Friday, July 30, 2010

Fairy Door Tutorial

Being summer time we wanted some extra enchantment for the girls.  And we decided to share it with the community.    So I made a wooden outdoor Fairy Door.  And I’m going to share my learning curve with you.

I decided to enter a craft challenge using knobs and hinges by Fireflies & Jellybeans.

Summer 578

My inspiration was an old stump at a local park.  Nearly every time we go the girls clean out the little nook and line it with twigs, feathers, berries, etc.  Offerings for their fairy friends. 

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So we made a rough outline of the stump’s nook’s opening and traced it onto a piece of pine board.

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I wanted a door that would open, so inside of the original outline I drew a door with a rounded top.

Summer 509

Then I did something really brave.  I pulled out a scroll saw and without any male assistance what-so-ever I used it to cut out my little fairy door.  I know a jigsaw would work just as well.

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Here’s my learning curve.  Use a thicker blade.  The blade on the scroll saw was very thin and didn’t allow enough room for the inner door to open.  So I had to go around the inside door and shave a little bit more off the shape.

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Then I sanded down all sides of the door.

Summer 516

Then, Wowser, I picked up a tool I’ve never before used.  A Dremel.  I used it to carve little wooden slats in the front of my fairy door.  I would sometimes bounce off of the line I was supposed to be following.  Oh well,  it just gave the door more character.

Summer 523

Then I pulled out a tool for which I feel a lot more comfortable.  My wood-burner tool – it’s my friend.  And I added some twirly vines, pixie dust and this charming quote from Albert Einstein,

‘Imagination is more important than Knowledge.’

 Summer 527

Knowing this door is intended for outside use.  I used a couple of different colors to stain it with.  A red stain for the door.

Summer 531 

Here’s a different use for some of your scrapbook markers.  What I like about using them is I could color in details, and they are acid free and don’t fade.  Afterwards I lightly wiped a light oak color stain over the outer frame of my fairy door.  Once the stain was dry, I also added a couple of coats of an outdoor sealer.

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Then I added the hinges and knobs.  I think I had to go to 5 different stores to find something suitable.  I decided to use a rose push pin as a wreath hanger for the door.

Summer 535 

Here’s another learning curve.  Pre-mark and drill the holes for your hinges, it will go a lot faster.   Here’s something else I learned.  You may not want to attach your door until after you have installed it in it’s new home.  Why?  Because the door may get in the way of you attaching it to whatever it is you are attaching it too.

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I think it turned out quite nice for my first outdoor Fairy Door.  See even my dremel slip-up look like they are supposed to be there, like the door has been aged a bit.

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Once completed we snuck back to our secret stump at one of our favorite playgrounds.

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Here’s another hint.  Pre-drill your frame where your supporting screws will be attaching it to the stump.    Make sure you are going from a front inside frame edge to a back outside edge (angled) slant.  Because chances are you don’t have a screwdriver tiny enough to fit in between the frame.  (See how a pre-attached door can get in the way) Also counter sink those angled screws so they don’t stop the door from closing.  Believe me, you will probably want to take a small chargeable drill.  I won’t tell you how long it took me to screw the door into the stump.  Stupid Striped screws.

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After working on it for a couple of hours I even ended up having my husband come and help.   Thanks Prince Erik for your help.  I can handle power tools great but a plain old screwdriver was giving me fits.

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Once it was screwed to the stump I used a bit of some heavy duty outdoor glue to  glue twigs and moss between the frame and stump to hide the screws.  Now it almost looks as if the little people put it there.

Hey, but now there’s a little magic at the community park.

 Summer 569

And it opens so little hands and hearts can grow their own imagination.  

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Of course, I hope it lasts.  I hope some troll doesn’t destroy our little gift.  It was quite fun to make and I’m sure we will make many more.  I think some little matching windows are now calling me.

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I created this first and foremost to keep my heart young and full of imagination.  But I also made the Outdoor Fairy Door as a Iron Crafter Challenge from Fireflies & Jellybeans.  The secret ingredient that we had to use was Knobs and Hinges.  While I didn’t re-write the book on how basic knobs and hinges are used.  I think presenting them in miniature form can open up a whole new world of imagination.

firefly crafter


Brooke said...

This is so adorable! I have always loved that saying and it is perfect for the fairy door. You did a fabulous job. So creative and so fun.
Have a great weekend!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

wow, that's pretty awesome! nice job! And so wonderful that you have put it where children can enjoy it for generations to come.

Jennie said...

How CUTE! What a way to bring a little magic into the life of others. Makes me want to go and try to crawl inside!;) Or at least put my foot in it! Great job.

Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

Fawnda said...

Hoe CUTE is this?!?!!! And so sweet that you are sharing it with others at the park! Great idea!

Thanks for joining in The Iron Crafter!

CraftyLadyLindsay said...

Holy cow - this is brilliant! I love wood burning too. This is so darn clever. I would never have thought to do this at a public park! Thanks for the inspiration.

Bettina Groh said...

cute cute cute!! Makes me wish we had a stump here!

CK said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! What a cute idea. I am a BIG fairy fan. I love, love, love your imagination! Oooo, I'll have to show this to my sister.
Thanks for sharing, found you through the iron challenge

Fawnda said...

You made the top 10 in the Iron Crafter!

Check it out here:

Jane said...

This is so amazing on so many levels. If I were a kid and stumbled upon this I think I would freak out with joy! There is a stump at my church and I want to see if there is a hole in it now. If there is....!

allison said...

I love this idea, especially since its an idea that your entire community will enjoy! I know my son would flip if he happened across this special secret hideout!

Millie said...

Oh, mama....that is SO magical and sweet and I think it makes you the fairy queen.
I know the children will love it!

Jenglamgirl said...


Michelle said...

That's absolutely wonderful!

rainbowcreek said...

What a lovely little gift to your community. And it is just so so cute! I know it is going to put a smile on the faces of everyone young and old who happens across it.

Noelle said...

Saw your post on Fireflies and Jellybeans. This is by far the cutest project I have ever seen! What a great gift to the children who will see it at the park. Your idea is so magical and I love it!

Jen said...

I am in awe of your fairy door. I can only imagine the joy it will bring. :)

Creative and Curious Kids!

Green Willow Pond said...

Amazing! I would have loved to stumble upon this as a child. It is just adorable!

Debs said...

That is so awesome! Our kids would be in heaven if they found that door. We would dream of it for months.

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

You're my new hero!! : )

My Creative Way said...

Yep... you are amazing!! Love love it :)

You are welcomed to come back and Guest Blog any time you like :)

Raychel from

Anonymous said...

HA!!Pure awesomeness!!Good creation!!

Sew DoggyStyle said...

That is sooooo flippin' cute and creative!!! Just LOVE it!

Erika and Sebastian

Simply Domestic said...

That is the cutest thing ever! How fun! My daughter would sit for hours and use her imagination.

Lindsey said...

This makes me smile!! I love it!

Casey said...

so cute!

Wes and Tracy said...

Oh my toes are tingling from happiness over this project! LOVE IT! I will have to try this soon. Thanks for sharing & for keeping the imaginations of children alive. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I Love it! Thank you for sharing

Angela/Soap Mom's Kitchen/Sutherland Soap Creamery said...

My friends hubby made me a fairy door last year and I am hooked! I just love them. Your door is just the most adorable thing ever! I want to make one now. It looks like a fun project!

Anonymous said...

Just curious- is the door still there? I hope so! Great job!

Jane said...

Saw this on Pinterest!
So creative!!

Spinninglady said...

Truly the tiny in this world have left their mark on your heart. I love the door!

Shelley Noble said...

Very well done. Hooray for people like you!

Sue @ Taylor Road Bee Farm said...

Thanks for your instructions...I can't wait to turn my stumps into fairy homes!

Monica said... I want a stump in my backyard so I can try this!!! What a fantastic idea....and sooo adorable....boy, you could go on and on with adding things...a roof...a pathway...plantings...omg....I want one to work on too :-) If only you could be there to capture all the expressions on the children that discover your gift!!!

Vikster said...

What a beautiful door and where you put it makes it even more beautiful. Something I hope will last a life time there in the park. I want one for my fairy room where I have the perfect spot for it. I just may use your directions and see if I can't make one of my own.
Happy Crafting

Suzy said...

Got here by way of Pinterest. I just love this...its a bit of Guerilla Fairy gardening :-) Check out Guerilla gardening if you have no idea what I'm talking about. Such creativity! I'm sure it brings a smile to so many faces.

Blue Star Vermont said...

I just got here by way of Pinterest. Your remarkable door pulls on my heartstrings. My now 23 yr son at Brown would have loved doing this with me when he was a little nipper. Now I have to wait for grandchildren... Is it ok fo me to pin this to Pinterest to spread more good word of you there?

Shirley said...

This is so adorable and creative. If I were brave enough I would try it myself! I have been looking to purchase a fairy door for a friend for Christmas. It would be a really surprise if I did it myself. Is there a way I can print out directions?

Susie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am excited to try it myself.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I just finished my first little Fairy a wheelbarrow and have moved on to dreaming of making a Fairy door for the tree in our front yard. However, I don't have a few of the tools you will take longer than I wanted. My problem? Impatience! This is so clearly illustrated..and the best Fairy door I've ever seen. Simply wonderful.

Anonymous said...

this made my day! so creative of you and i know that my two kids would have been head over heels to find such a wonderful suprise like this :)

Anonymous said...

My heart and eyes cry tears of hapiness. You touch my soul with this door. The soul of my childhood with my loving mother, full of fantastic fairy stories. It's a door to youre imagination! So beautifull. Thank you for inspiring me and all the childeren who opened this door!

Margreet from the Netherlands

Dear Baby said...

Is the door still there?

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your adorable fairy door ! how beautiful and imaginative..! compliments ! it's wonderful !

dmt said...

What a wonderful thing you did for the children, young and old, of your community---I would love to discover a fairy door as beautiful as yours!!!!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the hinges and knobs??? Help!

elena said...

I saw two doors like that at the park near me. Why did people do it?it looks cool.

CelesitalSkye said...

Absolutely Wicked Cute! Found this via Pinterest. I am hoping to use your instructions and make one for our new home, one for outside an one for someplace inside the home. Thank you so much for posting this and sharing with us all, I'm sure you have brought joy to many people and children who have stumbled upon your wonderful door!

Anonymous said...

You are so talented! What an adorably nice thing to do & put in a place for everyone to appreciate & enjoy. I too hope it will be there for many years, safe & sound!

Ian Anderson said...

Great job, me and the kids are going to make ours tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration and how to!
Stay well

Anonymous said...

This little door is so cute!! Perfect summer project. You have made a special memory for many kids who see that door.

pinkladyofthemanor said...

I found this morning on Pinterest and absolutely love it!!! Would love to make this for an old tree on our property. Great job!

Anonymous said...

We have a big old stump and we also have a huge tree with exposed roots that I have loved from the moment I first saw it. As a child, I could spend entire sunny days on my knees in front of a tree like ours and my imagination peopled it with little folk doing all sorts of magical, friendly things. I have GOT to give this a try.

Anonymous said...

We have several old trees that survived Sandy, but will probably have to come down in the next couple of years. Now I'll be sure to tell our tree guy to leave the stumps!!

Anonymous said...

This is so much fun. You did a great job!

Jasee said...

Is it possible to do this same door
or one like using a v bench pin vise,
and a coping saw.
I have these but not yours.
Good job.
I hate to buy expensive saws for
about 5 doors for tiny fairy houses.
Judy aka

Jasee said...

Why didn't my post go.
Well, anyway, will a coping saw,
and v bench vise work?
If I had to make a choice which would
be better, scroll or jig saw for this
Good job!

fawndear said...

Sorry, I'm not a cutting expert. I don't know if a coping saw would work because I've never really tried one. I like my scroll saw because I can make tighter corners with it. However, for this project, if you have the right blade, I'm sure a jig saw would be fine.

Digi mom said...

something i recently discoved is dont tell you SO about it i want to make a tooth fairy door for my dd who is about to loose her first tooth he shot me and my idea so fast it sent my head spinning.

Jenni said...

thanks for showing how it's done..I hope the door is still there for young and old imaginations.

Anonymous said...

I love this! It inspired me to make my own! I finished it last night and I can't wait to install it outside and see my son when he finds it!