At our family reunion in May, I showed some of my great-nieces and nephews how to make a fairy house. They loved it--it's not difficult to do, and the folklore says that if you make the fairies happy in your garden, they will reward you with beautiful flowers and vegetables. So why not make a fairy house--just in case you have some homeless fairies in your garden?
Here's the one we built:
And here you can see how tiny it is:
Afterwards the kids made several more, I heard, but I didn't see them because they were in secret places.
As for how to see a fairy, here is some advice, as posted on the Herb Companion:
To enable one to see the Fairies: A pint of sallet oyle and put it into a vial glasse; and first wash it with rose-water and marygolde water; the flowers to be gathered towards the east. Wash it till the oyle becomes white, then put into the glasse, and then put thereto the budds of hollyhocke, the flowers of marygolde, the flowers or toppes of wild thyme, the budds of young hazle, and the thyme must be gathered neare the side of a hill where fairies use to be; and take the grasse of a fairy throne; then all these put into the oyle in the glasse and sette it to dissolve three dayes in the sunne and then keep it for thy use. -from A Garden of Herbs, by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
And from Eleanour's book (published on the Gutenberg Project's website):
And what of the fairies in those gardens? We live in such a hurrying, material age that even in our gardens we seem to have forgotten the fairies, who surely have the first claim on them. Does not every child know that fairies love thyme and foxgloves and the lavish warm scent of the old cabbage rose? Surely the fairies thronged to those old herb-gardens as to a familiar haunt. Can you not see them dancing in the twilight?
Ready to make your fairy house now? I think I'll mosey out into the woods and see what I can find to make one for my garden.
Many people make these little houses now, and some get really elaborate. If you'd like to see others, here are a few links:
Simple, family-friendly instructions for building a fairy house, by Family Fun magazine.
Some pretty fancy ones on this website.
There are also people creating entire fairy gardens:
How to create a fairy garden--instructions!
A fairy garden from the Herb Companion website.
And of course, you can buy kits, fairy furniture and just about anything else you like!