Fairy Gardens from Recycled Materials

Most fairy gardens are made from garden center statuettes or items removed from nature. Here are tips for making a fairy garden from recycled items diverted from landfill and your recycling bin.

Inspiring Fairy Garden Artists

Birdy Heywood teaches how to make fairy houses from recycled plastic milk jugs and cardboard egg cartons. She uses a material called Sculptin that absorbs into porous materials and then hardens. Sculptin is environmentally-friendly and the completed work is weather-resistant.

Laura Ramie teaches at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. She makes fairy houses by adding cob to juice cartons. Cob is a mixture made sand, clay and straw. Learn how Laura makes her fairy houses in this video.

Lindsey Boardman from Filth Wizardry shared how her family makes fairy gardens inside with plastic milk jugs and lots of homemade colorful dough.

Butterfly made from a recycled plastic water jug
Butterfly made from a recycled plastic water jug

My Fairy from Recycled Materials

I made a fairy from pink recycled plastic items include a shampoo bottle, plastic caps, rope handles from gift or shopping bags and a tool used for holding dental floss. Her arms are made from a strip of pink sock from the rag bin.

Fairy made from recycled pink plastic caps
Fairy made from recycled pink plastic caps by Trashmagination

Here’s the back of the fairy so you can see how the rope shopping bag handle holds on her wings and crown.

Back of the fairy made from plastic caps showing construction
Back of the fairy made from plastic caps showing construction

I also made a mushroom from a large red plastic cap, many small white plastic caps, a handle from a shopping bag and some white paint.

Mushroom made from recycled plastic caps
Mushroom made from recycled plastic caps

Finally, here’s a pet bunny for the fairy made from white plastic caps, plastic cut from a white shampoo bottle, googly eyes and pompoms. A rope shopping bag handle holds the bunny together. I used a tiny amount of glue for the eyes, nose and nail.

Bunny made from recycled plastic caps and shampoo bottle
Bunny made from recycled plastic caps and shampoo bottle
Plastic Cap Toy Spine Design
This drawing shows how the cord loops through holes in the caps to make the toy’s spine

Fairy Garden Furniture and Decorations

You can get inspiration from the dollhouse furniture episode of the Trashmagination podcast.

Fairy Landscaping Ideas

Patterned walkway made from beans – inspiration from Beneath the Ferns

Fairy Garden Party Ideas

I like to organize parties with these elements:

  1. Quiet activities that someone can do individually – This is great for when guests arrive so they have something to do while they wait for everyone to arrive.
  2. Circle activities
  3. Larger activities where the guests move their bodies
  4. Food!
  5. Craft activities where the guests make something to bring home

For a fairy garden party, the activities could be:

  • Quiet activity – fairy wing making
  • Circle activity – pass the parcel game with fairy activities for each layer
  • Larger activities – blindfold walk or fairy lights walk
  • Food – fairy “wands” made by putting cut fruit on skewers
  • Craft – any of the items mentioned in this episode

Fairy Garden Resourced Mentioned in this Episode

Story about a person who made a fairy garden from acorns in her front yard in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Fairy Garden contest where the winner made a Cars movie theme garden

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