DIY Air Plant & Fairy Box

September 09, 2017


Acquiring Your Fairy Box

Find something old, moldy, wooden, and brimming with character. Most likely located in the basement. A place used to house spiderwebs, random old Cassette tapes, and most importantly future Fairystring DIY projects.

Our suggestion is to begin your search with a soft cake and a trip to Grandma’s house. If your grandparents aren’t close, any old person in your neighborhood will suffice. Set aside an entire day of talking and looking at family photographs.

Keep in mind this is the most important step of the project, because once you start doing stuff to your Fairy Box, it becomes really hard to turn back and very difficult to hide or repurpose (hence why you found it in the basement).

We chose a two ton wooden shelf that we thought would be fun to transport back to our 5th story apartment 3 hours away by rental car.

Potential Fairy Boxes come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. Your’s could be anything from a Chinese door to a window frame, just make sure your unit is able to sustain a hammer and nails.

Depending on your climate you should find some dead bugs inside or on the surface of your project. Wipe them out immediately. Keep water bottles close to wash the barf taste from your mouth.

Here’s a picture: 

Adding Fairystring

Map out the pattern, direction, and spacing of your desired Fairystring placement. We chose a zig-zag pattern along the inside back panel of the shelf. Since we didn’t want this project to look like we did it with our eyes closed, we evenly measured the intervals where the lights were to be strung.

Spacing the nails 2cm away from the edge of each wooden panel and then 8cm in the middle.
Here’s a picture:

Since there was a crack in between the side and bottom panels we determined this to be the best place for the Fairystring to exit the shelf and plug into the wall. If you aren't close to a wall plug and need to use a battery we suggest adding an extra nail to the back and placing your battery in a little baggy to hang.

Hammer your nails to the back panel leaving .5in of the nail visible. Indubitably there is a more elegant tool than this but, use a fork to pry the nail upwards when hammering becomes impossible. 

Plug into a battery or wall plug, and boom. You’re done. To ensure durability, wrap your Fairystring around the nails at least twice.

If your Fairystring isn’t long enough, don’t fret you can always size up with the Fairystring XL ;). Or, try placing books or other objects in the “dead zone” as a great cover up!

I completed this project in Germany where things are done VERY differently than the mainland US. I went to a German “Home Depot” and to say it was absolute hell finding what I needed would be an understatement. I dragged my ten year old son with me on this four hour labyrinthine journey. I thought he understood most German, but 50% of his translations seemed to lead us to down the light bulb or inflatable mattress aisle.

After walking around the store twelve times my eureka moment happened when I finally found the perfect piece of wood to use for my air plants. Only, it was four times too long. I figured I would go up to the employee slicing wood in the back and have my son ask him to help me. He shouted something that sounded like no, and pointed to the front. After checking out I realized he had tried to inform me that customers have to slice their own wood with a rusty saw chained to a table near the exit. I’ve seen people cut wood more gracefully using a set of keys. With saw in hand, annoyed and on the verge of a break down, I obliged.

While researching how to make an air plant it was really difficult to find anyone who laid out step by step how to do it. So I just decided to wing it and see if I could do it myself. Air plants are generally available for purchase at your local home improvement store.

It actually turned out pretty cute. But, next time I think I would choose a thinner rope and smaller air plants.  

Adhere screw hook to Fairy Box. This will be the tool that your Air Plant hangs from.

Take both of your 6in pieces of wood and with the hot glue gun secure your air plants to the wooden pieces. Don’t worry about leaving space for the rope as it will be adhered to the back of the wooden blocks.

Once your air plants have been securely adhered, take your 1ft of rope and using the hot glue gun evenly secure the ends of the rope to the back of the bottom most wooden block. Take your top block and put it perfectly in line with the bottom block leaving 3in-4in of space in between. Make sure the blocks are evenly in line with one another. If they’re slightly off, the air plant will not hang correctly. Using the hot glue gun adhere the top block to the rope and let dry.

Hang your air plant from the hook, and you're done! Finally!

This DIY was actually more difficult than I had originally thought. However, repurposing a house for old spiders into a cool Fairy Box was totally worth it. I thought it would take me a couple of hours, but to be honest it took me MUCH longer. The reason being because the box traveled halfway across Germany, through two apartments, and was completed by introducing myself to neighbors and asking to use their tool box. 

Would I do it again? YES! 

Until the next update, all the best! 


1 Response


September 11, 2017

Quite clever you must get that from McQuiver!!!!!!

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