How To Build a Fairy Garden: Help Your Child To Bring A Fantasy Landscape To Life

Are you looking for something fun to do with your children when you have a day that’s not jam-packed with activities? Something that gets them outside in the fresh air and stokes their imagination and love of pretend worlds?

A fairy garden in the backyard, in the house or in another spot is the ideal arts and crafts project. It’s a fun way to spend a day together, and the materials needed are not overly expensive. Furthermore, building a fairy garden helps to develop their problem-solving skills, so in addition to having fun, they’re learning important stuff, too! All in all, it’s a win-win activity for parents and children.

Here’s all you need to get started, and some easy steps to follow to begin.  Please make sure this activity is age-appropriate before beginning. Younger children may need parental supervision for this activity:


  • Small sticks, twigs and craft sticks.
  • Potting soil.
  • A large pot or other container with drainage holes.
  • Decorative marbles or colored, small gravel.
  • Small flowers and plants.
  • Some furnishings like those you would buy for a dollhouse, such as two chairs and a table, and a small castle or wooden cabin.  At craft stores and garden shops, you can buy these little buildings meant precisely for projects like this. (The ones to buy depend on your garden’s theme.) You and your child can build fences yourselves!

Decide on the theme for your fairy garden. How about an English castle? A forested wonderland? A tropical beach? The choices are only limited by your child’s imagination.

Once your child knows what kind of landscape they want their garden to showcase, decide where to build it. Outdoors, in a corner of the existing garden is ideal, but you can also build a fairy garden inside. Find a container (old metal wash tubs are perfect, and so are large glass bowls or terrariums) but remember that whichever you choose, it must have drainage, because live flowers and plants are going to be part of it. Consider a large, clay flower pot you aren’t using this season – they are great for beach-themed fairy gardens!

The container should be a minimum of six inches deep and at least 15 inches across.


  1. Even though your container has drainage holes, place some small stones or bits of gravel on the bottom to help draw away moisture. Then place a layer of potting soil on the bottom. Choose one that’s got plenty of organic mix, so it looks dark and rich, just like a forest floor would actually be like.
  1. Using bark, moss or even little pebbles, create some paths for the fairies.
  1. Decide which small plants you’ll use by considering the fairy garden’s location. Will it be in a sunny corner of the outdoor garden? Will it be indoors? There is a plant for almost any level of light, from bright sun to full or partial shade, so just be sure to choose the right ones. A few that work well for these projects include ferns, succulents, some ivies, mini roses and mosses. Since your space is limited, select ones with relatively small foliage. Do some research online and get ideas for the best plants for the size of your container, and where it’s going to be placed.
  1. Build a fence out of craft sticks or small twigs. You’ll want to delineate and separate different sections, and building fences is a great way to accomplish that. Let’s say you’re doing an English castle and landscape – separate the sections outside the castle with several fences of different sizes. Create a hill for grazing animals, for example, that is enclosed with fencing.

  2. The fun really begins now! Now it’s time to begin placing the items you bought, like the table and chairs, a little watering can and some small animals, perhaps? How about a cow and horse, if your child is doing a farm theme? Any animals that suit the theme can be placed in the garden, at the fence, on a path, or simply by one of the plants. Toadstools and trellises and even a wee bird bath all work well. And naturally, you’ve got to place the fairies, too. You can purchase some if you wish, or buy clay and sculpt them with your child before building the garden. The sky’s the limit on the kind of fairies they create, and there are lots of resources online to guide you through the sculpting process.

There are plenty of online places to shop for decor items for the fairy garden. Specialty stores also offer unique, and adorable, miniature design elements to help make your child’s fairy garden unique, elaborate and long-lasting.

One online source we consulted is Fairy Homes & Gardens, which has a large catalogue of items for all themes, everything from lighting to trellises to signs to furniture. You can find them at: http://www/

Building a fairy garden with your child brings out the joy to be found in nature on a small scale. It offers the opportunity to spend time together, dreaming up a look for the garden and tackling challenges like building fences and decorating its landscape.

Whether it’s a country cabin surrounded by forest or an exotic, tropical beach, a fairy garden offers your child the opportunity to flex their creative muscles, as well as tackling problems like figuring out how to build a fence and sculpting fairies. All in all, this is an endeavor that’s perfect for any weekend activity, a great way for parents and children to create something together, that the family will enjoy for a long time.