Now that our garden is set for faeries, they need a house to rest in! I ended up mostly doing this on my own because of the hot glue gun, but Kaia stayed involved and helped in as many areas as she could. She helped me gather the sticks we needed to build the house. We have some young cherry trees that were starting to overhang the lawn and needed to be trimmed back, so they were the obvious (and pretty!) choice. I lopped them off, then started cutting them into segments with a pair of pruners. I didn't really have a plan, but I probably should have, (story of my life...) because it ended up a bit bigger than I think our garden warrants.
To accommodate a roof, I cut the pieces for the front and back faces of the house gradually shorter towards the top, so that their top halves form a triangular shape. Kaia also wanted it to have a window and a door. After cutting the sticks for the front and back, I laid them down together how they would be assembled, then simply cut the openings out. The side walls are shorter and only come as high as the front and back do before beginning to taper. I also cut little twigs for window and door frames, to give it a more finished look. It should also be pointed out that I seriously underestimated the amount of twigs I would need for the roof, and I ended up using about twice as many as are pictured below.
That done, we played until the sun went down. I carefully moved all the pieces inside, and after Kaia was asleep in bed I plugged in the hot glue gun and started gluing. It took an amazing amount of glue. Really amazing. This part is pretty self-explanatory, I glued them together as I had them laid out. In an attempt to keep as much glue as possible from being visible, I would put down my strip of glue, lay the sticks together with the glue to the back, then turn the stick with glue on it until it connected with the other stick. This kept most the glue on the inside of the structure, instead of squishing out both sides. That is as clearly as I think I can describe the process, I hope it is enough ;)
Once all the sides were glued together, I added the window a door frames. They were definitely a good addition, they pulled the entire thing together and really did make it look so much more finished.
All sides together and ready for assembly!
I set the side on, and laid down a lot of glue. After one application had hardened, I added another. If the house is not really going to be touched, you probably don't need so much. I wanted my 2 year old to be able to handle it, though, so I wanted it sturdy. You can also see pretty clearly in these pictures how much messier and full of glue the insides of the walls are.
All together and ready for the roof. I first glued sticks on to the faces of the walls to hide all the edges of the sticks, then glued a second one on top of each of those to protrude farther than the raw stick ends of the walls.
The first roof sticks in place, I got the pruners back out and cut the wall sticks at an angle, so that they would be flush with the roof sticks. I then glued into place a stick that stretched the peak of the roof, to stabilize the structure, and to give me something to glue the roof sticks to at the top.
I put a dot of glue on the top beam, on the bottom beam, and along the edge of each previously laid stick.
As I said before, I ended up having about half the sticks I actually needed for the roof, but I was tired and it was dark, so after using up the materials I had ready, I headed to bed for the night. The next day was gorgeous and working inside would have been a crime, especially with winter looming ahead. I busted an extension cord out, took the project and my glue gun back outside, and finished the roof. I didn't worry about keeping the sticks even on the bottom, I like them staggered, (although you could cut them straight afterward if that's your pleasure,) but I did make sure to keep them lined up on the top, leaving a wedge of space for a beam to glue on top and hide all those stick ends. Oh, and I ended up with some sizable gaps between some of the sticks that were more wiggly. I filled those gaps by gluing some shorter sticks to the inside of the roof.
All together! Time for a couple embellishments. Kaia wanted a star on it, so I cut one longer twig, then four shorter twigs at angles and - you'd never guess - hot glued them together. To hide all that, I wrapped the center with a piece of dune grass, tied it in back, then globbed some more glue on there for good measure. And glued it on. ;)
The face of the house still needed something. I wasn't sure what. I glanced around me and spied some knapweed. Specifically, the dried head of the knapweed where the flower had been. And I thought, "sconce!" and cut one. Eh, it's an invasive species anyway. I wrapped the stem with a blade of grass and secured it with glue in the back. Then I needed something to mount it with. Yes, of course I am going to hot glue it on. But I wanted something pretending to be holding it on. In vain I searched nearby trees for small twigs that inexplicably had grown in a dramatic curve, without luck I checked the compost pile to see if any of the morning glory vines I'd torn off the lilac bushes the other day had dried into a perfect loop. And then I saw it. The giant, mangled patch of wild grape vine. Perfection!
Now that I have a sconce, it needs to be on fire. I poked around until I found a nicely flame-shaped rock of the right size, I got out some red and yellow paints. After painting it, I glued the rock into the top of the "sconce" and then glued the entire thing next to the front door.
Now to deal with all that ugly hot glue. My plan had been to paint it with a nice reddish brown that would blend in, but before I found brown I found gold. I debated this fiercely in my head. This house is really for Kaia. What would Kaia pick? Gold, of course. But it's silly. Painting the hot glue shiny and gold is absurd. I'm already making a faerie house, when did I cross the boundaries of absurdity, anyway? Probably a while ago. And so I painted it gold. Where is Kaia through all of this? Painting everything else. Sticks. The paint bottles. Herself. Leaves. You know, whatever.
All done! It did take a bit, but it was easier than I thought it would be when I envisioned it. I am happy with how it came out, and Kaia is really happy with it. It was so satisfying to place in the little faerie garden. With the house done, the other things I wanted to make for it, like a bench, seem like nothing.
Here it is in its new home. Kaia says there needs to be a bed in the house for the faeries to rest on.
Psshhhh, no problem! ;)
That said, I think I will make the next few projects short and sweet, lol.