It’s a bit horrifying to me how expensive fairy garden accessories are.  My family is new to the hobby, and it didn’t take me long to realize that you could easily spend more on the accessories (which are the coolest part of the whole thing), than you would on the container, the plants, and the soil combined.

As Donald Duck would say, “Oh Phooey!!”

So I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of accessories that would be cheap and easy to make.  And being cute is a definite plus, as well.  ^_-  Well, mission accomplished with this one (if I do say so myself).  =P

Love.  It comes in many forms.  =}  Here’s what you need to get started:

You also need something sharp (like a needle) to poke small holes on either side of your seat (which didn’t make it into the picture.  There’s always something I forget.)  You may also wish to use sandpaper to soften the sticks and reindeer moss to add some natural-looking charm.  However, these last two things are completely optional.

step 1: Trim your small piece of wood to the size of a fairy swing and paint it black.  A black piece of leather, a small bit of rubber, or a stiff fabric would also work well for this.

step 2: While your seat is drying, choose four stiff, straight sticks and trim them all to the same length.  You can use the optional sandpaper at this point to soften the edges of the sticks if you had to cut or break them to size.  Try and choose at least one stick per group that has a natural “Y” formation at the top, as this will help hold the top branch.

step 3: Glue the sticks together in the same kind of upside down “V” formation.  Try to make the angles as similar as possible.

step 4: Choose another straight stick that’s a bit more pliable than the others.  This is the bar that your swing will hang from, so make it as long or as short as you’d like.  I only had room for a swing set with one swing on it, but you could make a longer one with room for two swings on it if you wanted.

step 5: Glue the more pliable stick to both sides of the upside down “V”s.  This is a little tricky to do by yourself, but it can be done.  However, if you want to make this process a bit easier, have someone hold the upside down “V”s while you glue.

step 6: Not a very good picture to explain this particular step, but I’ll give it a go.  Use the glue as a kind of caulking, adding it around the top stick and everywhere it touches the other sticks.  This just reinforces the bond so the swing set wont come apart very easily.

step 7: Using another piece of fairy furniture as a reference (or something small like a salt/pepper shaker), decide how long your chains will be.  Place the seat on the small item beneath the swing set and drape the length of chain over the top stick.

**NOTE: I ended up having to shorten my chains later on, because once the swing set was placed on the grass, the seat was hanging too low to swing.  However, this won’t be an issue if your swing set will be sitting on a flat, hard surface.

step 8: Trim your chain to size.  You don’t need fancy-schmancy wire cutters for this, and could use regular scissors for a chain this small.

step 9: Use your sharp instrument to poke holes on either end of your seat.  Wiggle it around to make the holes a little bigger.

step 10: Slip a jewelry eye pin into each side of the seat where you made the holes.

step 11: Create a loop on the bottom (or just fold it with your pliers so it doesn’t come out of the hole), and trim the excess.

step 12: Use a jumpring to connect the chain to the loop on the top of the seat.

step 13: Do the same for the other side.  It’s starting to come together!!  =}

step 14: Make a grooved notch in the top branch of the swing set using wire cutters or scissors.  Loop another jewelry eye pin around the branch and fit it into the groove.  Using your pliers, insert the end of the eye pin through the loop, and trim off the excess.  Squeeze the eye pin as tight as you can against the branch with the pliers.

When you squeeze the eye pin, squeeze the loop so that it lays underneath the top branch.  There will be another bit of excess that comes out the bottom, which should just be long enough to wrap back up and around, creating a second loop. This second loop hangs down and points toward the ground, and will be the loop that you connect your chain to.

Repeat this process for both sides.

step 15: Use jumprings to connect both chains to the top branch.

That’s it!!  You can see that it looks pretty darn cutie-patootie just like this.  However, I wanted to jazz it up a bit for the fairy garden…

So I glued on bits of reindeer moss.  This not only looked fabulous, but it also hid the big globs of glue I used to connect the whole thing together.

This swing set looks as if it was plucked out of a forest clearing after being made by a few lovely little fairies that needed a place to play.  I love it when a craft goes better than anticipated.  ^_^  Gives me the warm fuzzies inside.

I hope this inspires you!!  I’m having a lot of fun doing these fairy garden posts, and I’m not stopping now.  ^_^  Stay tuned for more to come soon!!


I’m entering the 2011 Fairy Garden Competition hosted by the blog, The Magic Onions!