Throwback Thursday StencilGirl Hop ~ Sweet Gum Ball Fairy



I have been under the impression since childhood that  gum balls are sweet and come out of dime (now 50 cents!) vending machines.

When I saw that StencilGirl had a stencil called “Sweet Gum Balls” my first thought was that these gum balls would hurt to bite and chew.


Every day is an opportunity to learn. Thanks to Jane La Fazio and The Audubon Society I know that Sweet Gum is a tree that sheds ball-shaped pods. Still. I can’t escape the original image in my head, ergo….



Tree seed pods? If you are lucky enough to be in the woods when the Sweet Gum Fairy visits you might get to chomp on these confections! Served after a leafy lunch-time salad.

StencilGirl founder Mary Beth Shaw tells me that the 9×12″ Sweet Gum Balls stencil certainly takes the longest to cut and is, perhaps, the most intricate. I have to say that the paint lines are crisp and lovely. The stencil worked great with whipped spackle.


I adore the organic heart shapes that appear within each ball so I had to make a journal page as well. I used 3 colors of yellow and pounced the colors dark to light over the tops of each other.



I outlined the little hearts where I happened to see them. Bet this page becomes a card at some point.

The Sweet Gum Fairy is buzzing in my ear, “Get back to my project!” 


I played with a bit of sheer shimmer on a few of the balls. I used the shimmer on both top and underneath sides of fairy’s wings. (Underneath is green.) I think they turned out pretty.


I googled a pic of the tree’s leaves and drew, cut a mask and stenciled around a sheet of brown scrapbook paper, used an Exacto-knife to cut out my mat, then decided I needed more leaves so I made a bunch in 3 sizes and a few randomly mixed shades of green. As you can see, my flimsy mask folded over during the process, but I was fussy cutting anyway so I did not let it stop me. I would not have thought to make a mask except that I have been playing with stencils for the past 6 months.


The fairy ‘s curly locks are thanks to an American Girl magazine pen pal project that I made when my daughter was a Brownie Girl Scout (now she is all grown up).


Achieved by wetting embroidery thread and wrapping it around a toothpick then pulling it off when dry.


I stitched some ribbons together for the skirt and used a piece of ribbon for the torso between the wings.

The whole collage is glued together.


Now it is time for you to don your fairy wings and fly to the rest of our Throwback Thursday projects. You are in for stenciled treats, even if they are not sugary, I assure you!

And what would a Blog Hop be without a GIVEAWAY??!!!

What do you have to do to enter?
Just leave a comment below by Sunday, May 29th at 11:59PM Central Time.

The more blogs you comment on in the blog hop, the more chances you have of winning!
Winner will be announced on StencilGirl Product’s Facebook Page on May 30th.

One lucky winner will receive
EVERY StencilGirl Stencil showcased on today’s Blog Hop!
Stitch a Greek Border
Stitch a Circle
Sweet Gum Balls
Dia Muertos Mask
Art is Good for You

Retail Value $84!


97 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday StencilGirl Hop ~ Sweet Gum Ball Fairy

  1. Well you learn something new everyday here in stencilgirl land! Carol, I had always wondered why they would have named that stencil “sweet gumballs” as I’m with you on the round colorful little gum balls from the machine. Now I get it!!!!
    Ldobry6 (at)gmail (dot) com

  2. That stencil reminds me of truffula trees from The Lorax 🙂 . I love what you did!
    freemantj10 (at) yahoo (dot com)

  3. These turned out great! Love the colors, and your little pen dolls are so cute! I’ve also always wondered why this was the gumballs stencil. Now I know! Lol.

  4. How completely creative and fun!! I love your take on the Gum Ball Fairy stencil, hehe! You’ve really used your imagination and created a purely magical work of art with a sweet story to go with it! LOVE!! thanks for this fabulous inspiration!

  5. Hi Carol, this is really cool! We have lots of sweet gum balls here. I remember years ago decorating for Christmas by dipping them in gold. Fin project.

  6. Love all your colors and textures and layers, Carol! Brilliant! So happy you were on the hop!

  7. Have never seen the wrapping of embroidery thread trick before – you must have to do something besides just wet it though? Love love love the colors and the stencil you used – thanks!

  8. I love the hearts in the Sweet Gum Balls! And I will by trying the curls with my little granddaughters this summer. Such fun ideas! thanks you! Jean

  9. Not only do gum balls come out of a vending machine, and have a tree named after them, but their colors are always bright and fun and your mouth turns out the same color as your gum ball! teehee

  10. My son calls those balls “porky nuts” after he fell down a hill of them. Like porcupine, not pig.

  11. I love Gum Balls but not the kind that come out of the vending machine. The stencil is amazing and you did a wonderful job with your project.

    dreamsembellished (at) gmail (dot com)

  12. I really like your gumball stencil. the fairy is adorable. I’m especially interested in the pens as I’m a VBS co-crafts organizer at church. Thanks for all of the directions.

  13. What a lovely project! And thanks for the explanation about why this stencil is called gum balls – I could not figure that out!

  14. I love what you did with the prickly gum ball! Thanks for the inspiration! I will check out your other stuff too! 🙂
    creatrix777 (at) gmail (dot com)

  15. So cheerful and fun! I adore that you’ve picked out the little hearts where they appear.

  16. Great photo of the textre paste used with the stencil. Great ideas and play with that stencil. Cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the little ladies. I am a person who enjoys pens and to use them in this manner is fangtastic!

  17. I didn;’t realize the center of the gum balls were hearts – so neat to outline them changes the look completely

  18. We have gumballs in our area and most people view them as a nuisance. The gumballs on
    your project will be well-loved. The coloring is fantastic. Loved the little pencil fairies.
    I have to remember that project.
    thanks for sharing some amazing ideas.

  19. I had no idea there were “real” sweet gum balls – thanks so much for clearing that up! love, love, love the hearts journal page ♥

  20. these gum balls are much sweeter than the real ones that scatter all over our driveway perhaps i should stencil ones amongst the real ones??

  21. A mini science lesson and art showcase, how cool! I really like the sweet gumball creation you did in yellow with little outlined hearts! Thanks for a chance to win!
    asweetjewel(at)gmail(dot com)

  22. Thank you for reminding us that stencils are a fabulous tool especially in yout truly mixed media work. Peej lankford

  23. What a great marriage…..Stencil Girl and Imagine products. Have really enjoyed the last 3 days watching everyone create such beautiful art. suzschultz23(at)aol(dot)com

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