There’s just something about making a little fairy home that will always appeal to me. I think it’s probably because you can use all kinds of things while creating them. Just let your imagination run wild. Old tissue boxes can be turned into a desert abode or a fairy church. Clocks are perfect for making secret gardens, complete with beaded topiaries and a porch swing. Even a lunchbox can be transformed into something amazing. And an old, tatty lamp shade……… Well, if you thatch it, add a plastic flower pot and a doorknob; it makes for a great fairy roof. Amiright? 😀
We made this little one over the weekend for a friend who is keen to start her first fairy garden. She wanted a cottage-style home for her fairies that would last outside. Since the weather here in South Africa doesn’t typically go from one extreme to the other, and I know how hardy a thatch roof is (we stay in one), the roofing choice was easy.
What You Need To Thatch a Fairy Roof
- Old Lamp Shade
- A Pair of Scissors
- E6000 Glue
- Duct Tape
- One bundle of Coconut Fiber (Coir). If you struggle to find coir bundles, you can use this miniature twine thatch tutorial as an alternative.
How To Thatch a Fairy Roof – The Easy Way
Did you know the recommended roof pitch for a thatch roof is typically between 45 and 50 degrees? The steep pitch allows for proper water drainage and helps to prevent water from pooling on the thatch, which can lead to rot and decay. Which one of the reasons why repurposing a lamp shade for this fairy craft is so perfect.
Preparing the Lamp Shade for Thatching
The lamp shade I had was kinda bell-shaped, but I really wanted the top portion to be narrower. I don’t know; to me, it just looked more fairy-ish. So I used wire cutters to snip around the top and squished it together before taping it with aluminium tape.
Once I was happy with the overall shape, the rest of the lamp shade was covered in tape. The tape helps make the roof more robust and gives the thatch something to hold onto.
Turning coconut fibre into thatch
Grab a few strands of coconut fiber and spread them evenly onto a piece of tape as shown below.
Fold the tape over to secure the coconut fibers. Do the same on the other side. Cut the taped coconut fibers in half so you have two strips of fibers, or thatching material, as shown below.
I like to cut a whole bunch at once so I have a stockpile of thatching material to work with. It’s a very messy business so it’s probably best to do it outside.
Applying the fairy thatch
Just like thatching a real, life-sized roof, you need to start at the bottom and work your way up in overlapping layers. So start by gluing a strip of the taped coconut fibers all around the bottom of the lamp shade. Don’t worry if it looks sparse; it fills up as you add more layers.
Cover the entire lamp shade with the strips making sure that the underlying tape is covered by the next layer. When you reach the top of the lampshade, use duct tape to attach the final layer to the shade. Trim the roof to remove any stray bits and tidy it up. It honestly felt like I was giving the thatch roof a hair cut 😀
Finishing The Roof Off
Find a plastic pot or anything that fits snugly over the top of the lamp shade. Paint it if you like, and add other bits and bobs to give it some character. I used a cabinet door knob and a failed concrete mold and then glued on a tiny watch trinket I found lying around.
Okay, let’s make that little house that sits under the thatched fairy roof.
Bricks and mortar – Erm I Mean Wood
For the tiny fairy home, I used a few scraps of wood.
They were all covered in 3D contour paste to make it look like they had been plastered.
Other Little Fairy Touches
The front door and trap door are both made from ice cream sticks that were cut to size and stained. We use ice cream sticks for most of our fairy doors. They’re easy to find in most craft stores. The door handles are small pieces of leather glued on, and the hinges are shell-shaped beads.
A tiny little bucket made from a tin can filled with a few twigs completes the picture.
Here’s a handy hint when making fairy homes. You can find the most amazing accessories in bead shops. That teeny, little ax is a cheap plastic bracelet charm. I think I bought a pack of 4 for about R 5.00.
I would love to know what you think about recycling an old lampshade for a fairy roof. Is it something you would try?
And if you’d like to thatch a fairy roof, don’t forget to pin it for later.
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For your convenience, I’ve added some links so you don’t have to struggle to find some of the goodies we used. Disclosure: If you click the links below, we may receive a 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 😉
And as always, here’s wishing you a beautiful week filled with fairy dust and lots of love .