Miniature Gnome Garden

Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Crafts | 31 comments

Miniature Gnome Garden

I have done a couple posts on miniature gardens lately and that started me on creating this Miniature Gnome Garden. At first, I thought this idea was way too much work, but when I got into it, I saw lots of possibilities. It became fun, too. Living near a wooded area, gave me ample supplies to make this. Besides items from nature, I used a plastic whipped topping container for the main base so it’s a bit of a reuse and recycle project, too. A post from Sharon Ojala. was my inspiration.

Miniature Gnome Garden

Materials I used…

Whipped topping plastic container or any other container….  Pringles can, styrofoam take-home containers, boxes, etc.

Tin Foil

Wide Masking Tape

Paper Towel

Tacky Glue

Glue Gun

Sticks, Pine Cones or other materials for a roof

Sheet Moss

12 inch Styrofoam Base

2 shades of Brown Acrylic Paint (or add black to one shade)

Paint Brush

Tag Board or Paper Plate

Scrap Burlap


1. Decide on a container to use. Cut a door opening and windows, if desired.

2. Cover container with crumpled or straight tin foil so that it has texture. This step doesn’t have to be perfect. Use strips of tin foil and keep adding.Hot glue in place. With the foil, you are able to crumple it up so it looks like a tree or any type of texture you like.

Miniature Gnome Garden

3. Cover tin foil with wide masking tape. You need this step as the paper towel doesn’t stick to the foil.

Miniature Gnome Garden

4. Make a mixture of tacky glue and water. Dip paper towel strips into glue mixture and place over masking tape.

Miniature Gnome Garden

This shows the three steps of tin foil, tape (blue), and paper towel. I used blue for this sample so you could see it better. You really can’t go wrong as it will all be painted anyway.

5. When dry, paint. Use two tones of brown to give some shading to the Gnome home.

There are so many possibilities of items to reuse….   Make a castle by using a detergent cap and cone top.

Miniature Gnome Garden

Back to the Miniature Gnome Garden…..

6. Roof:

Cut a circle (don’t worry about size and you can cut it down to fit). Now, cut out 1/4 of the circle and bend around to form a cone and staple it together. Now, fit it to your project and cut it down to size. For this circle, I used a paper salad plate. Tag board works as well, too! If you want a window, cut it out with an exacto knife before putting the roof material on.


Miniature Gnome Garden

If you are going to use pine cones or sticks for the roof, then cover it with brown burlap. This way, the white tag-board won’t show. When you cover it with burlap, don’t worry about how it looks. Just use scraps and hot glue anywhere in place on the tag-board. Cut off excess along the bottom. Other possibilities are using moss, birch bark, or simply painting the roof. Do not glue the roof to your project, yet!

On my roof, I used pine cones and cut the scales off with a scissor. The pinecone scales were open. I didn’t need to dry them in the oven to get them to open. My pinecones had sap on the ends so after cutting the scales, I used hand sanitizer to remove the sap from my hands.  I highly recommend doing this stage outside. The scales sometimes go flying and with the sap, you don’t want this in your home.

Miniature Gnome House

I didn’t worry about how straight the ends were as only the tips show on the roof. For my roof, I used about 6-7 pinecones.

7. Next step is to edge the window, if you have one. I used thin sticks to make the edges finished before I added the scales for the roof. I , also, glued burlap inside to look like curtains.

8. Now you are ready to add the scales. With a glue gun, place a line of glue starting at the bottom of the roof and going about 5 scales wide. Place the scales so they overlap the roof just a little. Add more glue and keep going around. One the second round, start by placing the scales in-between the ones on the first row. This won’t come out exactly even as you can see on my roof, but it looks fine anyway.

Miniature Gnome Garden

9. When you’re completely done, hot-glue the roof onto the painted base. Add some moss or lichens here and there, if desired.

10. For the base, I used a 12″ round styrofoam piece. Do not use hot-glue on the styrofoam! I used a piece of sheet moss on the base and glued it with tacky glue. Then, I attached the house with hot-glue and  used some pins in places that wouldn’t be noticed after adding artificial succulents. You can use any type base for this project.

11. Add pieces of your choice to this Miniature Gnome Garden. I bought two items and then made some pieces by hand. Go to elowezil and see some unique items you can make for your garden.

Miniature Gnome Garden

I made a little fire pit with sticks and added a piece of red tissue paper for a flame.

Miniature Gnome Garden


This is a great project to involve your elementary age child. Let them help and think of things to add to your Miniature Gnome Garden. Remember, this is  a garden to display inside; not outside.

Don’t like gnomes? Change it to a fairy garden! Have fun and use your imagination!



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  1. This is adorable!!! Thank you for sharing with OMHG Wordless Wednesday Link Party.. Have a great day, co-host Evija @Fromevijawithlove x

  2. This is just precious! I love the way you designed the house – I thought it was purchased since it looks so good! What a wonderful “grandma-and-me” project!

    • Yes, it is a great project for kids and adults together!

  3. This is so cute!! You hear about fairy gardens all the time but not gnome gardens. I have to make this with my daughter, she will love it! I am pinning this to remind me.

    • It’s a great project to do with your children. You really can’t make a mistake that you can’t fix. Have fun!

  4. Very cute – Love how you use the pine cones as shingles and a chair.

  5. This is so so cute! I wish I could make one. But I”m just not crafty. Plus I’m on my blog ALL day. lol Glad I found you on Wake Up Wednesday Linky. Following you on Pinterest (jody53) and more. I’m a grandma too!

    • Yea for grandmas! Thanks for following on Pinterest!

  6. This is really just the cutest thing !
    I have a fairy village – thanks so much for the tutorial – off to pin!
    What a beautiful job!

    • Thanks for your kind words! Also, thanks for pinning!

  7. This is so much fun and I am just amazed at the results for the items you used! I have wanted a fairy garden forever and I just may be able to follow this great tutorial to do it. Great post! Pinned!

    • Thanks for pinning and the nice compliments!

  8. They just keep getting cuter, one of these days I will create one. Im gathering things now!
    Hope you have a miniaturistic week!!

    • Can’t wait to see what you create!

  9. This is such a beautiful project… Definitely my taste!

    • Great! Now, make one yourself!

  10. That is pure genius & cute!

  11. what a great way to do that! I’ve been racking my brain and never would have thought of something so simple. Thanks for sharing on Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  12. great tutorial on creating the base. I recently made a couple of fairy houses and one of them had a pine cone roof, too. I can totally appreciate the time it takes to cut and glue each piece. The final product is worth it! The window in the roof is so cute! Great idea!

    • Thanks! It was a fun project!

  13. Looks like you really got into it! I would have too – so much imagination, I love it!

    • Yes, it became a bit addicting!

  14. This is so stinkin’ cute! I love it!

    • Thanks. It was really fun to do.

  15. What a wonderful project? I loved the step- by -step instructions.
    Have a wonderful Thursday.

    • Thank you! Glad you stopped by!

    • Thanks so much!

  16. I appreciate the feature of my post!

  17. Thank you for the lovely feature!


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