Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sakura Terri Sproul Shimmer Mixers Angel Wings (and a coupon)

Angel wings 2 (800x632)
This is my first post for Sakura Hobby Craft, and I am so happy and honored to be a part of the Sakura Design Team!  You can read about my first adventure with Sakura’s Crystal Lacquer here.

I love Crystal Lacquer! It has so many possibilities!  And Sakura’s Terri Sproul Shimmer Mixers are beautiful!  I really recommend getting a set, because when you see all the colors in front of you, your mind will be filled with creative ideas.  And I have good news!  If you use the coupon code "Shimmer03" now through March 31st, you will receive a 20% discount on the Shimmer Mixers!
Shimmer Mixers (800x600)
I have been designing angel wings for my handcrafted tabletop fabric mannequins.  When I received my wonderful goodie box from Sakura Hobby Craft, I was inspired to make some wings for my mini mannequins, too.

I’ve been making fabric wings, but I thought it would be great to make translucent wings with Crystal Lacquer and Shimmer Mixers. The wings from the Sizzix Angel Wings die are just about the right size for my mini mannequin, so I decided to make a template using the die, rather than drawing a whole new pattern.

I used plastic presentation covers that I bought at a thrift store.  They are available at office supply stores.  You can also use stencil or template plastic from a craft store.  I wanted it to be thick enough that I could pour Crystal Lacquer into it.  If you don’t have an angel wing die, you can draw one and cut it out with a craft knife.  And you can use this technique for any shape you want to make!

I made two templates:
Template (800x528)
Then I turned one over to make a mirror image.  I wanted a way to attach the wings to the mannequin.  The mannequin is made from muslin, so sewing the wings on seemed appropriate.  I wanted to embed the buttons into the wings.  I placed the templates onto some plastic wrap on a tray.  I taped the templates to the plastic wrap with masking tape to keep them from shifting. I put a little bit of Crystal Lacquer onto the back of each button so they would stay in place while I added the rest of the Crystal Lacquer.  I made sure it wasn’t too close to the edge, because that would make the structure too weak.
Template with buttons (800x595)
Next I mixed Shimmer Rose Jewel Effects Shimmer Powder into some Crystal Lacquer in a disposable container.  I used a plastic spoon to spoon the pink Crystal Lacquer into my template.  I was being pretty careful, but it ran over the side.  This turned out not to be a problem.
Wings in mold (800x600)
I mixed more Crystal Lacquer than I thought I would need, because I didn’t want to take the chance that I would have to mix more and the color wouldn’t be the same.  I had way too much lacquer mixed up, so I got two more buttons and filled the other wings.  There was still some left, so I painted it onto some canvas flower diecuts, some shipping tags and some metal diecuts.  I think it’s a good idea to have some extra substrates ready when you mix the Shimmer Mixers into the Crystal Lacquer, so you don’t waste anything.
Flowers (800x273)
I let the wings set up.  I was able to gauge their hardness by touching the part that spilled over the edge.  When it was no longer tacky on top, I turned the templates over.  The Crystal Lacquer that had been touching the plastic wrap wasn’t dry.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of setting one of the templates down on the tray without plastic wrap, and it stuck.  I let the wings dry some more
before I did anything else with them.  When they were no longer sticky, I cut the templates and the excess Crystal Lacquer away with small, sharp scissors. 
Wings out of the template (800x389)
The Crystal Lacquer goes through stages while it hardens.  First, it’s liquid and will disperse itself smoothly in a mold.  Then it starts to set up.  At this point, it will stick to whatever you touch it with and it won’t be smooth if you disturb it.  Then it’s no longer really tacky but is still flexible, so that you may be able to touch it lightly, but it may stretch out if you handle it.  There’s a point where you can touch it with your fingers but it will still stick to other things (like my tray).  Then it really sets up but is still pliable and you can work with it.  That’s the stage at which I cut the templates away.  Then it hardens more.

Basically, I had to watch it until it got to the point where I could cut it without messing it up.  I didn’t want to wait until it was completely hardened, because I was afraid if it got too brittle I wouldn’t get a nice cut.

The timing is easier than it sounds, because it really dried gradually. 

Crystal Lacquer is also an adhesive, so it wants to stick to things.  But a little bit of Lacquer that
dripped onto a piece of the plastic popped off easily after it was really hardened, so if I hadn’t let the Crystal Lacquer run over the edge, I may have been able to simply remove the wings from the template.  But I wanted to cut the excess off while it was still flexible.

My next Crystal Lacquer experiment will involve piping a line of Crystal Lacquer around the inside of the template, to act as a dam and hold the Lacquer in.  Then I will see if the piece can just pop out.  That way, the templates could be reused.  I might also try a thicker template.

Once I had my wings cut out, I decided I still liked the ones that had the flaw.  I poured a little bit of Crystal Lacquer into the holes in the wing.  I think I could have skipped that step, but it seemed to safer to patch the holes.  I decided to camouflage the flaws with the little flower diecuts I’d painted with the Crystal Lacquer.  I sewed a glass flower bead into the center of each diecut, then adhered each one to the wings with plain Crystal Lacquer.
Flowers on wings (800x764)
The buttons worked perfectly.  I usually use button thread or several strands of embroidery floss to attach buttons to projects.  I decided to use three strands of embroidery floss that I had hand dyed.  I threaded the floss into a needle, and basically sewed each button in place, then tied three knots on each button.

Here is the finished project:

And here is a closeup of one wing:
Angel wing closeup (461x800)
If you don’t want to mold your own wings but you still want to get the shimmery look, you can paint the Crystal Lacquer mixture onto another surface.  This is the same mixture I used for the molded wings, painted onto canvas:
DSCN2576 (800x600)
I hope you will try this technique.  And I hope you will get some of Sakura’s Terri Sproul Mixers and be inspired!

Please let me know if you have any questions about this project!


  1. The wings look AWESOME - THANKS for sharing Karen!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This is fantastic Karen! Great Job... made with my favorite products.. love the wings..

  3. Wow, fantastic project! This was very amazing! Loved it!

  4. Fantastic works and beautiful imagination, congratulation, God bless you.