Goodness, this project has been a long time in the works! I first blogged about Bailey’s room way, way back almost two years ago when she first moved into a room on her own when I was nesting for Patrick. I built her a headboard, got the room painted a nice aqua, refinished her desk and dresser and planned to make bedding, and then lost steam.
For a year.
But my sweet, lovely, patient child finally has an oldest-child-room that she loves. Ahhhh.
And a huge part is the feature I decided to do hanging from her ceiling—a little village of fairy houses just waiting for magical visitors.
See, this daughter of mine wanted a Tinkerbell room. She saw some Tinkerbell wall decals at Target, loved the Tinkerbell bedding, wanted to have Tinkerbell’s face splashed all over every surface and wall and filling every toy bin.
Yeah, so not gonna happen. I don’t even buy my kids character t-shirts. No way was her room going to be character-ified. Plus, I knew that the Tinkerbell phase would only last so long, and I do not have the time (or the budget!) to redecorate rooms every year.
This is my compromise. Tinkerbell-ish colors (that will also translate well into tween years, I think) and a few whimsical, playful touches that spark her imagination and keep her dreaming without making her room look like a Disney attraction exploded in there. Win-win.
She came home from school yesterday to some of them hanging up (surprise!) and was thrilled. Beyond thrilled. So excited she kept asking me “Am I dreaming?!?!?” And gave me about a billion hugs, which I gladly accepted. Love her.
Last summer, she and I went to Joann’s and picked out five bird houses to use for this project. Four were the unfinished natural wood ones that cost around $5, and the fifth was a clearance mushroom birdhouse (see the fifth on the ground? It didn’t have a loop on it already).
I gave each a base coat of spray primer and then used acrylic craft paint to start the customization process.
Bailey wanted her fairy houses to be perfect for Tinkerbell and her four closest fairy friends from the current Disney animation series of movies. So from left to right above, you see Iridessa’s house (a light fairy), Tinkerbell’s house, Rosetta’s house (a garden fairy), Faun’s house (an animal fairy), and Silvermist’s house (a water fairy). If that whole sentence is gibberish, I apologize—my girls live and breathe fairies right now. We know their names, their talents, their colors, and what they like to eat for breakfast.
The type of fairy of each friend dictated the decorations I applied to each house. Sadly, before I could finish the project, the mushroom house got broken, so I subbed in this one
Aren’t they pretty?
The dark blue house is for a water fairy—it has silver leaf water drips and glass flat pebble bubbles on the bottom, complete with a hanging water droplet (acrylic pendant) on the center. I added the butterfly friend to change it up a bit. I also dusted down each house liberally with pixie dust–Krylon’s glitter spray. Worked like a charm!
This one is for a light fairy, so the top and outside edge are coated in gold glitter. I added a cushiony flower inside for the fairy to sleep on and applied the string of gold beads to give it a bit more bling.
I did an ombre paint treatment on the garden fairy’s house, dark at the bottom and light on top. Then I added flowers, flowers, and more flowers–a garden fairy should sleep in a bower, right?
The house for the animal fairy might be my favorite–I love those feathers! There’s a cute scene in the first Tinkerbell movie where the animal fairy is teaching baby birds to fly, so I gave her a feather boa roof and bottom and applied paper birds to the walls. The nest underneath holds tiny little eggs.
Finally, I painted Tinkerbell’s house in her favorite color. I couldn’t resist using the moss for a more natural touch and glamming it up a bit with the sequin trim. Bailey wanted Tinkerbell’s house to be the most detailed, since she is a Tinker fairy, so all the sparkly moldings were her idea.
All together, my girl and I are very, very pleased with the result. They’re hanging from command hooks scattered around some white painted tree branches. I wanted to give the impression of a fairy tree growing out of the ceiling.
Friends, yesterday was my third attempt at hanging these tree branches. I finished most of the houses back in September or so.The first time I tried to hang the branches, I was convinced that I could somehow hold a large, long, awkward branch up against the ceiling, drill pilot holes through the branches and into the drywall, insert a drywall anchor, and then screw the branch into the anchor. By myself. On the top of a ladder.
Amazingly, that didn’t work so well. Shocking, I know. So then I let it sit for a while as I tried to come up with another option. Then it hit me–I could use painters tape to hold the branches in place while I drilled, anchored, etc.
Mmmm, hmmmm. Painters tape is not so strong at holding things to the ceiling.
Finally, the other night, I realized a solution–nails and 3M Command hooks! I pre-nailed all my branches on the floor. Now, if you have a nail gun, you could probably easily hang a branch this size from your ceiling by just shooting in nails every so often. Since I don’t have one of those, this was my solution.
I used very thin nails and hammered them right through the branches every few inches while they were lying flat on my floor. Then I could climb my ladder, hold the branch in place, and whack the nails into the ceiling with just a few swings. Finally!
To finish off the look and add a little contrast to the branches, I draped some pom-pom trim and a mini-felt pennant banner along the largest ones. I am so pleased with how this came together. Full room reveal coming soon!
I’m entering this project in the amazing Creating with the Stars contest over on East Coast Creative. Check out all the amazing submissions! And if you think I should be a contestant, click on my link–I’m entry #348.
Edited to add: I updated the fairy house photos with more detail shots so you can really see them as you would in the room–from underneath. Which one is your favorite? Also, check out the free printable I made for this room here.