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DIY Elf House or Fairy Door in a Tree

A tree on my property is now home to a little DIY elf house or fairy door.

DIY Elf House on a Tree

I’ve been wanting to make something like this every since we watched Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.  Is it embarrassing that I learned about the Icelandic folklore of elves from a Will Ferrell movie?  Yes, lol.  But in my defence, that movie is awesome.  It is hilarious and quotable, but also visually appealing.  I love the scenery, Rachel McAdams’ character’s fashion sense – just the whole aesthetic, including the row of three little red elf houses featured multiple times.  I wanted to add an “elf house” somewhere on our property and decided now is the perfect time.  We can pretend this is sort of Christmas-y.  Remember the little felt Tomte I made a few Christmases ago?  This is their home 😉

DIY Felt Elves

But in all honesty, I just really wanted to make this and I’m using the holidays as an excuse so it seems less weird.

How to Make an Elf House in a TreeDIY Elf House in a Tree Stump

Hubby thought it would be funny too, so together we found a tree with an exposed root, made a little curved door from a plywood scrap and some odds and sods, and added a stone walkway and birch bark roof.  I glued some faux mushrooms and a bird to some bits of amethyst.  I also gathered more moss from the woods (although lots was growing here already).

DIY Fairy Door in a Tree

Supplies for a DIY Elf House or Fairy Door in Tree:

  • Cardboard (for template)
  • Marker/pencil
  • 1/4″ plywood scrap
  • Jigsaw to cut plywood
  • Clamps to hold it securely
  • Paint
  • “Window” (button or other circular flat object)
  • “Hinges” (metal filigree for jewelry making)
  • “Door handle” (bead, button, shell)
  • Miniature mushrooms
  • Flat stones (for a pathway)
  • Moss
  • Birch bark (for roof)
  • 2-part epoxy or hot glue gun

How to Make a DIY Elf House or Fairy Door in Tree:

The fun in making a little DIY elf house in a tree is to use found objects so you can do this however you please (you can even buy fairy doors online), but here’s how to make our little DIY elf house.  Start with a piece of cardboard to create a template for a door that will fit snugly into an exposed tree root.  Cut out the door  out of 1/4″ plywood, using the template and a jigsaw – make sure to clamp it in place.  Sand the surface and edges smooth.  This is optional, but hubby had the genius idea to use a hand saw and a straight edge to add some depth to the door – so it looks like it’s made from mini planks of wood.

How to Make a Fairy Door

I spray painted it with left over chalk paint (any paint will do).  I had a random little metal detail that we cut in half and glued on with 5-minute epoxy to make “hinges”.  I glued on a small sea shell for a door handle and a round button for a window.  The door and roof are snugly friction fit.  The “snow” is salt (I didn’t want to use anything fake/poisonous, in case animals sniff around here).

DIY Fairy Door in a TreeDIY Elf House in a TreeHow to Make a Fairy Door in a Tree

Look how teeny!  There is a wooded area between our house and the road and this is in that spot, visible from our driveway/garage so we can enjoy it every day.  I love walking past and catching a glimpse of this – this little DIY elf house, or fairy door, just makes me smile.

DIY Fairy Door in Tree Base

You can really get creative with this and make little decorations using fimo clay or scour the thrift stores for miniatures.  The craft stores/dollar stores/Amazon normally have little mini stuff like this too, but I bet most homes have little random bits and bobs kicking around that can be re-imagined as fairy house decor.  I’m not even sure where those mushrooms came from, or how long I’ve been hoarding them in my craft stash, but they finally came in handy, haha.

Tree Trunk Elf House DIY

We have such a LONG list of fall chores to get done around here to winterise the property and house, so it’s ridiculous we spent an afternoon doing this, but it was also fun and a much needed break from thinking about serious things.  This DIY elf house is a lot of fun to make – with or (in our case) without kids.

How to Build an Elf House Outside

Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

DIY Fairy Door

DIY Elf House in a Tree Project

Today I’m joining some of my talented blogging friends for our first Christmas Seasonal Simplicity post of the year. We’re all sharing our holiday DIY or craft projects with you today!  Be sure to check out these fabulous ideas by clicking on the links below each image.

How to Flock Natural Greenery at The Happy Housie

DIY Winter Village Wreath at Modern Glam

DIY Christmas Jingle Bells Hanging Decoration at Zevy Joy

Modern Organic Christmas Wreath at Cherished Bliss

Air Dry Clay Christmas Star Lights at Clean & Scentsible

Anthropologie Inspired Holiday Felt Wreath at Tatertots and Jello

Polymer Clay Christmas Village at Life is a Party

Free Advent Calendar at The Handmade Home

Embroidery Hoop Love Sign at Craftberry Bush

Jingle Bell Wood Bead Garland at Lolly Jane

Homemade Pom Pom Garland at Sincerely, Marie Designs

DIY Dollar Tree Succulent Christmas Tree at The DIY Mommy

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar at She Gave it a Go

DIY Faux Leather Trees at My Sweet Savannah

DIY Orange Hoop Wreath at Cassie Bustamante

Easy DIY Christmas Pillow Case at The Tattered Pew

3D Hot Cocoa Sign and Printable at Rambling Renovators

DIY Elf House at Dans le Lakehouse

Farmhouse Style Holiday Wood Banner at Home Made Lovely

Joanna Gaines Inspired Christmas Village at Fynes Designs

Christmas Canvas at Two Twenty One

Modern Whimsical Snowflake Christmas Tree at This is Simplicite

DIY Holiday Cutting Board at Joanna Anastasia

22 Christmas DIY Projects



  1. November 4, 2020 / 6:59 am

    step 1: move to canada where there are magical forests…. this is so cute!

  2. Wilma
    November 4, 2020 / 1:58 pm

    Love, love, love.

  3. Miss Boots
    November 4, 2020 / 2:31 pm

    Hahaha….I loved that movie too – so original and really just charming.
    Your fairy door/elf house is so cute!

    • November 5, 2020 / 10:43 am

      That movie was released just when we all needed a feel good movie too.
      (and thank you!)

  4. November 4, 2020 / 8:02 pm

    Tanya this is seriously the cutest thing ever! My girls would love this. I can’t wait to show it to them!

  5. Oona
    November 5, 2020 / 11:42 pm

    I’m already thinking about how I can smuggle an elf-door kit into a relative’s house so they can set it up as a surprise for their six-year-old. They’re in a rental city center rowhouse right now, but I’m guessing there will be a nook or cranny somewhere that would be a good place for a city elf’s tiny door. Maybe attach it with Command strips? Hmmm… Love where your ideas take us, Tanya!

    • November 8, 2020 / 7:25 pm

      Oh that would be such a sweet surprise! And command strips would work perfectly! Great idea – I always love hearing your clever ideas.

  6. Kelsey
    November 8, 2020 / 12:27 pm

    Super cute! Maybe I’ll make this with my kids and add it to our little fairy garden planter. I will switch the salt for sugar maybe, since it rains a lot here and the salt would kill off the moss. Thanks for the ideas?

    • Kelsey
      November 8, 2020 / 12:28 pm

      I don’t know where the question mark came from! I meant to use an exclamation mark 🤦‍♀️

    • November 8, 2020 / 7:24 pm

      I hope your kids enjoy this! And oops – I never thought about the salt killing off the moss! Sugar is a good idea 🙂

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