Making Teacup Gardens with Children

Teacup fairy garden Take a peek into the fairy garden this afternoon, and you might notice that it is tea time! The garden fairies love to get out their tea sets, pour some tea (or juice for those who have not quite grown to love tea), bake some cookies, and have an old-fashioned tea party. Tea time is a treat for fairies, gnomes, children, and miniature garden friends of all ages, especially if there are cookies, scones, or other delicious sweets involved.

Searching for another way to celebrate tea in the fairy garden? Instead of filling miniature teacups with tea, consider filling them with fairy gardens and miniature plants. Yes, you can use a teacup planter as a fun and fanciful home for your next fairy garden. How does it work? Read on to find out.

Choose Your Cup

Teacup gardens come in all shapes and sizes. If you would like to fill the cup with a large assortment of miniature plants and miniature accessories, your best bet is probably a teacup planter. These sturdy planters look just like teacups, but they are made of durable materials, are well suited to outdoor locations, and usually have a drain hole for proper drainage. You can find teacup planters decorated with various fairy doors, floral motifs, and even unique themes like “wonderland” or “autumn leaves.”

Alternatively, you can plant a miniature garden in a conventional teacup. Take a look at antique stores, thrift stores, and even department stores for teacups and saucers. They come in a variety of sizes, designs, and materials. If you are designing gardens with kids in mind, you will want to avoid delicate china and opt for durable stoneware.    

Set the Scene

Once you have a teacup, or perhaps a full set of teacups, you can start to plan your miniature garden or gardens. Remember: teacups are small! You will want to seek out small plants, such as succulents or cacti, that only need a little room in which to flourish. Pebbles or moss can be used to cover the soil, and then, if you so choose, you can use miniature accessories to round out the theme. Tiny signs and decorations on picks take up very little room. A carefully-placed chair or toadstool leaves room for a fairy or animal to sit on top. When choosing miniature accessories, consider the Minikin Scale. Micro products work well in small containers like teacups. 

This is where a saucer comes in handy, as it can serve as a second “level” for a teacup house or garden scene, especially if you add a miniature ladder. Some gardeners even tilt the cup on its side and let the garden scene overflow onto the saucer. If you combine the saucer and the teacup itself, these gardens can have space enough for all sorts of imaginative themes and characters. Here are a few ideas for big personality and just a little space:

  • Beach: Sprinkle beach sand and add a pool float miniature accessory
  • Halloween: Decorate with purple fairy glitter, cobwebs, and a miniature pumpkin
  • Gnome Home: Add a small sign that says “Gnome, Sweet Gnome,” a toadstool, and of course, a gnome

Plan a Party

One factor that sets a teacup miniature garden apart from traditional fairy gardens is its convenience. Teacups are relatively small, readily available, and can be put on display almost anywhere inside or outside the home. This makes the teacup garden a particularly fun project to complete with children. Whether you are spending the afternoon with your kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or if you are planning an activity for Sunday school, a birthday party, or another gathering, teacups are a solid option.

For your teacup garden planting activity, you will need the following materials:

  • plastic or newspaper to cover the table
  • potting soil
  • a variety of durable teacups and saucers
  • several succulents or other small plants
  • pebbles or sand
  • miniature accessories. 

Children will need your help when it comes to planting and following directions. The youngest children will need to be watched closely in order to avoid any choking hazards. Otherwise, this activity is fairly self-directed, and it involves plenty of creativity, so kids are unlikely to become bored. Once they have finished, each child will have their very own miniature garden to take home. That is one surefire way to plant the seed of gardening while kids are still young. Hopefully, as they grow older, it will blossom into a lifelong hobby.

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