Sunday, January 27, 2013 1 comments

Tutorial: Fairy House Tree Pt. 6

Awww the bunnies are here! They're checking out the root cellar today but will live in the foot of our weeping cherry tree...

Part 6 of our tutorial has us waking to a cracked up first floor. Everywhere that the clay met the wooden base, shrinkage was significant and caused cracking in the clay. Not to worry! We will smooth more clay to fill in the cracks.

The clay will dry/shrink different amounts depending on where you live. I live in dry conditions at very high altitude, so sometimes I get unexpected results with air dry clay...

Downstairs cracks all better. I just smoothed a 2nd coat over the cracks.

Next, I started the clay application for upstairs. After initial application, you can see finger marks. Just dip fingers into warm water to gently smooth the surface.

It's fun to leave part of the surface uneven - more rustic.

Our final window install.

I really have to finalize the roof. I haven't yet found the piece of vintage hardware I'd like to use.

The start of forming the fish pond.

The bunny burrow.

The downstairs ceiling.

Next time: more clay on the exterior and sculpting of the tree...

Thanks for following along! Tori

Monday, January 21, 2013 6 comments

Tutorial: Fairy House Tree Pt. 5

Today, I started applying clay to the tree trunk. I'm using a product called CelluClay. It comes in white or gray. I've always used the white but the gray would work fine and it is easier to find. I like to start with a lighter surface and paint my way darker instead of starting with a darker surface prior to painting. 

CelluClay can be purchased at Hobby Lobby and lots of places online. It's cheaper per pound to buy a 5lb box and this project will probably require around 10 lbs (see Amazon). This clay air dries rock hard within 24 hours and can be sanded, drilled, nailed and painted, if desired.

The recipe calls for 32oz of water mixes with 1 lb (box) of CelluClay.

Mix carefully with a spoon to wet the paper clay. The dust is very fine and so try to avoid creating lots of dust and breathing it in. I mix initially with a spoon and then just used my hands for the bulk of the mixing.

You'll need your bowl of mixed CelluClay, a cup of warm water and a damp towel.

Pat a glob of CelluClay into your hands - it'll be sticky - and wipe across the tree surface. Dip fingers in water to smooth the surface nicely. It's worth taking the time to smooth carefully now - sanding later would take way more work!

The exterior of the house (on the opposite side from where you're working) will have a diamond (lathe) shaped surface. That's ok. We'll smooth the exterior later after the interior is dried.

This wall is now ready for the window to be installed.

I applied white glue all around the perimeter of the window and carefully placed it into the wall opening.

Be sure to rotate your work and get the window lined up perfectly from interior and exterior view. Press some of the CelluClay around the window and smooth with damp fingers.

This pic shows how far 1lb (box) of CelluClay covers when sculpting.

Now, for the second downstairs window. I taped the curtains to keep them dry and out of the way.

I worked CelluClay all across the floor and into the entry area with special care taken around the root cellar floor.

The first floor interior is completed (except for ceiling). This took 2 boxes (lbs) of CelluClay. The sculpture should be left untouched to dry for at least 24 hours before any work can continue.

Next time, more clay! Thanks for following along and I'd love to see your projects :)


Sunday, January 20, 2013 0 comments

Tutorial: Fairy House Tree Pt. 4

Welcome to part 4 of the fairy house tree house tutorial :). Thanks for looking!

In this installment, I further stabilize the tree sculpture, attach weeping foliage and build a root cellar.

I created the weeping cherry bonsai foliage using pretty paper flowers from Hobby Lobby.

I added paint, glitter and semi-precious stones from my jewelry supplies.

I taped the foliage in place using masking tape.

I tied copper wire around the tree to further secure it to the base.

I secured the tree with wire every 2" or so.

I decided to add one more tree branch.

Ahhhh... Such a treat to see the tree blossoming into life!

I love the view from inside the house.

I added some additional tree lighting using these super teeny LED chips. All lighting is 3V LED and purchased via

To complete wiring, wrap red to red and black to black.

Keep testing the lights while you work.

It's sooo helpful to have a lazy susan so you can turn the sculpture while working.

Next, I created the wee root cellar. I started with a piece of small wire mesh.

I hot glued the wire mesh to the stick foundation.

I cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to create a rustic brick interior and glued it into place.

I tested the root cellar space to make sure it would accomodate a shelf.

That's all for now. Next time, final tweaks and application of clay! Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions :)