Spring Project Series {DIY Fairy Garden Path}

 

What better way to celebrate the advent of springtime than with a Fairy Garden path in your yard?

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Our fairy garden path project.

A few items to think about:

  • Pick your location Do you want it visible year round or a hidden area? Beneath a tree or around a fountain in your landscaping? I wanted to enjoy the scene every time I was on our back porch.
  • What materials do you have on hand? Will you purchase your rocks or source them out over time from visiting the local park?  I preferred up-cycling as much as possible. The only purchased material was the cement mix.
  • How will you decorate your path? I knew I wanted it to lead to a fairy door at the front of a tree.
  • Do you have a helper? I highly recommend help for the type of path we created.  My husband would mix the cement and pour while I placed the rocks and smoothed with a trowel. We had to work quickly as cement starts to dry within 5 minutes.
  • Safety First! You will want gloves, goggles, and a mask to avoid inhaling cement dust while mixing.

Materials:

  • Cement (I like Mortar Mix- Quikrete brand) $3 for a 1 lb. bag. This project used about 5 bags.
  • Trowel
  • Large 3 – 5 gallon bucket
  • Smooth rocks in various colors and sizes
  • Thick cardboard or plastic strips (enough to outline the length of the path)
  • A few old socks or washcloths
  • Something to mix with- old shovel

Instructions:

Step 1. Smooth the dirt in your location, use a level to ensure it’s flat. You could add a layer of sand at this point, we did not.

Step 2. To create the “track” to map out our path, we wet the earth (damp) and used thick strips of cardboard, basically fitting them down into a groove we created in the mud. I put some rocks around the strips to “hold” into place.

Step 3: Line up your rocks in a general pattern on either side of the track you created. It will be much easier to have a general idea how you want the rocks patterned. They will be easy to grab and drop into the cement also by planning a little prior.

Step 4: Mix cement according to package directions (mix until the consistency of peanut butter). Quickly pour into your tracks. Smooth with your trowel.

Step 5: Quickly add your smooth rocks and press gently into the cement. Press in far enough so the rocks aren’t above the surface of the cement too much. Smooth cement that bubbles up in between the rocks, using the trowel. Wipe rocks with a damp cloth as you go along.

I also had some leaf cement castings I had done so these were also used to add character amongst the stones. Cement leaf castings are super easy just pour cement on a leaf, allow to dry overnight and peel off. 

Step 6: Repeat until path is done!

Sounds easy? It is a simple project but it did take us two evenings to complete. Estimated time is about 4 hours total.

Cement takes time to “cure” after poured, so cover loosely with trash bags or an old tarp. This helps the cement to dry slower and will make for a stronger bond. (Keeps it protected from rain and critters also). Do not walk on path for about a week.

Decorate it as you wish!

I used some craft wood painted teal with gold shimmer to create the “wood” door (sunk into cement). After this dried overnight, I then added a second layer of cement and smoothed into grooves with a trowel to “seal” the wood pieces into the cement. Wipe off excess cement promptly.

You can make easy DIY cement “mushrooms” by pouring cement into plastic fruit cups. Add a cut up dowel rod while cement is still wet, allow to dry 3 days. Cut plastic cups off. (Wear goggles to protect your eyes!) Paint fun colors (I used acrylic) and weather seal with clear spray paint.

The smaller items were all flea market finds- a miniature watering can and a small chair.

Baby food jar “lanterns” were strung with twine in between a few plant stakes. The insides were decorated with old ribbon and flowers.

Perfect nic nacks for a fairy or a garden gnome!

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