Fairy Door: If You Build It, Fairies Will Come
A “Little” Background on the Fairy Door
Fairy doors are thought of as portals to a magic realm. One in which the fairy can come and go but we as humans cannot. A fairy door is where we can leave notes and presents to welcome the fairy to our world. On all of the blogs and Facebook pages dedicated to the fairy door, the theme that keeps popping up again and again is the idea that the owner of the fairy door “believes”. Here at Leafcutter, the belief in finding magic in the everyday is an important theme. As Lea likes to say, she is always looking for the poem hiding inside things.
My Favorite Fairy Doors
If you search the internet for fairy doors, you will quickly find references to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Fairies have taken up residence in many local businesses, much to the delight of self-proclaimed “Fairyologist” Jonathan Wright. Urban Fairies Operations is the go to reference for the Ann Arbor phenomenon, including more photos, more fairy door sightings, and even Gnome News.
Michigan seems to be a hotspot for fairies! The city of Northville has so many fairy doors that the chamber of commerce has created a map of all 50 portals. The city’s website has photos of the cute & thematically appropriate doors. They even have names for each fairy resident such as Ivy Merlot, who’s door is attached to the local cellar Simply Wine.
A few years ago, just across the bay in our neighboring city of San Francisco, fairy doors started to pop up along the sides of buildings and on trees. Children’s author Mike Adamick and his daughter have chronicled their discoveries and photos on his blog.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota locals believe an elf resides behind a tiny wooden door in a tree. Park visitors leave notes inside the tree knot asking questions and sometimes seeking advice. The Elf has been carefully writing back to each and every one of the little notes for the last 20 years. He leaves his stack of responses inside the tiny door for this correspondents to search through and find their name.
Back in 2014, more than a hundred tiny doors popped up around Manhattan. They were all placed by random people so they were all different, some had doormats and some even opened. It turns out they were created by fans of author/illustrator Cynthia von Buhler. At Untapped Cities you can find out the full story on what inspired these New York fairy doors and see more photos.
Inspired to do something fun with his son, carpenter Tony Powell made and installed a fairy door at the base of a tree in the middle of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Unfortunately it drew so much attention that the parks service removed it. Powell responded by installing two more doors into the ends of fallen trees in a more secluded spot. At Faery Door you can find the doors’ general location, more photos, Faery Lore, and more.
The city of Dublin, Ohio likes to play up its ties to the city in Ireland. Just this Spring, they debuted the “Irish Fairy Doors of Dublin Trail” which encourages visitors to pick up a passport/map to fill in the names of the fairies who live at each door. Once your Dublin passport is full you can mail it in for a free fairy door themed t-shirt.
I am starting and ending this list with Ann Arbor, Michigan. The University of Michigan recently had a fairy move into a computer in the Computer Science and Engineering department. What’s unique about this mini door is that the windows light up when the computer is on.
How To Get Your Own Fairy Door
This comprehensive kit comes with everything you need to invite a fairy into your home including fairy dust and even tape to adhere the door to your wall. You can even opt to decorate the unfinished wooden door on your own.
The Irish Fairy Door Company seems to be the go-to fairy door company for those who want an “authentic” door. They offer many different colors and shapes of doors. Included with the price of door you get a magic key, stepping stones and access to their website where you register your new fairy and then get stories and updates from your new fairy.
This Etsy shop, FaeKeepers creates whimsical wooden doors by hand. These doors are made with extra care and attention to detail. They come in a few different price points and shapes.
DIY Fairy Doors:
This is the quickest and easiest DIY I found, and you can use whatever you have on hand around your house. The basic materials needed are popsicle sticks and glue, the rest is optional on how far you wish to embellish your fairy door.
The blog Kate’s Creative Space has the approach for someone who wants something between the DIY and buying the whole kit pre-assembled. All you have to do is source the pre-made, non opening dollhouse door and accessories yourself. The post gives some cute inspiration for the way you can play with the idea of fairies for your children.
This fairy door DIY video has instructions on how to make a door from a plain rectangle of wood. No power tools required!
Maintaining the Magic
Fairy doors are probably most commonly found in the knots or roots of trees. However, in the modern age, fairies have moved inside and more and more fairy doors are found indoors. Fairies can either be benevolent and playful or they can be there to keep a watchful eye on things. Many parents choose to install the Fairy Door but not draw attention to it, letting their child discover it on their own. Then to invite the fairy to stay, different sources say you should place some sort of welcoming present at the threshold and wait until the next morning. Once that present is gone, you can be sure that a fairy has moved in.
Now that you know all there is to know about portals to fairyland, get our DIY Tiny Mail Kit to really connect with your new tiny friends. Its the perfect scale and a great way to make the magic really come to life.
Several of the fairy door mentions and posts are a few years old by now. Did the fairies sense that our world needed them at a particular time? Have these fairy doors withstood the test of time? Please let us know in the comments if you have seen a fairy door on the list, have a new one to share or if you have installed your own!