How about a travelling fairy garden? This mini fairy garden is created in a vintage suitcase and can easily move from patio to garden and even back indoors—wherever you want to display it.
If you are interested in creating your own handmade fairy garden accessories, have a look at How to Make Polymer Clay Charms. They are easy to make and will save you a lot of money as you decorate these tiny worlds.
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A Charming Little World
This idea is simple. Line a vintage suitcase with a waterproof sheet, add the right growing medium, and start creating your own little world.
Tips for Creating a Suitcase Fairy Garden
- Any container will do! It just needs to be sturdy enough to hold the contents (soil, plants, fairy garden decorations).
- Keep in mind that it may be exposed to soil and water so don’t use a precious heirloom.
- If you’re going to keep the suitcase outdoors (exposed to the elements), add drainage holes. And beware: the suitcase will get gradual water damage.
- I keep mine on a covered patio and it has (knock wood) remained like new. I also water carefully, never soaking the soil.
2 Growing Medium / Soil and Plants
- Line the suitcase with a plastic sheet or other water-resistant material unless leaving it outdoors (you’ll need drainage holes).
- Add potting mix or other growing medium.
- Add plants or moss.
- You can also add plants in small containers and bury them in the growing medium.
This article on choosing plants for your miniature garden lists the best options for both indoor and outdoor mini gardens. Use whatever growing medium is best for your plant choices.
And this has 7 Mistakes to Avoid when Growing Miniature Plants.
I used moss from my garden and combined some potting mix with the same soil the moss was growing in.
You could also use pieces of sod from your grass lawn or sow grass seeds.
I also like to add random plants from my garden. Here I’ve added a violet that was growing near the moss.
Here’s the moss in the mini garden.
3 Mini Furnishings
There are so many fabulous mini garden furnishings available these days, that it can be hard to decide. My suggestion is to pick a theme and stick to it. Also, scale (proportion) is so important if you want it to look right. You can read more here about scale in miniature gardens.
- To create water under this bridge, I used a blue glass flower pot saucer. Another simple option is a small makeup mirror. Hide the mirror frame with stones or moss.
The charm is in the details! This tiny lemonade jug with glasses and wee slices of lemon is my fave. Only use tiny furnishing like this if your miniature garden is in a safe place, away from wind or rain. I have mine on a covered patio.
Fairies or no fairies? You decide. I prefer not to have any fairies, people, gnomes, trolls, etc. Instead, I like it to look like some tiny being was just there but fled when full-size humans came by.
Use what you have. Or make it. All the cute accessories can get expensive. I started making my own from polymer clay (free tutorial here) and it was much easier than I expected.
Also, see if you have old toys or nick knacks you could use. Here I’ve added an old matchbox car (found in my garden) and a slice from a pruned branch, as a plant stand.
Add natural materials. Stones, twigs, small garden plants, leaves—all help naturalize the mini garden. Use what you have and change it up as desired.
Caring for Your Suitcase Garden
Keep the plants and moss watered as needed, and make sure (if outside) that rain does not waterlog the container.
Change up the decor as desired. If you love making miniatures, there’s lots of ways to decorate a fairy garden for special occasions or the seasons.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛