Upgrade your garden from green to enchanted by inviting in members of the fairy world with a handmade fairy door. These small doors serve as portals to the magical realm by presenting a fairy-sized invitation into your garden or home. Fairy doors make whimsical garden decorations, as well as additions to baseboards and cabinets. They make excellent housewarming gifts, or you could fill your own garden with a variety of doors for fairies, gnomes, elves and hobbits.

Fairytale house
credit: OndrejVladyka/iStock/Getty Images
A fairy door can be a portal to a magical realm.

Step 1

Lay a sheet of plywood on a work surface. Measure and mark a rectangle 2 feet high and 1 foot wide. Saw the rectangle free from the plywood and lay it flat.

Step 2

Use a pencil to draw a curved top to the door by drawing half circles just under each upper corner. Saw the corners off following the curved lines, using a jigsaw. This makes a door with a square base and an arched top.

Step 3

Use sandpaper to smooth the edges all around the fairy door, paying special attention to rough areas left by the saw. Rub the sandpaper over the flat front and back sides of the door as well. Carefully run your bare hands lightly over the door to feel for rough areas or splinters and sand them away.

Step 4

Lay the door flat and paint the top side and edges with the first coat of either the wood stain or exterior paint, whichever you prefer. Allow it to dry, then flip the door over and paint a coat on the back side. After drying, repeat by painting a second coat on both sides and all the edges.

Step 5

Measure and mark 3 inches from the edge of the bottom right-hand corner of the door. In the same way, measure 3 inches in from the edge of the left-hand corner. Continue marking 3 inches in from the perimeter up each side of the door and around the arched top. Lightly trace this new perimeter with a pencil. This is a 3-inch border around the door you may decorate as a fairy door jamb.

Step 6

Paint the 3-inch door jamb a darker or lighter color than the main door. Arrange decorative stones, pebbles, plastic gemstones, shells, dried flowers and moss, or other items in the 3-inch jamb. Glue all the decorations in place.

Step 7

Add a doorknob to the fairy door. Choose a decorative cabinet knob--they are available in a wide variety of colors, materials and designs in hardware or home-improvement stores. Mark the location of the knob halfway up the door and 1 inch in from the door jamb on either side. Predrill a hole to match the screw included in the cabinet knob. Screw the knob into the hole until it is tight.

Step 8

Use acrylic paint to add details to the door like faux wood grain, address numbers, the names of your imaginary fairy family or other fun details. Decide on a location for the fairy door in your home or garden. Most fairy doors are placed at the base of large trees or stumps, floor level even with baseboards, or cabinet level on top of kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

Step 9

Place the door against the tree or wall, drill two holes through the door jamb into the wall and screw a 1 1/2-inch wood screw through each hole to secure the door to the wall. Cover each screw head with wood putty and paint to disguise it.