Our house is home to numerous fairies. We have the tooth fairy (of course), Lily and Megan’s personal fairies, and the book fairies (Remind me to tell you about them another time). This is my fault because ever since I found a flower fairy book by Cecily Mary Barker when I was a child, I have been enchanted. We love a bit of magic in our house so expect lots of fairy posts to follow!
I made Lily a fairy door with ladder leading directly to her bed when she was feeling sorry for herself because she was the last person in her class to lose a tooth. I told her we would encourage fairies to visit anyway with a door of her own. Many, many letters back and forth later, I wondered whether this had been a good idea, but nevertheless, you can’t do one girl without the other. So Megan got her door for her birthday and I thought making the ladder together would be great fun. You can have a go at making your own door, or if that’s a little daunting, buy one from me here. Maybe when you see how easy it is to make the ladder, you will have a go with your little one.
- twigs (we’re lucky enough to have woods behind our house, but these can be collected anywhere)
- string or twine (cotton is not strong enough for this project)
- Glue (pva or craft glue is great)
- glitter glue, or glitter to be used with your glue
- embellishments of your choice (we have flowers and hearts)
1. Select a straight twig and make sure any stubbly bits are snapped off. Line up the twig with the base of the door, so you can decide how long you want each rung of the ladder to be.
2. Cut the twig at the point you decide. Meg cut these herself with normal scissors so no saws needed! Use these first twig as your visual aid for cutting the rest. We didn’t bother marking the wood. It doesn’t create problems if some are longer than others, it just adds to the charm!
3. Cut as many twigs as you think you may need. This will depend entirely on where you are planning to put your door, and where the ladder will lead to. More is better than less, so make sure you have plenty.
At this point we went up to Meg’s room so we could see where we were putting the door. The girls have bunk beds in their room and Meg wanted the ladder to lead from the door to her bed so the fairy could easily reach under her pillow to collect letters and leave gifts. Again, we did not bother with measuring with rulers. We held the string up to the door, and stretched it to the bed, adding roughly 10cm extra either end so it could be tied to the bedstead and stuck behind the door itself.
4. Measure out a second length of string the same. These two lengths of string will make the ladder itself. Take one length, and leaving roughly 10 cms form an open knot and slot one of your cut twigs into it. Pull tight. Single knots work fine because once complete the tension of the ladder will stop the knots unraveling. I made the open knot, Meg added the twig and we pulled it tight together. Repeat leaving an equal space between each rung until you have roughly 10cms of string left.
5. The second piece of string is then tied on repeating the instructions above. This is a bit trickier because you need to tie the string in the same place as the original so your ladder isn’t wonky! At this point Meg watched some cartoons whilst I finished off. Definitely form the knot first before inserting the twig because then you can adjust the position of the knot before it’s tied.
6. Now for the best bit, decorating! Meg loved this bit and did it all alone, sticking on flowers, hearts and lots of glitter. This is where craft glue is handy with the concentrated applicator, but the plastic glue applicators like we had at school, or a paint brush with pva would work just as well.
7. Quick tip with glitter, remember to put some card or paper underneath where you are pouring so you can pull it out and fold to tip back the excess glitter into the bottle. Then there’s no need to get cross about glitter being wasted!
Look at that proud little face! Give the ladder plenty of time to dry, and then you can stick it to the back of your door with glue or tape and attach to the wall.