Hello! I'm April from April's Country Life and I am thrilled to share a fun little project with you today (thanks so much to Diana for allowing me to guest post!) - making your very own fairy house. When I first saw it at a garden center, I thought the trend of fairy gardens was so neat. I have a daughter who loves all things girly so it became a bonding project for us to create our own fairy garden. We had lots of small items for our garden but it was missing a house - all the ready-made houses were super expensive. So when my mom was cleaning out her garden shed and had these big terracotta pots that were flaking apart but had such lovely character and patina, I just knew they would make great fairy houses.
If you have every read any of the Disney Fairies books, then you know that fairy houses are made with "found things" and whatever natural goods fairies might find laying around. This little house is primarily just paint added to the pot but you could glue all kinds of things to your pot - use scraps of fabric to make curtains that look like they are blowing in the windows, pieces of bark, little pebbles or shells, bottle caps, old silverware, the possibilities are really only as endless as your imagination. And its a great projects for kids because they have these wonderful open minds to picture uses for items (just be careful, if you have a pot that is flaking like mine, the edges are sharp).
I gathered up an array of craft paint leftovers in what I thought looked like fairy colors and then drizzled a bit of each onto a paper plate like a painters pallet. With white and black in the middle and the colors all around, I could pull colors together and create my own colors or draw in just hints to change the shades slightly for different looks to the leaves and bricks.
This particular pot had flaked all around except one column that was narrow at the top and wider at the base that reminded me of a chimney so I decided to do a brick-like effect and concentrate on that area.
I started with the "bricks" and mixed yellows, reds, and oranges until it was a basic shade I liked and then every time the brush started to get empty I drew in a different color like a bit of green or white or more red to change the tone like real brickwork does. I also changed the angle of my brush as I went. For this I used a small sponge brush. For the "smoke" at the top I used a mix of two tones of blue, white and black to make a blueish gray and swirled it on with a small child's paintbrush. I added a tiny birds nest we had found years ago with a pine cone tucked into the hole in the top of the pot.
To break up the look of the brick column I made the bricks in an arch and then used dark blue and white to make curtains and pinks and yellows to make a ledge under the window along the natural edge of the pot. Some of the shapes look more like wedges than bricks but I thought looked like they might have been pieces of flower petals or pine cone so I decided to leave them that way.
There was a stamp on the pot just below the column so I used that as the center of the door. For the vines, I used dark green to draw the vines themselves. Then I drew lighter shades of greens, blues and white into the leaves and placed them randomly by just tapping the brush and layering the leaves in varying shades. I repeated the tapping motion lightly with varying shades of red and white and orange for a pinky-peach look for the flowers.
This spot just needed something so a little chair is tucked in. I used the hard end of a child's paintbrush dipped in black to draw the legs and line that defines the seat from the back of the chair.