The following are my notes from my first “gnome door,” created around 1996.
I’m looking for my photos, but — meanwhile — I’ve included some pictures by an artist who’s made similar doors in the past. Hers didn’t include staircases, but she did make some “faerie windows.”
The “door” that I made is actually a door and a staircase. Here’s exactly what I did…
I went to a dollhouse store and bought the parts: A nice little door that swings in its frame, and it has an brass doorknob with key, that I purchased separately.
I also bought a staircase (with banister), and a piece of wood to use as a landing, so the stairs don’t butt right up against the door.
I painted the door a nice cobalt blue, and most of the woodwork for the stairs is white, as is the door frame. The tops (tread areas) of the stairs and the handrail itself are all Hookers Green (a nice forest green).
The most difficult part was putting it all together. Nails don’t work well on these little parts, and the wood they use is really hard.
So, I used wood glue (white glue doesn’t do it, even “tacky” glue). Then, I held the pieces where I wanted them, until the glue set. (This involved sitting in front of the television set, holding pieces together, for nearly an hour.)
Next, I reinforced the glued-together areas with hot glue, in places where it won’t show.
After that, I used a carpenter’s level (a little plastic one I bought for about a dollar at a Home Depot) to get it straight, and propped the whole thing against an outside wall, inside my living room, right where I wanted it.
I marked beneath it with pencil, where it touched the wall, and put two finish nails there, for the landing (and door) part to rest on.
(We’re in an apartment, so this is a temporary arrangement. When I have a house, I’ll probably do something more permanent.)
I also bought a cute little mailbox at the dollhouse store, and that’s resting on one of the stairs right now.
Also, I found some tiny little nails (and had to use my smallest jeweler’s pliers to hold one while I nailed it into the door); that will hold the little Christmas/Yule wreath I bought for the door, too.
Next to this whole display, I have a nice big grey rock that I picked up when I was last at my favorite beach in Maine.
At the back of it, I hot glued a few twigs that are the right size to look like trees. And I have some miniature gold & silver stars that I bought at the fabric shop, to hang on the “tree” branches at Yule.
Finally, I picked up a miniature rose bush (in bloom!) at the grocery store for about $4. I’ll re-pot it in something more proportionately correct. But, for now, it’s next to the staircase and it’s pretty.
After that, I rested the two keys to the door on the top step (the doorknob & lock are just “pretend,” but the keys came with it anyway), in case my little visitors decide they’d like keys available.
The whole project took about three days of my spare time, far more than I expected. But I just love the effect!
The results were immediate. We’ve seen and heard fae folk in the apartment, ever since the door was rested against the wall.
For more ideas, see my article, Faerie furniture.
(Note: The faerie photos on this page are from my cousin, Aisling D’Art. She isn’t making these right now, but — until I find my own faerie furniture photos — agreed to let me use some of hers as illustrations.)