“My daughter wanted a fairy tree in her room that she could sit inside and read books, climb the branches, and also have a top sitting area.” So over the past 18 months, “on weekends or at night,” Rob Adams, a professional video game artist, embarked on the most epic DIY project for her. It took over 350 hours of hard physical labor, including welding lessons from a Seattle sculptor named Carla Grahn, and cost around $4,250, but the pay-off – an ecstatic daughter and a jaw-dropping masterpiece – is invaluable.

As someone who makes virtual worlds for a living, coming up with the idea that would bring his daughter’s dream to life was easy for Rob. Using Disney set-design as his inspiration, he sketched out a plan, and built a scale-model. However, once he got into the execution phase of the project Rob realized he was “kind of un-prepared for the physical realities.”


From sub-floor to ceiling, and tree base to tree dwellers (there are 5 birds’ nests tucked in the branches, among other creatures), he powered through the tough parts using the only inspiration he needed… this picture of his daughter he says he kept with him in the work space.


Rob, a self-proclaimed “perfectionist,” left no aesthetic or functional detail unturned, using countless materials and tools to complete the project.


The tree is climbable thanks to the rebar and steel rods Rob welded together for the extra strong frame, which he then layered with concrete and paper mâché (very outer branches). His daughter can sit on top of the tree or inside of it or under its “star-filled” branches that organically climb across her bedroom ceiling. Amazingly, Rob had to pre-wire the tree for the illuminated fairy windows and interior reading light, as well as for the 300 Christmas bulbs he meticulously placed through all its branches.


Most importantly, he also accounted for safety. “I consulted with both a private fire protection engineer, and a residential fire prevention specialist from my city’s fire department to ensure I didn’t create a fire hazard.”

Rob, who now claims the hot glue gun to be “the most valuable craft tool ever invented,” gives a full, step-by-step run down of how he DIY-ed this enchanted fairy tree for his daughter on imgur, but these are some of the project highlights.

Once upon a time… a girl dreamed of having a fairy tree in her bedroom, and her dad got to work to make it happen.


He modeled and sketched…


He welded a skeleton so her tree would be very strong…


He made its trunk even stronger by adding concrete…


He gave her tree long branches made of paper mâché so it would fill her room…


He brought her tree to life, layering on detail after detail…


He applied variations of color, using Rit dye, to give her tree its crusty bark…


He added butterflies and birds and other creatures to her tree…


He even painted her room to look like it’s wrapped in a rainbow… 


and she lived happily ever after…



All photos credit to Rob Adams, via imgur