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Aunty G’s Little Church with a Thatch Roof – DIY

There is something so fascinating about miniature gardens.  They take us back to our childhood and I love getting lost in them and living, even if it’s only for a moment, in a tiny world where anything is possible.  One of my favorite people, my Aunty G, feels the same way. She’s like the Pied Piper when it comes to us kids, we all just want to be around her and I’m almost 50 To celebrate her birthday we wanted to make her something different, something that would always remind her of how special and loved she is.  So we decided to make her this miniature garden with a little thatch roof church.

Aunty G’s thatch roof church

Like most of our other miniatures we used a wooden tissue box to make the church. You should be able to find something similar at a craft store or you could use a shoe box that’s been sealed with outdoor mod podge.

Wooden tissue box

The first thing we needed to do was change the look of the tissue box so we measured the sides and played around with some ideas until we were happy. A friend of ours cut the design out of hardboard for us and we stuck the new sides on using silicone glue. To make the a support beam for the top of the roof we drilled a hole on each side and inserted a wooden skewer.

Stick on the side walls

To make the actual roof we took a cardboard box cut to size and then hubby used the cardboard template to cut a proper roof from some hardboard. We hung the doors using two bent bits of wire.

Making the roof template

We stained the whole lot using a water proof outdoor sealer and started gluing on small stones to give the church a rustic look.

Painting the windows

Sorry about the flash, it was really late when I took the pic but I wanted to show you these beautiful little windows I found in the scrap book aisle at our local craft store. I used a silver Sharpie to color the inside of the windows so they would look more like glass. So pretty and delicate. If  you can’t find something similar you can just draw the windows and then glue the stones around them.

To make the door we glued ice cream sticks to the door frame, stained and white washed the sticks and then stuck on bits of jewelry to make the hinges and door handles.  That what’s so nice about miniatures and fairy gardens, you get to be so creative and you see things from a totally different perspective.

Ice cream sticks and jewelry bits to make the door

To thatch the roof we used coconut fiber (coir), Masking Tape and tacky glue. I found the easiest and least messy way to thatch a miniature is to first stick the coconut fiber onto some masking tape. Take a small bundle of the fiber and spread it onto a strip of masking tape.

Masking tape and coconut fiber

Push the fibers down firmly and then flip the masking tape over to form a taped strip of fibers.

Flip the tape over and cut

Trim the untidy bits at the top and then stick another piece of masking tape about halfway down the fibers to form a second taped strip.

Trim and tape the middle

Cut just above the second strip of masking tape and you end up with two strips that you can stick down. Use a tacky glue to glue the strips on to the roof starting at the bottom and layering the strips one on top of the other as you go.

Glue the strips down

The fibers of the first strip should hang over the bottom of the roof and the layers should be quite close together to get a nice thick thatch roof. Don’t worry about how scruffy it looks you’re going to trim the roof when it’s all covered. Add a nok at the top. We made ours with clay that we painted and sealed

Layer the coconut hair strips starting from the bottom

Be prepared to have lots of bits of coconut hanging around for days. Those fibers go everywhere.

The miniature church front and side view

We made two little lanterns from earrings and stuck them on the front of the church on either side of the door and we found a small concrete planter which was the prefect size for the little church. This is what she looks like from the top.

And from the front. My Aunty G put her little garden and church on her water feature.

A miniature church

Miniature church

Happy b-day Aunty G, love you always. Thanks for all the laughter, love and beautiful day dreams.

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