Sunday, August 14, 2016

Scenic Cicadas - Anything but a Card + Tutorial with the UnstampaBelles

The UnstampaBelles August challenge is Anything but a Card with the twist of including a tutorial for your project in your post. You can make whatever you like without using any stamps.

I decided to make a little scene with some "dog day" cicada shells that I collected from our backyard this summer, as a fun gift for my husband. I was partly inspired by clay Castillo-style Day of the Dead scenes. We saw many lovely ones on our recent trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The tiny cups & doughnut were purchased there at the cute little store, Artlalli, and the dish is from the local craft market. We always have such a lovely time there, together.

Here's a cicada emerging from its shell right on our back deck a few days ago.

Here they are enjoying the summer sun, fearlessly, next to cicada hawk holes.

This was such a fun project to make, and I urge you to try something similar. You certainly don't have to use cicada shells! This would be so cute with tiny teddy bears or, of course, skeletons. At least try out the homemade clay!

Whenever I craft with natural items (feathers, wood, seeds), I put them in the freezer first for at least a day. This serves to kill any residents. I usually put them in a plastic bag; this photo is just for show...although my husband has returned home to similar scenes!

The chairs are made from small wooden spoons, which I kept from a fabulous taste-testing of unusual ice cream flavors on the street in Dolores Hidalgo. I used my paper cutter to make a small slice in each spoon, and carefully cracked them into a right angel. I colored/edged them with a black Copic marker, and traced the shapes onto this tile-inspired paper from Love nicole/AC Moore. I used Glossy accents to adhere the paper & coat the chairs.

I made the chair legs from a 1.5-inch square of black paper.

The tabletop was made with the DP & black cardstock, and coated & secured with Glossy Accents. I used my Crop-O-Dile to add an eyelet in the center of the table. The table leg is made from a black straw/stir stick. The umbrella was made with a Tim Holtz rosette die & a daisy-printed, glittered vellum that I have leftover from our wedding album. Which I completed 12 years ago...!  I covered the gluey top with a metal embellishment.

The base is made from homemade clay; just cornstarch & glue. I colored the clay with Chamois & Barley Beige Copic marker ink refills. I pressed a MFT brick-patterned stencil onto it, and rubbed the surface with Peanut Butter Memento ink. I had to secure the table with a mound of clay, but the chairs are just pressed into it.

Although I prefer to use a better spray coating, my trusty hairspray works to give the shells some protection. I used Glossy Accents to add the tiny cups in their tiny claws, and to get them to sit so nicely. I heat-embossed the "Joy" metal embellishment with a silver powder, in reference to the lovely plata of Mexico.

Hope you enjoyed my tutorial, and hope you'll join us this month at UnstampaBelles.

May your summer be filled with sweet moments!

Thank you for visiting,


  1. Oh MY! This is unbelievable! I cannot believe that you made the little chairs - so creative.

  2. What an amazing project and I can see nd feel the fun you had making this ! I watched as you collected those cicada shells and wondered what you might make.......thank you for your ingenious creation.

  3. Wow CG that is truly amazing. I couldn't wait to find out how you made everything when I saw your creation on the DT blog. You must have an awful lot of patience to make something soooo intricate and detailed. Wynn xx

  4. I love your projects (minus the cidada shells becouse I'm afraid of such a small "creatures") and all the details. I will surely use your tutorial for chairs and table. So thanks a lot for sharing the details.

    Hugs, Keti


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