A Lamp Shade Recycle and How to Thatch a Fairy Roof
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.
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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.
That gorgeous brickwork is a Tim Holtz Mixed Media die. We used it to clad our fairy toadstool a few months ago. It’s one of my favorite dies for adding that special touch to a fairy home.
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.
Sharing is caring 😉
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 .
58 thoughts on “A Lamp Shade Recycle and How to Thatch a Fairy Roof”
Love this idea of using an old lampshade for a roof!!! It will make my village look very even cozier.
So happy to hear that, Nancy.
Michelle, I love how your mind works! Seriously! You’re just awesome!
? Thanks my friend, I really appreciate that
old straw broom wire baskets and coconut fibre might work too. thanks for inspiring me.
Wow Joan, that’s a great idea. I need to play around a bit and see if we’ve got a wire basket lying around somewhere. Thank you
Wonderful Michelle! Thank you for sharing the tute with us! When I saw the first picture and prior to reading (and seeing the following photos) I thought you used a make up brush and had an aha moment thinking how I might get hold onto my daughter’s brushes! hahahaa… Nevertheless, that is one fab thatched roof!
A makeup brush is a brilliant idea, now you’ve got me thinking, thanks so much Maya ?
Oh, Michelle, I’m more and more surprised every time I come to your blog! I think this is one of my favorite! This thatch roof is everything, I would love to have this little house at my yard or home in an area with all the board games, I think it looks so freakin’ cool!!
? Thank you Ana, I really appreciate that
This is so darn cute Michelle! I love all your fairy houses but this may be my favorite. I love how you did the roof, the bricks, and all the cute accessories.
? Thank you so much Linda. I must say those little bricks always add a special touch to fairy homes.They’re just the right size
I am usually the worst when it comes to arts and creative stuff but you make this look really simple i am so tempted to try. I love the fairy house it’s super cute and portable.
Thank you so much Christiana,and it’s not that difficult to do. Just let yourself play, you’ll be amazed at what happens
This little fairy garden house looks so adorable, love the creativity. This is so perfect and I would love to try this one with my daughter during the summer holidays. We both are definitely going to have a nice time together as we both love fairies and craft 🙂
Thanks so much Preet, I’m sure you’ll both have so much fun ?
OH MY WORD, you think of every little detail! The way you made the roof reminds me of hair extensions (roof extensions, lol). I just want to live in your perfect fairy world 🙂
LOL Jas, I never thought of that but you’re right ? I It does look like I’m putting on hair extensions
Nobody makes faerie gardens as amazing as you, Michelle! Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly outdo the last one, you did it again. Pinned and sharing 🙂
Awww Marie, thank you. I could build them all day if I had the time ?
I love this idea! Finding the material for the thatch might be a bit of a challenge but this has gone on my list of Favorite Fairy houses!
Thank you so much Susan, I really appreciate that. Amazon sells the bundles and you should also be able to find some at most online doll house shops too
So cute!!! Any kid would love your fairy house.
Thanks so much Mel ?
Michelle, you make this look like it’s as easy as pie! I wouldn’t have had a clue how to use the coco fibers until you showed me. The lamp shade is perfect to use as the base for the roof, and I like how you used all the rest of the pieces to finish it off. I recognized the flower pot, but not sure what the other pieces on top were. You’re soo crafty Michelle!
? Thanks so much Florence. I think that’s what makes building fairy homes so special. Almost anything small can be repurposed or recycled to create them
I love fairies too! You nailed it with this thatched roof! It’s so adorable and so very creative too!
Thanks so much Carolann. We all need some fairies in our lives
This is really so beautiful and would love to try this one with my kids during their summer holidays. That thatched roof is looking super awesome .
Hope you do get to try it Pooja, our kids love making fairy homes out of all kinds of things
Oh my! You outdid yourself! this little fairy garden house is absolutely adorable, I want to live in there!
I am amazed on how you achieved that roof with coconut fibers and tape, it is simply amazing.
Thanks so much Natalia ?
Once again I am entirely in love! Your friend must have been super thrilled. The thatched roof adds so much character and charm but then theres everything else! All those tiny details on the windows, the door, the added clock.. You just leave me speachless everytime!
Awww Ithi, thank you. My friend has only seen the pictures and sounds super excited about her thatch roof fairy home. Hopefully she’ll be picking it up this weekend and taking it home to her fairies
This is just so sweet, what a truly beautiful and unique idea. You are very creative indeed and have done such a lovely job recycling that lampshade.
Thanks so much Elizabeth
Beautiful creation and to think that this comes from recycled materials, it stands out. I really admire your creativity and imagination. Good job!
Thank you Cat. I love trying to incorporate odd things into our fairy homes and that lamp shade was just calling to me ?
This is so cute. Putting coconut fiber on tape sounds right up my alley. ? I might be able to handle a fairy house (I really wish I was more artsy!). I looked at page 2 to see the full fairy house & it’s too cute! No wonder they’re so popular.
? Thank you Sam, making fairy homes is one of the most relaxing things to do and you’ll probably be surprised at how creative and artsy you actually are if you give it a try
This is such creative and artistic work. I love seeing the photos and the step-by-step on how you have developed and made this creation suitable for our friends, the fairies. Excellent! ??
? Thanks so much Evelyn
This is just adorable, my girls would love something like this for their fairy garden.
Well grab those little ones of yours Sarah and let your imaginations run wild. You’ll have so much fun
You always surprise me with your crafts! But OMG this time you have overcome your own self my dear friend! What an imagination!!! You are so talented. I think nobody except you could think to make something like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
? Thank you Christina. Whenever I need to take a break from the real world I end up making a fairy home
I feel like my nieces would have a blast making this! It’s so whimsical and fun!
Kids love making fairy gardens and homes and they have such amazing imaginations too. It always turns out special when they’re part of the make
Ridiculously cute Michelle!! What a cool way to repurpose an old lamp shade! Love the addition of the sweet clock face!
Thanks so much Sam, I really enjoy making fairy homes ?
This is so cute and whimsical. Thatched roofs are so nice and I have never seen a real one. Love this project.
You’ll have to come visit us one day Leanna. Both our main house and our little cottage by the sea have a thatch roof. I couldn’t imagine living in a home without one now. I love the atmosphere it creates
Just when I think it couldn’t get any better, you come up with this! You’ve created the sweetest and most creative little fairy home! I don’t think anyone but you could come up with this Michelle, what an inspiration you are! This is the most amazing fairy home there is! All the fairies will move over now, I’m sure!
? Thank you Katrin, that means a lot to me
Michelle the fairies are so happy with this house. It really looks life like and if we let our imaginations go we can definitely see a fairy or two walking into the house any minute now. All the pretty details are spot on!!
Thanks so much Mary, all those details is what makes it so much fun ?
That looks soooo cute. I have never seen a ‘real thatch roof other than in villages in India. How fascinating. I bet your friend’s fairy garden looks super charming. Blown away by your attention to detail. Xx
Oh my really. Quite a few homes here in South Africa have thatch instead of tiles and I absolutely love living in one. It’s warm in Winter and cool in Summer. Mmmmmm isn’t it fascinating how each country is different ?