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Build a Layered Fairy House in a Hex Frame

Build a Layered Fairy House in a Hex Frame main article image
Posted on March 5, 2023 by Jan Hunter
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The hexagon frame is a perfect way to showcase layered images. For this project, framing the whimsical layered fairy house image in the hexagon was perfect. There are several watercolor images to choose from and in this case, it only takes a couple of prints to build your image in layers and add some dimension. You make the decisions as to how many layers and where to place the layers.

Files used for this project are: 

Shadowbox Frame Template

Cute Fairy House

Blue Sky Background

You’ll also need: 
Electronic cutting machine and software (Skycut C24 and SCAL 6 were used)
Craft knife
Glue
Scor-tape (1/4” wide)
Foam tape/adhesive foam dots
Scissors
White ink
AC cardstock (brown textured, white smooth)
Printer
Photo editing software (optional)

Let’s get started: 

  • Open the hexagon frame file – Resize the file if needed. Make any other changes in the file (score lines, etc) you need to for a successful cut.  There is no need to attach those score lines in SCAL if you’re cutting directly to your SkyCut or SOLO machine. The frame requires a full sheet of 12 x 12-inch cardstock. We choose a brown color, cutting the textured side facing the mat.  A new setting in SCAL 6 allows a near seamless scoring and cutting process now. Set all the scoring lines to score making sure that if you need to change the default force and speed settings, do it now in the software.
  • Before assembling the frame, measure the inner hexagon. Using those measurements, create a hexagon on the mat. Using Pattern fill on the Color and Styles palette, fill the hexagon with one of the sky backgrounds or background of your choice or making. Print and cut the hexagon following the directions in your software for Print2cut. 
  • Place the hexagon, centered in the hexagon frame. We traced around a couple of the corners to mark placement. Adhere in place lining up with the marked corners. Assemble the frame and set it aside.

Now on to building our image: 

  • Pick the scene you want to use as your main focal piece. Size to fit in the frame, making sure that the image will be snug but not overlap the inside edges of the frame. Print at least 2 copies of the image. Cut any excess paper away from the main image, using the craft knife and small detail scissors. The print we chose has some very fine details and a few areas that are white and were not removed while the png file was being created. We decided not to cut those details or leave them off the finished piece. * You can choose to do the detail cutting or remove some of those areas if desired. TIP: If you plan on 3 or more layers for dimension, you’ll likely need to print at least one or two more images.

  • We limited the number of layers to two. We cut extras of the roof, chimney, and the small mushroom on the left side.  Two layers of the roof and chimney and at the last minute chose to add one more layer of the roof of the left mushroom for a little more pop.
  • Once you have all the elements cuts needed for layering, you can ink the edges of those pieces for a cleaner edge finish if you’d like. Use foam dots, squares or strips as separators to add extra dimension (or small pieces of foam core with an added dry strong adhesive for bonding to your image for layering).

Assembling the image:

  • Place a full image in the frame and secure it in place. We used some liquid glue but you could begin building the dimension by securing this piece in the frame using foam tape, dots, squares, or strips. Making sure that there is full coverage and that the center of the image is supported. TIP: Do not hang or display your framed piece in direct sunlight or where it may be exposed to a lot of heat. Be aware that the foam tape you use may not hold up to the heat or intensity of the sunlight after a period of time. Your piece may detach from the frame and the layers may as well.

  • Begin layering. Place the foam squares, strips, or dots on the back of the pieces you’ve cut.  Don’t be stingy.  The center of each piece also needs to be supported as you’ve done with the base piece if you’re lifting that from the base of the frame back.  The chimney on the upper roof was added first.  We used 2 layers of foam tape on the roof – as we decided to only use one additional layer there. 
  • Repeat the process of adding the foam and placing appropriately.
  • If desired, add additional embellishments such as bark, moss, sequins, jewels, gold leaf, etc., to create the final image you desire. Your imagination is limitless!

*While re-thinking the process of creating this project again – in your photo editing software (i.e., Photoshop Elements), remove the remaining white background behind some of the finer details in the cute fairy house png image. Open the image for the sky background. Selecting the fairy house image, Select All and then drag and drop the image over to the sky background image. Move the fairy house image as needed on the background image as desired. Save the new combined image.  Resize. Print the image as many times as needed for the base and layering needs.

In the image below, you can see the white that remains in the png image. You’ll want to remove the white or do lots of detail cutting if you combine the two images before printing.

TIP: If you choose to do the detail cuts using detail scissors and/or a craft knife, use careful cuts to keep these details intact, and add a coat of Acrylic Medium or Mod-Podge to the back to strengthen that area before cutting.         

Thanks for stopping by. If you create this project or do something using the same techniques, we hope you’ll share it with us. For additional inspiration from Jan, please visit her author’s page here or her blog


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