How to Design the Perfect Fairy Garden

fairy garden design tips
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Designing a Fairy Garden can be a lot of fun – but with so many options and choices, it can be overwhelming! Here we will share how to create and design a beautiful miniature fairy garden that you absolutely love and adore!

Follow these simple steps to design a welcoming home for any fairies who may visit!

Step 1: Set a Budget

I know, budgeting may not seem like a very fun way to start, but this is actually the first thing I do when I create any type of miniature fairy garden! I am a VERY frugal person so having a budget helps me prioritize what things are most important and what features I want the most.

Fortunately, you do NOT need to spend that much to create a beautiful fairy garden!

Many times you can even create your garden for free simply reusing different objects from around the house. There are many ways to create your own fairy garden accessories and furniture out of household materials you already own – so do not feel like you need to buy everything you see!

Want to be really frugal? Check out our list of Dollar Store Miniature Supplies and Common Household Items to use in your miniatures!

Setting a budget will help you narrow down your choices and help you make decisions easier on what plants, accessories, and other materials to buy for your garden. I’ve created simple gardens with my kids for as little as $7, and that is only because I wanted to buy some plants to use in them!

There are a lot of fairy accessories and products out there, and it’s very easy for costs to add up. When you have a budget, if you do decide to buy anything to create your garden it can help you stay on track and not go completely overboard.

So, first thing first, pick a number! It can be $0 or $10 or even $100. The important thing is you have a budget and stick to it!

Step 2: Decide Where You Will Build and Keep the Fairy Garden

Once you have a budget, the next step is to think about where you might want to have the fairy garden. You may already have a spot in mind. You can build the garden in a container that you keep indoors or you can even build a fairy garden in the natural landscape of your yard.

Knowing where you are going to place the garden and whether you are going to build the fairy garden outdoors or keep it a container from the beginning will help lead the way in your design and planning.

For example, if you know the garden will be growing in a sunny spot, you will need to choose plants that do not mind the sun. Plants like moss do not tolerate the sun very well, but they will do great anywhere there is a lot of shade!

If you are going to keep the garden indoors, you’ll want to think about where you want to keep the garden. Your miniature garden doesn’t need to take up a lot of space, but it is something to consider.

You may also want to think about other members of your household, including pets. We have a few curious cats get into the gardens we’ve built more than a few times! If you have pets or younger children, it is very important to make sure it is safe for them.

Step 3: Choose a Theme for Your Garden

While this is not absolutely necessary, having a theme for your fairy garden can also help give you some ideas and inspiration for a design. When you plan for a specific theme, it can really help you make decisions on what to focus on what types of things really make sense to include.

Ask yourself: What kind of fairies are going to live in your garden? What kind of house will they have? What are their very important must-have requirements? What styles do they like?

While most fairy gardens stick to a lot of nature-inspired items, the only real limit here is your imagination. For example, maybe you want to make a tropical fairy garden, complete with seashells and sand. Having a theme will help set the tone and help you decide which types of materials make the most sense.

If you don’t have a theme chosen, there are many ways to find some inspiration! Our post on miniature theme ideas is sure to spark your imagination.

And of course, you can always just choose an eclectic mix and match style all of your own!

Step 4. Research & Choose Plants With Similar Growing Requirements

Once you know your budget, have a location scouted out, and have a theme decided, the next thing to decide is what type of plants you want to use. You can choose to use either live or artificial plants in your garden.

Most live plants for fairy gardens are low-maintenance, but it’s important that everything you decide to grow together enjoys the same amount of sunlight and water since it typically is a very small container they all share! Different plants often have different growing conditions.

You are going to need to do a bit of research before you hit the nursery or your local home and garden center or even order plants online. You’ll want to make sure that the plants you choose need similar growing conditions, such as needing the same amount of sunlight, water, and soil.

Our list of best fairy garden plants has some ideas for the types of plants you can consider for your garden.

While large fairy gardens outdoors may have more flexibility (ie: some parts may get different amounts of sunlight) – for indoor gardens this is an absolute must!

You can also always opt to use artificial plants for fairy gardening – this is a good choice for indoor gardens that may not get a lot of natural sun and water. Artificial flowers and plants can also give you a lot more freedom to be creative – you aren’t limited to just what you are able to grow!

Step 5: Consider Design Features

When designing your garden, there are a few things to think about that can help you with planning your design, such as scale, texture, and visual placement. Here are some design tricks that will help you.

Scale: What Size Will You Use?¬†Fairies and their furniture and their homes should be proportional in size in order to be realistic. You don’t want a house that’s smaller than a chair for example!

Be sure to double check sizes on anything you purchase for your fairy garden. Some common sizes for fairy gardens are 1:12 scale, 1:18 scale, and 1:24 scale – but of course you can always go smaller!

Confused about scale? See our post on dollhouse scales that can help you figure out what scale you need!

Think About Texture: Textures will help make your fairy garden seem more realistic and give it some interest. For example, you may mix moss, rocks, and grasses to give your garden a wide variety of textures. If using fairy garden furniture or accessories you may wish to use that as a starting point for choosing your textures.

Consider Visual Height:  One of the secrets of great-looking fairy gardens is to make sure you have different heights of different objects and features.

Just like a tall piece of furniture can completely change the look of a room in your house, you can achieve different styles with height. 

Dwarf trees can be a great choice to complete your garden and add some vertical height to the overall appearance. You can also use accessories such as houses, miniature trellises, or even an arbor or gazebo.

Step 6. Draw a Sketch Before You Start

Drawing a sketch, no matter how rough it may be, will give you a good idea of how much space you’re going to need to incorporate all the features you want. This will also help you decide what materials you absolutely want to have in your garden.

Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a perfect artist! Some paper and a pen are all you really need.

If you are planning to build outside, you may even want to “draw” your sketch in the dirt with a stick or the edge of a garden shovel to help you visualize different ideas. If you don’t like something, simply rake over it and start again!

Step 7: Pay Attention to The Tiny Details!

One of the best ways to ensure an interesting fairy garden is to really pay attention to small little details. This can be done with a number of little finishing touches. For example, you may want to add a sign or even a little teacup set for your fairies to drink from.

These little details will really help your fairy garden tell a story and capture the attention of the fairies!

While there are a number of adorable accessories available for fairy gardens, you can really find many more things if you expand to other miniature hobbies.

Model trains, dollhouses, and children’s toys can all be a great source of inspiration and found objects to use. One of our readers shared how she uses the wheels off of old toy cars to create tire swings in her gardens – what a wonderful idea that is!

If your fairy garden will be outdoors, you will also want to consider what materials your accessories are made from. Paper and cardboard will not hold up to rain! Wood should be either treated or sealed with an outdoor varnish to ensure it can also withstand the elements.

Plastic usually will be fine outdoors, though you may not want to use it in areas that get a lot of sun as it may start to fade over time. Many fairy garden accessories and houses are made out of resin which can usually hold up to the weather outside.

Planning your miniature garden can be just as fun as building it – sometimes the planning phase is one of the most magical parts of the whole process! A little planning can go a long way to helping you create a fairy garden you and your fairies are sure to love.

I hope this list of tips helps you stay organized and of course build a garden that is low-stress and fun to create!

If you have any fairy garden design tips you’d like to share or have questions about anything we’ve mentioned here, comments are always welcome below – we are always happy to help answer any questions you may have!

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  1. I love your site. I came for the information about furniture sizes and stayed for your tutorials and great ideas. Thank you

    1. Hi Vicky, I’m not on instagram but thanks for coming to our site + I hope it is helpful + inspiring for you!

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