If you gaze at Megan Cash’s magical miniatures long enough, you just may start to spy the fae materializing around them, dancing and darting, flitting and flying, from one whimsical, captivating piece to the next. At least it feels as though you might, so precise and perfect is the wee furniture Cash crafts carefully by hand for sprites and those who love them. Ready to steal your heart in Cash’s Etsy shop are sweet little acorn cap cups sitting atop a tiny table constructed from a wood slice, alongside chairs made from mushrooms, all of it just waiting for two fairies to stop by for sip of tea. A bitsy bookshelf, an itty-bitty bed—even an entire office, a powder room, an art easel, and more—can be found at the shop, all equally delightful and all created mostly from natural elements Cash gathers herself.
It is no surprise, then, to discover Cash—who is twenty-nine but speaks with thoughtfulness of an elder and the sweetness of child—has long found fairies fascinating. “I always kind of had an obsession with nature, trees in particular,” she says. “And when I was exposed to fairies when I was younger, you know, through reading about them, watching movies, there was something so enchanting about them that it just stuck. I loved the idea of living with and being in harmony with nature, so it was the perfect theme for me. It’s like I was a fairy in my past life! I felt I was related to them.”
Enchanted Living Instagram followers no doubt agree. Photographs of Cash’s miniatures took our feed by storm, winning two spots in our top nine most popular Instagram posts of last year. As Enchanted Living’s Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Turgeon says, “We share a lot of amazing images that get a lot of likes, so to have two of the top nine is pretty amazing.”
Cash was born near Houston, in a little town called League City. She still lives there, alongside her husband of five years, Joey Cash, a tattoo artist and woodworker. Joey is responsible for much of the cutting and some of the carving that help produce Megan’s miniatures, a creative partnership for which, she says, they are incredibly grateful. “We’re always learning from each other, teaching each other,” Cash notes, “so we both get a lot of joy out of it.”
Along with nature, Cash loved miniatures and art from an early age. As a child she would steal away to her room, playing for hours with her dolls, fashioning furniture and even houses for them from whatever was available. She dabbled in sketching as well, but it wasn’t until she took an art class her senior year in high school that Cash fell in love with the creative discipline. She majored in art, with a focus on painting, at the University of Houston–Clear Lake, earning her bachelor of fine arts degree in 2016.
But Cash’s love of the fae never really left her. “All through my college career I always had in the back of my mind that fairies were my true calling,” she says, “and I wanted to do something with that, whether it was painting or sculpture or just something themed with fairies. My miniatures started out as a hobby around 2014. I was making stuff for myself to have around the house, to decorate the shelves with, and I showed some of it to my friends and family. They loved it, so I made some fairy houses and things like that for them. But I was really thinking I would just do it on the side, because my major was painting and drawing.”
As they tend to do, however, the fairies had utterly captivated Cash. There was no turning back, no turning away from them. Just after graduating, Cash founded the Faery Forest on Etsy, finding inspiration for her collection from some long-loved favorites. “The story of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell was one that always really stuck out to me,” Cash says. “Tinkerbell now actually has a franchise and there’s a Disney fairies’ franchise. There’s a ton of books and movies, and those always inspire me. I love seeing the illustrations that show where the fairies live and what their furniture looks like. And other artists inspire me too. Amy Brown is wonderful! I was exposed to her work at a real young age and she was always fascinating to me.”
To find much of the materials she uses to fashion her remarkable miniatures, Cash keeps her eyes downward. Refusing to harm anything living, she sources ethically only what has already fallen to the ground, including bits of sticks, tree bark, acorn caps, even driftwood and seashells when she and Joey visit the shore. Occasionally, to supplement the bounty that nature provides, Cash will purchase items like dried florals and mosses from hobby shops and craft stores.
Sometime within the next couple of months, visitors to Cash’s Etsy shop will receive a wonderful surprise. The artist is set to begin offering her beloved fairy houses for sale again, priced at about $400 to $500 for an unfurnished home. “They come out so wonderfully, and I love the way they look,” Cash says. “Generally, I try to stay at the one-twelve scale, so they’re about fifteen to eighteen inches in height and probably about fifteen inches in width. They all turn out so differently! There are so many possibilities. We can do two stories, we can do staircases and different windows and doors, we can really get creative with them. They’re a little more expensive because they take a lot more time—they’re completely hand-sculpted.”
Should you decide to purchase one of Cash’s fairy dwellings, or a winsome and wonderful piece of fairy furnishing, the artist would like you to know you’re getting a little piece of her heart and soul with it. “At the end of the day my fairy furniture and homes are a representation of me,” Cash says, “and the world I imagine fairies to live in. I always imagine and keep in mind that if I were a fairy, what I would like my furniture to look like and what materials from nature I would use.”
When asked what she loves best about creating her fairy furnishings, Cash replies easily and with clear pleasure, “Oh, it makes me feel like a kid again, because that was what I loved to do. But also, I think when we are children our world is so different. We have so much more imagination. Even if we can’t see them, we can have the feeling that fairies are real, that they are right there beside us. That’s the main thing I love to hear from customers—that the joy they find in my miniatures makes them feel like a kid again too.”
For more information and to purchase pieces from the Faery Forest, visit Etsy.com/shop/thefaeryforest.