Patterns & Projects / Spring Carving

Relief Carve a Magical Fairy Door

Quick and easy project comes alive with vivid colors

By Christina White

These whimsical doors are ideal for beginners or experienced carvers looking for a break from larger projects. Young children will enjoy adding the brightly painted finish and older children can carve their very own door. Carve several doors in advance and have a painting party!

The idea of a fairy door is far from new, but the variations of details, colors, and themes can go on forever. I have never done two alike. The doors can look like a miniature version of your house door, be hobbit-like, or have unique details, as if the fairies built them from objects they found lying about.

The fun inspired by these little fairy doors is more than I ever imagined, and I hope to pass my enthusiasm along. Children love them and the stories that naturally come about from seeing them are wonderful. Without fairies about, everything would go amuck! Make them welcome.

Place the finished fairy door on the floor next to a door, tucked into a stairwell, along the baseboard, or on a shelf. The doors make delightful additions to a flower garden or front porch. Part of the charm is tucking the door somewhere unexpected.


Basswood: 1″ x 6″ x 11″ (25mm x 152mm x 279mm) (main door and overhanging roof)
Gouache paints: primary red, primary blue, yellow
Boiled linseed oil mixed with burnt sienna or burnt umber oil paint (finish)

Straight chisel: 5/16″ (8mm)
Skew chisel: 5/16″ (8mm)
#5 gouge: 5/16″ (8mm)
#8 gouge: 5/32″ (4mm)
60┬░ V-tool: 1/4″ (6mm)
Carving knife

CLICK HERE to download the Magical Fairy Door Pattern.


Want to make little critters to accompany the fairy door? Read Floyd Rhadigan’s book Carving Fantasy Creatures.┬áLearn to carve 15 different lighthearted fantasy characters such as an elf, troll, pixie and more with detailed patterns and instructions. It is available at for $16.99 plus S&H.


Read more great articles from Woodcarving Illustrated Spring 2010 (Issue 50) here.



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