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Make Your Own Fairy Playground – a Photo Tutorial

For the longest time, I’ve been meaning to turn an old, rickety chair into a fairy garden. But not just any fairy garden. No siree, this one would be a fairy playground, complete with swings, seesaws, and a slide.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Everything the wee fae folk would expect from a play area, including a picnic table for weary fairy parents 😉

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

And a fae fort way up in a tree.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

While making the playground, I challenged myself to not to buy anything and use only things I could find in the garden or in my craft cupboard.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

So, if you love fairy gardens as much as I do, I wanted to share a long and photo-rich tutorial to show you how you can create something similar in a morning using what you have. No fancy tools or crazy stuff 😉

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Right, before we get to all those fairy tutorials, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

For the fairy playground

  • Scrap metal
  • An assortment of dried twigs or branches
  • Wooden craft sticks
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Tongue depressors
    • Stirrers
    • Toothpicks
    • Skewers
  • Plastic lid
  • Moss
  • Twine
  • Toy car wheel
  • Cork
  • Fairy creeping vine

Some of the things you need to make a fairy playground

For the chair planter

  • Old chair
  • Suitable container/planter
  • Potting soil
  • Drill to make drainage holes

We used a broken chair and wash aluminium prep bowl to make a fairy playground

Plants and landscaping

What plants can I use in my fairy garden

When it comes to fairy gardens the type of plant you use is really important. Low growing or creeping perennial herbs, like thyme (Thymus praecox arcticus), Corsican mint (Mentha requienii), Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), or Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) are all easy to find and stay small and compact. Rock garden plants work well too. Look for Carpet sedum (Sedeum lineare), Carpathian bellflowers (Campanula carpatica), creeping baby’s breath (Gypsophila repens), Corsican speedwell (Veronica repens), and the dainty Blue Star Creeper (Pratia Pedunculata) shown below.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

For height add small shrub-like plants and dwarf trees. My favorites are the Bonsai Ficus (Ficus retusa), Dwarf Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii ‘Kotobuki’), Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca albertiana ‘Conica’), and the Dwarf Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Pumila’).

And finally, nothing beats low maintenance miniature succulents like Blossfeldia liliputana (the smallest succulent in the world), Dancing Bones Cactus (Rhipsalis salicornioides), ‘Little Bobo’ Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum), Zebra Plant (Haworthia), Jade plant (Crassula ovata), Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra), and the tiny Princess Pine (Crassula lycopodioides).

These whimsical fairy leaf bowls are so easy to make. They’re perfect for adding that a fun décor element to a fairy garden or dolls house. #FairyBowls #FairyDIYCrafts #ACraftyMix #FairyGardens #FairyCRafts #WhimsicalFairyCrafts #SimpleFairyCrafts

Whichever fairy plants you choose make sure they’ll cope in your climate. A good rule of thumb is if a nursery in your area sells them, they should do well. For this fairy playground, I chose a bonsai ficus for height and interest and added pennyroyal and a blue star creeper as ground covers. The entire playground was created using a repurposed wonky chair as a planter. You can use whatever you have on hand, as long as the planter has adequate drainage and is big enough to allow these little babies to grow and thrive. 

Turning a chair into a planter

Before I get to the actual fairy playground stuff, I quickly want to show you how we repurposed that rickety chair into a planter for our fairy playground.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

The chair we used to showcase our fairy playground had a few serious flaws. Her legs were wobbly and we discovered that her rough seat was only attached with two nails. She must have been a rawhide chair back in her heyday so we had a few holes to contend with too 😉

The broken wonky chair before we fixed it for the fairy playground

No worries though. We weren’t going to use this baby for sitting 😀 But the legs did need fixing and those holes where the rawhide used to be needed filling. For something like this we always use skewers to plug the holes first, before adding wood filler on top.

Use skewers to fill the holes in the chair before applying the wood filler

It makes life so much easier and you use less wood filler.

Add wood filler and leave to cure

We removed as much of the old varnish and gunk with sandpaper and then sealed the chair frame with an outdoor wax polish.

Seal and protect the chair with outdoor wood wax

If your bowl is aluminum like ours, sand it with 80-grit sandpaper before painting it. Use a drill to make a few drainage holes in the bottom.

Sand the aluminium bowl before painting to ensure proper adhesion

Wait for the paint to dry before filling with potting soil and adding your plants.

Planning the fairy playground

When planning a miniature fairy garden, it’s always a good idea to place the hard landscaping bits first, before adding the fairy accessories. For this fairy playground, I planted a bonsai ficus towards the back and added pennyroyal and a blue star creeper on the sides. Just a word of warning the star creeper can take over so she’ll probably need a trim every few months to keep her in check. 

Fill the bowl with potting soil and add the plants

The bonsai ficus is such an extraordinary plant, and each one is unique. I picked this one up for a bargain. Somebody had hurt her and one of her limbs had broken off, which totally worked in my favor.

The ficus had been damaged

Add rocks, twigs, and any other interesting bits to create the playground area.

When planning a fairy garden, it's always a good idea to add the hard landscaping first

Pro Tip: Use this detailed tutorial to plan your miniature scene.

How to Make a Fairy Playground

Once the hard landscaping has been done, I could start creating little fairy stuff for the wee fae folk 😀

Fairy log picnic table and chairs

To make the fairy picnic table and chairs, I used small branch slices and some twigs.

To make the fairy picnic table we used a whole bunch of twigs and small wood slices

Cut the twig down to size and glue onto the bottom of the branch slice.

Use clear drying super glue to attach the twig to the branch slice

The log chairs were made in the same way, using smaller slices of wood.

Glue the twigs to the wood slices

Pro tip: If your twig isn’t long enough to push firmly into the ground, drill a hole in the bottom and insert a toothpick or skewer.

If the twig is too short, drill a hole in the bottom and insert a toothpick or skewer

Find a spot in the playground garden and push the log picnic table and chairs into the ground.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Fairy swing

There are two swings in this playground; a tire swing and a small wooden one.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

We’ve already shared a tutorial on how to make the wooden one from popsicle sticks.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

So I’ll just show you how to make a fairy tire swing, using a toy car’s tire 😀 Use a sharp craft knife or pair of scissors to cut the tire as shown below.

Cut the car tire and add twine

Cut two pieces of twine and tie them onto the cut tire.

Tie the twine around the car tire

Tie the tire swing to a branch ……

Tie the fairy tire swing to a branch

or in my case, that broken tree limb.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Fairy seesaw

To make the fairy seesaw, I used a small twig and leftover ceiling tile scraps.

For the fairy seesaw use a twig and piece of scrap metal

My twig had a flat top, which meant that the seesaw wouldn’t “seesaw” properly 😀 Easy enough to solve with a little sandpaper and elbow grease fairy dust.

Use 80-grit sandpaper to form a point at the top of the twig

Cut a strip from the rusty ceiling tile that measures 2 cm x 12 cm and mark the middle point.

Glue a craft stick to the back of the cut metal to bulk it up

To reinforce the rusty metals strip, I glued a tongue depressor onto the bottom and used a nail to attach it to the twig. Two fence post staples were added to the ends, so the little fairies have something to hold onto when they seesaw 😀

Use fencing staples to make the seesaw handles

The pointy bit at the top of the twig means the fairy seesaw will work too

Test the seesaw out ………………

And the fairy seesaw works

….. and add to the fairy playground.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Fairy slide

Another piece of scrap metal worked perfectly to make the fairy slide.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

To bend the slide a PVC pipe came in very handy.

Use a PVC pipe to shape the slide

Glue the slide onto a twig and add a small ladder.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

To make the ladder, trim two garden twigs to the rights height and then cut and glue on smaller pieces for the crossbars.

For the small ladder, use twine and toothpicks

Position the ladder up against the slide to finish off.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Fairy tree fort

The shape of this unusual bonsai ficus called for a tree fort that the little ones could play in.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

To make the fort I used twigs, a plastic lid, scrap bits of metal, popsicle sticks, and a plastic lid we had leftover from making our fairy bridge.

To make the fairy fort we used a plastic lid and popsicle (ice-cream) sticks

Use a pair of scissors to cut the lid to the middle point. Cut a rough circle shape out.

Cut a hole in the middle of the plastic lid

The circle should be a big enough to go around the trunk of the tree.

Test to see if the plastic lid fits around the trunk

Roughen up the plastic lid with sandpaper and before painting it.

Sand the plastic lid before painting to ensure the paint sticks properly

Cut popsicle sticks to fit around the hole and glue down with E6000. E6000 is waterproof so if your fairy playground gets wet, the fae fort will still look good. While the glue is still wet, slip the plastic lid around the tree trunk and leave to set.

Use E6000 or any other waterproof glue to add popsicle sticks to the plastic lid

I found this gorgeously branched twig that was the perfect shape to use as a gateway to the fort.

An interesting twig makes a beautiful door for the fairy fort

Cut a long strip of scrap metal and glue it inside the lip of the plastic lid, leaving a space open for a door or an interesting twig 😉 Glue a swing ladder in the door space and fix any gaps with a little moss.

Fill any obvious gaps with moss

Pro Tip: Use a toothpick to apply glue in difficult to reach spots

For hard to reach spots apply the glue with a toothpick

Add a small string ladder so it’s easy for the little ones to get up there.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Fairy birdhouse

In my humble opinion, all playgrounds need a birdhouse 😉

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

For the fairy birdhouse I used a small cork, a rusty piece of scrap metal and a toothpick.

What you need to make the fairy birdhouse

Cut the top of the cork off at an angle as shown below.

Cut the top of the cork and glue on a scrap piece of rusty metal

Insert a metal skewer to make a small hole in the cork.

Use a metal skewer or knife to make a small hole in the cork

Insert the toothpick underneath the hole and trim to size. Cut a piece of scrap metal for the roof and glue on.

Cut the top of the cork and glue on a scrap piece of rusty metal

Insert a wooden skewer into the bottom of the fairy birdhouse and glue on some fairy vines.

Insert a skewer inside the cork and glue some fairy vines around the base

Plant the teeny birdhouse in the fairy playground.

Place the fairy birdhouse in the soil

Add a few miniature mushrooms and …..

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

………. you’re all done.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

And to think everything in the fairy playground was made from throw away stuff 😀 That makes my heart happy, and the fairies love it too.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

What do you think? Is it something you would do for your garden fairies?

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

If you like the idea of making a fairy playground using what you have, don’t forget to pin it for later.

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

Sharing is caring 😉

This photo-rich tutorial will show you how you can make your own fairy playground using what you have in your craft cupboard. No fancy tools needed and everything can be made in a morning #FairyGarden, #ACraftyMix, #Playground

And if you’re looking for a few more fairy crafts to make, you’ll find a whole bunch on our blog, including:

We’ve also included some affiliate links below, so you don’t have to worry about finding some of the stuff we used to make this fairy playground. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a very small commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more unique DIY and fairy craft ideas for you 😉

Moss Preserved, Green Moss for Fairy Gardens, Terrariums, Any Craft or Floral Project or Wedding Other Arts (Green, 3OZ)
200 Pieces Wooden Popsicle Sticks 2.6, 4.5, 5.9, 7.9 Inch Long Wood Craft Food Sticks Ice-Cream Craft Sticks DIY Wood Waxing Sticks for Handicrafts Ice Cream Dessert Making, 4 Sizes
BQLZR Black RC 1: 10 Flat Car 12mm Hub Wheel Rims 5 Spoke + Rubber Tires Pack of 4

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

Fairy and Gnome Miniature Swing and Slide Set - A Fairy Garden Accessory
Fairy Garden Miniature Tree: Mrs. Rose The Pink Rose Tree of Azar (9 Inch Tall) for The Garden Fairies and Gnomes - from The Beautiful Azarian Collection. A Fairy Garden Accessory
Ruliyeefu Fairy Door and Windows for Trees, Glow in The Dark Yard Art Sculpture Decoration with Bonus Fairy Lantern, Kids Miniature Fairy Garden Ornament Accessories for Outdoor Room Wall

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Don’t forget to leave room in your garden for the fairies to play 😉 Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   Craft Tutorials, Fairy Garden Crafts, Garden Decor Crafts, Planters, Quick & Easy Crafts, Trash to Treasure

Comments

  • Posted: July 17, 2021 14:44

    Tania

    Oh my goodness, this is the sweetest little fairy garden ever! So creative and I love that you've used stuff you had lying around! Tania
    • Posted: July 19, 2021 17:57

      acraftymix

      Fairies love "throw away stuff", so it only seemed fitting to use what we had to make their little playground ;-)
  • Posted: July 11, 2021 00:19

    Rosemary Palmer

    Oh my - so cute. I could just see a child standing in amazement and using their imagination.
    • Posted: July 11, 2021 17:01

      acraftymix

      That's the best thing about fairy gardens, the way they let little people explore using their imagination :D
  • Posted: July 10, 2021 16:11

    Marie - Interior Frugalista

    Be still my miniature loving heart! The detail in this ADORABLE fairy playground is amazing, Michelle! I'm always so surprised at what common household objects you use to transform into these amazing rustic timeworn miniatures that look so realistic. Pinned :)
    • Posted: July 11, 2021 17:02

      acraftymix

      Awwwww, Marie, thank you so much ❣ You know how much we love making fairy gardens
  • Posted: July 6, 2021 21:24

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    How adorable! I wish I was a tiny fairy so I could come play in the playground. Heck I wish I could come live in your garden. Your fairies have so many cute places to live and play.
    • Posted: July 10, 2021 10:00

      acraftymix

      Our fairies are spoiled rotten but they do so much for us, so I suppose it's only fair ;-)
  • Posted: July 6, 2021 00:04

    Michelle

    I just made a fairy garden today. It is not as cute as your playground though. I may have to add a few elements like a swing and a little ladder. This is so adorable and turned out so nice.
    • Posted: July 6, 2021 11:32

      acraftymix

      I'd love to see what yours looks like, Michelle. Making fairy gardens is always so relaxing
  • Posted: July 5, 2021 22:11

    Meegan

    You never cease to amaze me with your use of trash and vintage pieces. My grand daughters would have so much fun putting this together, Thank you for the inspiration, my friend!
    • Posted: July 6, 2021 11:27

      acraftymix

      You're welcome, Meegan. Glad you liked the fairy playground.
  • Posted: July 5, 2021 20:36

    Kim

    Michelle, you are truly part artist, part dreamer, part designer and part magician and 100% inspiring. Just darling...
  • Posted: July 5, 2021 20:29

    Maria Brittis

    What a charming garden. It will look lovely in your home.
    • Posted: July 6, 2021 11:31

      acraftymix

      We'll be giving this little one as a gift to someone special who loves fairies as much as we do ;-)
  • Posted: July 5, 2021 17:20

    Sara

    So fun and I love your choice of plants! I want to play in that garden; can you whip up a regular folk version for me please?
    • Posted: July 6, 2021 11:30

      acraftymix

      ;-) It might be easier if I ask the fairies to shrink us down to their size so we can play too.
  • Posted: July 5, 2021 13:33

    Anita holland

    OMG, your attention to the small details are incredible. The tyre swing is super cute and that plant with the fort is stunning. All round great project.
    • Posted: July 6, 2021 11:29

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much, Anita. The Bonsai ficus is one of my favorite fairy trees and they're so easy to look after too.

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