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Build a Fairy Door

A door is often the centerpiece of a fairy garden.

Last week I shared our Fairy Garden with you. This week, I’m going to show you how to make your own Fairy Door, which is often the centerpiece of a Fairy Garden. With just a few supplies and a little bit of time, you, too, can have a door fit for fairies!

Making a Fairy Door

While you can buy fairy doors, they are very simple to make.

Supplies needed to make a fairy door. Clockwise from top left: small nails with rounded heads, end-cutting pliers, hammer, paint stirring sticks, pencil, carpet tack. Not pictured: saw, needle nose pliers, paint and painting supplies.

Start by laying out your paint stirring sticks to get a feel for what size door you want to make. I love the sticks with the little notches because they make awesome windows for the door! I’ve found that my local Ace Hardware and Lowe’s gives out this shape of stir sticks for free if you buy paint or just ask for some.

Instant windows!

The paint sticks are held together by cross pieces cut from another stir stick. Mark the length you want and then cut with a chop saw, hack saw, or sharp knife.

Mark the cross piece for trimming.

Repeat for the lower cross piece.

Second cross piece.

Now you’ll nail on both cross pieces. I’ve found that most nails are too long for the thickness of the paint stir sticks, so I simply trim them with a pair of end-cutting pliers. The nails cut super easily.

Trimming nails to length.

A pair of needle nose pliers is really handy for holding the little nail to hammer it in! I use a piece of wood behind the pieces to protect my working surface when I nail them in case the nail pokes through the other side.

Needle nose pliers help to hold the nail.

Nail on each cross piece. I do two rows of nails in each, four nails in each vertical section.

You’re not going for perfection here. Well, maybe you are, but I love the rustic imperfection of these fairy doors. Remember, fairies make things from found objects, so they’re always a bit piecemealed together. To me, imperfectly spaced nails are part of the charm of these fairy doors.

First cross piece nailed.

Trim and sand the cut edges. If you want, you can be really fancy and curve the cut of the top of the door, or cut to fill the shape of a hollow in the trunk of the tree you’re making the door for!

Sanding the cut edge.

Prime your door on both sides. This will help protect it from the weather…and TROLLS! You can brush or spray your primer and paint.

With a coat of primer.

Then paint any color you wish. It’s fun to match your own front door or the door of the house where the fairy door is going, if you are gifting it.

After the paint dries, I like to darken the nail heads with a permanent marker. You could paint the pieces prior to nailing and leave the nail heads natural, if you like.

Add a carpet tack for a door knob. You may need to trim this nail with the end-cutting pliers, like with the other nails, before hammering it in so there’s not a sharp point sticking through the other side.

Coloring the nail heads.

Here’s your finished door!

Finished door!

Find some little hinges if you want to attach it to your tree. You can get really creative with things from the hardware store, junk drawer, or in the bottom of your tool box. These are some little picture hangers attached with carpet tacks held to the tree with clips you use to secure wiring.

Fairy door with hinges.

Fairy Garden with a red door.

These doors are very resilient! We’ve had this red door for five years and its still as solid as the day it was made, despite being out in the weather all this time. I once tried gluing some dragonfly wings I’d found on the ground to the inside of the window cutouts to make it look like stained glass, but it was kinda creepy, like a fairy was massacred! But you can decorate your door with other things, pieces of smooth glass, for the windows, painted house numbers, maybe a tiny wreath! Whatever you do, it will be the centerpiece of your fairy garden, and a gateway to countless hours of imagination!

What color will your fairy door be?

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