How to Build a Fairy Garden for Under $20

Fairy garden final from above

There is something so magical about the idea of tiny magical fairies flittering around a garden. And recently, fairy gardens have become a cute and trendy garden accessory. There are even fairy door trails across Ontario! The thought of making a fairy garden can seem overwhelming for folks who aren’t avid gardeners. However, the truth is that these little gardens are easy to make and they don’t have to be expensive to put together. Here’s how you can get started.

How to Build Your Own Fairy Garden:

Step 1: Choose a Container

A fairy garden doesn’t have to be huge, after all fairies are quite tiny. Look around your garage or basement and see if you have a container that might be suitable. Ideally, the pot needs to be at least 12 inches in diameter, to allow enough space for the flowers and the fairy house. Make certain the container has a drainage hole in the bottom. If it doesn’t, drill a hole in the bottom or poke a hole into the bottom of the pot with a hammer and a nail. The drainage hole will allow the water to flow out of the pot. To avoid clogging the drainage hole with soil, place a handful of rocks over the hole. We used a pot that we already owned, however we found similar pots at the dollar store ranging from $3-$4.

Step 2: Fill it With Soil

While a fairy garden is all about the fairies, it is important to fill the pot with the correct soil. Pick up a small bag of container soil – which is formulated to retain water and contains the right balance of nutrients for plants. If the pot you are using is particularly deep, it is possible to cut down on the amount of soil you need to use. Cut up an old pool noodle and place the pieces inside the empty pot. Pour the soil into the container over and around the pool noodle. The noodle is light and takes up space in the pot, thus you will be using less soil and your pot won’t be overly heavy. We used a bag of container soil that cost about $5, we had plenty of left over soil, which we to fill other containers.

Step 3: Choose Your Flowers

When selecting the flowers, think about where the fairy garden will be placed. One of the wonderful things about having a fairy garden is when children sit and play with the garden. Plan on placing the garden in a shady spot, where kids can play. So you’ll want to select plants that can tolerate shade or part shade conditions. We picked up our plants at our local corner store. The flowers we chose were $1.29 each.

Step 4: Choose the Fairy House

So, where will the fairy live in your garden? There are plenty of fairy house options available. Depending on how crafty you are, you can build a custom fairy house. With a few craft sticks and some glue, it’s possible to build a little house. Let the kids help make the fairy house from a small terra cotta pot. Flip the pot upside and paint a few  windows and a door. Another option is painting a plain wooden birdhouse. Finally, there are all sorts of fairy houses available at craft stores and dollar stores. We found ours at a dollar store for $3. We also picked up the colourful little pinwheel and a butterfly on a stick (another $2). In total we spent $5 on the house and the other decorating supplies.

Step 5: The Finishing Touches

For these final items, you can look outside. Head to the beach or a park and collect a variety of rocks, beach glass, driftwood, and fallen branches. A small handful of items will add the last charming touches to the garden. My daughter happened to have a little unicorn that fit perfectly in the garden. Adding a fairy is totally optional. These finishing touches are totally free.

And if your child isn’t interested in fairies? No problem! Try building a little farm garden, complete with a red barn and little animals. Have a fan of dinosaurs? A garden makes an awesome landscape for dinosaurs to roam around in. Take inspiration from your child’s interests to create a custom garden.

Fairy gardens don’t have to be expensive and complicated for children to love them. With only $20 and a little creativity it is possible to make an engaging outdoor space for a child. After all, the magic of these tiny gardens is how they open up a child’s imagination.


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