After reading about the life of fairies, goblins, and brownies in The Spiderwick Chronicles, my boys became fascinated by these little creatures and their miniature habitats. And the designer/crafter in me was all over this project. We built a fairy house while visiting relatives in Maine, but you can easily adapt the project to any backyard, porch, park or wooded area.
First the boys and I talked about what materials we needed to build the house. My son Dylan thought glue and string should be prohibited because fairies would immediately know the house was man-made and not exist in nature—Agreed. We then took a walk around their grandparents’ home and collected sticks, moss, old birch bark, acorns, pinecones, and small rocks. (Note: Always be kind to nature. Since our outing, I have been told that on public property, you should not use moss or other “living materials.”)
Building. We used upright sticks for the house structure—forked sticks worked best in the corners and then we balanced sticks across the top to form the roof. From there we used the remaining natural materials to design and construct the magical fairy house. The finished structure exceeded our original expectations and became the center of a number of adventures for the boys —we plan to build a new fairy house here in Providence.
Learn more about fairies and how to build your own fairy house:
• Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (Spiderwick Chronicles) by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
• Fairy Houses … Everywhere! by Barry Kane and Tracy Kane
The Fairy Village at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
An intricately woven twig fence beside the Shoreland Trail encloses the magical Fairy Village. Children are invited to use their imagination to create homes for the little creatures who inhabit the forest. Children learn environmentally sound building practices (no moss, flowers, or other living materials) and visit “The Gnome Depot” for building supplies they can use.
Location: Barters Island Road, Boothbay ME 04537. (Map it)
Distance from Providence: 218 miles. Drivetime is about 4 hours
Photo Credit: Anisa Raoof