Updated: Mar 19
Sometimes, we just need to slip away from the pressures of everyday life and recharge for a while in a beautiful, peaceful space. For those of us who love to read, the idea of taking refuge in a magical fairytale forest captivates the imagination.
If you're lucky enough to have an extra closet in your home that you can repurpose, it's actually quite simple to bring that particular literary dream to life and create an enchanting fairy forest in your own home! And if you have permission to remove the door of said closet, you can multiply the fanciful impact of your secret space by attaching a secondhand wardrobe/cabinet to the opening and use that as the door ... let me show you how!
Begin by removing all the hardware inside your closet, including clothing rods and shelves.
My closet happened to have a window and an overhead fluorescent light, but if yours doesn't have a source of light, think about whether you can bring in a lamp and run a cord to a nearby outlet, or if you'd like to use a battery-operated lanterns, or whether you'll need to purchase a stick-on light like this from your local home store.
Cover the walls of your closet space with a self-stick mural, which looks like wallpaper but is much simpler to install. Choose your favorite forest scene, and paint any trim inside the closet in a nice deep green so it fades into the background.
If you have a flat door that can be covered with this same mural paper, go ahead and use that, but if your door has raised panels, or is a folding door, consider hanging a forest-themed wall hanging/tapestry instead.
Collect any artificial trees or plants you have around the house, then scour your local thrift shop, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for a few more. A six-foot tree will cost you about $100 new, but you can find used decorative potted trees for as little as $25. Place these in the corners of your fairy forest, to give dimension to your woodland wall coverings.
Hang some strings of lights from your ceiling or wrap them around your larger trees. Again you'll need to consider the location of your nearest electrical outlet, but ideally you'll be able to snake a cord under the closet door.
You can choose to paint your ceiling the same dark green as your trim, or perhaps a midnight blue with some stars for an enchanted evening effect. My closet had a huge 2-foot by 2-foot fluorescent light fixture on the ceiling, so I hung a piece of wood lattice a few inches below it, and wove artificial branches and flower vines through it, along with more strings of tiny lights.
I used my Fairy Forest as part of an escape room game, so I sprung for a cool paper mache tree in the corner (see photo above). You won't need to go quite that far, but if you do feel like building something amazing for your space, take a look at this awesome video by Rokolee DIY about making a book-page covered tree from wire.
Once you've completed the walls and ceiling of your forest, you can decide how you'd like to decorate your floor.
A large quilt will make a beautiful picnic-like space, and you can add all sorts of soft pillows for visitors who'd like to lie down and read in your enchanted woodland.
Or, you might prefer to put down a green or brown fuzzy rug to replicate grass or leaves on the forest floor.
Most closets won't have room for furniture beyond some big pillows and a small bookcase, but you can definitely finish your space with some magical forest-themed accessories.
Consider wooden stump tables, picnic baskets, fairy lanterns and statues, stuffed woodland animals like deer and rabbits, and of course, piles and baskets of books everywhere. Add a little bird on one of your branches, or a tiny fairy house at the base of a tree.
Your fairy forest can become an inviting and inspirational space where readers can be alone with their thoughts. Stock your space with blank journals and pens, special boxes for treasures that can be locked, and perhaps even a set of gauze fairy wings. And check out this amazing wooden treehouse for tiny dolls!
And now your Fairy Forest is ready for its own fairies to move in! As I mentioned at the outset, I have another post that describes how I modified a vintage armoire to become the doorway of my forest, if you'd like to learn more about that.
Good luck, and enjoy your dreamy new space!
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