2012 Gnome Home Build



The Second Annual

Fox Family Gnome Home Build

Saturday, Sept. 29th 12p.m.-2p.m. on Belle Isle

Come join the William Fox Elementary School family on Belle Isle from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m as we celebrate the artist Andy Goldsworthy and create our own Gnome or fairy or hobbit homes using rocks and sticks and leaves. You can bring a bag of natural materials to Belle Isle to use, or find items there on the island. We will take pictures of each Gnome or fairy house after it is built. Practice building gnome or fairy homes in your own backyard if you want to try it out.

Feel free to dress up like a fairy or a gnome when you come!

Gnome and Fairy Home building Guidelines:

1. Houses should be no taller than 18 inches, but can be as small as you like.

2. Do not use any glue or adhesive.

3. Use only materials that you find in nature (for ex: moss, leaves, stones, and sticks)

4. Choose a theme or a title for your tiny home.

5. You can build in groups, but please bring a parent.

6. After you build your house, feel free to stay and relax by the river with your family.


Have Questions? Want to volunteer or to help?  Email jcrowder@richmond.k12.va.us

 The Week of September 

24-28 there will be an example each day of a gnome home built somewhere on the Fox playground. 

Keep your eye open and you will see lots of ways to build a little gnome or fairy house.

If you miss it, check the blog the next day to see it.



Directions to Belle Isle from William Fox Elementary

1. Start out going Southeast on Hanover

2. Turn Right Meadow

3. Turn Left Grayland

4. Make a Slight Left to take S/VA 195 toll ramp toward I-64 E/195 S

5. Merge onto I-195 S/VA-195/Downtown Expressway Portions Toll

6. Exit toward 7th St/ US 60/9th St

7. Turn Right on S 7th St.

8. Enter next roundabout, take the first exit onto Tredegar St.

9. Arrive in [100-232] Tredegar St, Richmond. Park your car, and cross over the bridge by foot, and come see Ms. Crowder and the volunteers at the other end.



How to make a Gnome or Fairy Home

Before you begin, you may want to google fairy houses, or look at some different fairy house building videos on youtube for inspiration. There is a good one on my blog: fromtheartroom.wordpress.com


  • Collect lots of natural materials, rocks, stones, pebbles, sand, moss, leaves, dirt, sticks, bark…right now is the perfect time to collect because so many trees have fallen and it won’t be bad to break off large pieces of bark, branches, or sticks.


  • Think about your design, do you want a fairy or gnome house that looks kind of like your house? Do you want a house that looks like a cottage, like a famous building, or like a restaurant?


  • Start stacking your rocks and twigs with the larger things towards the bottom of your house to support the weight of your roof. You could have an opening for a door, or find something like a leaf or piece of wood to act as a door. You could make a roof from a large piece of moss, from bark, from carefully laid sticks…almost any natural material would work.


  • Start adding beautiful details to your house like flowers, outdoor tables made of stones and wood, a path leading up to your front door, anything a house might have.


  • The artist Andy Goldsworthy makes art from nature all the time, and he uses lots of techniques to connect and attach things without using glue. Sometimes he sews using pine needles or uses rose thorns like nails, or just carefully stacks so that the weight of the natural materials holds them in place. Bring a little water with you, and you can turn dirt into mud, and use mud to hold things in place.



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