How to Build a Fairy Garden Waterfall With Foam In A Can

I love Fairy Gardens so I wanted to build a waterfall and make it magical. I bought some cans of fire retardant Great Stuff and made it happen :-)
I took apart an old aviary
Used some old water pieces that were no longer needed in our large waterfall / koi pond
Built a structure with the recycled wood. I used a drawer from an old plastic filing cabinet to hole the water for the waterfall.
I covered the entire structure in screen (regular window screening) and in layers sprayed the foam. I found the screen was a good conduit for the foam. The foam had to be put on in layers. If I went to high all at once, the foam fell. This process took about a week. Because this was going to go under our house, I bought the fire retardant foam. This is important because the regular foam is very flammable.
Then I spray painted the structure with various colors to give it an "island" look.
I put a dragon, on top of his jewels at the top :-)
Added some moss for texture, gnomes climbing up to steal their jewels back...yes, I love The Hobbit :-)
Added some fairy magic
3 years later, it is still in perfect condition. It brings much fun to our Granddaughters and we love the sound of the water trickling down the falls. So easy to do. Takes a little time but there is magic in a can of foam :-)
Our oldest Granddaughter needed a fairy garden for her house as well. So, with Great Stuff, we made it so. Each time we visit, I bring my foam and build an addition. This is after 2 additions and we have "room to grow". Spreading the magic is a necessity in our life :-)

Suggested materials:

  • Great Stuff Fire Retardant Foam  (Any hardware store - mine came from Ace Hardware)
  • Fairy items  (I bought these at various places)
  • Screen, Wood, Spray Paint  (Any hardware store)

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Janet Arceneaux

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Pat C
    on May 3, 2016

    Very nice! Q: Does the water just re-cycle through the entire system or is new water inserted constantly?

    • Janet Arceneaux
      on May 3, 2016

      @Pat C Yes, it recycles from the drawer, up some tubing to the top and flows back down. I empty it about once a month and put fresh water because the "night bugs" collect in the drawer

  • Kathy Arras
    on May 3, 2016

    How is it waterproof?

    • Jewellmartin
      on May 16, 2017

      We have used the foam for sealing plumbing repairs. We never had a leak through the foam. I didn't know that some of the foam is highly flammable. I'll have to find an old can and see what we have been using. Thanks for the info, and Best wishes!
  • Utana Benner Anderson
    on May 21, 2020

    HOw was it working with the expanding foam? I want to mix your idea and the broken terracotta pot idea I have been kicking it around for years just havent gotten brave enough I got the stuff to do it not I am researching and came across your stuff.. love it by the way.. plan to do two one with water and one with out but I want to put pots in so I can place plants in and remove to .. so wanted to add pvc pipe to pot to a drain under foam (a layer of rocks) I have a collection of tiny dragons fairys and Gnomes.. thought it would be fun to build a mountain side X2 village in an x lrg pot

Join the conversation

3 of 51 comments
  • Kate
    on Aug 29, 2016

    That is amazing! And I always love when kids are brought into the crafting process. Great work all around.

    • Janet Arceneaux
      on Aug 29, 2016

      Thank you :-) I am a firm believer in teaching imagination to our granddaughters. They grow much to fast

  • Kate
    on May 18, 2019

    Wonderful and Imaginative! I, too, love the Hobbit. I also like that you got your granddaughter's involved and left room for additions at their house.

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