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Gardening

  • Make A DIY Magic Fairy Garden - With Kristi Simpson!

     

    Is there anything more magical for adults and children than an enchanting DIY fairy garden? No. No, there isn’t. If you find yourself mesmerized by tiny worlds filled with itty bitty tire swings, fire pits, hammocks, bridges, mushrooms, and more, then congratulations! We adore you, and we’re unequivocally sure that this DIY Fairy Gardens book will inspire miniature greatness in you. 

    Fairy gardener and all-around crafter Kristi Simpson has designed five unique gardens for you – including the Beach Garden, Rose Hut Garden, and Moss Hut Garden – each guaranteed to make you smile and provide hours of fun and inspiration. So, gather a container (or five), lots of nature, and many things already lying around your home, and voila! Instant magic. Join our guest blogger, Kristi Simpson as we take a walk through the fairy gardens. 

     

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    Hi! I’m Kristi Simpson, designer of DIY Fairy Gardens from Leisure Arts. As much as I love to crochet and knit---I also love getting crafty! I thought of my kids and niece when I was developing this fairy garden book and it just pushed me to make things not only crafty for adults, but kid friendly too. 

    Let me ask you, do your kids run out to craft with you as soon as you grab your craft supplies? Mine do, it never fails. So, with that in mind, I wanted to make this book something to be enjoyed by all ages.… gathering items, rolling clay, painting signs, building, sand layering, and of course, playing with the garden. It's all hands-on fun!

    I could just imagine them playing with these indoor themed gardens and helping me make more features along the way. I can’t wait to walk you through the different gardens and their miniature awesomeness.… let’s get started!

    Moss Hut Garden

    First up, the Moss Hut Garden, the one that's on the beautiful cover!

    Garden Moss Garden Hut - Finished

    It has so many cute and fun features, like a tire swing, trellis, wooden steps, fun decor and of course, a cute hut!

    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Moss Garden Hut
    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Steps
    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Roof

    I really tried to use things you could find naturally, be it around the house, walking through the park or at the craft store, I wanted you to craft without too much hassle. 

    In the book, I step you through what you'll need for each garden, and how to make each and every item--and they're all easy!

    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Moss Hut Garden
    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Wood Steps

    You can use any type of container, just like I did. My options were a vintage white bowl, a painted bowl, wooden round crate, glass lantern and a cute rectangle box. I loved looking in thrift stores, yard sales, and going through my own crafty stock--and I even drafted family to help me find unique things that didn't look 'brand new’. I wanted a natural look, something I would normally have in my home. Since I chose to use artificial flowers, I used floral foam as the base and topped it with potting soil.… so, needless to say, the container doesn't have to be waterproof. 

    Garden Base - Roof
    Garden Greenery - Roof

    OH! Quick note for all of the non-green-thumb people out there. Don’t tell, but all of the beautiful succulents you see are not real.... shhhh! There are so many real-looking plants at your local craft store that you can use and not worry about watering. Your fairies will thank you for the year-round green garden!

    Beach Garden

    Next up, the Beach Garden.

    Fairy Beach Garden Fairy Beach Garden

    I used a glass candle lantern for this project. I wanted to be able to see the layering of the sand and all of the accessories through it instead of them being ‘on top’ of the bowl or container. I thought about using different color sand to make the garden even more inviting for fairies--but I’ll leave those extra special touches to you when you try it out! 

    Garden Beach Garden - Before
    Garden Beach Garden - Aerial View

    This project was special to me because my family loves the beach. We had most of the supplies on hand: shells, extra sand, drift wood and sticks. Plus, you can always look for things from your home to decorate your garden with, too. Make it personal, and fun!

    Rose Hut Garden

    One of my favorite gardens is the Rose Hut Garden.

    DIY Magic Gardens Beautiful Rose Hut Garden

    It has a sweet swing made with sticks and cotton rope, a painted sign and a clay hut. In the book I teach you how to make the hut--it’s super easy! You just roll and twist the clay, lay it out in the shape you want, bake it, and paint. I have photo guides included, so have fun!

    DIY Magic Garden Detail of Rose Hut Garden

    The rose is SO EASY when you follow the steps--it’s made in layers so don’t overthink it.… just get creative!

    Pinecone Hut Garden

    The next hut, the Pinecone Hut Garden, was so neat to make! It’s made with hot glue, pine cones, sticks and popsicle sticks. Seriously creative! The base is a toilet paper roll and birch bark! Fairy gardens are cute and homey, and these designs really bring the outdoors in. 

    Garden Pinecone Hut
    Garden Pinecone Hut Close Up
    Garden Pinecone Hut- Fence Detail

    Do you see the fence? Flower accents? I love adding color with florals! The house looked tall for the container, so I matched it with a tall fence and made it look great with extra tall flowers. You can’t go wrong when you’re making fairy gardens.

    Cord House Garden

    Last, but not least is the Cord House Garden.

    Garden Cord House Garden

    The fairies love this garden with the Cord House, bridge, mushrooms pebble creek and banner!

    Garden Detail - Cord House
    Garden Floor of Cord House Garden
    Garden Detail- Mushrooms in Garden

    So much can be added in small spaces when you think like a fairy. Use your imagination and add tiny details along the way to make it special.

    Thank you for joining me as we walked through the different gardens. I hope you and your kids, or your friends and family are inspired to grab your supplies, and buy this book to make your own fairy garden (or two, or three!). 

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    Isn't she awesome? Which garden is your favorite? We certainly can't wait to make our own favorite fairy gardens! Go out and buy DIY Fairy Gardens now, and bring your own little wonderland home for the family.

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Summer Fun with Gnomes and Fairies

    Have you made a gnome and fairy garden yet? Gardens can be as intricate, whimsical or expansive as you like. I decided to make my first gnome and fairy garden as a tabletop display; it seemed like a tabletop display would be a bit more manageable and accessible for me. It is now mid-July and the gnomes and fairies are having quite a get-together in the forest!

     My first decision was to choose a container for my gnomes and fairies. Since the theme was summer fun, I could get creative with a forest setting using some supplies I had to make different scenes in an imaginary world! My oval basket is quite large measuring approximately 25 inches wide x 18 inches deep giving me a lot of space as my forest backdrop. I filled the basket with styrofoam and plastic bags. I covered this basket stuffing with brown paper to conceal and secure the styrofoam pieces and bags in place.

    Gathering materials for a basket to become a tabletop gnome and fairy display. Basket stuffing includes hard styrofoam, plastic bags for spaces, and brown paper to cover. Gathering materials for a basket to become a tabletop gnome and fairy garden display. Basket stuffing includes hard styrofoam, plastic bags for any spaces between styrofoam pieces, and brown paper to cover.  

    The first part of the scenery to be put into place was the largest item to be used as part of the forest floor's backdrop. It was a  birch metal planter. This planter would be the hedgehog's home; the hedgehog is just one of the pieces found in Leisure Arts' Woodland Garden Kit (47858). I nestled the planter in between the basket's side and the edge of one piece of styrofoam. I added some extra filler to the birch metal planter that consisted of more brown paper, a peat planter and coconut fiber (taken from the lining of a hanging basket).

    Garden Gnome planter filler. A peat planter is inserted into a birch metal planter. This is the future home of the hedgehog.

    Here are some of the other supplies that I used to create the Summer Fun theme for my gnome and fairy basket garden. The coconut fiber was used throughout the basket as the forest floor and buttons were used as flowers. For my first gnome and fairy garden, I did not want to attempt to use live plants and flowers. And, quite honestly, individual plantings might not survive the intense summer heat of Arkansas even if placed in the shade and watered twice daily.

    Some other supplies used to make the Summer Fun Gnome & Fairy Basket include: coconut fiber, glass beads (Size 10), floral tape, dried beans, dried rice, a bottle cap, buttons, dowels, a cotton swab & non-tarnishing silver wire (28 gauge). Some other supplies used to make the Summer Fun Gnome & Fairy Basket include: coconut fiber, glass beads (Size 10), floral tape, dried beans, dried rice, a bottle cap, buttons, dowels, a cotton swab & non-tarnishing silver wire (28 gauge).

    I stacked buttons to make flowers and connected them together using 28 gauge wire. Then I attached the wired button flowers to dowels using floral tape. As the garden grew, a button flower garland was added to outdoor decor. See a later image showing the garland draped over the trellis!

    Tending the flowers in the Fairy Garden, this gnome is assisting with the watering. Tending the flowers in the Fairy Garden, this gnome is assisting with the watering.

    The gnomes and fairies are having fun together! They help each other and check on the woodland creatures, too.

    One fairy packed her day-bag to visit her friend the hedgehog. A welcome sign is held by a gnome greeting visitors to the forest summer activities including a campfire meal of stew and s'mores! One fairy packed her day-bag to visit her friend the hedgehog. A welcome sign is held by a gnome greeting visitors to the forest summer activities including a campfire meal of stew and toasted marshmallows!

    The trees were made by wrapping dowels with floral tape and then adding a small section of a leafy trim.

    One gnome is trimming some overgrown trees. He's being very careful not to remove too much greenery. One fairy is overlooking his trimming efforts. One gnome is trimming some overgrown trees. He's being very careful not to remove too much greenery. One fairy is overlooking his trimming efforts.

    The wading pool is an inverted plastic lid holding glass floral marbles and gravel covered with a lightly painted piece of plastic wrap.

    Gnome and Fairy crafts Just like hummingbirds, fairies love the water! These two fairies are enjoying the wading pool before getting ready for summer nighttime activities.

    The gnomes have cooked their favorite stew; they are very ingenious by using a discarded bottle cap as their pot!  I depicted the stew by using dried rice and beans; I covered all of the stew ingredients with clear nail polish. The gnomes also like toasted marshmallows. The marshmallows are cotton swabs glued to the ends of wire. The charcoal briquettes of the campfire were made by painting some dried black beans grey. Can you see the marshmallows getting toasted for dessert over the hot charcoal?

    Gnome and fairy craft basket. One gnome checked on the campfire before lighting the way across the bridge using a tea light for illumination. He'll travel along the Snail Trail to the wading pool for a quick cool-down before his evening of fun.

    The button flowers are blooming nicely and the garden has been well-tended! There was such an abundance of flowers, a garland was made and hung as outside party decor for the gnome and fairy get-together. It was simply made by weaving the 28 gauge wire through the buttonholes; including glass beads was optional.

    The flower garden has been weeded, mulched and decorated. I love the button garland decorating the garden's grounds! The flower garden has been weeded, mulched and decorated. I love the button garland decorating the garden's grounds!

    What a whimsical time I had creating my first gnome and fairy garden! I can see why gardening is such an enjoyable creative use of time and energy. Even if the location for your gnome and fairy garden is a tree stump or other container, make some whimsical fun by incorporating the gnomes, fairies, forest creatures and accent pieces with your craft and gardening supplies for some Summer Fun!

    Martha

     

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