Friday, July 16, 2010

Make a Fairy Tree House

I’ve loved Tree Houses since watching Swiss Family Robinson as a little girl (Fritz was sooo cute).  That and my girls and I have been wanting to make a Fairy Tree House for quite a while.  Ever since I saw what little 10 year old Lucy crafted on my friend Beth’s Blog.  Check out her enchanted, award winning Fairy House HERE.  Now that it’s summer, my children and I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to make one of our own.  Our fairy home is smaller than Lucy’s but fits in a quite nook in the girls bedroom perfectly.
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Our cost = Zero.  We used whatever we could find around the house.  Compare it to tree houses you can buy for over $60 on the internet.
treehouse
Want to make something similar?  I realize being the craft hoarder that I am, I probably have more tools than some so to make something similar you may have to borrow some tools from friends.  But the results are so worth it.   I know my girls AND I will get lots of play time out of it.
Like I said before everything we used was found or I already had supplies on hand.  Here’s what we did.
Found a naturally downed tree in an old log jam by a local river.  Fell in love with the stump of the tree and brought it home.  I originally wanted driftwood but as I’ve no near plans to visit the beach soon, we settled for scouring the local river banks.
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Then I proceeded to ask my husband to show me how to use his chain saw.  He declined to let me handle his macho power-tool but kindly leveled the bottom of the stump for me and in the process took off some splintered roots.  I’m sure you could achieve the same affect with a hand saw.  Chain saw just saved some time.
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The first fairy house we made years ago was branches drilled into a piece of plywood.  What I love about the stump is that it’s free-standing and doesn’t need an extra base.
I wanted a little room at the bottom of the tree so I borrowed my husband drill, put on a large bit and drilled several close holes near the bottom.
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Then I used some wood chisels and a hammer that we had in the garage to roughly hollow out a room.
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Also used the chisels to frame a window further up the tree. 
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Then I found a downed branch in the back yard that was nearly as wide as the large drill bit and made several angled holes in the trunk of the tree to add branches.  Once I figured out where to put them, I used a strong wood glue to affix them into place.
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Luckily we have a sander and I thankfully used it to try and smooth the whole tree base and stump over.   Hand sanding would have taken a lot longer, but was definitely do-able.
This step is optional, but we decided to use a white-wash type stain (which I happened to have in some old paint supplies)  to blend the color of the branches with the tree base.    That and the tree was dark and I wanted the next step to show up.
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The girls helped in nearly all aspects of the tree with the exception of this next step.  I love using my wood burning tool and wanted to put some fairy quotes and vines around the tree.  
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Couldn’t resist adding pixie dust too.
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Normally I would have painted in the designs, but I really wanted to make this project without buying a thing.  And as my paint supply is woefully short, I pulled out some of my old scrapbooking marker pens and went to town.
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The easy thing about using a wood burning tool is that you hold it almost like a pen and can do quite the detailed decorating.
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We personalized  our little fairy tree house by putting all our names in various locations around the tree.
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I know when you really want something and work towards it, well, sometimes, magically, things happen to help you along.
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We found some greenery sitting by the side of the road, the very day we were trying to figure out our leaves.  Then  using some wire cutters we trimmed little branches off the greenery.  I put a very small drill bit (matching the width of the floral wire) on the drill and proceeded to go to town drilling holes all over the ends of the branches and top of the tree.
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Once we decided where we were going to put all the leaves we removed the wire branches, added glue and stuck them back in the drilled holes.
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Then came the fun part.
We made a sweet birds nest for one of the branches.  Tutorial HERE.
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I crocheted a mini hammock out of some crochet thread.
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Drilled a little slab of stripped bark and added twine for a fairy swing.
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See how sweet.  Can you tell how much fun we had making this?
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Lined the little hollowed out room with moss.
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I wanted an extra room further up the tree.  So I took some pieces of bark, cut them to the same length, drilled holes in the ends and using floral wire laced them together on both ends.
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I know this might be kind of flimsy but the bark floor is supported by some bamboo skewers that were glued into drilled holes in the tree. 
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And access to that floor was as simple as tying knots around little twigs (secured with craft glue) using my crochet thread.
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What was wonderful was the fact that my kids started using their imagination.  My Lea crafted a little fairy table and chair out of bark and twigs and glued them together with craft glue.
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We worked on our enchanted tree house a little each day for over a week and are still dreaming up more furniture, decorations, and accessories for our magical fairy home. 
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Our fairies are loving it too.
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Please someone shrink me.
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If you’ve made something similar leave me a link address and I’ll post pictures on this post with your link.    It was truly one of our more memorable summer crafts that I know we will enjoy for years to come.
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Leave off the fairy quotes and this tree could easily be turned into a little boy’s miniature club house.  Let your imagination run wild.
Here are more enchanting Home-Made Tree Houses:
My inspiration from Black Snowflake EmporiumClick HERE to see.
fairy tree house
From Transit AntennaAmazing Tutorial Click HERE.
make a treehouse
So Many people have asked about the quotes and poems on the Tree House so Here they are:

And as the seasons come and go,
There’s something you might like to know.                                 
There are fairies everywhere,
Under bushes, in the air,
Playing games just like you play.
Singing through their busy day
So listen, touch and look around
In the air and on the ground
And if you watch all nature’s things
You might just see a fairy’s wing
~unknown

There is hope in dreams, imagination and in the courage of those who wish to make these dreams a reality.  Jonas Salk

Hand in Hand, with fairy grace, We will sing and bless this place. -~William Shakespeare

30 comments:

Balubina69 said...

wow!!!

Brooke said...

Love it! This is such a wonderful creative idea! My kids would adore a fairy tree house like this! Thank you so much for sharing your tree house to us. I will be linking to your amazing idea. Have a great weekend.

Brooke
thecraftcave.blogspot.com

Cecily said...

Stunning! I'm totally in LOVE with this project!! Thanks for the easy tutorial too... just awesome!

Fawnda said...

This is adorable! I love it!

I featured you here: http://firefliesandjellybeans.blogspot.com/2010/07/sunday-spotlight-soys-36-favorites_24.html

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Amazing! Beyond cool! I wish I could do this for my kids in a playroom. It would be the neatest thing. I will feature this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com today. Grab my "featured" button.

Kristy said...

This is so cute! Its things like this that makes me wish that I had a daughter.

Jill said...

That has to be the most fabulous treehouse I"ve ever seen! The detail, time and love spent on it is amazing!WOW!!

Megan A said...

Beautiful!!

onica@thepeasanthousewife said...

I'm in love! I have a little girls fairy garden birthday party coming up and I so need to make this!

craftlicious said...

R u kidding me this is one of the most awesome project i have seen in blogland,love all the details
good job

hugs
Shahana

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Wow, you are an amazingly gifted artist. I love your creations and all the stuff you share on your blog! Good luck on the iron crafter challenge! I don't know how anyone can expect to beat the craft that you put up! Top notch!

Kocho said...

I hope it's ok if I post a link to this on my piddly little blog. I'd love to make one for my daughter for Christmas, though I don't have your talent.

Kocho said...

Oh here's my bog, in case you want to see where I'm linking it to. lol

http://lorikocholek.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

What are the measurments of this fairy tree house made from the downder tree, how big around is it and how tall does it stand. thanks

jeannie said...

what are the measurments for this fairy tree made out of the downed tree,? how big around is it and how tall does it stand. thanks

fawndear said...

Hi Jeannie,
The trunk itself stands around 31 inches high (39 when you add the greenery). At it's widest at the base it is around 24 from side to side. From front to back at the base it is about 14 inches. The circumference of the trunk 17 inches (measured just below the window). I'm sure it's wider where the nook is. Hope this gives you a better perspective of how big it is.

Tootles,
FawnDear

Infinite Memories Photography said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Infinite Memories Photography said...

Absolutely amazing!!!! Can I come over??? No really , I am very impressed and hope to create something even half of what you have! Bravo!!!

~Danielle <3

Kay said...

Oh WOW! I'm gonna be back in the Fairy business asap! LOL This si splendid!! yayyyyy! :)

Sarah said...

This is just perfect! It really got my imagination going!! We are having a fairy birthday party in a couple of weeks....guess I better get searching for a tree :D
Sarah
practicalpraise.blogspot.com

Tamara said...

This is WONDERFUL!!!! Would you mind either typing in or taking a photo of the full quote on your tree? Looks like a great quote to use. Thanks! Tamara

Jzin said...

Oh my goodness! Beautiful! I am speechless! Your children are so blessed!

All Artful said...

The Fairy tree house is beautiful and a little girls dream! Well done.

Stephanie @ All Artful

Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings said...

Wow, this is beautiful and so fun! Thanks for sharing -- I love following it step by step -- you did great!

Anonymous said...

great inspirational project.thank you for posting! where did you buy the faeries?

jan boss said...

i must know: what is the poem about fairies written on the tree??

i am currently making a house , but with more felt/cardboard than a real tree for indoor play! love yours- is beautiful!

Aoife Curtin said...

This is a totally amazing project, can't wait to make this for my daughter.
Where did you get the poem?

fawndear said...

I found them on the internet. Here is the poem and quotes I used on the tree.

And as the seasons come and go,
there’s something you might like to know.
There are fairies everywhere,
under bushes, in the air,
playing games just like you play,
singing through their busy day.
So listen, touch and look around,
in the air and on the ground.
And if you watch all nature’s things,
you might just see a fairy’s wing
~unknown

There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make these dreams a reality. Jonas Salk

Hand in hand, with fairy grace, We will sing and bless this place. -~William Shakespeare

corby pink said...

God, that is so incredibly natural and pretty!!!

Jenn K said...

Do you have a pattern or instructions for the hammock? I'm doing a fairy camp for my Brownies in a few months and want to make some of these for the fairy houses they are going g to make