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Unique Containers for Fairy Gardens

Updated on September 6, 2016
Virginia Allain profile image

I find fairy gardens enchanting and work the fairy figures and petite plants into my miniature landscaping. Join me, it's lots of fun.

Don't Use a Boring Container for Your Fairy Garden

With a little imagination and elbow grease, you can transform just about any container into a whimsical fairy garden. Here you will find lots of great ideas to turn just about any container into a tiny magical world for indoors or outside. A picnic basket, Radio Flyer wagon, or even an old broken flower pot, can make the perfect home for a family of fairies.

Start by figuring out how much room you can spare for your fairy garden. You also need to decide if you want an indoor or outside fairy garden. With an outside garden, you can probably choose a larger container. If you don't have a yard, or live in an apartment, a small fairy world in a clay pot can make a wonderful table centerpiece.

Thrift stores, yard sales or in your garage or attic, are great places to find the inexpensive supplies to help make your fairy garden come to life. So, if you are looking for unique fairy gardening ideas, you have come to the right place. Creating a fairy garden is also a wonderful creative activity to do with your children or grandchildren.


Lavender Fairy Postcard by New_Flower_Fairies

When Did Fairy Gardens Start?

People have been building and creating fairy gardens for hundreds of years, and just about every culture has a folktale about ways to keep the fairies, elves or even trolls happy. The most common folklore about fairy gardens comes from Celtic folk tales of Ireland and Scotland. Most fairy garden folk lore says that people built fairy gardens as a way to keep the fairies, elves or troll happy so they wouldn't steal human babies and replace them with changelings.

The Current Love for Fairy Gardens

means people are tired of just putting some moss and a little house into a flower pot. Now they are looking for new ideas, new ways to show off their creativity. Using unique containers is the way to go!

A Fairy in My Garden

Source

In my family, the story was about elves who stole human babies and replaced them with elf babies, because human mother's milk gave the elf babies a better chance of surviving. The elves did this because their species was dying out because of all of the metals humans used and all of the pollution people caused was making the Elves sickly. Also, humans building too many houses and other buildings was making it harder for the Elves to stay hidden from humans and safe.

So, to keep the elves, fairies or trolls from stealing babies, people constructed areas in their gardens just for the Fairies. They also would often leave offerings of milk, candy, and other sweet treats to garner the favor of the Fae. In Irish and Scottish folklore, the Fae consisted of many different types of magical creatures that included Elves, Pixies, Trolls, Banshees, etc... all of these creatures were considered to be types of Fairies or Fae.

Wagons Make a Great Base for a Landscape to Attract a Fairy or an Elf

Things that serve a utility purpose in the yard can be converted into something decorative. Use your imagination with these wagons, wheelbarrow and French-style flower stand cart.

Little Red Wagon for a Miniature Garden

Pacific Cycle Roadmaster 34" Steel Wagon
Pacific Cycle Roadmaster 34" Steel Wagon

This one's ready to roll, right into your yard or onto your porch. The size gives you ample space for planting your little garden and add the fairy sized houses and decorative accessories.

Sometimes you can find a worn-out kid's wagon at a yard sale. It doesn't matter if it's a little battered or the wheels don't turn or the bottom is rusting out a bit. Line it with plastic, then add dirt and start planting.

 

Look at This Wagon Filled with Delightful Plants

You need to drill holes in the bottom of the wagon if you are using outside where rain can overfill it. Inside, you can control the watering and can skip that step. Look at the use of one taller plant and then low moss for the garden.
You need to drill holes in the bottom of the wagon if you are using outside where rain can overfill it. Inside, you can control the watering and can skip that step. Look at the use of one taller plant and then low moss for the garden. | Source

Red Wagon or Wooden Wagon? Which Would You Choose?

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Turn a Cart or Wagon into a Fairy Garden

Amish Wagon Decorative Indoor / Outdoor Garden Backyard Planter, Green
Amish Wagon Decorative Indoor / Outdoor Garden Backyard Planter, Green

In the example, they've just placed a variety of potted plants in the small wagon. This looks ideal for creating a small fairy village with several tiny houses, paths leading to each one and then plants about those to finish it off.

 

Get More Ideas from My Pinterest Pinboard on This Topic

See how these unusual containers look with the mosses, ferns, little stepping stones and other pieces of the fairy garden in place.
See how these unusual containers look with the mosses, ferns, little stepping stones and other pieces of the fairy garden in place. | Source

My Double-Decker Fairy Garden Made from Plastic Lampshades

The floor lamp was defunct, but I saved the 2 plastic shades before tossing the non-working base.
The floor lamp was defunct, but I saved the 2 plastic shades before tossing the non-working base. | Source
Here's the completed fairy garden made using the 2 plastic lampshades.
Here's the completed fairy garden made using the 2 plastic lampshades. | Source

To See the Instructions

click on each photo below for the planting tutorial.

Step-By-Step Tutorial for My Lampshade Fairy Garden

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I placed plastic across the opening where the shades fitted on the lamp. I poked a few holes in that lightweight plastic for drainage. Then I filled the 2 pieces with potting soil. Here's a fern from a shady spot in my yard. It will go in the upper part of the fairy garden. I added some moss and red cedar mulch to the part with the fern. This impatien is a cutting from one of my plants. I dipped it in a rooting compound to encourage it to root in the soil.I have a shady yard, so I was able to gather this moss from the base of some trees. Here's the finished fairy garden. I added a stone, some hen-and-chicks and some moss to the lower section. I placed the two-tier garden on an old, mossy stump, then added my fairy figure. She was too big to go directly in the garden.
I placed plastic across the opening where the shades fitted on the lamp. I poked a few holes in that lightweight plastic for drainage. Then I filled the 2 pieces with potting soil.
I placed plastic across the opening where the shades fitted on the lamp. I poked a few holes in that lightweight plastic for drainage. Then I filled the 2 pieces with potting soil. | Source
Here's a fern from a shady spot in my yard. It will go in the upper part of the fairy garden.
Here's a fern from a shady spot in my yard. It will go in the upper part of the fairy garden.
I added some moss and red cedar mulch to the part with the fern.
I added some moss and red cedar mulch to the part with the fern.
This impatien is a cutting from one of my plants. I dipped it in a rooting compound to encourage it to root in the soil.
This impatien is a cutting from one of my plants. I dipped it in a rooting compound to encourage it to root in the soil.
I have a shady yard, so I was able to gather this moss from the base of some trees.
I have a shady yard, so I was able to gather this moss from the base of some trees.
Here's the finished fairy garden. I added a stone, some hen-and-chicks and some moss to the lower section.
Here's the finished fairy garden. I added a stone, some hen-and-chicks and some moss to the lower section.
I placed the two-tier garden on an old, mossy stump, then added my fairy figure. She was too big to go directly in the garden.
I placed the two-tier garden on an old, mossy stump, then added my fairy figure. She was too big to go directly in the garden. | Source

Wooden Wheelbarrow to Hold a Fairy Garden

Old Fashion Wooden Wheelbarrow Wagon Wheel Decorative Planter Rustic Finish
Old Fashion Wooden Wheelbarrow Wagon Wheel Decorative Planter Rustic Finish

I can picture this one with a fairy figure sitting on a rock. Around her, there are ferns and succulents.

I would line this with plastic, then with peat moss, then fill it with lightweight potting soil. Plant your minature garden in it and add some cute touches like a fairy house, a little garden bench and don't forget the miniature fairy figure.

Use pebbles to make a path from the bench to the front door of a little house.

 

Watch Some Videos to Get Ideas

These show fairy gardens made in terrariums, in a tea cup, in a canoe...

Great ideas!

A Fairy Garden in a Canoe (Video)

A Teeny Fairy Garden in a Tea Cup (video)

What Can You Make with These?

I loved the idea that I pinned to my Pinterest pinboard where a vintage suitcase became the holder for a small garden scene. The artful arrangement of a tiny house, pebbles for a walkway, some moss and plants created a delightful landscape just right for any pixies, elves or fairies that wander into your garden.

Take a look at the other containers I discovered. Time to get creative!

Plant a Fairy Garden in a Bird Bath

Burley Clay Zanesville Blue Glazed Bath Set
Burley Clay Zanesville Blue Glazed Bath Set

There are all sorts of these available on Amazon or at your local garden center. Isn't this blue one handsome!

Just picture it with an assortment of miniature plants, ferns, mosses and a little fairy house or fairy figurine.

 

Which of These Is Your Favorite for a Unique Fairy Garden Container?

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Giant Clam Shell - This Would Look Stunning with a Mini-Garden in It

Giant Clam Shell 22 Inch White Gray Clamshell Seashell
Giant Clam Shell 22 Inch White Gray Clamshell Seashell

They used an actual clam shell to cast this replica. It's painted and fired to last a long time. My mind is going crazy with ideas for filling this with soil, tiny plants and maybe a mermaid theme.

 

How about a Fairy Hunt?

fairy figure statue
fairy figure statue | Source

In my family, we have a tradition that has been passed down for generations, where every summer we stage a fairy hunt for the children. We usually do this in a family member's yard or a semi-wooded public park. The grown-ups, stash little treasures around, so the kids can find them, sort of like an Easter egg hunt. The treasures are usually sweets and dollar store items. The kids have a blast searching for fairies and finding fairy treasure.

(photo by Virginia Allain)

Make a Fairy Garden in a Vintage Look Suitcase

Vintiquewise(TM) Old Style Suitcase/Decorative Box with Straps, Set of 2
Vintiquewise(TM) Old Style Suitcase/Decorative Box with Straps, Set of 2

Fill this with good potting soil, some succulents and ferns with little fairy pathway or accessories. Ideally, you would line it with a zinc box that could withstand water. Probably easier, would be to line it with plastic to protect the vintage looking suitcase.

Check around at yard sales and even at thrift shops, I bet you can find some funky old suitcase being sold for very little.

 

Additional Ideas for Unique Fairy Garden Containers

Container
Possible Source
Tips
Large candy bowl for a Halloween fairy garden
Wal-Mart, dollar stores, online
Look for ones with witches, skeletons or pumpkins
Metal washtub
Antique stores, yard sales, farm stores
These are deep, so you can create a multi-level landscape with some hills and valleys.
Plastic kiddie pool
End of summer sale at discount stores
This will give you a huge area to work on that miniature landscape
Fire pit with domed cover
Ask the neighbors if they have one that is rusting out
Line it with plastic, poke some drain holes in the plastic. Use the screen cover to keep out the cat and squirrels.
A discarded sink
Junk yard, architectural recycling stores
Dig a hole so most to the sink is in the ground and just the rim/surround is above the ground level. Fill the sink with dirt for your plants and add accessories.
A worn out BBQ grill
Ask the neighbors, check at the dump
Remove the grill rack, line the BBQ with plastic, make drainage holes.
A dresser drawer
Check roadside on recycling days, look at the dump
The more rustic, the better. Line with plastic so the wood will hold up longer.

Tell Me Your Ideas for Unique Containers - for a Fairy Garden

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    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      My sister has the most magical garden which she has nurtured beautifully. I would so love also to get our backyard molded into a fairy design. It currently is quite natural filled with fruit trees and described by my granddaughter as feeling like you are in a jungle so it would be pretty easy I think.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Some very interesting ideas. I like the one for a fairy hunt. Made me think of my great grandson waiting to the tooth fairy and hoping he would get $2's, which in my days we would be lucky to get 6 pence (5cents).

      I'm a fairy lover thanks for sharing all these fairies with us, it's nice to feel young at heart.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 2 years ago from Ljubljana

      Fairies were always my soft spot. I can almost feel the happy thoughts!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      unique garden fairy, might cost a lot of money for buying this statue

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 3 years ago

      A fairy hunt is a great idea for family fun. Love it.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 3 years ago from France

      A fairy garden is a lovely idea - great for getting the imagination going.

    • tempaline profile image

      Debra 3 years ago from Columbus, Ga

      I like your ideas for fairy gardens. I used to decorate my gardens with gnomes angels and fairies. I tried it wen i moved in with my mom. She made me get rid of most of it. She only wants bushes and grass.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 3 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I think a fairy garden would be so fun to plant (if I lived somewhere conducive to such a thing!).