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Create Your Own Fairy Photo Shoot and Wall Hanging

Charlie Mumford: Thanks to my Nan’s “Fairy Path” she had at the bottom of her garden when I was a child, I have always held a deep love of fairies. This project will help you to enchant your young ones (and your older ones!) nurturing a deep love of fairies and nature and capturing their imagination. It is a 3 part process, which consists of making the fairies, organising your own fairy photo shoot, then putting together your amazing shots with your crafty stash to make a wall hanging full of memories and wonder.

  • Papercraft
  • 4-5 hours
  • Beginner

You will need:

  • Tattered Lace Dies – Floral Fantasy Collection: Aurora, Troll Mischief and Crooked House
  • Die Cutting Machine
  • 250gsm White Card Stock
  • 250gsm Black Card Stock
  • Acetate
  • Watercolour pencils
  • Paint brush
  • Gel Pens (silver, green and gold)
  • Foam pads
  • Pinflair Foto Glue
  • Low Tack Masking Tape
  • Pinflair All-Stick Glue
  • Scissors
  • Fine Nib Marker Pen
  • Butterfly Embellishment/3D sticker
  • Camera or phone camera
  • Bamboo sticks
  • Decorations for your fairy photo shoot – craft leaves, polystyrene toadstools, charms, feathers
  • Canvas for your final piece, the wall hanging – I used a 14” by 18” pre-primed canvas
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks and blender – I used Old Paper, Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn and Seedless Preserves
  • Cosmic Shimmer Sparkle Texture Paste in Frosty Dawn Sparkle
  • Metallic Gilding Wax in Bronze
  • A stencil of your choice (I used one with Deer on it)

Method:

  • 1

    Using the Tattered Lace Floral Fantasy dies and your die cutting machine, cut 1 of each die from the white card and 1 of each die from the black card.

    Snip off the fairy wings from the black die cuts so you only have the fairy body in the black. Using the outline left in the white card as a stencil, trace the wings onto the acetate with your fine nib marker and cut out.

    You’ll effectively have 3 layers for each fairy now. For the Crooked House, I only cut 1 in white and 1 in black card.

  • 2

    Colour in your fairies and house. I used watercolour pencils.

    TOP TIP: To give the colours more depth, lightly dampen the card first, then colour over the top. Then give it a final brush of water.

    Next use a gel pen in the scored and cut areas of the die cuts to accentuate those areas and colour the wings with a silver gel pen. To finish off, use Tim Holtz Old Paper Distress Ink lightly over the die cuts (once the water has dried) to take the shine out of the colouring and make the fairies look a little more earthy.

  • 3

    Glue the wings onto the back of the white die cut using your Pinflair All-Stick Glue and apply your foam pads to the body only (where they won’t be seen).

  • 4

    Place the black die cut onto the back of the fairy but position it slightly off to one side so that only a slither of black cardstock shows from the front. This provides the image with a bit of a drop shadow and gives it a more three-dimensional look.

  • 5

    Set up your Fairy Photo Shoot! To prepare your fairies and house, attach a kebab skewer to the back so it can’t be seen. Use low tack masking tape to fix it so as not rip the card when you go to take the skewers off later.

    TOP TIP: Place the tape on the back of your hand first then peel off and place on the skewer and die cut. Although it is low tack, it can sometimes fix itself a bit too strongly. This will prevent ripping later.

    Arrange your fairies and house in a spot you’re comfortable using, poking them into the ground by the skewers. I used the bottom of the garden amongst the flower beds. I also placed some craft leaves, charms and decorative toadstools around to set the scene. Use what you have around the house or whatever you want to incorporate. (Keep the Fairies, charms and leaves for your wall hanging later).

    Now get your subject to interact with the scene, whilst you snap away! You don’t need an expensive camera. Your mobile phone camera will work perfectly for this. And it’s good to remember that when working with young children, like my model Chloe (pictured with her mum) give them a little guidance, but ultimately let them take the lead – they may surprise you and you’ll get lovely natural shots!


  • 6

    Edit your shots. You don’t need expensive editing software! I used 2 apps in particular on my phone to get the look I wanted for these shots. One is Snapseed (free to download) which I did all my basic editing on, like cropping, brightness and black and white filter. I then used Enlight (small purchase fee) using the analogue filters to give it a more traditional film like appearance; I was going for the Cottingley Fairies look. You can however edit your photos in whichever way you prefer. Now print them out.

  • 7

    Collect together your canvas, photos, the fairies and house (sans kebab sticks), feathers, charms and craft leaves and decide how you will arrange it all. It is a very good idea to take a quick photograph of your set up once you are happy with it, so you have something to refer back to as you put it all together.

  • 8

    Now lightly glue your feathers onto the canvas and paint over them with white acrylic paint. If using patterned or strongly coloured feathers, the pattern and tone will show through the paint and make for an interesting look and texture.

  • 9

    Whilst the paint is drying, get your craft leaves (I used 3) and gilding wax and gild the leaves. You can put on as much or as little as you like (I completely covered mine). I find it easier to use my finger rather than a brush or cloth. I then sprayed cheap hairspray over the top to help the wax set. Put them to one side for now.

  • 10

    Now it’s time to ink your canvas. Using your ink blending tool and your Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Salty Ocean and Mowed Lawn, create a background. Let your imagination run wild and feel free to go completely random with this (you can always cover up any areas you don’t like with further layers of ink of photos/embellishments!).

    If you find an area you’ve inked a little too strong and don’t like, you can grab a baby wipe and dab the area gently. Because these inks are designed to work with water, the baby wipe will lift ink from the surface easily and cleanly.

    Cover the whole canvas with your ink, including over the acrylic painted feathers. I found that by going over the whole canvas again with the Old Paper Distress Ink gave it a slightly older look, to match the style of my photos, without being too grungy – I wanted it to look enchanted at the same time.

  • 11

    Once your canvas is dry, glue your gilded craft leaves into a corner. Then, with a glue spreader apply a thin layer of the sparkle texture paste onto the leaves. As it is a thin layer it will be ok to glue down your charms (from the photo shoot) on top of the paste and leaves without causing any cosmetic damage. Then add a dab of the Seedless Preserves Distress Ink in the centre of the leaves. With the copper tone of the gilding wax it nicely shades the veins on the craft leaves making them more prominant.

  • 12

    Add your photos to the canvas, sticking them down with the Pinflair Foto glue. This glue has a longer drying time, allowing you to move them about a little so that you get them exactly where you want.

  • 13

    Now add your die cuts to the canvas – it would be a shame to not include them after all the work you put into them; they are works of art in their own right and really are made for this kind of project.

  • 14

    Finally, get your stencil and texture paste. Place the stencil on the canvas (masking tape is a good idea here to keep the stencil in place). Using your glue spreader spoon out a small amount of the texture paste and spread it evenly and gently over the stencil taking care not to leave any lines from the spreader in the paste you are leaving behind. Remove the stencil slowly and you should be left with your pattern/image. Then cover the rest of the canvas in a thin layer of the texture paste (I avoided the photos and die cuts and just applied to the inked areas). It will give a slightly textured and glittery finish. This particular paste takes between 4 and 5 hours to cure completely so pop the canvas somewhere it won’t be disturbed. Once dry you can ink over the stencilled paste to bring out the image.

    You can now display your mystical masterpiece and the beauty of this, is that it will forever be unique and one of a kind!

What You Need