Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How To Make A Fairy House With Twigs and Moss

Fairy House from twigs and moss

How To Make A Fairy House With Twigs and Moss
Lately I'm obsessed with fairy gardens and houses and tiny little fairy furniture. These fun little structures make a great project to do with children or just for the child in you.

I've made a few fairy structures and furniture pieces, and even a fairy door for a tree. But today, we'll focus on making a fairy house.

Fairy house with twigs, acorns, moss

Here is what you'll need:
If you're gathering items from nature, you might consider baking them before you use them to get the critters and critter eggs out. I did. I lined baking sheets with foil and baked at 225 F degrees for an hour. Use your judgement here. Baking twigs, acorns, pine cones, bark, etc. worked fine for me. I even baked a few fall leaves. Again, use your best judgement so as not to cause fires, etc.

Step 1: Clay & Cardboard
Cut a piece of cardboard into the size & shape you want for your house. I just used a piece of a box flap and cut into a rough circle shape. Next, use your air-dry clay to make a ring around the box, wrapping it underneath and making it thick on top (so you can push your twigs into it). It's easiest to work in small sections and just use your fingers to blend and work the clay as you go along. This makes a solid base for your structure.

Fairy house with clay and twigs

Step 2: Twigs
Using your hands or a cutting tool, cut/snap the twigs until they are roughly the size you want for your fairy house. I recommend about 6-10 twigs for this, but you can decide what works for you. Place a drop of glue on the end of your twig, then press each twig into the clay around the edges of your cardboard and angle them so they meet in the middle like a tee-pee. If more clay is needed, you can add it around the base of each twig.

Step 3: (Hardest Part) Let it dry overnight.

Step 4: (Funnest Part) Start Decorating! Roof & Floor
I added large masking tape to the tops of my branches to create a larger surface for attaching my bark "roof". I made sure the tape wrapped around and stuck to itself, not just to the branches as it might fall off. Cut pieces of bark using your hands to snap them or cutting tools (such as wire cutters or pruning shears). Attach the bark to the top of your structure. Don't worry if you have a few gaps. You can fill them in with moss.

Also, add bark pieces to the floor using glue. Again, don't worry about gaps. 

Fairy house use wide masking tape

Fairy house using bark for roof

Step 4: Moss
Using super glue OR hot glue and some kind of craft stick or tweezers, begin tucking moss into all the cracks and crevices and gluing it into place. Also, cover all of the exposed clay at the base of your house with moss.  

Fairy house using moss

Fairy house using moss

Step 5: Steps
Build twig "steps" for your fairy house by breaking a few twigs and gluing them to the house. Start with one twig on the doorstep, then glue another twig and another until you have the desired amount of steps.

Fairy house using twigs for steps

Step 6: Finishing Touches
Time to use pine cones, acorns, dried flowers, etc., to create your own unique touches. Consider making an interesting embellishment above the door. Add some fancy dried flowers or twigs next to the steps. You could also make a candle stand. Pretty rocks, crystals, etc., also make fun additions. Use your imagination!

Fairy house acorns for decorations

And you're all done. You have a beautiful fairy house for your fairy friends. I've used mine in a terrarium in my home, but you could also place yours outside in a garden or in the woods. I'm not sure how long it would withstand the elements, but if it doesn't last long, that's just an excuse to make another one! :)

Happy creating!

Fairy house using twigs and moss

Fairy house with furniture


Monday, April 23, 2018

How To Make Fairy Furniture

How To Make Fairy Furniture
Fairy furniture is my new obsession! I just love the idea of taking elements from nature and using them to create tiny sculptures. And it doesn't hurt that it's finally starting to feel like spring here.

Today, we're going to make three furniture items: a fairy bed, a fairy candle stand and a fairy harp.

Here is what you'll need:

Fairy bed made from twigs and moss

Fairy Bed
To make the fairy bed, start by building the head and foot boards. I broke twigs into similar sizes and laid them out, gluing them together. When the head and foot boards were done, I used twigs to attach them together and form the base/sleeping area of the bed. When it was dry, I added moss, gluing it into place and also acorn tops for the top of the bed posts at the head of the bed. Then I glued paper flowers and more moss to the posts.

Fairy candle stand made from twigs and moss

Fairy Candle Stand
To build the candle stand, I used a piece of bark as a base, then attached a twig. It was difficult to glue the twig directly to the bark, so I took a small amount of air-dry clay and attached it with glue to the bark, then I put a dot of glue onto the top of the clay and stuck the twig to it. This helped stabilize the twig while the glue dried and attached it. The twig itself had a "Y" in it. This created a cradle for the acorn top. I glued the acorn top upside down to make a bowl shape. I created a "candle" using clay and a bit of wire. I just worked the clay into a candle shape and stuck the wire through to create the "wick." I attached it into the acorn top with glue and then added moss around it and moss at the base.

I had a hard time getting the twig to stay,
so I added a bit of clay and a dot of glue on top of that, then covered it with moss.

Fairy harp made from twigs and moss

Fairy Harp
For the harp, I used a V-shaped twig. It already had buds on the ends, but you can add buds or flowers if you don't have a twig with buds on it. I glued a thin twig to connect the V-shape of the twig. I used clay and glue to secure the bottom of the V-shaped twig to the inside of an acorn cap. Then I secured it to a piece of bark as a base. I used moss to hide the clay and fill in gaps. To make the strings, I used cut pieces of natural twine, gluing them to the twigs as shown.

Fairy harp made from twigs and moss

And there you have it! Three pieces of fairy furniture for your fairy garden.

Fairy furniture made from twigs and moss

Want MORE ideas? 

Learn how to make this Fairy House!

Monday, February 19, 2018

DIY Scrabble Tile Wall Decor

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Make Your Own Over-Sized Letter Tiles Wall Decor
Hubby and I are recently empty-nesters. Well, not exactly. Our older daughter has moved into her own place in a city about 40 minutes from us. And our younger daughter is currently traveling with a missions group. She will return this summer for a month before leaving again for another year. So, basically Hubby and I are on our own.

It was really hard at first. Both our kids left within a month of each other. We went from being a family of four, to a couple again. As young parents, we'd dreamed of the day when our kids would be independent, and Hubby and I could finally have a chance to travel and "date" again. But I never realized how much a family dynamic changes when the kids grow up.

I decided I wanted to celebrate the fact that we're still a family, even if parts and pieces of us are scattered a bit. So, I'm working on a gallery wall above our basement stairs. Part of that wall is our names in over-sized Scrabble style wood letter tiles.

You've probably seen these on Pinterest. If you've thought about doing them, I say go for it! These turned out even better than I'd imagined. Here's how I did it.

Cut Your Tiles
Hubby cut the tiles from 1x6 boards. They measure 5.5 x 5.5 inches. He even sanded the edges for me. Gotta love that man! I goofed on how many tiles we needed. I counted each letter in our names, but forgot that some of the letters would be shared (like the K in the girls' names). So I ended up with a few extra tiles.

Paint Tiles
Next, I had a decision to make. I've seen these tiles in many different finishes, and I really like ALL of them. Should I leave the wood natural? Stain it dark brown? Gray? Paint it black with white letters? The possibilities! I decided to do a combination style for a distressed grayish-white look that would match my farmhouse decor. I began by painting the tiles with white latex paint--just the front and sides. The back I left plain wood.

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Print & Trace
Next, I printed the letters/numbers out on paper and colored on the back with a pencil. (I'll include the printable letters at the end of this post). I then traced these onto my tiles. I filled the letters in with black matte craft paint. The numbers were so small, I decided to fill these in with Sharpie. The marker dries out pretty fast. Each letter/number takes two coats of paint.

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Sand The Edges
The next step was to sand the edges of each tile. I used a sanding block, but you could use an electric sander, too. I wanted just a bit of raw wood on the corners and edges for the next step, which is gray stain.

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Stain Over The Paint
You'll need rubber gloves for this next part. I wore an apron, too. Using a brush, I applied Rustoleum wood stain in Carbon Gray to the sanded edges, and all around the sides of the block. With a cotton towel, I wiped the stain away and also rubbed it into the wood, spreading it lightly around for an antiqued finish.

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

How To Hang Your Tiles
Now I had all my tiles, and they looked even better than I'd hoped! But I had a dilemma. How do people hang these on the wall? One at a time? That seems crazy! I came up with a plan to use a thin piece of wood to connect the tiles and create one giant piece of art. Hubby agreed and did all the hard work. He then attached a couple saw-tooth hooks to the back for hanging. Did I mention I love that man?

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family namesAll Done!
I did a quick layout on the floor to see where other pieces would fit with my tiles. I am planning to add a few more things, like the word "family" and maybe the letter S or number 4. But I love how it looks on the wall!

So, what about you? Think you'll give this project a try?

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Make your own Scrabble style letter tiles for your family names

Want more ideas? Check out my post on How to Transfer an Image to Wood.
To download the printable letters, click each one and right click to save the image or print it.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Valentine Gifts That He Actually Wants

Gift ideas for a guy... that he really wants!

Valentine Gifts for Him 
It's not easy shopping for a guy on Valentine's Day. Pink hearts and stuffed animals don't really appeal to most men. So, what does a guy really want? Here are some ideas that are sure to put a smile on your man's face without taking away his man card.

Knife Cabinet | ReclaimerDesign on Etsy
My own hubby has an ever-growing collection of knives. For years they were kept in an old box in the basement. What better way to say you care about his interests than helping him to display them in a classy handmade case?

Engraved Pocket Knife
And speaking of knife collections, add a personal touch with this engraved knife.

Beard Balm
I bought this for Hubby. At first he was resistant to the idea, but it just smells so good and is perfect for keeping those bristles in check! No more scratchy kisses.

Give him the gift of comfort with these soft, cozy slippers.

Docking Station | GretaOtoDesign on Etsy
Wallet, watch, phone, keys, glasses... have you ever heard your man reciting this list as he frantically searches his nightstand? No more! Give the gift of organization with this personalized docking station.

Engraved Compass | SFDizayn on Etsy
Love is a great adventure! Inside every man is an explorer. Bring out his adventurous side with engraved compass!

Chocolate Oreos Gift Box
What Valentine's gift would be complete without a box of chocolates? But don't settle for just any candy. Indulge him with these decadent Oreos!

Treasure Chest of Coffee
Show him he is your greatest treasure with this trunk filled with delicious coffees!

For that very special Valentine's Day... If you're really looking to WOW him, check out these Bose headphones.

A Sensual Valentine
Finally, this fun DIY gift is full of possibilities! Show him how exciting love can be with a collection of gifts for all 5 senses!