Introduction: Fairy Garden Tea Party
We made this for mothers day, so it was a collaborative project between me and my kids. I haven't made something like this before so it was a new experience combining various build methods. I had concrete left over from building a new fence, and we have tons of rocks around our yard (sinking the fence posts was quite a lot of work and I dug out tons of rocks, some of which ended up in this).
Two terra cotta pots, one larger than the other
small flat rocks
fairy garden picket fence
Various sizes of tree trunk rounds
Kids (just kidding.. even adults can be creative..)
Step 1: Break Something
Starting with the larger pot, you need to try and break it in a way that looks kinda natural. Unfortunately, as easy as this might sound, the pot will not break the way you think it will. It tends to crack in relatively nice curves, which is not what we really want. I drew a jagged sort of line on it where I wanted it to crack, and then used a small saw to score it along those lines.
Before I broke the pot, however, I traced the top onto some cardboard. You will need this later...
Placing the pot on the end of a piece of wood to provide something solid to hammer against, I carefully tried to break it along the scores using a hefty flathead screwdriver. Chisels might have worked better but surprisingly I've never actually bought any. This more or less worked despite the pot wanting to break along a curve.
Step 2: Top It
Now you are ready to place the second pot inside. Originally I had thought I would make it so you could actually plant something in the middle, but decided not to do this. I also wanted to reduce the amount of concrete needed so it wouldn't be ridiculously heavy.
Taking the cardboard from the first step, you need to cut this out, but make it a bit smaller so it will fit inside the pot. Then you will need to cut into the circle a bit, making a curve. This will be for the rock stairs to come up. Make sure it fits snugly in the top of the pot, about 3/4" down.
I used some tin foil to wrap under the cardboard as I inserted the cardboard into the top, so that cement wouldn't end up on the pot. Mix up some cement to a thick, somewhat peanut buttery consistency and pour that in. Use some scrap wood to level it.
Then wait for it to cure. I let it be for a couple days. You should see the color lighten a bit when its cured. Remove the tinfoil.
Step 3: Fill It
Now that you have the top formed, you can fill it in with more concrete, laying it on its side so it doesn't pour out before it can cure. I first stuffed in the empty areas inside with crumpled tinfoil to get the basic shape I wanted, and then poured more concrete over it.
Using a bunch of flat rocks, I inserted these into the wet cement to create a stair way.
Then, I waited another couple days for the cement to cure.
Step 4: Make Accessories
While waiting for the concrete to dry, you can make accessories.
Using a bag of pre-cut tree rounds, I fashioned two little chairs and a table.
The chairs are made by carefully drilling four holes at angles into a round, and then using four short bits from a dowel, glued in place. The backs are two smaller rounds with one side cut off to make a flat, and glued in.
The table is a larger round and two small rounds glued underneath.
Step 5: Make Other Stuff
This is where the kids came in. My older daughter made mushrooms from polymer clay. She made both toadstools and some other fungus that is flat, like you might see growing on a tree. She carefully painted them and I have to say they looked pretty amazing!
My younger son made some cute little lady bugs and ducklings also from polymer clay, which I neglected to take photos of before we attached them.
Step 6: Painting
My youngest did the painting. We painted the top in green to look like grass, and painted all the concrete parts brown to look like dirt. And the rock stairs in various colors because its a fairy garden and fairies like color.
She then added little flowers around the outside. Totally her idea but it works great!
Step 7: Bring It All Together
When all the cement is cured, items are painted and glued, it all comes together.
Green moss and some wood bark are glued into place as well as the fungus around the bottom. Attaching the fence and placing the ducks and the lady bugs. The chairs and table are not glued but you can if you like, we didn't because we figured we might get some fairies to put onto the chairs and they might need to be repositioned.
It was quite successful! We gave this to mom for mother's day...
Participated in the
Stone Concrete Cement Contest