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


  1. So I came over to see what you were up to and I must say that I had never envisioned dead fairies in bottles before but ya know it makes perfect sense now:) A collection of bottled deceased fairy remains would be very interesting indeed. Nestled among books on a shelf....Hmmmm....

    1. Lol! Thank you, Mary Ann!

      I know, right? That's exactly where Dead Fairy is right now, on a bookshelf in Hubby's Steampunk room. This Bottle Brownie should be finished and in the room today.

      I still feel incredibly guilty making them; partly because they're so easy, and partly because they're so disgusting and pathetic at the same time.

  2. Too Cool! I see another project in my near future! Sssshhhhh, we just won't tell my wife! :)

    1. Thank you, Ron!

      I have to admit, Hubby recoils in horror from them until they're safely sealed in their little bottles.

  3. It truly is pathetic, sad and absolutely, utterly disgusting. I LOVE IT!!!
    Good job I'm by myself right now- the wee skeleton in the hot tub made me snort loudly and very un- ladylike.
    I'll take a trip to the pound shop this week and find myself some un- glittered remains (the glittered ancestors have already moved in, I am classy like that)- gotta try this.
    Most of the people I know aren't very crafty and won't go anywhere near craft blogs, so chances are if I show them a fairy mummy they'll be scratching their heads for quite some time. I love having this effect on people!

    1. Vielen Danke! I'm so glad you like this. You can get the little skeletons at the Pound Shop now? I hope so. Ten years ago, when I left the UK, there wasn't much around for Halloween.

      Have fun making them! If you make one, I'd love to see it. Maybe you could add glitter, for fairy dust?

  4. Thank you for the tutorial!I would have never thought to add bits of muscles :))

    1. Thank you! Yes, gristly muscle and entrails. It all adds up to the 'eww' factor!

  5. This is awesome! I love the transition, from simple plastic skeleton to freaky thing ;-)

    1. Thank you so much!. I have to admit, they're fun to make but the end result invokes both pity and revulsion. Hubby wants me give it a name before I seal it up in a jar.

  6. Brilliant Beverly -hope I'll give it a go !

    1. Oh! Thank you, Patricia! They're very satisfying to make. You'll let us see?

  7. So realistic! My weekly linky party--One Creative Weekend--has gone spooky this week in honor of my thirteenth party. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll visit "One Creative Weekend" on (open every Fri-Wed) and link up this idea and anything else you’d like to share. (You can include non-Halloween posts as well, but feel free to link up as many Halloween-themed posts as you like.) There are two categories—one for Halloween and one for everything else.

    1. Oh! I will go and do that very thing! Let me dig around for what else I can find.

  8. Wow! The Halloween skeleton looks creepy good!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Dee! They're such fun to make!

  9. your page here is awesome Rhissanna, i love your skelleton art and the way you see life, we could be sisters;-)

    1. Heh! That's sweet of you, Sheila and it's lovely to see you on my Steampunk page over from DA. I'm so glad you like my funny little skeletons! Give my love to the Netherlands.

    2. your welcome sweetie, and i shall say hello, did that now;-)

  10. You do some killer stuff! I love these and I'm happy to be following along via GFC for some more inspiration! Awesomeness!

    1. Thank you so much! I'd forgotten about this post as I did it last year. Soon I get to buy another batch of little skellies to torment, I mean, alter. :)

  11. Lovely, creative tutorial! I LOVE IT... dead things in jars... I can't resist!

    1. Thank you! It's a fun thing to do and so worth it when people recoil in horror!

  12. Brilliant!! I have a little set piece in mind that will need 5-6 skeles in different poses. I came here from a Pin when I searched for DIY shaping plastic skeletons. Now I know my "Escape Act" scene will be imperfectly perfect! Or maybe perfectly imperfect??? Thanks so much for sharing such a simple, no fuss solution to the problem! Lowretta :)

    1. I'm so glad this is helpful! Good luck and get that hot water hot and the ice water very cold (and don't get burned!). Hot water. I'd love to see how your 'Escape Act' comes out!

  13. This was really cool! You are so sweet to share! Thanks!

    1. Happy to do it, Sharon. And this is what the internet does best!

  14. So very cool... thanks for sharing! Preparing a hot bath as we speak. :)

  15. Your project + description were delightful but the writing more so. Thank you! ;*) Pinky


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