DIY – How to install a Fairy Door

Create your own Fairy Tale

My grandchildren are at that very fun stage where everything in life is full of wonder and excitement. Last year they built a fairy garden in their yard and have had lots of fun with it but one thing was missing, the fairy.

I have a lot of woods around my house with several old oak trees. As luck would have it one of the trees has a large opening near the base. This tree is also home to a large rope swing the kids play on. They play there often and would easily find whatever I built on their own.

During the Summer there are lots of flea markets and garage sales. I found a great fairy door at a flea market for $10. The fairy door opens and closes so the effect is quite dramatic when you look through the small door into the dark hollow tree.

The hole in the tree was much larger than the door so I found some scrap lumber in the garage to mount the door on. To cut the wood to fit the hole I took a large piece of paper to trace the approximate size and shape of the hole. I wanted the wood to be slightly recessed in the tree so the dimensions needed to be very accurate.

Once I traced the shape of the hole on the lumber, I used a jigsaw to cut out the plug for the hole in the tree that the fairy door would be mounted on.  The fitting process took several cuts and adjustments. Unless you have a board stretcher you want to err to the side of cutting too little as apposed to cutting too much at a time. Once you cut too much off, you have to start over. After you are happy with the fit of the plug you can trace the frame of the door and cut out the door opening.

You should protect the wood from the elements by painting it before you mount it permanently in the tree. I found some rustoleum for wood on sale at a local hardware store for about $3. I painted both sides and the edges to protect the wood as much as possible.

After the paint was dry I glued the fairy door onto the plug.

To mount the plug and door in the tree I predrilled some holes diagonally so I could screw the plug into the tree bark. The holes are drilled in the wood plug only. Only a relatively small screw is needed to secure the plug to the bark.

To finish off the project I found some small white picket fencing at Michaels and some small hosta and flowers at a local garden center.

The fairy door was a big hit with my grandkids. The whole project really only takes a couple of hours of labor and a very modest budget for materials. The excitement of the kids when they “found” the fairy house made this a very worthwhile project.


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About Dan Ashbach 792 Articles
Meet the Dan behind Dan330. He started a Pinterest account in December 2011 while off on a leave from his day job as a captain on an Airbus A330. While traveling the world, Dan practiced his longtime hobby of photography and developed his eye for natural beauty and appreciation of great photography. Continuing his love of exploration and great pictures, Dan added Pinterest to his daily routine; especially during the long Minnesota winters. His eye for great photography was recognized by the Pinterest community and in just under one year, Dan330 had attracted over one million followers. Dan and his wife Laurie have three children, seven grandchildren and two grand puppies. When not pinning, Dan loves to travel and participate in just about any outdoor activity. There are a few exceptions to this, but to find out what they are you have to go to the Dan330 board dedicated to “Things he won’t do”.