If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a little obsessed with making things for our fairies. Especially if they involve a few simple supplies and upcycled stuff like our tin can Gypsy wagon or this fairy bay window. So, forgive me if I share another craft tutorial for these enchanting beings. This time we’ll be making this magical upcycled faux wood fairy garden door.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the entire process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

It’s a bit of a mouthful to describe such a little thing, but I think she looks magical from both sides.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the entire process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

The wooden door and stone cladding is made entirely from a upcycled take away dish. And unlike this toilet paper fairy door it won’t disintegrate into a soggy mess after the first rains.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the entire process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

Plus you don’t need any special tools or fancy craft supplies to create that faux wood effect.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

In this easy DIY project tutorial, I’ll show you how to make your own enchanting faux wood fairy garden door. But, before we get there, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

Oh, and keep any eye out towards the end of the tutorial for 2 more doors that involved repurposed or upcycled materials.

Craft supplies you’ll need

  • Take away polystyrene dish
  • Acrylic paint or alcohol inks
  • Toothpicks
  • Paintbrush
  • Sponge
  • Craft knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Elmer’s glue or wood glue
  • Polymer clay (optional)
  • A gorgeous branch or vine

What I used to make the faux wood fairy door

You’ll also need decorative pieces to create a door handle and hinges. Look for gems, buttons, or any small pieces you have lying around.

Making an upcycled faux wood fairy garden door

The DIY fairy door is made from a discarded polystyrene dish. It’s an easy way to reuse what you’ve got and create a little bit of everyday magic at the same time. Depending on where you’ll be putting your little door you may need to make a wall of some sorts to support it. My door is under a beautifully shaped vine, with lots of bends, nooks and crannies.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

The best way to get the walls and door to fit into something like that is with a template. If your door is going up against a flat surface, you can just skip the template making part below.

Making a template

One of the easiest ways to make a template from an intricate shape is to use florist foam. It’s also one of the cheapest. Place the shape (in my case a vine I got from Namibian Hardwood) onto a block of florist foam and squish in down firmly but gently.

Make a template using florist foam

The shape will leave an “indent” in the foam as shown below.

Make a template using florist foam

Wet the florist foam with watered down paint.

Make a template using florist foam

Place a piece of paper on the florist foam while the paint is still wet, and pat it down. It should absorb the paint and leave a mark that you can use as a template for the polystyrene fairy door.

Make a template using florist foam

Refine the template by test fitting it in the space you’ll be building the door and cut away any excess.

Adjust the paper fairy door template

Don’t worry if it’s not an exact match. Polystyrene is easy to cut and any obvious gaps can be filled with moss later. Once you’re happy with your design, transfer the template to the polystyrene dish.

Transfer the door template to the polystyrene dish

Use your craft knife crafting wand to cut the shape out.

Cut the polystyrene template shape out

Test fit the shape and trim away any excess.

Test fit the polystyrene cut out and adjust where necessary

Making the fairy door

Start by sketching out a fairy door shape on a piece of paper. It can be a classic arch, rectangle, or something fantastical. It’s your little door so let your imagination run wild. The hobbit inside me took over and I went for a simple round door.

Sketch a door shape onto the template

Use a pencil to mark where the door should go

Adding wood grain and planks

To mimic the appearance of planks and wood grain, I used wooden toothpicks.

To create a wood grain effects you'll need toothpicks

Those innocuous sticks come in so handy for something like this. By cutting the tips off and varying the pressure of your drawing strokes you can control the depth and thickness of the lines.

A close up view of the different lines you can get by drawing with a toothpick

I used a blunt toothpick to score equally spaced lines into the faux wood fairy door. These lines form the gaps between the wooden planks. Press down firmly when making the lines and don’t worry too much about keeping them straight.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to make a faux wood fairy garden door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. The step-by-step guide will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

Lightly draw squiggles, curves, and knots using a sharp toothpick to create a wood grain effect. Vary the pressure to make it look more realistic and time worn. For a deeply weathered look “scratch” the polystyrene with a wire brush. It’s a quick and easy way to give your door a wooden makeover without the lumberjack hassle. My little door is a bit small, so I only used toothpicks.

Use the sharp toothpick to draw squiggly lines that mimic woodgrain

If you’re going to use your mini door somewhere where you’ll see both sides, repeat the process on the other side.

Painting the faux wood fairy door

Once you’re happy with the overall effect, it’s time to start painting. Mix a little black paint with water so it’s slightly runny. Brush it onto the fairy garden door and immediately wipe it off. The black paint should settle in all the toothpick groves you made earlier.

Add a wash of watered down black paint and repeat of necessary

If it looks a little dull, repeat. Wait for the black paint to dry before applying any other colors.

Add a wash of watered down black paint and repeat of necessary

My fairies love vivid colors, so I chose a vibrant blue and green alcohol ink for one side of the door.

Apply fairy -approved alcohol ink colors to the polystyrene door

On the other side of the door I used pinks and purples. You can use craft paint too. Whichever colors you use, I would suggest you lightly dab them on in layers. That way the paint won’t settle into the grooves and muddy up the black.

Adding purple alcohol ink to the polystyrene door

To hide the black mess around the door, I used white craft paint. In hindsight, I should’ve used a dark brown, but you live and learn 😀

To hide the black paint wash cover the area around the door in white paint

It’s a good idea to seal the door after painting. I find some craft paints fade over time and a sealer will protect those beautiful colors. Please avoid spray paint sealers. They’ll chew through all your hard work and leave a horrible mess. Any water based sealer should work.

Seal the door colors with a clear paint on sealer

Making a door frame

There are a few different ways to make a frame for the faux wood fairy door. You can:

  • cut one out of the polystyrene take away dish,
  • paint the frame on,
  • make one from ice cream sticks or twigs,
  • or use polymer oven baked clay.

I made mine from clay. Flatten the clay out and cut one long strip. Protect your fairy door with wax or parchment paper and form the frame around the door.

Use clay to make a door frame

Use a pointy tooth pick to draw squiggles or runes and bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s instruction.

Use clay to make a door frame

Leave the clay door frame to cool down before painting or staining.

Paint the clay door frame

If you’re just making a fairy door, you can glue the frame on and call it a day. Be sure to use polystyrene friendly glue. Any white PVA glue that’s suitable for outdoor use will work. Don’t use a hot glue gun. It will melt the polystyrene. If, like me, you want to add cladding around the fairy door, trace around the frame and put it to one side so it doesn’t get all messy.

Trace around the clay frame and put it to one side

Adding stone cladding

Just like the frame, there are a few different options when it comes to making stones for fairy gardens. Egg cartons are a great choice if the fairy garden lives in a protected spot that doesn’t get wet. It’s one of the easiest ways to add stone cladding.  My fairy door is going outside in the garden, so a carton is a no-no. Polystyrene on the other hand, is pretty indestructible, and since I still have a big piece of the takeaway dish left over that’s what I used. To give the polystyrene a rough texture I used 100-grit sandpaper to lightly scuff the surface first.

Roughen the polystyrene dish with 100-grit sandpaper

Break the polystyrene into uneven bits and sand the edges into a stone shape.

Break chunks of polystyrene off and sand or scuff the edges to form stones

Glue the stones around the door.

Glue the polystyrene stone cladding around the door

This is the point where I could have kicked myself for painting the area around the door white. Come on,  what was I thinking? If you want to make life easier, paint it a dark brown so you don’t have to hand paint between all those polystyrene stones.

Paint the grout lines between the stones brown

To paint the stone cladding, add dollops of yellows, browns, white and teeny bit of black on a plastic plate and swirl the colors around with a stick. Don’t mix them, just drag the colors around. Dip a dry sponge into the swirls and dab the color on.

Randomly mix browns, yellows, and white and dab the colors onto the polystyrene stones

Wait for the paint to dry before gluing the frame in place.

Use polystyrene-friendly glue to add the door frame

Finishing up

Now we’re finally ready to “install” the door. Slip the fairy garden door and stone cladding into place. If it’s a bit lose, use glue to attach it. Mine fits snuggly under the vine, but there were a few gaps.

Hide the gaps with reindeer moss

Easy enough to fix with some reindeer moss.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

Feel free to add other decorative elements like a dainty door knocker or a miniature wreath for that extra touch of enchantment. You can even make a stained-glass window using this tutorial. I kept my door simple and just glued a small bead door handle on.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

All that’s left to do is find the perfect spot for your upcycled faux wood fairy garden door. I placed mine in a planter, but it would look lovely nestling against the base of a tree or on a gnarly old tree stump . You could even use the door in a book nook or add it to this mushroom fairy planter.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

Add a few little rocks or pebbles to make a path and fairy friendly-plants and you’re done.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

What plants did I use

I used 3 of my favorite plants to compliment the door. First up we have the Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper ‘Nana’. She’s evergreen and has teeny prickly, green needles that turn slightly purple in Winter.  The Nana grows to about 1/2 meter (1 foot) and will spread over time so she needs to be trimmed to main a tree shape.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

The delightful little plant growing at the base of the Nana is commonly known as a Jelly Bean plant (Sedum rubrotinctum). Her chubby leaves turn red when it’s hot and she produces masses of yellow, star-like flowers in Winter.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

Another sedum spills over the edge of the planter. This one is a Sedum hispanicum, or Spanish stonecrop for those of us who can’t pronounce big Latin words. Just like the Jelly bean, the color of her leaves change depending on the weather and she bears starry white flowers in Summer.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

 

Interesting fact: the word Sedum is derived from sedare, which mean to appease or tranquillize. I definitely don’t want to tranquillize our fae folk. That would be a bad move, but I’m hoping our new upcycled fairy door soothes them while they work their magic in our highveld garden.

If you like the idea of upcycling a take away dish to make a faux wood fairy garden door, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

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Are you ready to add a little enchantment to your garden? This magical tutorial will show you how to upcycle a simple polystyrene dish into a whimsical faux wood fairy door using basic tools like toothpicks and paintbrushes. It’s budget and eco-friendly and will delight both young and old! We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish and share a easy tips to create your own version in any setting.

Other door upcycle projects

I belong to the International Blogger’s club (IBC) and we challenge each other every month to come up with unique craft ideas that involve a common topic. This month it was all about doors.

IBC November 2023 Door Do-Over challenge

  1. Anita made this amazing Steampunk themed Christmas tree. I’m in love with all those tubes, pipes, and gears. It’s such a clever take on a  traditional tree. Can you spot the door?
  2. Sara from Birdz of a Feather, took upcycling to a whole new level with this medicine cabinet repurpose. I love what she used to decoupage the door.

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 😉

Hefty Soak Proof Foam Disposable Plates 20 ct.
Alcohol Ink Set - 12 Vibrant Colors Alcohol-Based Ink for Epoxy Resin Art, Resin Petri Dish Making - Concentrated Alcohol Paint Color Dye for Resin Painting, Tumbler, Coaster, Yupo - 10ml/.35oz Each
200 Pcs Cocktail Picks, 4.7 Inch Toothpicks for Appetizers, Bamboo Cocktail Sticks Skewers for Drinks, Desserts, Charcuterie, Wedding Party Fancy Toothpicks, Gold Pearl Mini Food Picks Decorative

And if you prefer to buy ready-made doors, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

Fairy Door and Windows for Trees – Glow in The Dark Yard Art Sculpture Decoration for Kids Room, Wall and Trees Outdoor | Miniature Fairy Garden Outdoor Decor Accessories with Secret Garden Sign
Sale Fairy Garden Kit, Fairy Door, Fairy Door and Windows for Trees, Tree Stump Decor, Fairy House Kit, Fairy Garden Decor
Sale Opening Fairy Door and Window for Trees with Light – Glow in The Dark Yard Art Sculpture Decoration for Kids Room, Wall and Trees Outdoor | Miniature Fairy Garden Outdoor Decor Accessories

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with fairy-tale wonders! Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix