One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this pixie den lantern, we made a few weeks back. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts, and a light that casts a magical glow over everything.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Can you see you see it yet?

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Wait I’ll open the door for you. Maybe that will make it easier.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Come inside, let me show you around. It’s a bit cramped for a human but just perfect for playful little creatures who need a quiet place to do their research.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Can you see the ancient scrolls on the shelf in the background?

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

And a collection of well-loved books on a floating shelf.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

I wonder what mischief this little pixie is planning 😀

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

And since we installed a stained-glass light for them, they can stay up late to plot their escapades.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Let’s venture outside again so you can get a better idea of how magical the lights are.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Isn’t it gorgeous? So if you want to make something similar, we’ll show you step by step how we created this pixie den lantern and share tips on working in a small space. But before we get there, 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

You can build the pixie den or any fairy scenes inside a mason jar, glass trinket box, bottle, or lanterns like this one. Anything with clear glass sides, without flaws, raised lettering, or permanent labels will work. Make sure whatever you use has an opening that’s wide enough to fit your hand through. The inside of this pixie den is 4” (9.5 cm) wide and 6” (20 cm) high, while the door opening is 2.5” by 4” (roughly 6,3 cm x 10cm), which is pretty small.

What I used to make the pixie den lantern

Besides a lantern with a door, you also need:

  • Reindeer moss
  • Scraps bits of wood and twigs
  • Fairy lights
  • Glue with a fine applicator tip
  • Cardstock
  • Paper and printer
  • Sharp nail scissors
  • Small bead and feather
  • Old tacky nail polish
  • Twine or yarn
  • Water balloon or small polystyrene ball
  • 2-minute resin
  • Alcohol ink
  • Free printable that contains a collection of:
    • Newspaper pages
    • Antique paper with writing
    • Small handwritten letters
    • Book covers

A collection of twigs, moss and feathers to make a pixie den

How to make a pixie den lantern

The pixie den lantern contains so many little things that it would be almost impossible to share them all in one tutorial. So, in this post, I’ll show you how to make:

  • A bundle of magical newspapers
  • Tiny scroll with a wax seal
  • Small quill and ink well
  • A working, stained glass fairy light

I’ll also share tips on creating miniature worlds that are pixie perfect in a cramped, tiny space towards the end of the post. You can find full tutorials for the bits and pieces that aren’t covered in this tutorial by clicking on the links below:

Other fairy tutorials to help you build a pixie den

So, grab a cup of your favorite brew and get comfortable because this is a long one filled with tips, tricks, and how-to photos.

Bundle of magical newspapers

Let’s start with that small bundle of newspapers. I used MakeMyNewsPaper to create magical newspapers. They’re really quick to put together. Since the newspaper bundle is so small, you only need to focus on a catchy headline and image if you’re making your own. You’re welcome to use this free template if you don’t want to go to all that trouble.  

The free printable contains handwritten letters, newspapers and scrolls

Print the newspaper in color and cut out the pages. Fold the pages in half and then half again.

Fold the newspaper printable in half and then half again

Use some twine to tie the newspapers together and create a small bundle. Depending on the twine thickness you have on hand, you may want to split it into separate strands so it isn’t too bulky.

Separate the strands and tie around the newspaper bundle

Tiny scroll with a wax seal

The scrolls are made in much the same way as the newspaper bundle. Print and cut them out but instead of folding the printouts, roll the scrolls up.

Cutout the scroll printables and roll up

To give the scrolls a slightly burnt, well-worn look, you can use a brown pastel to color the edges.

Use a pastel or soft pencil to distress the edges of the pixie scrolls

Tie a piece of twine around the scroll and trim away any excess.

Separate the strands and tie around the scroll

For the wax seal, put a tiny dollop of old nail polish on the knot.

Use old tacky nail polish to make a wax seal

Wait for the nail polish to dry completely before adding the scrolls to the pixie den.

A close up view of the tiny pixie scroll with wax seal

Miniature quill and ink well

The quill and ink well are probably the easiest to make. You only need a small round bead for the ink well and a tiny feather. Our feathered friends leave lots of little ones all over the garden for us to find, so I just used one of those. Carefully remove the bottom feathery bits from the shaft.

Remove some of the downy bits at the bottom of the feather

Trim the shaft and dip the tip in the black nail polish. Leave to dry.

Miniature quill and ink pot on the table

Working Stained-glass hanging light

Oooo, this stained-glass hanging light was so much fun to make 😀 Cut a small polystyrene ball in half with a craft knife. If you don’t have a polystyrene ball, you can use a water balloon too.

Cut a polystyrene (Styrofoam) ball in half with a sharp craft knife

Wrap the half ball in cling film to protect.

Wrap the cut ball with cling warp to protect

Insert a long screw or nail into the bottom of the wrapped ball and stick it down on a level surface. I used masking tape folded over, so the sticky side faces outwards to keep the screw from toppling over. Double-sided tape or press stick will work too.

Stick the polystyrene half ball down on a piece of masking tape or double-sided tape

Pour a thin layer of 2-minute resin over the half ball and cure under UV light. Add a second and third layer in the same way. You can add more layers, but I found that three was enough. Just make sure there are no open spots.

Pour 2-minute resin over the half ball

Remove the resin dome from the half ball. It should come off easy enough.

Remove the ball and cling wrap

Neaten up the edges with a pair of nail scissors.

A closer look at the resin dome before it gets turned into a stained-glass light

Drizzle alcohol ink all over the dome.

Drizzle alcohol ink all over the resin dome

I used blue and green because that’s what I had in my craft cupboard. Place a fairy light under the dome to check if you’re happy with the colors.

Testing the stained-glass fairy lights

Use a darning needle to make a hole in the top of the resin dome. The hole needs to be big enough to fit one of the fairy light globes through.

Make a small hole at the top of the stained-glass light.

If you have a strip of upholstery tacking lying around, you can use the bit where the upholstery tack goes and glue that onto the dome. It’s not really necessary since you probably won’t see the top of the light once it’s installed.

Putting the pixie den together

Right, so now we have all these teeny, tiny things that need to go inside a lantern that’s smaller than a shoebox. And the only way to get inside is through a door that’s a little bigger than a credit card.

What I used to make the pixie den lantern

The secret to building tiny worlds in tiny spaces is to build outside rather than inside. To ensure you stay within the building lines, create a template of the “floorspace” by tracing around the bottom of the lantern or whatever you’re using to make your pixie den.

Trace around the outside of the lantern to make a template. Adjust accordingly

Adjust the template a little by taking the “wall thickness” into account.

Trace around the outside of the lantern to make a template. Adjust accordingly

And check if it fits.

Check if the cardboard template fits snugly inside the lantern

Keep the template as a guide when collecting the larger bits that make up the bones of the pixie den. In my case, I used an interesting branch as a focal point around which I could build a bookshelf and a small table.

Play around with your finds and trim if necessary

All I needed to do was use the “floorspace” template to cut the branch to the right size.

Use the cardboard template as a guide to figure out if things will fit

Check to see if the branch will fit inside and trim where necessary

For the table, I used a sliver of wood that just happened to fit around that branch.

The pixie table is made from a sliver of wood

All I needed to do was cut a few twigs to give the table a leg or three to stand on.

Trim smaller twigs and use them to make legs for the table

With the shelf, I wasn’t that lucky, and I’m guessing you won’t be either. To figure out how to cut a shelf, I used a piece of paper and squished it around the branch. The squish marks can be cut away to create a paper template.

Make a template for the floating shelf using a piece of paper

My next problem was how to support the bookshelf. I could glue it to the branch, but that meant the branch with the shelf wouldn’t fit through that credit card-sized door. Jewelry wire to the rescue. By drilling a few small holes around the branch, I could create supports for the shelf that would bend away when they went through the door and then bend them back when I was ready to add the shelf. A small upright twig glued to the bottom of the branch added additional support.

Use 14-gauge jewelry wire to create a floating shelf

Test fit the larger pieces in the lantern just to ensure it all works in the tiny space and make adjustments as needed.

Test fit the larger pieces to make sure they work inside that small space

Once I had the shelf figured out, I glued on a collection of small books, the scrolls, and a tiny topiary.

A collection of small books, scrolls and topiary go on the floating shelf

Next up, wiring that gorgeous stained-glass light.

Adding the stained-glass light

Pixies don’t have a problem working in the dark, but they only see shades of grey at night, and I really wanted to make their den a workable space filled with color and light that worked with the flick of a switch. Easy enough to do; just wrap some fairy lights around the branch ……..

Wrap the fairy lights around the branch

……… and pop the stained-glass light over one end.

Testing out the stained-glass fairy light

To hide the wiring, I use my trusty go-to; moss.

Use small bits of moss to hide the wiring

To disguise the battery pack, I could either incorporate it into the fairy lantern as décor like I did when making the stained glass fairy door or hide it somewhere. Given the space constraints hiding it somewhere was a better option. Cutting a hole in the floor of the lantern that was big enough to slip the battery pack, though, meant I could tuck the battery pack under the lantern and still make it easily accessible for any human to flip that switch.

Make a hole in the bottom of the lantern for the battery pack

Using my cardboard template, which had served its purpose, I taped the extra lights on and hid the whole ugly mess with more moss.

Tape the fairy lights down and cover with moss

And with the wiring complete, I could finally put all the bits inside and finish up the pixie den before switching the lights on.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

And if the “power” goes out, our little pixie can always use his candles.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

I hope it doesn’t happen, though. That stained-glass light is too pretty not to shine its little light on the world.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Don’t you agree?

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Okay, before I waste too much of your time, let me quickly share those tips for working in small spaces.

Tips for working in tiny spaces

Assemble as much as you can outside the tiny space and then gently maneuver everything into place. The table, shelf, and all the bits that fit on top were made outside the lantern using the cardboard template as a guide.

Use the cardboard template as a guide to figure out if things will fit

When adding larger pieces inside the lantern, work from the back towards the front. If you’re making a fairy scene inside a mason jar, work from the bottom up.

Do mock-ups and test fit the pieces as you work

Plan the scene and play around with the layout before putting the final look together. This miniature-making guide will help a lot in planning your scene.

Play around with all the tiny pieces before gluing them down

My go-to tools when assembling a miniature are tweezers and glue with a precision nozzle tip. Tweezers help with fine tweaking and can get into spots that chubby fingers can’t, and glue makes things stay put. Glue any small pieces down on larger pieces before adding them inside the lantern or whatever you choose to house your tiny world.

To ensure that the small pieces don't get lost glue them down.

On that note, save all those tiny, miniature creations in a zip lock bag. They are so easy to lose on a messy crafting table.

Keep your miniature bits safe in a zip-lock bag

And finally, make sure to clean the glass inside and out and remove any labels before assembling the little miniature scene. 

Trust me on this one; the last thing you want is a huge fingerprint blocking the view.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

I hope you enjoyed the post and that the tips help a little when you create your own miniature worlds in tiny spaces.

Magical fairy tips for working in a small space and making a pixie den in a lantern. The tutorial includes how to make tiny scrolls, newspaper bundles, ink pot and quill and a miniature stained-glass light the works. #FairyCrafts #ACraftyMix #Miniature

And if you like the idea of making a pixie den lantern, don’t forget to pin it for later.

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Sharing is caring <3

One of the reasons I love miniatures so much is how they draw the viewer in and encourage deeper scrutiny. Like this DIY pixie den lantern. It’s filled with ancient scrolls, fairy-tale artifacts and a light that casts a magical glow over everything. Make your own with this photo-rich tutorial #FairyGarden #ACraftyMix #CraftTutorial

Want a few more teeny, tiny tutorials to get crafty with? You’ll find a whole bunch on the blog including:

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 make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

Sterno Home GL43855 Hanging Farmhouse LED Light Flameless Candle Lantern, 15.9 in, Grey
Sale Alcohol Ink Set Resin Dye - Vibrant High Concentrated Alcohol-Based Ink, Epoxy Resin Paint Color Pigment Fast-Drying Permanent for Resin Petri Dish Tumbler Cup Making Coaster Painting (20x10ml/0.35oz)
UV Resin Crystal Clear Hard Type- Wayin Upgraded 200g Ultraviolet Epoxy Resin Non-Toxic for Jewelry Making Craft Decoration, Hard Transparent Glue Solar Cure Sunlight Activated Resin Casting & Coating

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

DIY Miniature Dollhouse Kit with Music Box Rylai 3D Puzzle Challenge for Adult (A028)
12 Pieces Fairy Garden Furniture Ornaments Miniature Table and Chairs Set Fairy Village Micro Resin Bench Chair for Dollhouse Accessories Home Micro Landscape Decoration (Vintage Style)
DIY Dollhouse Fsolis Miniature Kit with Furniture, 3D Wooden Miniature House with Dust Cover and Music Movement, Miniature Dolls House kit (P06)…

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix