Monday, April 14, 2014

Anatomy Of The Nose

Here you will find a detailed drawing lesson that you may find useful when sculpting the planes of the nose on your doll's face:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Aged Hand And Foot WIP Photos

Thanks to this doll maker who shared his WIP. You will find great hand and foot detail photos that you might find helpful as reference for aged figures and for attaching a held object to a hand using a finger/hand/arm armature.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sculpting The Male Figure

Thanks to this doll maker for sharing this photo tutorial for you to follow along. The WIP is shown  from initial drawing to the completed sculpt.  There is lots to learn from this excellent doll maker:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bunka - Pulling Threads Demonstration

This video demonstrates pulling threads from Bunka cord to get the curly strands we use on doll costumes, hats and sometimes as wigging (see Uses For Bunka). Try each one of the pulls to see the thickness and curl they produce.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Little Stuff's Peacock Faerie

This little faerie is a 1:12 scale OOAK sculpt made with  Puppen and other FIMO clay blend. She is 5 1/2  inches tall with angora hair and Genesis painted details.  She is dressed in real peacock and other feathers .  She is watching the water ripple in the pond as her finger touches the surface. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Using Markers And Paint Pens

If you are having trouble painting your doll's eyes with heat-set or acrylic paints using a paint brush, you might want to try a paint pen or marker. The Sharpie product in this video is oil-based. Some alcohol-based art markers (like Prismacolor) will work too.

BUT, be sure to test any marker or paint pen on a scrap of baked clay first to ensure it is compatible with polymer clay. If it remains sticky or flakes, etc., it is not compatible. Also, if you are going to add a gloss over the paint or maker, be sure to test it too to be sure the gloss is compatible with the paint or marker ink.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Millinary Tutorial

This link will take you to one of my favorite tutorials for making basic period style hats: 
Many thanks to this doll maker for sharing her great photo tutorial. 
Be sure to check the topic 'Hats' in this blog's Index for lots more links and information about hat making.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Uses For Bunka

Bunka is a sort of chain-stitched/braided 4-ply rayon 1/16" round cord. It is unraveled or 'pulled' to make a tiny curly strand. You just find the right end and pull a thread. Bunka has many uses; some make curls for doll hair and some use it for trim on costumes and hats.
Here are links to some blog posts with some information about Bunka:
And finally, a video demonstrating the unraveling of Bunka to get those curly threads:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Making A Mermaid With A Spiral Tail

This doll makers has shared her mermaid WIP, from beginning the doll to how she made a spiral tail  including information about making scales. You can find it here:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How To Make Another Simple Base

Don't have a flat piece of rock? Try Krylon ‘Make It Stone’;  a textured spray paint that makes wood look like colored stone (works on wood, metal, glass,  paper mache, plastic, craft foam, and ceramic).

Monday, March 3, 2014

How To Make A Base - Moon

This doll artist shared her technique for making a moon from Paper Clay over a wire armature. See how she did it here:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How To Make A Small Base

NOTE: The product used in this video is Apoxie Sculpt,  a clay type 2-part epoxy sculpting compound (another brand we have used is Magic Sculpt). These products chemical cure. You mix a polymer resin and hardener together and it cures without heat in about 3 hours to a rock hard state. Some doll makers use them for an under-sculpt over a wire armature. See this blog's Index for more about 'Under-Sculpts'.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Make An Armature For A 5 1/2 Inch Doll

This doll artist shares a photo tutorial showing how to make an armature for use in a 5 1/2 inch push mold. She offers tips for fitting the armature into a mold too. Find the 5 pages here:

Friday, February 14, 2014

More About Making Ball-Jointed Dolls

If you are thinking of trying to sculpt a ball-joint doll you may find a guide helpful. Thanks to this doll maker for sharing his illustrated tutorial (be sure to click the links at the bottom of his page to see all 5 parts):
And here are some photos of a commercial resin BJD that show the shapes of the pieces as it is assembled:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ball-Jointed Doll - Stringing - Part Two

NOTE: Part One of this video is on the post below.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ball-Jointed Doll - Stringing - Part One

Ever wondered how those BJD's were put together? Nothing is better then seeing one assembled to take the confusion out of the process. This video demonstrates how one doll maker strings her polymer clay BJD.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Landmarks You Should Know

One of my sources for human anatomy references is the web site Fine Art. The following two links are to landmarks you should memorize to enhance your ability to sculpt a figure:
The illustrations are from Figure Drawing For All Its Worth by Andrew Loomis (check this blog's Index by Topic for 'Books' where you will find a free source).

NOTE: You will find references photos of nudes on the Fine Art web site too:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How To Use A Photo Of An Iris For Doll's Eyes

Thanks to this doll artist for her tutorial on making eye balls; she is using a photo of a real iris on a quilting pin and using UV light to cure the 3D gloss coating:
More info about how to use the 3D gloss product is found here:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Making and Inserting Eyeballs

Would you like to insert eyeballs into your sculpt? You can, by making balls of polymer clay and curing them prior to inserting in the under-sculpt of your doll's head.  The face is then sculpted over the cured under-sculpt. You will find a tutorial for inserting eyeballs here:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Work In Progress (WIP) Tutorials

This blog follows a doll artist as she sculpts figures in polymer clay. Some tips are shared also. See them at this BlogSpot:

Alice in Wonderland Tutorial

Thanks to this doll maker who has shared her photo tutorial to make a 5 1/2 inch Alice in Wonderland doll; from clay to costume and everything in between. This tutorial demonstrates how to use a push mold, sculpting the details, how to use iris inserts for the eyes , wigging, and costuming including her shoes.  Find it here:

Friday, January 10, 2014

How To Make A Dollhouse Doll

This 7 part article provides instructions and photos of the basic construction for making a 1:12 scale poseable doll to live in a dollhouse:
These 5 1/2 inch to 6 inch miniature dolls are simple to make and take a very small amount of supplies; just wire, clay and wrapping. They are much simpler for beginners because the arms, legs and torso are wire wrapped with cotton yarn, or poly batting strips, and do not need to be sculpted. Only the head, hands and feet are shaped from polymer clay. The body can be dressed in simple costumes too. These tiny dolls are fun to make and turn out sooo cute...try making one!

Be sure to click on the 'how to' subjects listed in this blog's Index - Posts By Topic (scroll down the right panel) to find out more about wire armatures, sculpting, wigging and painting.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Point And Shoot Macro Photography

The small, and inexpensive, point and shoot digital cameras have become better over the years (6 megapixels and up). These cameras have close focusing abilities. The camera setting for extremely close-up photos of little objects, like small scale dolls, vary from camera to camera, but most have a macro focusing mode; it is set by clicking on a flower petal icon (see the owners manual for specifics). This article discusses some details about how to use these cameras that you may find helpful if you are considering posting doll photos anywhere on-line:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Another Sculpting A Likeness Video

This video shares the process of sculpting a likeness of a well known male movie star. Fun to watch! The clay being used is Sculpey Firm Gray, a soft oven cure clay.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Make A Simple Hat

This miniature blogger and doll maker called this the easiest hat she has ever made for a 5 1/2 inch doll. She shared the pattern and directions here:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sculpting a Likeness

This is an interesting demonstration that you may enjoy watching. To begin a portrait doll , find a good photo of the person; a front, side and 3/4 view of their face.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tip for Getting Clay to Release From Push Mold

Tried tip by Patricia Rose to release clay from push mold-
Today I tried soaking a 5 1/2" doll mold in water for 2 mins. and  froze for 3 minutes after filling and it works really well!  The clay wants to release in the thin spots (arms and legs) from the mold just from soaking it.  I was able to pull a complete mold, minus the head, both sides at once with no problems. I always take off the hands and feet and make my own after pulling. Patricia suggests a longer soak and freeze time:
Click here to see Patricia's directions.

Tip For Smoothing Clay

Smoothing and Leveling longer clay surfaces. I did discover by mistake that if you put some clay oil on your finger (I accidently got some on my fingers while placing a drop in a lid to work with and did not want to waste it) and then rub the surface, you can level & smooth long sections of legs and arms easily. I usually have arms and legs that slightly "roll" up and down along the length of the limb. I used to spend a lot of time scraping them smooth after baking, because trying to drag unbaked clay just deformed the shape I had worked so hard to sculpt.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Making A Armature For Small Scale Dolls

Ever wished you could watch a doll maker construct an armature? This video demonstrates the process for a doll that is approximately 7 inches to 11 inches tall. Smaller dolls use smaller gauge wire but the process is the same.

You may find it helpful to hold the armature up to front, back and side drawings or photos of a skeleton to get the correct proportions and curve to the spine, neck and legs. You can find 7 and 8 inch ones here:

Monday, December 16, 2013


This photo tutorial is on applying eyelashes to your doll's eyes. Check it out here:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More About Hands

This video is an introduction to the volume and basic shapes of a hand. The sculptor is using Super Sculpey Firm Gray, an oven bake clay that is softer clay than most polymer clays used for OOAK doll making, however the forming of the hand is the same. Also demonstrated are practice sculpts of mouth, nose and eyes.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guideline For Working With Undersculpts

Has this ever happened to you? You make an armature and add and bake an undersculpt. Then you add some top clay and begin to sculpt your doll but get sidetracked and your sculpt hangs around in your studio for awhile. When you get back to it, the top clay cracks and is crumbly and difficult, if not impossible, to continue sculpting. What happened? The oil in the top clay gets 'absorbed' into the baked undersculpt clay. So here is the guideline recommended by several doll makers; once the undersculpt clay is on the wire armature and is baked, it can wait for a very long time for you to finish it; but once you add the top clay over an undersculpt you must finish sculpting and bake your doll within a week.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Chocolates!

3" polymer clay faerie pigging out on all her Christmas chocolates. This tiny little doll fits inside a miniature tea cup ornament. She has chocolate on her face and fingers as she smiles that "I've reached sugar overload" state of bliss only chocolate can bring. Her face details are colored with ultra fine permanent markers and her little dress is made from flocked ribbon. Chocolates are free printies with Sakura 3D Crystal Lacquer gloss overlay. This lacquer is a sticky viscous liquid, which dries clear and glossy with a slight amount of give. Applied to a flat surface it creates a domed effect.
 photo mousehouse016_zpse26c281a.jpg  photo mousehouse013_zps7c83aed6.jpg  photo mousehouse006_zps9b103c4c.jpg

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Doll A Month Challenge

Our challenge to everyone is to create a doll a month...beginner or experienced doll artist. It is said that it takes at least 20 completed dolls before you can consider yourself a doll maker.

So, how long does it take to make an OOAK doll? We guesstimate that it takes about 30-40 hours; more or less! That is 1 to 2 hours a day, 4 to 5 days a week for 4 weeks. Very do-able for a hobbyist.

Challenge Rules:
1. Don't copy, create! Look for inspiration but incorporate that into your own design.
2. Develop your style! It may take you a few years to recognize that you have one, but everyone does.
3. Don't beat yourself up if things go wrong; it happens to us all!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reference Images - Hands & Feet

As you know, visual references, both drawings and photographs, are important when you are sculpting. We found some that you may find helpful.

Thanks to this doll maker who has shared images of feet on her web page… you will find them here:

And this site for photos of hands (click on the images to enlarge):

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tips For Painting Eyes

This is an interesting YouTube video demonstrating steps for painting eyes. The information applies to either acrylic or Genesis heat set paints. Acrylic paints air-dry between layers but when using heat-set paints be sure to use a heat gun to set the paint between layers (more information about heat guns in the topic 'Painting' in the index).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Exhibit - Merry Olde England

The One of a Kind Doll Makers Guild exhibited OOAK dolls at the Deltona Library. Some of the Guild's member's presented their original dolls: Classy Characters, JL Dolls, Little Stuff and Mini Friends.
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Guidlines For Painting Eyes

This doll maker shares her guides for correctly placing the iris when painting a doll's eyes. You can see it here:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How To Fill A Push Mold With Clay

Some doll makers use commercial push molds, or a mold they made themselves, to start their polymer clay doll. The shaped clay that is taken from a mold is called a body blank. Starting with a body blank lets a doll maker begin with the correct amount of clay and then the clay is sculpted and detailed by the doll maker after the clay is removed from a mold.  Used in this way a mold is just a proportion aide for sculpting like any other tool. For more information, click on the topic Push Molds in the blog's Index.

Here is a YouTube video that demonstrates how to fill a plaster mold with polymer clay and release it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Augmenting An Armature With Brass Tubes

Sometimes a doll needs addition support, such as an arm that is going to be holding a weight or a leg that is going to support the entire sculpt. There are lots of circumstances where you may want to augment your armature with a brass tube. This doll maker shows how to handle a brass tube when using it over a wire in a doll's armature:

To see a photo of the armature shown click on this link:

Then check this blog's Index for more about the topic Armatures.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Polymer Clay - Baking, Strength and Color

Testing polymer clays for strength and color after baking was done by this doll maker using FIMO Classic, FIMO Puppen, Sculpey Premo, Cernit, Kato and Prosculpt. She discusses bake temperatures and  FIMO clay mixes too (a blend of FIMO clays; Rose Puppen, Classic Flesh and Classic White). She shares her results here:

Monday, September 30, 2013

OOAK Witch

1:12 scale polymer witch made with Puppen clay and Genesis paints. She has viscose hair and red glittered eyes. Her stockings are created with permanent micro markers sealed with Genesis thick medium and her clothes are a mix of fine green tulle, black cotton lawn and black cotton netting. She was flying along and decided to turn an oblivious downtown shopper into a frog and forgot to look where she was flying. So don't use with your wand while flying (like don't text and drive).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How To Make A 'Wash' With Genesis Paints

Genesis paint is opaque. At the dark end of the spectrum, Genesis paint colors are made with pure pigments. Generally, lighter values  are more opaque to ensure their covering power (to obtain the light values, a white has been added to a pure color).

The manufacturer said that transparent washes can be achieved by tinting the Thick Medium (just Genesis with no pigment added). When you add some Genesis paint to the Thick Medium, it gives you a good layer of paint and the transparency that you want. My favorite way to use this transparent paint is to pounce it on a polymer clay doll with a cosmetic sponge in very thin layers.

If you like to paint with a thinner consistency, you can add a small amount of Thinning Medium or Glazing Gel to the wash.  When adding either of these Mediums to thin, a recommended maximum ratio is no more than 40% medium to 60% paint.

To learn more, look in our blog's index and click on the topic Painting. Try the technique shown in the post "How to Apply Thin Layers of paint."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Making A Wing Using A Printed Transparency

Thanks to this doll maker for sharing his WIP video - making a wing for a very tiny doll using a transparency sheet. You can order commercial transparency sheets with wing designs from suppliers of doll making items; the sheets come printed with several types of wings and in various sizes. Please have patience, videos are sometimes slow to load.

Rules Of Thumb For Sculpting The Human Figure

This sculptor describes the 3 key areas for successfully sculpting your doll; proportion, the main body masses and balance. You can read his easy to understand rules here:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mouse Challenge - Something Different

Your challenge is to make a doll shaped like a mouse. How will you make yours? Stuffed soft body, needle felted, sculpted from clay, a combination?  Have some fun; no rules...just right!

Stuffed Mouse Tutorial

Here's a tutorial and pattern for creating a stuffed wool felt mouse (like the one pictured in this blog's July 2013 post - see below). This mouse is 1:12 scale for your mouse stump house. It has a 3 piece body pattern. For this mouse pattern and instructions:
Click Here

For a 2 piece body pattern, click this link:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cleaning Clay Residue From Food Processors

Cleaning your clay (food) processor tip: After conditioning some green clay in my processor today, I needed to make sure all the green was out so that future projects would not be green! After scarping and cleaning as usual, I wiped the inside with a paper towel and it still had some green on it. I poured a little mineral oil in and wiped all of the inside using a paper towel and then washed with dish soap to remove the mineral oil, and no more green!

Looking for a glass bowl food processor? Do an internet search for 'glass bowl food chopper' to locate one. They do make them, but sometimes are hard to find.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wood Nymph on Carousel by Little Stuff

This Little Wood Nymph is attempting to grab the ring while riding the zebra on a carousel. She is concentrating so hard on grabbing the ring that her tiny little tongue is sticking out as she balances on the zebra.  She is a 1:12 Ooak polymer art doll sculpted on a multi-strand aluminum wire armature.  I used Living Doll clay and Genesis paints. Wings are made from leaf skeletons adhered to Fantasy Film and coated with Gallery Glass.  Silk flowers were added to finish the wing design. Her eye lashes and hair are made from viscose fiber and her clothing is made up from pieces of silk flowers. The zebra is a thrift store find that I spruced spruced up and was the inspiration for the piece.  I used this doll to try out adding lashes and adding anatomical details to practices improving my designs.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Products For Making An Under-Sculpt

Some doll makers use polymer clay over their wire armature to make an under-sculpt. The clay under-sculpt is baked, then covered with another layer of clay. The covering clay does not bond with the under-sculpt, but you can use an application of liquid clay as an adhesive.

Some doll makers use scrunched-up foil as their under-sculpt. Others use epoxy sculpt products.

A relatively new product, Sculpey UltraLight, is a lightweight and extremely soft clay that bakes so hard that it won’t crack or break, even in larger pieces. The manufacturer said that UltraLight is a great replacement for foil under-sculpts on wire armatures and when covered with a layer of polymer clay, the UltraLight chemically bonds together with the covering clay. It is much lighter then epoxy sculpting products.  


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Conditioning Clay Using A Pasta Machine

This video is a short demonstration of how to condition clay by rolling it through a pasta machine as well as explaining why. Thanks to this video, you will know what to look for as you are conditioning your clay. The video requires you to register but it is free for you to view; just click on the arrow over the sheet of dark clay:

Need a pasta machine? Find reviews of the different brands of pasta machines here:

And finally, a video demonstrating blending several different clays together.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Make A Soft Body For A Small Baby Doll

Here is a  link to a pattern for a cloth body for a baby doll. This type of body requires flange ends on the sculpted head, legs and arms (there is a photo of the flange ends). Easy!

So how big should you make the cloth body? Well, a baby's torso from newborn up to 1 year, varies from approximately one and one-half to one and three-quarters  head lengths (see a proportion chart for baby's age). So measure from the top of your doll's head down to its chin. Measure the cloth body and where the torso head lengths ends is where the baby's bottom should be.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wigging With Both Tibetan Lamb And Mohair

Here is the link to one of my favorite photo tutorials about wigging titled Great Hair Secrets:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Anatomy of the Nose

The following 3 videos are demonstrations of sculpting the shapes of the eyes, lips and in this one, the nose. These are not doll tutorials but a study of sculpting facial features in clay. By understanding the shapes it will help you as you sculpt your doll's face. Please have patience, YouTube videos are sometimes slow to load.

Anatomy of the Eye

This video is a study of the shape of eye and it's form as it sits in the socket. It is not a doll tutorial but you may find the sculpting demonstration and explanation helpful as you are detailing your doll's face. Please have patience, YouTube videos are sometimes slow to load.

Anatomy of the Lips

This video is for all of us trying to form the shape of the mouth and lips on our polymer clay doll's face. It is not a doll tutorial, but a study of the shape of the lips. The sculptor is demonstrating how she sculpts lips and discusses the forms and how to shape them in clay. Please have patience;  YouTube videos are sometimes slow to load.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Basic Methods for Sculpting a Female Face

Thanks to this doll maker who has shared this lesson on creating a small scale female head and face (7/12 to 8 inch doll). It is a 59 page PDF photo tutorial designed for beginning sculptors. It is free for  your personal use only. You will find the link on this blog:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sculpting Tiny Toes

This dollmaker shows how he sculpted toes on his very tiny 4-5 inch dolls:

How To Root Hair

Have you ever wanted to root fibers into your polymer clay? This doll maker shares a photo tutorial of how she did it:

And here is detailed written information about type of needles to use and rooting technique used by one commercial supplier:

Monday, July 22, 2013

More About Using A Push Mold

This doll maker is demonstrating how she uses a doll mold as a 'body blank'; pulling clay parts, assembly on a wire armature and series baking. Lots of other great tips too. Be sure to watch this one! Please have patience; these videos are sometimes slow to load.
Part 3 goes on to demonstrate how to make a polymer clay shoe and costuming details, including working with lace trims.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Get Information About Dolls Using Ball Joints

This link takes you to a request page to receive some ball jointed doll information; a PDF file titled "Zen & the Art of Articulating Dolls Using Balljoints" . If you are thinking of making this type doll you may find the information helpful:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Peruvian Girl by Little Stuff

Peruvian Girl, 1:12 scale. This tiny little girl is sculpted using a double twisted aluminum wire armature and Living Doll clay. Genesis paint was used for eyes and blushing.  Her little skirt, top and llama’s blanket are made with Guatemalan Cloth with some ribbon trim.  Hat is made over a plastic bubble that a pill comes in and the cloth was off a covered button.  Cotton embroidery floss was used to make ropes and tiny ball fringe was used to decorate llama’s collar and used for balls on girl’s hat. Her sandals are leather.  The baby llama was needle felted and the big llama was the purchased inspiration prop.  The girl is coxing her llama to pull a vendors cart which I have not completed yet.

Stuffed Wool Mice by Little Stuff

Stuffed Wool Mouse-1:12 scale.  This is a prototype for a mouse that I want to make to fit in a "stump house".  The mouse is made with 70% wool felt, stuffed with poly fill around a wire armature.  The hands and feet are made from Living Doll polymer clay.  Pink and white shading is done with wool roving which has been needle felted onto the mouse.  Eyes are paper fasteners that have been painted and finished with clear Gallery Glass paint.  This is the third try at getting a cute, but poseable mouse for the stump house.  The first mouse came out too small and more rat looking with legs too short to pose, the second was a head short in the proportion of the head to the body.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Baby Scupting Helps

Having trouble sculpting a baby like me? Thanks to this doll maker, I now have a guide to baby proportion, hands and feet details, and facial features. Very helpful... hope you find it helpful too.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Problem: Doll Has Tiny Dark Specks On It

Polymer clay attracts lint from clothing like a magnet. Do not wear fluffy or dark clothing. And cover your clothing with a white smock, lab coat or large white cotton blouse.

While sculpting, use baby wipes to regularly clean your hands, work surface and tools.

Keep a separate ball of clay for cleaning. Use it to remove the dirt that magically appears from nowhere off your hands and work surface. You will see that, over time, your ball of clay will be completely dark and dirty.
  • While sculpting, roll your dirty clay ball over your hands and work surface, pressing it well over and under your nails.
  • Put any scraps or leftover clay into your dirty clay ball. Use the clay from the ball for making under-sculpts, skulls’, and for making a bases for your dolls.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Constructing A Base

Just to get your imagination going, see how this doll maker used wire, epoxy and paper clay on a circle of wood to construct a base for her doll:

Friday, July 5, 2013

How To Sculpt A 6 Inch Child

This link is to a 3 part photo tutorial of a 6 inch doll; beginning with the armature and ending with sculpting a child’s head. See this WIP here:

Face Proportion For Mouse Challenge

 Too cute! 
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sculpting Celebrities

So you want to sculpt a likeness of a celebrity? I say go for it but read this blog post first:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Painting A Geisha Doll's Face

Here is a step by step demonstration of applying the paint colors and shapes to an Asian face to transform her into a geisha.

Constructing A Base For a Doll

YouTube has many videos from the maker of model railroad landscape products. The information, products and techniques are useful for doll makers as they fashion a base for a doll. This link will take you to the listing of all their tutorials (just click on one and it will play):

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Want To Sculpt A Doll With A Swivel Head?

Thanks to this doll maker who demonstrates how she sculpted the head and neck to fit together and lined the spot where the polymer clay would rub with thin leather. You can find it here:|en&tbb=1&ie=utf-8

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Avoiding Discoloration

Easy; don’t touch the raw clay while you are sculpting…not so easy, right? Here is a tip how to do that from a member of the doll artists council:

Monday, June 17, 2013

How To Make A Ball Jointed Doll

What is a ball jointed doll (BJD)? Here is a nice explanation:
And here is a step by step tutorial on the process of making a BJD:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

More About BJDs

This web site discusses making a ball jointed doll and uses a proportion chart for a 5 to 7 year old child. Check it out here:|en&tbb=1&ie=shift_jis

This doll shows how she used steel springs to assemble her BJD instead of elastic:

Corset Tutorial
The link above is to a photo tutorial for a 1:12 scale Victorian corset. This is a 3 part pattern and demonstrates how to assemble and glue a costume to a polymer clay doll. This concept works for a bodice too.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fabric Stockings

These ladies stocking's are made with sheer or stretchy fabric and are fastened to the dolls leg. See the photo tutorial here:

Sheer Painted Stockings

This is an interesting YouTube video demonstrating how to paint sheer stockings on a polymer clay doll's leg. The product used is described as a craft paint acrylic glaze or blending gel.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Help With Male Anatomy
The above link is to several YouTube videos showing male anatomy. Because our current challenge is to sculpt male dolls, you may find these videos helpful. Caution; contains nudity.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Polymer Clay Iris

'Marble Method' is what this doll maker calls her technique of making an iris with a pupil from polymer clay. If you have trouble painting your small scale doll's iris, you will want to try this technique:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Assembly Process For Ball Jointed Dolls

Figuring out the mechanics; a 4 part photo tutorial can be found here:
And another photo WIP here:

Craft Wire vs Beading Wire

When you are making hand armatures, fairy wings or mermaid fins they usually call for small gauge and/or colored wire to construct them. The problem is that all metals corrode and when the wire we are using is close to the surface of your polymer clay or TLS, the corrosion may cause the clay to crack. Lots of inexpensive craft and jewelry wire is available. They are made from a variety of metals; copper, brass and other base metals like tin. These wires are soft (jewelry wire is rated from soft to a hardness of 5) and will make rounded shapes easily. Harder wires make sharp angles but are springy so you must need to push them beyond where you want it to end up.  Some are coated to make them tarnish resistant. You can also coat wire with glue (such as Beacon Gem Tac or Crafter's Pick Ultimate that adheres to metal) or Rust-oleum spray paint to inhibit corrosion). Here is a link to some information about craft vs. jewelry wire that you may find interesting when you are making decisions about which wire to choose:

Using Polymer Paste Adhesive

Kato Poly Paste is a heavy-bodied adhesive used to attach cured and uncured pieces in any combination. Unlike other adhesives, Poly Paste fuses two pieces of polymer clay together and creates a permanent bond. Ways to use Poly Paste include repairing cracks, creating texture and gilding when mixed with mica powders. It will not run when applied to vertical surfaces. Excess Poly Paste can be removed before baking or after baking by trimming with a knife.

In order to take effect, Poly Paste must be cured. It may be cured between 265F and 325F for 10-30 minutes; time and temperature depends on the recommended curing temperature of the polymer clay used.

Here is a short video demonstration of the properties of Poly Paste. You must register but viewing is free, just click on the arrow:

Medium Used For Making a BJD

Kato Repel Gel is a medium created to keep polymer clay from adhering to itself during the curing process. This property makes it useful in many projects and can be used to assist in creating polymer clay ball jointed dolls.

To apply Repel Gel to a project, use a brush to spread a thin coat to the surface where adhesion is not desired. Remember to apply to all surfaces and edges where you would like to prevent the clay from adhering. Cure at the recommended time and temperature for your bland of clay. After the cured piece has cooled, separate the clay where the Repel Gel was applied and rinse off any residue with cold water. It’s easy to use and because it is water soluble it is easy to clean-up.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Armature For A Hand

These YouTube videos are demonstrations of how to make a wire armature for a small scale doll's hand. I thought you might like to see these doll maker's technique.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Little Stuff's Astronaut

My astronaut is finished!  He is about 6.2” tall, original sculpt made with Living Doll clay, Genesis paint and viscose hair.  He has a fully posable double stranded, anodized steel wire armature wrapped with poly batting and then wool yarn.  His suit is made from white Duck Tape with automotive pin striping tape details, plus little metal findings and 2 tiny little rubber cups to complete his suit.  Found the tiny flag on his sleeve in a magazine add and the flag on his pack is an auto decal! His back pack is made from a dental floss box and his helmet is made around the bottom of a plastic Easter egg colored with permanent marker and Gallery Glass.  His sculpted clay boots and gloves were coated with Plastic-Dip. He was an experiment with new materials.  I was not able to make his military crew cut hair as well as I would like.  I’m still working on making a more masculine face…slowing getting there.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eye Shape

This link is to a tutorial on drawing an eye. The sculpting process is basically 'drawing' the eye outline on the clay, sculpting the convex and concave curves, and then painting details of light and dark tones so there are two drawing steps to making your doll's eyes. This tutorial explains the drawing steps:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ribbon Roses

Want to make those silk ribbon roses you see on dolls dressed in lavish period costumes? Here is a photo tutorial demonstrating how to make one:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Make A Doll's Hand With An Armature

This photo tutorial is a step by step WIP for making an armature for a hand and how to add clay over the wire.
For larger dolls, you may want to try using an armature like this as you can get stronger fingers and lots of detail. Some doll makers use them in smaller scale dolls too. Try it to see if it will work for you.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Apply Clay To A Doll's Head - A WIP Photo

One of my favorite doll makers has a photo of one of her doll heads that she sculpted. I think it is very well done. The next photo shows where she applied clay to the basic head shape after eyeballs were inserted.  Here is the link to this doll maker's blog:

How To Use A Dear Foot Stippler Brush

You may find the information in this YouTube video helpful. This brush loads and puts down a tiny amount of paint and is useful for painting small dolls (the brush comes in smaller sizes then shown).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Brushes

Confused about all the types of art brushes you see for sale and wonder what the differences are? Well, wonder no is a tutorial about styles, sizes, shapes and bristle types:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Taking Better Photos Of Your Dolls

This link is to a blog post on how to get rid of pink or yellow tones from your doll photos by adjusting the type of lighting you use:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fairy by Little Stuff - WIP

Fairy WIP- Working on display base.
She's a 5 inch fairy made with Living Doll Clay. Her face is painted with Genesis paint and eye liner, eye brows and pupils are done with Pigma 005 markers. Her hair is dyed Tibetan Lamb's wool and wings are Fantasy film with embellishments of micro beads, feathers and crystal beads. Her harp was purchased and decorated with handmade flowers. Her clothes are a mix of lace, ribbon and opalescent fabric. She is all done in 1:12 scale.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How To Make Tiny Buttons

I like this photo tutorial...great tips from this doll maker about making buttons out of polymer clay for your small scale dolls.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


This YouTube video is presented in 8 parts so be sure to watch the entire series. This doll maker shows various styles of wings: fairy; dragon; and bat wings. These wings are made from Fantasy Film or Angelina cellophane coated with Gallery Glass with some embellishments added. Part 8 also discusses how to use an ink- jet printer and transparency sheets for cicada wings.

Putting Wings On A Doll

So you made some what? These doll makers share how they attached wings on a doll:
Into torso:
Into costume: