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How to make a fairy door

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As cute as fairy gardens may be, the dents these adorable accessories leave in your wallet are most certainly not! This simple tutorial presents step-by-step instructions for creating the staple of any fairy garden: your very own fairy door.

The final product is free-standing but can also be mounted with sticky tack. It may be suitable for indoor or outdoor decor, depending on how you choose to decorate your door. You may even have some of the materials on hand. For those looking to skip the work, the door can be purchased here.

Materials Needed:

  • Polymer clay
  • Dowel or marker (to be used as rolling pin)
  • Rotary cutter or knife
  • Needle/old ballpoint pen
  • Thin cardboard (optional)
  • Acrylic paint in desired colors
  • Varnish
  • Epoxy or other waterproof glue
  • Rocks and other desired decorations (optional)
  • Sticky tack (optional- for mounting the door to wall or pot.)
Step One: Work the clay
Step One: Work the clay Claire Thalken

Step One: Work the clay

Knead a golf-ball sized glob of clay to remove air pockets.  Roll the clay flat, but leave it thick enough that it will accept some detailing without coming apart. 1/8   to ¼  inch thick is sufficient.  Chose an oven-bake clay over an air-drying clay because oven bake clays are stronger and allow you to work with the clay at your leisure rather than being hurried. 

Step Two: Cut a desired shape
Step Two: Cut a desired shape Claire Thalken

Step Two: Cut a desired shape

Cut your clay into whatever shape you wish using a rotary cutter or  knife. Reserve the scraps for later use.  Simple shapes like arches are great when you are first starting.  More complex shapes are tougher to balance if you want the door to stand its own. 

Step Three: Draw your door
Step Three: Draw your door Claire Thalken

Step Three: Draw your door

Draw the door and its frame in the clay using a large needle and/ or a ballpoint pen that no longer works. Leave room for a rocky border (created with your finger tips.) Draw lines to represent boards and/or wood texture. If you wish to decorate the back of the door, this would be the time to do it. 

Step Four: Create and attach base
Step Four: Create and attach base Claire Thalken

Step Four: Create and attach base

If you don't mind if your door can't stand on its own, feel free to skip this step. To make the door stand (after it bakes) you will have to create a base. Roll a thick cylinder strip  from the clay scraps and partially flatten. You may wish to use a thin piece of card board  as a skeleton to help the base retain its shape while baking. Carefully pinch the base onto the door, ensuring that no seams show on the back or front. Create a rough, rocky texture if desired.

Step Five: Add knob and hinges
Step Five: Add knob and hinges Claire Thalken

Step Five: Add knob and hinges

Using more of the clay scraps, Create a door knob by rolling a little ball of clay and flattening it at the desired height.  Shape 3-dimension rectangular bits for the door-hinges, and flatten in the appropriate spot.  Roll tiny cylinders for the tops of the hinges and flatten to attach.

Step six: Bake, Paint and Decorate
Step six: Bake, Paint and Decorate Claire Thalken

Step six: Bake, Paint and Decorate

Bake your creation according to your clay's package directions. Remove from oven and let cool. Paint the back and outer border a rocky color like gray.  The knob and hinges benefit from a metallic color like silver, copper, or gold. Paint the door and its frame however you like and varnish to seal paint.  Use a waterproof glue to add rocks and/ other desired details.

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