Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fabric Doll Stand

Here is a tip I want to share with you about doll stands. Many years ago I saw a method of making a doll stand upright on its own, without the aid of a metal, acrylic or wood stand, but I can’t remember where or who shared this method.
This method is only suitable for dolls with long full skirts. It is made from fusible webbing and stiff interfacing, such as Pellon and WonderUnder (find them in craft and fabric stores) plus the fabric to be used for your doll’s underwear. It is placed on the doll, underneath the doll’s petticoat.

To make the doll stand:
1. Fuse 2 pieces of stiff interfacing together with the fusible web to make a stiff ‘fabric’.
2. Then fuse a piece of the underwear fabric to each side of the interfacing ‘fabric’.
3. Cut out a cone shape from the layered/fused fabric. Allow for an overlap at the side. No hems are needed with fused fabric.
Note: If you need to make a pattern first, shape one from paper and fit it to your doll before cutting the stiff ‘fabric’. The cone should fit at the hips, be rather narrow at the bottom and the bottom edge should touch the ground.
4. After you have assembled and dressed your doll in her drawers, do a fitting of the cone to your doll’s hips and adjust as needed. Glue the overlap area about 2/3 up from the bottom and let dry.
5. Place cone on your doll and glue it to the dolls hips, not at the waist, to reduce bulk.
6. Trim the bottom edge as desired.
7. Make another regular soft fabric petticoat to go over the stiff cone shaped one. Glue it on top of the cone one.
8. Finally, costume your doll in her dress and petticoat as you normally would.


Wondering what to use for under garments for your doll to be historically correct? Check out this history of underwear site for information and illustrations:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sculpting Torsos For Fashion Silhouette

Seeing fashion silhouettes change through the ages is a helpful tool when you begin costuming. It is also helpful when shaping the torso from polymer clay to reflect the shape of the period as it is constrained by the undergarments worn.

The basic geometic shapes from 1500 to 1890 for male and female fashion can be found in drawings at this web site:

Click on the links to the pdf documents for female and male fashion silhouettes; a great reference when you are planning, sculpting and costuming a doll.

Another site with information about silhouette that is useful when planning your doll is

Painting - Using a Combination of Paint Types

This doll artist uses a combination of craft acrylic paint and heat set paint. Here is a link to her photo tutorial on painting a doll face:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Small Paint Brushes

Sometimes it is hard to find brushes tiny enough for painting features on a small scale doll. Look in your local hobby and art supply stores for Ultra Mini brushes. There are on-line source too; try Jerry's Artarama, Dick Blick Art Supplies and Micro-Mart. I'm sure there are others too.

We have found that synthetic filament works as well as natural hair with both acrylic and heat-set paint.

Not familiar with brush sizes? Ultra Mini sizes are labeled 10/0, 12/0 down to 20/0 (one of the smallest is 20/0 and is very hard to find).

Some shapes to look for are Filbert, Round, Spotter, and Liner.

Want to know more about art brushes?   Scroll down the page to read more about brushes.

Prices vary considerably from supplier to supplier. Shop around!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Painting Eyes With Heat Set Paint

Most members are trying heat set paints on their polymer clay sculpts. Using these paints is similar to using china paint as you 'set' the paint between layers. Layering is very effective when painting the eyes.

This photo tutorial (by Patricia Rose) shows some techniques when painting eyes using  heat set paints.   Try her techniques and see how they work for you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

AIM ezine

If you have not discovered the on-line magazine called AIM, you might want to check out their back issues that you can view at:
The ezine is published monthly and contains photos of 1:12 scale miniatures and dolls that are useful for inspiration (I use miniatures as settings for dolls) as well as instruction for some accessories. The ezine sometimes has costuming tutorials too.
I enjoy seeing what other doll makers are doing and I'm sure you will too.

Some Answers to Questions About Clay

Here is a link to a web site that provides answers to many of the questions I had about working with polymer clay and that you may have too (my thanks to Jack Johnson).
I have found that there is a lot of misinformation on the web so my advice is to question what you read and be selective about information on the properties of polymer clay and how to work with it. You will find more links in past posts so be sure to check those too.