There is a hike not far from our house. It is only a mile or so long, but it is dotted with hundreds of fairy houses.
Heaven is a place, and it is in New Jersey. There’s a sentence no one expected to see ever.
But look! The wee chimney! The dormer windows! The sheer effort put into these is incredible, and people just keep making fairy houses and adding them every which where until you have to be careful not to trip on them.
And so Maile and I decided we needed to contribute to this incredible place, to create our own fairy house to leave there.
Being (ahem!) less crafty in some areas than in others, I elected not to build a house from scratch, but instead bought one of those wooden birdhouses from Target. Don’t judge me.
But then, to make it beautiful, Maile and I walked around the park down the street, collecting fairy materials. We have leaves, bark, acorn caps, acorn, sweetgums, coral (not actually found in the park in NJ, I’m sure you’re surprised) and a little owl puppet, because owls.
This project took us days and days. Decoupaging the leaves onto the walls was trickier than expected, since some of the leaves were on the crumblier side, and leaves generally don’t want to lie flat. Gluing the bark to make the shingled roof was a slow process, as were the acorn scallops along the roof edges.
We are nothing if not ambitious.
But it all worked out okay–until it came time to deal with the door. See, I thought we could just glue a door on one side, and the little round hole that Target intended birds to use as a door could just be a window or something. But my daughter is a very literal child, and, well, a house for a fairy really needs to include a door that works. Otherwise, the fairies can’t get in and out, can they?
This was a point so reasonable that it could not be argued with. Unfortunately, I had neither the skills nor the tools to make a door. I did grab a hacksaw to see if I could shove it in through the tiny bird-sized window. I could not. And I was just going to make a jagged fairy house of death if I tried.
So we had to bring in a professional. Our friend and neighbor thoughtfully dropped everything he was doing and created a smooth, round hobbitish doorway, and even dug up a fancy fairylike hinge. We used an acorn as a doorknob.
And as you can see, this fairy house has not yet made it to the wilds of New Jersey. It sits in Maile’s room, where it houses owls or fairies or tiny Day of the Dead dolls or clay zombies or naked mole rats or whatever she’s into that week. I don’t know that she’ll ever be willing to let it join the fairy commune–and I can’t say I blame her.