Saturday, September 22, 2012

Creepy Little Fairies. An Unpleasant Tutorial

 Last Halloween, I had a lot of fun with little plastic skeletons.

The inspiration came from 
and these darling confections here.

Skeleton Brides by Pinkbuttercreme

 I made some Skeleton fairies for my doll blog,
but for Hubby's Steampunk Study
I needed something of a more experimental nature.
Something for the Curio Cabinet,

Little Dead Fairy

Which was how I came to make
the Dead Fairy specimen.

Creepy and sad, huh?

Since then
I've found a lot of mummified fairies on the web, 
and revolting and pathetic little things they are.
The first I found on Deviant Art,

I thought it was such a novel idea,
I had to make Hubby one, too.

Thank goodness for those strings of 
cheap, plastic Halloween skeletons.

They're the starting point
for your Mummified Fairy

You can mummify your skeleton as it is,
but if you want to shape it
you'll need a little bowl of very hot water
and another of very cold iced water.

Muummm. This is nice.

Sit the skeleton in the hot water for a bit.
It will get all warm and toasty, and soften a little.
Take it out, carefully. 
Bend the figure to the shape you want.
Exaggerate the bend, because it won't hold the shape like wire.
Hold the limb still bent and then immerse it into the ice-cold water. 
Keep it under the water until the plastic is cold.

Brrr!  Cold!

(The more observant of you will notice I used the same picture.)

Once you have the skeleton in the pose you want,
you can start to wrap it.
The wrapping can be whatever you have to hand. 
I used some stretchy bandage.

You could cut strips of cotton or muslin.
You could use medical gauze.
It's all going to be painted, 
so don't worry about the colour.
If you want the mummy to be old and damaged
the wrapping needs to be able to fray a little.

You can wrap the whole figure
or you can leave areas exposed.

I rather like the modelling of these 
silly little skeletons, so I left some areas 
where the bones show through
and where I could add bits of flesh.

This is the mummy wrapped.
 I added a layer of very diluted paperclay,
to stiffen up the wrappings, 
but it's not necessary.
I also pulled at the cloth to give it a frayed edge 
and some loose threads.

You could tie or sew the ends of the wrappings,
or add diluted PVA (white) glue to firm up the cloth.
Up to you!
You are the artist!

The very first mummy I ever saw was this one
in the Hancock Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

(Image  from

I remember she had closed eyes 
and looked very dignified and peaceful,
so my mummy has closed eyes instead of eye sockets.

Once the wrapping is done
you can get really creative.

Your dessicated mummy
could be just bones and wrappings
or it could have shreds of flesh still added.

I added stringy bits of tendons and muscles
with a hot glue gun,
mainly in the pelvic cavity.

Then I let everything dry and set overnight.
If you don't use glue,
you can crack on to the next stage.

The painting!

I used very dilute acrylics, 
two shades of brown and a black.
I liked the ivory colour of the original skeleton, 
so I kept the exposed bones wiped clean.

Exposed bones

Ignore the painted fingertips above.

Dab the paint onto the cloth and let it soak it up.
When it's dry, the fabric will have more body and stiffness.

You could paint or dye the cloth beforehand, of course,
but you'd probably want to augment that
with blots of darker and paler colours
 to show age and decay.

I wanted my mummy to look all dusty and ancient,
so I dusted it with powered artist's pastels
in brown and olive green.
I also added a bit of
ground cloves and cinnamon
to smell like embalming spices.

The back.

The front
The mummy will be displayed 
in a labelled glass jar.

Being measured for the jar.
Here it is
on display.

(The font I use for all my
scientific labels
in the Steampunk Study

Hubby wanted it to be some kind of brownie
which is why it doesn't have any wings.

If you make one, let me know
and I'll feature it.

Shared with

Join in at the
Polish the Stars
Linky Party.

Also, see her wonderful ideas
for a Dexter themed party.
Red and white,
very elegant,
very deadly!

Also linked to the wonderful
Ivy and Elephants
What's it Wednesday.

Shared over ar 
One Creative Mommy
One Creative Weekend