Wednesday, 2 September 2015

DIY | Fairy House Desk Tidy

Hello there,

Now that autumn/ fall has approached (at long last), I thought a woodland-themed DIY was in order. It is a fairly simple process, and can be adapted however you desire. In my youngest years, my fantasies practically consisted of magical kingdoms and 'Fairy Bluebell', 'Squirrel Nutkin' and the magnificence of the natural world, which is why this project holds so much sentimental value. Nevertheless, if you like fairies; have a child; want a quirky pencil pot or candle holder, here's how to do it!

  1. MaterialsYour preferred jar doesn't necessarily need a handle, or indeed a certain size, it's all about personal preference. However, I would recommend without a handle, simply because I had quite a bit of trouble with the clay over-weighing that particular side, finding a balance for the jar can be quite tricky so do be careful. The clay itself can be found at most craft stores, online and some supermarkets for fairly cheap, providing you get air-drying. Again, the brand of paint is entirely up to you, whatever pallet suits you best. As for the tools, don't be too fussed. To be honest, I only began using them half way through, before that I was using the end of a paintbrush and my fingers.
  2.  Either find a fairy house design online, or sketch one out yourself to be more original. I went for a little 'room' and chimney in place of the handle, which is home to a tiny electric candle. Though I'd only be willing to do this if you're prepared to waffle about with balance.
  3.  Now, here's the fun part. Go bonkers with clay. Mold it around the jar so it is as snug as can be, and begin designing the features. Make sure you DO NOT use too much water when wetting the clay to ensure it sticks, you only need a few dabs. This can cause the clay to crack whilst drying (I unfortunately found out the hard way as I have no common sense). I'd start with an initial layer of brickwork and build on top of that, even adding textures such as the fine lines of wood with a needle. Again, if you are going to create a little room like I have, don't use as much water as it will just keep flopping, honestly, I nearly threw it out the window.
    If you're adding finer, more delicate features such as this, I would advise you attach a thick, sturdy base to prevent it snapping off. Unless of course you're intending to use your fairy house as an ornament, in which case sculpt away and skip this. Keep in mind, varnish also strengthens the finished product. Optional lid (like this little mushroom) would enclose the light within the 'room' if you were to put a fake candle inside, acting as if a tiny creature is enjoying a cozy evening through the window. 
  5. It requires a good 4-5 days to fully dry (on average, be sure to check on the packet), but don't freak out if it does end up cracking slightly. You can either fix it up (with a combination of clay and water to create a cement-like glue), or keep them as it adds to the authenticity and rustic woodland feel. I quite like the cracks, but hey ho. Additionally, if anything snaps off and it's already dry, do not fear... Super glue is here! A hot glue gun or even PVA does the trick, since you'll be covering it with thick paint anyway.
  6. I got a little carried away, clearly. But as an idea, good ol' quotes are always good to throw in. Once you're ready for painting, go ahead and splat it on. I followed he traditional stone-look, but go wild if you wish. You should find you don't need more than one coat if you're using acrylics, and once dry it tends to already have that glossy effect. Glitter glue is also a nice touch for enhancing those fairy vibes.
  7. Varnish or not to varnish? That is the question. If you apply one or two coats, you're left with a much glossier, finished and protected piece. I would recommend  'Galeria Acrylic Mediums- Gloss Varnish'  
  8.  A small flame-less candle such as this would be perfect for imitating the lit-room, but again it's your preference. And there we have it, a cute fairy house desk tidy! Of course by no means I am an expert at all, this is simply a little project I thought to share.
Thank you for reading! Any comments, suggestions or follows are much appreciated, and with that...

Have a magical, crafty day,

B x