks instead 😉 They were stained and then cut to fit snugly under the roof.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

To make the windows we used these pretty little wire bits that I found at the bead shop down the road. We stuck them to bits of aluminium tape and then onto the sides of the lunchbox. I ended up changing my mind about the windows once I started putting the gypsy caravan together and replaced them with round windows instead. That happens sometimes 😉 We covered the sides of the lunchbox with ice cream sticks that had been stained with Zia Teal Unicorn SPiT and a bit of white acrylic paint. The bottle of Zia Teal that I got is really concentrated, yay, I scored so it only took a few drops to make this gorgeous blue.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

To make the door we used a few more ice cream sticks and some beads for the two hinges and door handle.  That’s the fun bit about making something for the fairies. You can use whatever you have and just let your imagination do the rest.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

Finishing Everything Off

The gypsy caravan is almost finished except for the wheels. After throwing a few ideas around we decided to make a base from a piece of wood that we cut to size.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

While I stained the base to match, Hubby cut four equally wide slices of wood and drilled a hole in the center of each slice. Then he inserted a skewer and attached the wheels to the base. A few beads to hide the skewers and the wheels looked real pretty. He’s such a clever man.

Once in a while life, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy taleClick to Tweet

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

I found these amazing embossed metal strips at the craft store and used them to finish off the base and create a railing.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

I think it was at this point that I realized that the windows just didn’t seem to fit.  So I ended up cutting round windows from the metal strips and just sticking them over the other ones.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

The round windows seemed to fit the whole look better. What do you think? And no gypsy caravan is complete without a few posters. Ta-da The Graphics Fairy to the rescue once again. She has tons of gorgeous gypsy graphics and all I had to do was use the search function to find what I was looking for.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

The posters were mod podged onto the back and sides of the caravan.  Don’t you think they add such a lovely pop of color? Sorry I can’t seem to find the photo I took of the back, grrrr I hate it when that happens.

The fairies made me do it 😉Click to Tweet

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

I love how it turned out and the wheels that hubby made are perfect for all types of road conditions 😉

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog

There’s even a little ladder that we made by gluing twigs together. I know fairies can fly, but what if Thumbelina needed her palm read or something 😀  She wouldn’t be able to get up there.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog #fairygarden #repurposed

Let me know what you think and if you’ve used any unusual items in your fairy garden. We’ve repurposed bottles to make a little toadstool fairy apartment and even a lampshade too. I’d love to know what you think and if you like the idea don’t forget to share.

Old lunch box turned into a gypsy caravan that's perfect for a fairy garden. Full tutorial on the blog #fairygarden #repurposed

Anyways, that’s about it from my side. What odd things have you used to make something for your fairy garden? Please share I’d really love to hear from you. 

Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us keep our fairies happy 😉

Your Heart's Delight Vintage Lunchbox, Multi
Unicorn SPiT 5771006 Gel Stain and Glaze, Zia Teal 8.0 FL OZ Bottle
Beadaholique Antiqued Silver Plated Filigree Stamping Dapt Scroll Cross 43mm (1)

Sending you blessings and fairy kisses as always. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   Craft Tutorials, Fairy Garden Crafts, Trash to Treasure


  • Posted: April 28, 2018 22:21


    I love this so much! Its beautiful! I was wondering if you had any issues with waterproofing? My fairy gardens would be exposed to the elements, and I’m not sure how to water proof the tree bark roof or if I would need to when I make it?
    • Posted: April 29, 2018 13:52


      Thank you so much. We usually seal our outdoor fairy homes with Marine varnish. It's the best for protecting them from the elements and it doesn't turn yellow over time either. A strong wind on the other hand is a different story. Fortunately we don't get too many of those here.
  • Posted: July 21, 2017 21:36


    I really love this!!! Pure genious!
    • Posted: July 22, 2017 06:24


      Thank you so much Kellie, I'm glad you like it
  • Posted: July 19, 2017 15:10


    Love love.
    • Posted: July 19, 2017 17:26


      :D Thank you Katie :D
  • Posted: July 19, 2017 12:13

    FLORENCE @ VintageSouthernPicks

    What is that little trash can on the porch made out of?
    • Posted: July 19, 2017 12:37


      The little trash can is a bead 😉 I think they normally get used to "frame" other beads or just before the clasp to finish a necklace off.
  • Posted: July 19, 2017 12:07

    FLORENCE @ VintageSouthernPicks

    Michelle, this is so cute! Love that tree bark, and all those little details of the beautiful metal strips and the stained popsicle sticks! The wooden wheels! It's all so charming! You know what it immediately reminded me of? Cher on an old YouTube video singing "Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves." She's standing outside of a caravan that looks like this. Girl, you nailed it. So impressed!
    • Posted: July 19, 2017 12:36


      :D Thank you Florence, I need to see if I can find that video on Youtube. I haven't seen it. The hubby and I really love making fairy homes. It's just so relaxing and the skies the limit when it comes to finding bits to use
  • Posted: June 6, 2017 23:31


    I'm in love! Now I will have to scavenge a lunch box to add to my odd collection of oriental CD cases, teapots, and cast away aquarium supply faerie houses. Thank you!
    • Posted: June 7, 2017 05:40


      Oh I'd love to see that collection of yours Michele, it sounds so amazing
  • Posted: March 11, 2017 21:34

    Tonja J Durbin

    I love this! I think I have seen some small lunch boxes at the Dollar Store once but they where for pencils, they would work too. I love making things out of things that most people would just throw away, so I find another purpose for them lol! My roommate thinks I'm nuts but I don't care lol! I found a neat use for of all things, a cigarette roller! With some glue and some fabric you can make a couch for your fairies with pillows! I also added some cute matching beads for the legs they came out to cute! Plus I found some flat rocks for tables that I painted, added some glitter with a pattern and added matching beads for the legs. I also found acorn caps also make cute bowls for the table, I just added colored tiny beads with glue, The blue one are blueberries, red ones are cherries and yellow are grape! Can't have my fairies starving right? Lol! Well thanks for the cute idea and reading this really long comment :) .
    • Posted: March 12, 2017 05:14


      Oh I'd love to see some of your fairy creations Tonya, that couch sounds adorable and the way you used different colored beads to make the fruit in the acorn bowls. That super clever out the box thinking. Thank you so much for your lovely comment too ;-)
  • Posted: January 20, 2017 21:39


    This is just adorable! How creative.
    • Posted: January 21, 2017 06:51


      Thank you so much Heidi
  • Posted: January 20, 2017 16:52

    Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    This is beyond adorable, Michelle! Would I like to get inside your creative brain - who would ever think to turn a plastic lunchbox into an amazing fairy caravan. Very clever! Pinning and sharing ☺
    • Posted: January 22, 2017 08:00


      There's some weird stuff happening in my brain all the time Marie ;-) Thanks so much for the pin and the share
  • Posted: January 20, 2017 01:33


    This has to be the cutest thing I've seen in a long time! Love it and you have a wonderful imagination.
    • Posted: January 20, 2017 06:25


      Thank you so much Anon
  • Posted: January 16, 2017 19:47

    Sadie Seasongoods

    CUTEST caravan ever...oh my goodness, I just adore it. :)
    • Posted: January 17, 2017 07:20


      Thank you very much Sarah ;-) I'm glad you like it
  • Posted: December 21, 2016 16:19


    OMG this is absolutely gorgeous and so magical!!! i just love all the beautiful details! happy holidays michelle! xo
    • Posted: December 22, 2016 05:01


      Thank you Ananda and to you too xoxoxox
  • Posted: December 9, 2016 13:50


    This is both ingenious and SO STINKIN' CUTE! I adore it! Your creativity is absolutely inspiring!
    • Posted: December 9, 2016 14:11


      Awwww Zoe's mom came to visit ;-) Thank you so much
  • Posted: December 6, 2016 19:38

    [email protected] of Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

    Oh my gosh this is the cutest thing ever!! :)
    • Posted: December 7, 2016 06:07


      Thank you much Christy :D
  • Posted: December 3, 2016 04:57


    I usually dislike 'crafts' intensely. Maybe that's too much of a generaIisation but I find them incredibly tacky most of the time. This is just so tasteful and well done, though.....love the windows and the roof especially.
    • Posted: December 4, 2016 05:19


      What a lovely compliment Shannon, thank you so much
  • Posted: November 30, 2016 03:29


    AMAZING, I want something for my daughter and now I know what this is. My little girl would love it. I am appreciate your effort. Love it.
    • Posted: November 30, 2016 04:02


      Glad you like it Thomas and I'm sure your little girl will love it if her dad makes her one ;-)
  • Posted: November 28, 2016 09:02

    Sadhna Grover

    OMG, This gypsy caravan is awesome. Michelle, You are very creative, every single thing like door, windows, wheels are so good. I need some lessons from you, I am speechless after looking at it. Great job dear.
    • Posted: November 28, 2016 09:17


      Thank you Sadhna, Yay, I'm so glad you like it.
  • Posted: November 27, 2016 16:37

    Christina Makri

    OMG!!!! This is so beautiful!!! Congratulations for the idea and the whole process!!!
    • Posted: November 28, 2016 04:36


      Thank you so much Christina
  • Posted: November 25, 2016 16:11


    Such a super creative idea Michelle! So sweet!!
    • Posted: November 26, 2016 11:03


      Hey there Ilka :-) Thank you so much
  • Posted: November 25, 2016 04:44


    I love it! I think its my favorite of all the fairy things you make. I'm pretty sure our fairies would love this. We don't have a garden so we have city fairies. Have you ever heard of the iron fairies? We love them and collect them as we travel. All the best, Orana
    • Posted: November 25, 2016 09:41


      Noooo, what are iron fairies? I need to go have a look see, I've never heard of them. Thanks for your lovely comment Orana and for introducing me to a new variety of fairies ;-)
  • Posted: November 22, 2016 16:23

    Leanne @Smiles and Sundays

    Holy crafty awesomeness! You really should sell these as my daughters would LOVE them and I just don't have the time to really go into such amazing details...little posters and everything! Wow. You should do a round up of all the parts of fairy land pieces so we can see all the items put together. I would love that. Really beautiful work.
    • Posted: November 23, 2016 06:14


      Thank you so much Leanne and thanks for the idea about doing a round up. That's a great idea
  • Posted: November 22, 2016 11:59


    Gosh I am completely blown away by this. It looks amazing! I love it. I am not that crafty so find it incredible when I see some of the fab things that people make from scratch!
    • Posted: November 22, 2016 14:20


      Glad you like it Yvonne, and looking at all the beautiful things you do with the monkey's I think you're very crafty ;-)
  • Posted: November 21, 2016 03:47


    This is an amazing project. I tried last summer to make a fairy trailer like the ones from the 30's but could not bend the material the way i needed too. Your is gorgeous. Pinning.
    • Posted: November 21, 2016 04:30


      I'm glad you like it Leanna and thank you for the pin too ;-)
  • Posted: November 20, 2016 20:59


    You are truely an artist Michelle, I bow to you. This is the most amazing fairy craft I have ever seen. Love every detail it has, the mix of materials, the vibrant colors it has, and that birdcage is to die for. Amazing!!
    • Posted: November 21, 2016 04:29


      Awwww Pili, thank you so very much. I must say that making fairy crafts is one of our favorite things. I love taking random objects and turning them into something fairies would enjoy.
  • Posted: November 19, 2016 10:51

    Sarah - Craft Invaders

    Beautiful little caravan, I'm sure the fairies will love it x
    • Posted: November 20, 2016 06:33


      Thank you Sarah <3
  • Posted: November 18, 2016 21:35

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    Oh WOW Michelle, this is super cute! You are so creative, and come up with some amazing creations. I love the little gypsy caravan, with all the tiny decor and details. I bet you have the happiest fairy's around.
    • Posted: November 19, 2016 03:50


      Thank you my friend, we need to keep those fairies happy so I garden can grow ;-)
  • Posted: November 17, 2016 18:18

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com

    Michelle, this is amazing! And I don't use that word lightly! If I still had my Barbie doll, I'd make this for Gypsy Barbie!
    • Posted: November 18, 2016 06:50


      I'm so glad you like it Jean ;-)
  • Posted: November 16, 2016 21:07


    Michelle, as always such an amazing, and creative project!! This fairy sized caravan is too cute!! I love the color and all the tiny details you've added. What a great repurpose of the lunch box, never would have guessed you used that, so cool!!
    • Posted: November 17, 2016 08:10


      Don't throw away those lunchboxes Keri ;-) Soon you'll be able to make one with your girls too <3
  • Posted: November 16, 2016 20:25


    Oh wow wow wow!!! I do believe in fairies and Amelie is 100 % sure that they visit us daily in our little fairy spot... Your fairy gypsy caravan is so amazing Michelle, I am speechless, you are just the most creative person!
    • Posted: November 17, 2016 08:09