MillWorks: Fairy Door/Mouse Door

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Fairy Door/Mouse Door

Make a door for your household fairy or mouse!

Begin by finding a rock for your door's foundation/step. This is the most important piece, so here are some things you want to look for. The rock should be completely flat (at least for about an inch near the edge) and at least four inches wide. There should be an edge that's completely straight. You can check this out by placing that edge against a wall and seeing if it fits tightly.

Next, head to your local craft store and go to the dollhouse section. Get ready for some fun! Find an unfinished wood interior door that you like. Exterior doors often have windows, so an interior door is your best bet. A window will ruin the illusion of something being behind the door, because the wall will show through.

Now that you have found your door, find little extras that will help make it yours. Mine has a kickplate, knob, and knocker, but other things that will add to it might be house numbers and a set of lost keys. Let your creativity shine!

Back at home, stain and varnish or paint the door. I like stain because it looks like a fancy, old-fashioned door, but if a child is helping with the craft, craft paint will allow him/her to help out a little bit with what a craft an adult has to do the majority of. Leave the bottom edge--the part that will touch the rock--unfinished if you'd like, because that will help with gluing it down.

After the door has completely dried and cured, it's time to attach the door parts. Some will come with little brass tacks, which you can put in carefully. If the part didn't come with them, use superglue to glue them on. I am not a big superglue fan--it's stinky and messy and takes forever to dry. But this craft, unfortunately, does require it since craft paint just doesn't do the job. Before you attach anything, take a look at the way the door will be oriented. The details should go on the side where the moulding juts out most. The door will probably open inward (toward the wall) when you do this. Keep the bulk of the door on the side you add the details to. You want the thin side of the door to be the one that goes against the wall. There's no need to add any details to the interior side of the door. Glued-on parts may take a day or so to dry.

Once the door is completely finished, superglue it to the far edge of the rock. Check to make sure it's straight. Let this dry per the glue's instructions, or even extra time, before use.

This indoor-use-only fairy or mouse door looks best and most realistic if placed on a wall that doesn't have any moulding (or only really thin moulding). It can also be placed up on a shelf.

Says:

Years ago, I kept seeing fairy doors in catalogs and thinking, "How cute!" But the professional ones are made of resin, and in my experience "made of resin" is synonymous with "broken within a month!" I made this door soon afterward, and it's certainly a conversation piece, whether you decide it's for mice or fairies. Although this craft takes time and patience to complete, it's made of quality materials, looks more realistic than ones on the market, and can even cost less!

Have fun!

Providing crafts since October 2011. Fairy/mouse door instructions first posted in 2012 (the project was completed years prior). Copyright and all contents by Melissa J. Taylor. Resulting products can only be kept or given away as gifts. Always keep safety in mind.