How To Make A Fairy Garden On a Budget

One way to enjoy potted plants, whether indoors or out, is to use them in fairy gardens. While fairy gardens have been around for many years, they really seem to have taken off over the past few years. And rightly so. I mean, why not create miniature whimsical worlds with teeny tiny figurines and small garden plants? 

I resisted the urge for a long time, but the fairy garden bug bit me this spring and I now have not only one —  but two — fairy gardens. While neither is elaborate, they’re both sufficiently cute and were super easy and cheap to make. So read on for my tips and tricks for how to make a fairy garden on a budget. 


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My interest in fairy gardens was piqued when a local greenhouse sponsored a fairy garden scavenger hunt. They displayed about 30 different fairy gardens throughout their greenhouse, including the windmill “garden” above. My daughter insisted we go and the rest is history.

They also had some super cute fairies having tea in another fairy garden.

And some unicorn fairies as well.

They even had a fairy riding on a bird.  Needless to say they gave us great inspiration to complete our own fairy garden.

Our concept started with the container — a galvanized tub from the Dollar Tree. I absolutely love the French words written on the side of it (flowers and garden). We drilled holes in the bottom of the container and then placed a few small rocks there, over the holes, to help with drainage. Then it was time to add some tiny figurines into the mix!

I must admit that our first fairy garden was created on the spot at the garden center and we did not necessarily get the best prices for the figurines. But we did provide our own container, and they gave us the special mix of dirt that’s best for fairy gardens for free. They also gave us some decorative rocks to add to the mix.

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The star of the show, beside the fairy, has to be the llama. My daughter absolutely loves llamas and she got very excited when we found this mini one for sale. 

However, I thought the fairy she chose was absolutely darling. She has such an expectant look on her face. 

We added a Welcome arrow sign, a mailbox and a door. Every fairy garden needs a proper door! We also added some small rocks to create a path to the door as well as to secure the door so it wouldn’t fall over.

So while this first fairy garden was not bare bones cheap, two of the figures (Welcome arrow sign and mailbox) came from the Dollar Tree, and some of the greenery (tiny faux trees in the very back) I already had on hand. The fairy, llama and door together cost around $16.00 total. 

The plants used were a Goldcrest Lemon Cypress Cone (cute “tree” on the right) and a 4 inch Selaginella plant (on the left). The two plants cost around $10.00. That’s because the mini Lemon Cypress is expensive ($7.00) but I caved for it since I’ve had two regular sized ones for quite some time now and I love them! 

But truly, you can put together a very cute fairy garden with Dollar Tree figurines and convenience store plants and be just as happy with the outcome. To that end, let me share just what darling fairy garden-worthy figurines I did come across at the Dollar Tree, some of which were used in fairy garden number #2  below.

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Three cute fairies, each doing their own thing, all for one dollar.

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Another one dollar  purchase — a fairy garden bridge!

I immediately fell in love with this fairy garden bistro set — it’s made of leaves! And yes, it cost one dollar.

Here it is up close. Darling.

This gazebo was a Dollar Tree purchase.

As was this Welcome arch.

These three garden figurines were also one dollar total. I especially love the little bicycle planter on the right. 

I bought three tiny fairy garden plants for $1.29 each at my local nursery.

Once again, I picked up this door at the nursery for more than I would have liked, but apparently fairy garden doors come at a premium. I think it was around $4.99. 

And here’s the whole shebang. Unfortunately, I could not get a good picture of fairy garden #2 so it’s a bit far away. But I think you get the gist.

Here are some close-ups.

I just love the fairy with the book in her lap! And do you see the gnome in the background? He was part of  another Dollar Tree fairy garden set.

And this fairy holding her bouquet of flowers on the bridge. Can you see the blue “water” flowing under the bridge? The whole thing came together in no time and at very little cost.

DIY Fairy Garden Supplies

1. container with drainage holes (Dollar Tree)

2. potting soil (Dollar Tree)

3. plants (real and faux)

4. small rocks for bottom of container (Dollar Tree)

5. fairy/gnome/other figurines (Dollar Tree)

6. crushed blue glass (optional – Michael’s)

7. awl (optional)

8. roll of moss (optional – Michael’s)

How To Make An Inexpensive Fairy Garden 

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1. Start off with an inexpensive container. I chose a large plastic bowl from Dollar Tree.

2. Make sure the container has drainage holes. I made my own holes by poking an awl through the plastic. It was super simple. 

3. Put a layer of small stones over the holes to help with drainage.  

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4. Fill the container with potting soil. I got this bag at Dollar Tree.

5. Use colored glass pieces for the stream. I picked these up at Michael’s for 50 % off or $3.00.

How To Make A Fairy Garden On a Budget

6. Use a roll of moss to create pathways as part of your garden. I got this for $3.99 plus 30% off. I only used a small amount so I have a ton left for other projects.  

7. Add your ponds, mossy pathways and plants, as well as your special fairies and all their accessories, of course.  

While not all Dollar Tree locations carry the exact same items, you should still be able to fashion your own fairy garden out of similar items from their stores. And if Dollar Tree isn’t your jam, I’ve provided links below for additional DIY fairy garden elements you might like:

For containers you might start out with a plastic window flower box  or balcony rail planter. As for accessories, you could always start out with a fairy garden fish pond, or maybe a fairy garden swing set. You could also stock your fairy garden with its own windmill house or even a mini dragon. The possibilities are endless.  

Other possible material sources:

I’m not sure how long my interest in fairy gardens will continue, but for now it’s a great opportunity to share my love of plants with my daughter in a truly fun and whimsical way. 

Well, that’s it until next time, friends! 

I hope you enjoyed reading about 

How To Make A Fairy Garden 

and that I’ve inspired you in some way.

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How To Make A Fairy Garden On a Budget