Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Fairies in Gilded Cages by Alan Scott

Once again I have entered the wonderful world of Altered Art. I'm having such a wonderful time and I can highly recommend this form of creativity to everyone. As you can see, I have used several forms of creativity. My Cricut cut out the branches and I used the Tim Holtz Caged Birds Bigz Die. Then a wonderful set of stamps called Fairy Sweets by Oxford Impressions.
Large tag shape that was cut out from a Manila folder glued together
Sheet of Tin Foil that's approx 4 inches bigger than the tag all round each side
Black Gesso
Punchinella or sequin waste design of your choice
Carvable molding paste
Selection of Cosmic Shimmer Ink Sprays
Sheet of white stamping card
Selection of ProMarkers and Gel Pens to highlight and glitter the stamped images  Various shades of glossy paper to use in an electronic cutting machine for the branches Black foam from items delivered in boxes or packages (I never throw away any form of foam packaging that's in a squared shape and can be used in a Big Shot/Cuttlebug etc)
Old credit card/gift card
Large flat paint brush
Various metallic embellishing creams
Martha Stewart leaves Punch
Good strong clear glue
Baby wipes
Heat gun
Cardboard spray booth
Plastic straw
Stamps Away Ink Blending Mat
Adirondack Pitch Black Ink Pad
Vintage Photo Distress Ink Pad
After I had glued the Manila folder together, I used a tag template and cut out a tag. Now then, while I was watching several videos on You Tube, I came across a tip (sorry I can't remember the lady's name but she was so inspiring) that if you get some M.D.F cut down to 12" square blocks from your local D.I.Y Store and buy several of those black plastic grips that have a bright orange tip, you can place your art piece into a sandwich of grease proof paper and then clamp two boards together with your project in the middle. This will put pressure onto your project and secure any glued item onto the surface - it will also make sure that the project remains relatively flat. Much flatter to use than if you just left it to air dry. I got 6 blocks from an off cut and the cost was £4.00.
After I had left the tag over night, the next stage was to lay down the tin foil. To do this, we have to crumple up the foil but not into a ball! Just take each corner and squeeze gently together. You need to crumple this foil up but you don't want to make an rips - you want it to remain in 1 piece. When you're happy with the results, lay a thick layer of good strong glue onto the face of the tag and place the foil on top. Carefully trim the edge, leaving a small overhang - this will be folded over the edges. To go round the curves, snip into the point where they curves meet and then gently fold as if you were making a circular cushion. Again, I placed the tag back into my home made press and let the glue do its work.
After a few hours, I took the tag out of the press and then using the black Gesso, I covered the face of the tag (tin foil side) and using a baby wipe, I removed some of the paint. I wanted to make it look distressed and the raised parts of the foil would remain silver in colour. Using my heat gun helped the drying process.
The next stage was to take my chosen sequin waste and the molding paste and laid down a layer of the paste using the old credit card and a laying down/scraping tool. I had to lay the sequin waste down several times to get the coverage I wanted. Then the heat gun was used again to help with the drying process.
After I had selected 3 different colours from my collection of ink sprays, I once again laid down some colour. While it was still wet, I took a straw and just blew into the wet ink and formed outward sprays. The tag was then placed to one side.
The next thing to do was to cut out the foam cages and birds. When they had been cut out and I had removed some of the cage spokes and the branch that the birds were standing on, I once again took the black Gesso and covered the foam cut outs and left to dry on the crafting mat. While they were drying, the next step was to stamp out my images using the Pitch Black Ink Pad. As I was using ProMarkers, this was the right choice of ink pad to use. After I had coloured the images, I went round them using a Warm Grey 2 ProMarker, just giving me a nice edge to cut out to and then I'm not cutting into the stamped and coloured image. To finish the images off, using the glitter and glossy Gel Roll Pens, highlights and detail were given.
Now then, I know not everyone has an electronic die cutting machine or the Martha Stewart large Leaf Border punch but there are ways round this. In hindsight, I could have gone into the garden and collected some small twigs that could be painted and then treated with the metallic creams. There are always ways round things, with a little thought and a cuppa to get the brain matter into gear. So PLEASE DON'T feel you can't make something like this because you can with a few twists or tweaks.
After I had cut out the branches, I then used the Vintage Photo Ink Pad to colour the reverse, as I didn't want any white to be seen. Using the metallic creams, I coloured the birds and the bird cages. I was going for that old metal look and these creams are a wonderful addition to your crafting arsenal.
All that's now left to do is to build up the tag. The hardest thing about doing this, is the placement. You can't do 2, so I could have done 1 but I chose 3. If the tag was smaller, I would have just gone for the 1 cage. Picking up the branches, I intertwined them into the cage, leaving just enough space so that the Fairies faces could be seen. Then using some strong clear glue, I secured into place. The next two cages were treated in the same way. The last thing to do was, to place the birds onto and around the cages.
There you have it, a tag that's been made using packaging and tin foil as a base for the embellishments.  I hope this might inspire you to have a go and to maybe take a look at all that foam that's used to keep items safe when they are in transit. If it's big enough to make an embellishment, then save it you never know what it can be turned into!


  1. love this Alan... those fairies are cute.

  2. Wow Alan! What a fab artwork - and a new twist on the ubiquitous Tim Holtz birdcage.

  3. Gorgeous. Love the birdcases and the fairies. Clever idea.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on our blog, we really appreciate it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...