wanted: a little bit of fairy dust

Once upon a time I lived by the sea in Portland, Maine. We’ve always been an outdoorsy family, so taking long coastal walks became a norm for us. The stormy Atlantic would brood in the background and we’d eat local ice cream no matter how cold the wind blew. It was sort of the stuff Nicholas Sparks books are made of (except we’re all still alive and kicking). We returned to this one spot called Mackworth Island on the regular. It was a short drive from the house and boasted my favourite forest ever. About halfway through the walk, miniature woodland houses begin popping up beneath the trees. I don’t know who started this project but it’s darling (said in my best British accent). Whoever comes across the collection of fairy houses is essentially obligated to make their own. We would spend ages finding twigs, acorns, shell fragments, berries – anything – and piece together tiny interiors fit for the forest fairies. If this sounds like complete nonsense to you, I’m about to challenge you to a therapeutic, imagination packed project.

Getting lost in a world of make-believe reminds me of my inner little girl and I love that – I never want to lose my childlike belief in life’s mysteries. Mackworth Island myth was that fairies actually came and fluttered their glittery wings in the homes us humans carefully made. If you have kids of your own, you can’t deny that such stories breed curiosity and wonder. If you’re looking for a creative way to spend a summer afternoon, fairy house building is perfect. You can use anything lying around in the yard and play architect for a bit. So here’s my tutorial for fairy houses….try it, if you dare.


Supplies can be whatever you want. I used:

-1 handful of pebbles

-1 handful of shells

-Several sticks

-Several wood chips

-Collection of flowers from the garden

-Some fallen leaves



Begin by finding a sheltered area – I like looking for quiet patches under shady trees. This one seemed promising after I pulled out the weeds.IMG_3737

Next, build up some height and make a covering using sticks and leaves.


First impressions are always key so use the pebbles to make a pathway.


Dinner for two?


Afternoon nap spot courtesy of my little helper.




And the final product!



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