As a child, some of my most magical memories involved fairies and pixies. I can remember the fascination I felt at the thought of this tiny, delicate community living in the woods. I would roam my garden and search for the “toadstool rings” which would serve as proof that fairies do indeed exist. I would wobble my teeth in the hope that they would soon fall out so that I could carefully place them under my pillow to help this illusive friend I seemed to have acquired, the Tooth Fairy, only to wake up in the morning to find that sparkling new coin left in return, along with a detailed note which I would pore over for hours, as if hearing from a witty pen pal.
I love the thought of creating the same memories for my daughter when she’s old enough, so I set about designing some little trinkets which would captivate her further into the fantasy world. I decided to build a little toadstool house, which she could leave her teeth in for the Tooth Fairy to find. I got inspiration from various photographs I found online, but eventually decided that I needed something unique. I’m going to apologise now for the awful photos as I was working through the night sculpting it, and didn’t really think that the house would turn out very good on the first try anyway. But, in fact, I’m pretty happy with it (although I’m aware it is far from perfect), and would love to share it with you so that you can use it as a gift for a little child you know! It is quite time consuming, but in my opinion, very worth it. What you’ll need:
- Clay (green, red, dark red, light brown, dark brown, white, gold, silver, yellow, blue, grey)
- Small black glitter (optional)
- Butterfly mould (small)
- Rose mould (small)
- Rolling tool
- Cutting tool
- Soft paint brush
- Dotting tool
- A piece of pretty paper/felt
- A cylinder shape (I used an old aerosol bottle)
- Liquid clay
- Corn flour
- Pin or needle
- Aluminum foil
- An oven
- A little bit of dark acrylic paint
Step 1: Make sure you have a very clean surface to work on, and have washed your hands thoroughly. Dust with corn flour, then roll out some white clay so that it’s quite thin, but not floppy. Place your cylindrical object on top and cut around the bottom, into a circle. Gently smooth down the outside with your fingertips. Step 2: Roll out some more white clay and cut a long rectangle, so that it can be attached to the base like this. Smooth down the seem with your fingers so that you can’t see it. TIP: If you can’t blend it enough, you can always put the door on top to cover it up. Then take your dotting tool and use it to smooth and gently press the sides into place on the base, so that it sticks. This is going to form your stem. You can make it as tall as you like, but remember to leave enough space for the door to be stuck on. Step 3: Take some foil and press it tightly, so that it forms a solid squashed sphere shape. You can add more foil onto it so that you can create the desired size. Hold it up and make sure it’s in proportion to the stem. Step 4: Dust your surface again and roll out your red clay. You want it to be pretty thick so that it fills in the bumps on your foil, but not too heavy. Place it over your ball of foil and cover just over half of it. Trim off the excess. Step 5: Clean your surface and roll out more white clay. Make it the same thickness as the red. Cover the rest of your foil with this. Make sure both colours are securely pressed on. Take your cutting tool and make straight indents starting from the middle of the white clay and coming out towards the edge. You can add as many as you like. I ended up drawing in some more lines afterwards, so that it looked slightly more realistic.
Step 6: Roll out more white clay and cut out circles in various sizes. Smooth down the edges with your fingertips. Use small amounts of liquid clay to stick the circles onto the red clay. If you add too much, they’ll slip down the sides. This will harden along with the clay once baked.
Step 7: Mix brown clays until you have a wood-like colour. Cut out this type of shape, making sure it will fit onto your stem. Use your cutting tool to form lines along it, which act as planks of wood. Take your pin and draw tiny squiggles along the planks, to form the wood texture.
Step 8: Roll out some dark brown clay and cut out small rectangles. Place these around the outside of the door shape. Add the same wooden texture, and use your dotting tool to press dots either side of where the planks meet. These will create the illusion of bolts holding them together.
Step 9: Now, take your gold clay and cut out two elongated triangles which will be stuck onto the left side of the door, pointing inwards. Then cut out two pentagon shapes and attach them to the triangles on the door frame.
Step 10: Use some more gold to roll out a tiny ball. Press it lightly between your fingers, and stick onto the right side of the door, where the doorknob should be. Roll an even smaller ball to stick into the middle of the first one. Take your pin and add in some tiny dots around the gold clay shapes.
Step 11: Cut a half circle out of dark brown clay and attach it to the bottom of the hole inside the door shape. Use your dotting tool to make sure it is stuck. Roll out a very thin snake out of dark brown clay, then cut it into the appropriate sizes so that it frames the inside of the hole, and has lines protruding from the half moon shape. Use your dotting tool or needle to ensure they are in place.
Step 12: Roll a small ball of silver clay and press it onto the door where you want the knocker to be. With your dotting tool, press an indent into the centre. Roll out another thin snake using silver, cutting it and wrapping it into a circle. Connect this to the first part using one very small silver rectangle.
Step 13: Slightly mix some yellow and blue clay to form a kind of marbling affect, and use part of it to make a small butterfly with your mould. Stick it on the top right of your door, so that it is facing slightly to the left.
Step 14: Again, create a marbling affect, now using white, grey, and black glitter. Try not to let it mix too much, because you want visible swirls. Roll these into small asymmetric shapes and stick them around the base of the toadstool, so that it appears to be surrounded by cute little pebbles.
Step 15: Now take one little ball of black clay and push it above where you want your sign to begin. Using two thin snakes of grey clay, twist them to form a rope-like effect. Cut it in half and push them onto the toadstool, both beginning from the black ball and coming down diagonally, like the above picture. Cut out one brown piece of clay and push it on at the bottoms of the “rope”, then make small indents where the rope would meet the wood, using your needle. Cut out tiny white squares and place them onto the sign, so that once baked you can paint onto them.
Step 16: Roll out lots of long pieces of green clay and use liquid clay to stick them in random, squiggly directions at both sides of the door. This will create the vines. Let them overlap and reach out over the door- you don’t want it looking too symmetrical. You can add as many as you like! Once you’re happy with that, use your smallest rose mould to create red roses which will be stuck onto the vines.
TIP: If you have patches of the vines you are unhappy with, cover them up with the roses.
Step 17: Take some more white clay, roll it out and cut it into a rectangle. Roll it into a kind of short cylinder shape. You want this to attach to the head of your toadstool so that you can fit it into the base, so make sure it is a few millimeters shorter than the base. Press into the clay to make the indents from the first white clay proceed down to the bottom of the new one. Trim it down to the appropriate size for your toadstool. Use your dotting tool to push the edges into the top, and then lightly brush some liquid clay over where they meet.
Step 18: Using your yellow/blue mixture, make more butterflies (around 5-10) with your mould and glue them onto the top of your toadstool in different positions.
Step 19: Bake everything on gas mark 4 until hard, checking every 5 minutes. It should take around 25 minutes, but it is dependent on how thick your clay is.
Don’t worry, you’re nearly finished!
Step 20: When cool, use your needle and acrylic paint in any dark colour to write “Tooth Fairy” onto your sign. Mine didn’t come out very well, but it is visible. Varnish everything evenly, making sure you get into the little parts.
TIP: If you have any small cracks after baking, like I did, mix a little bit of liquid clay with the desired colour and rub it into the crack with your fingertip. If nothing else, it will reduce it and help the crack to blend in a bit.
Step 21: Lastly, just cut out some of the felt/paper and glue it onto the bottom of the base, and inside. Once everything is dry, it’s ready to use! Just wait for your little one to lose his/her first tooth and leave it for their magical little friend to discover!
I hope you had fun creating this special little gift for a special little person. If you have any questions, please message below. I’d also love to see how yours turned out! Have a magical day!