Ever since I saw a well on Pinterest I decided I NEEDED to make one myself. I mean look how cute my first try turned out, imagine what anyone with more skill than me, can do. And I’m sure once I’ll try and make them again I’ll get better and better. There are other doable designs out there, but I choose to make the ones with pebbles as a challenge. So here is what you need to know on how to do a Fairy Well so you can do it yourself even if you lack skill.
When I planned to make myself a Fairy Well, I wasn’t sure what materials I needed, so I figured out the steps on my own. Here is the list:
– Pebbles – the size you need, and also a bit smaller, cuz maybe you’ll need to fill in some gaps.
– Construction Plaster – I bought the smallest bag I could find, unfortunately that is 5 kg. Make sure it’s a powder that mixes with water, only the amount you need, and it is easily spread and doesn’t harden too quick.
– Paper cylinder – from your toilet paper roll, or from paper towels if you want to go bigger.
– One ice cream stick – I cut it in 2
– 2 matches – cut the burner out
– A piece of thick paper, or just a folded regular paper.
– A piece of cooper wire or a thin and long stick – you’ll need this to hang the bucket on.
– A small chain – for the bucket
– Water glue – it will dry slowly
– Fast dry glue.
– A multipurpose varnish to make it waterproof.
– A piece of cardboard – big enough to cut pieces of tiles for the roof.
– And paint – to paint the roof top, I used acrylics. If you would use pine cone scales the paint won’t be necessary, however, I find pine cones too stiff to work with, and the cardboard glued super fast and blended well with the other pieces.
Step 1 – making the base
I took the toilet paper cylinder and spread some plaster on, just on a 1-2 inches and just on about half of the roll. Don’t cut the roll, it will help you hold onto something while rotating to put pebbles all around. Then put the pebbles on the surface you applied your plaster starting with the upper row, the one in the middle of the roll, so you can form the straightest line you can manage, and the last row. Assemble the “jigsaw” puzzle out of pebbles, and when needed fill gaps with little ones. Some might drop in the process, just apply the paste on the pebble and shove it in their spot again. After you finished it let it dry as long as you can. I let mine over night, cuz I would’ve been too anxious to let it during the day, as I would want to touch it every 2 seconds. And cut the extra paper roll.
Cut the ice-cream stick in 2 using a thin saw. Use the fast dry glue to glue the sticks to the base on the inside, where the paper roll is. After it dries add the two matches on each stick at the end, so the roof will settle on them, this will form the letter T, or a cross if the ice-cream stick looks a bit too long. Make the cooper wire, shaped like an L at the end, just a bit, to make it look like a lever that you pull the bucket out with. I found my bucket on a site, made out of tin, and really cute, but I was thinking before finding it, that I could make one out of a walnut shell, or if I could find a big acorn I’ll try and empty it. I would probably glue a thick, old looking, string to it and clip the chain on it and on the lever. I made 2 small pieces of wire, in the shape of J letter, and glued one on each ice-cream stick, so I would be able to put the lever, with the bucket, on them.
Step 3 – making the roof
Make a V shaped roof out of paper, make sure it is a bit bigger than the well, that it settles on the matches well and it is not too long so you can still see the well from every side. I made holes in the paper with a screw where the matches would fall and put them thru with a bit of glue. Cut tiles from the cardboard and take a water based glue, that’s good with paper, to glue them to the rooftop. Just spread a tiny line of glue, from top to bottom and start put the tiles, starting with the bottom one, then on top of the first another one, and so on. When you finish with the tiles, cut another long piece to finish the roof with, and glue it on top of the last row of tiles, bent it in half, on the long part, before you attach it, just make sure it’s the right size.
Step 4 – Finish it off
You can start paper machete-ing the roof a bit. Use water based glue and pieces of a paper napkin, or toilet paper. If the toilet paper has more layers, try and get just one. I used white toilet paper. The cardboard is made of layers too, so the margins will show some wholes, the hollow in the cardboard pieces, so I tried and masked that, just the side view, the bottom row and the top long pieces. It would’ve been too hard to get the paper and glue around every tile, but the hollows aren’t a problem there. After you finish it, give a generous layer of glue on the entire roof, and let it dry. After it dries start painting it. Better not to use water at all, just plain paint. You can use just brown, or get some fine yellow stripes in there after you put the darker brown. Tiny smudges of green work too. You can always play with the natural colors you would find in a garden, or stick to one color, it will be fine. I painted the ice-cream sticks too, and the matches, all green. Then varnish it, after the paint dries too, to make it waterproof. Maybe wait a few hours and give another layer of varnish, just to make sure.
AND you’re done! It’s a bit time consuming, because of all the waiting, but I say it’s worth it.
Probably sounds harder than it is, but you won’t know until you start. You can always come back here to show us your progress or ask for advice. Or even propose other projects that I should try and make for the first time and then describe the process to you. I would love a challenge 🙂