POLKADOODLES - Mixed Media Birdcage wall hanging

I'm rather excited! This is my first post as a new DT member with Polkadoodles, and this is the very first project for the We Love To Create Mixed Media challenge blog!

I love Polkadoodles images, as they are so whimsical and great fun to play with. And very different from every other stamp and die I have hidden in my vast stash (half of which my husband doesn't know about - and I'm not telling him, either).

Step by step tutorial 

This project actually took on a life of its own - I was going to make a card! Instead, this greyboard heart from my stash inspired a whimsical wall hanging. As a wall hanging is viewed from a distance, I decided to use mainly die cuts for the decorations. Where I used the same shapes, I added variety by changing the finishes, so they all look different.

Any basic heart or oval shape in greyboard or chipboard would work for this project. I gave my piece a light coat of gesso as a base, as this helps colours to stay true, especially pastels. I then added chalk paints in light turquoise and pink. Over this I used a crackle glaze (a thin layer of the base coat, and a thick layer of the crackle coat, applied with a palette knife). The heavier the crackle coat, the bigger the cracks.

I used the leaf sprig die to make my own stencil, by cutting the leaf as normal, then turning the paper over before die cutting the leaf again, so that it would face in the opposite direction. I sponged some random leaves using more of the chalk paints. The sponge is a cut-up piece of household sponge, as used for washing up.

The next step was to use the text stamp from the Belle Papillon A5 stamp set, randomly stamped in areas to add extra interest and using Weathered Wood Distress Oxide ink. I used a little piece of braid from my stash, threading it through the hole at the top of the heart, fix this in place at the front with a little hot glue (this helps the braid to lay flatter than knotting it through).

Next, I cut lots and lots of birds, butterflies, leaves and flowers - and the birdcage of course. I cut 6 birdcages, and glued two separate stacks with 3 birdcages in each. I used Art Glitter glue, but any PVA glue would work as well. Once dry, the birdcage is very solid, like chipboard.

I used Stampendous Boss Gloss clear embossing ink on the top layers of the birdcages (turning one over, so the direction is reversed). This is in a little bottle with foam applicator tip, which enables you to apply a really heavy coat of ink by pressing down.

I embossed one birdcage with Stampendous 'Frantage' embossing enamel in Shabby White and the other with Stampendous 'Frantage' Shabby Pink. I heated one layer, added the powder and embossed it, and once cooled, added a second layer of embossing ink and more powder, then heated up again. The second layer will stay hot for longer, so you can easily add a third coat of powder if you would like (you won't need to add more embossing ink unless you have let the piece cool too much). This adds a lot of dimension! Next, I used more of the same braid to stick the birdcages in position before adding all my die cut elements.

All the die cuts were given different treatments so they didn't all look the same.

Use more than one green when painting leaves, to make them look more natural.

I used watercolours to paint some leaves, flowers and butterflies.

Rock salt sprinkled onto wet watercolour...

I added a layer of rock salt to some of the die cuts while they were wet. This just brushes off when dry, and gives a wonderful mottled effect (save the salt for shaker cards!)

I added a crackle finish to some birds, and cut more butterflies, leaves and flowers from papers I printed out from the Polkadoodles Belle Papillon CD Rom. I spritzed some with water, and shaped with a ball tool while the paper was still damp.

I painted some birds with chalk paint and added a thick coat of PVA glue (dries clear) then threw on glitter.

For the rest of my embellishments, I used two little resin frames from my stash (which I've had for years, and never used, so now was the time, lol). I painted these with white chalk paint, then added gold gilding wax on the high points. Also from my stash: a few dried flower sprigs, some 'crystal' beads and pearls (from a broken necklace), two heart stick pins and a leaf stick pin. I arranged everything roughly in place, and glued down in sections, when happy. I used a hot glue gun, for speed. (Glue gel, tacky glue, gel medium or silicone glue would also work very nicely).

My final touch was to add the two glittered birds on top of the birdcages. Voila!

I used:

Other items:
  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour palette
  • Creative Expressions Shimmer watercolour palette Carnival Brights
  • Chipboard heart
  • Gesso
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in White; Refreshing; Innocence
  • Pentart Wax Paste Gold metallic
  • Pentart 2-part set Cracking paste and Cracking Paste Primer
  • PVA glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Viva Crushed Ice Crystals glitter

Great fun, and I do hope you enjoyed this and are inspired to have a go yourselves!

See you soon!


  1. Love this, Susie! Super pretty colours and a great tutorial! A real stunner of a project! xx

    1. Thank you so much, Jane! I really appreciate the comments - I was worried the tutorial might be a little too long. 💖


Post a Comment

I love to receive comments, and I read each & every single one! Thank you so much. DO NOT leave comments with links or attachments - these will be deleted immediately!
I'm sorry to have to put Captcha back on - I know how annoying it it is - but I'm getting targeted by spammers again.