Sunday, December 28, 2014

Problem: Discolored Eyeballs

Here is a tip for baking white clay and keeping it white:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Free 1:12 Scale Downloads

Our thanks to this dollhouse doll maker for these very useful gifts:
a man's basic 1:12 scale pants pattern:
a 1:12 scale scale fabric finder:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Clay Blending Chart For Skin Tones

If you are looking for a color chart for blending the new FIMO Doll Art clay here is one for you that is published by Staedtler, the maker of the clay:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tips For Making Realistic Doll Heads

Thanks to this doll maker for sharing information about making your doll's head look realistic. Tips include sculpting and painting as well as anatomy and some basic clay preparation. You will find it here:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Painting With Heat Set Paints

This doll maker said her baby head is sculpted with Living Doll polymer clay and is painted with Genesis heat-set paint that has been thinned with Genesis Thinning Medium. The head is larger than our small scale doll's heads. These techniques work on any scale doll sculpted with polymer clay.
NOTE: Use caution with Low Odour Thinners to thin Genesis paint for polymer clay dolls as is done for vinyl baby dolls. It is safer to thin with Genesis Thin Medium or make a transparent paint with Genesis Thick Medium. Look in the blog Index for more posts about the topic 'Painting" with information about using heat set paint mediums.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

All About Translucent Liquid Sculpey

Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) has many uses for doll making. Once you know how to handle and bake it, you can begin to use it as an adhesive and embed elements into raw clay. You can also add color to TLS. Besides the basics, there are other uses such as; as a glaze, as a clay softener, as 'paint' over raw and baked clay, and for making thin, flexible, translucent transfers.
To learn more about these techniques read the information from Sculpey that you will find here:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Loading Fabric-Tac Glue Into A Syringe

Inserting glue into the syringe as demonstrated is important. Be sure to place only the small amount of glue that you will need for your doll's costume into the syringe; better too little then too much. Once your glue is inserted into your syringe, insert the tip into a block of foam or cover the tip with an applicator cap.
Our choice of syringe is a Leur Lock syringe and used with a blunt needle tip. The syringe and tips are available on-line from rhinestone hobby suppliers. Here are the blunt needle tip sizes to try:

Largest Tip - GREEN - for Gel type glue like E6000 and Fabric-Tac

Medium Large Tip - PURPLE - for  thick glues

Small Tip - PINK - for thinner glues like Gem Tac or Fabric Fusion

Smallest Tip - YELLOW

Applicator Cap – Red -  for temporary glue storage.

Cleaning Tip: If you squeeze out a small amount of thick gel-type glue out of the tip of a syringe (glues such as Fabri-Tac or E6000) and leave it to harden after use, you will be able to subsequently pull this 'plug' out and use the syringe a few more times. Eventually the plug will harden through the diameter of the tip and the syringe will be useless.  Water-based glue can be washed out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Make An Armature & Apply An Under Sculpt

This is Part 1 of a 2 part video. In this part the doll maker discusses selecting a wire, using a jig to make an armature and how and why she uses a 2 part sculpting epoxy for her under sculpts. Part 2 demonstrates applying clay over the under sculpt. Thanks to this doll maker for sharing her tips and techniques.

Applying Clay Over An Under Sculpt - Part 2

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tips For Using Epoxy To Make A Base

Great tips for making a base in this video. The product demonstrated is Apoxie Sculpt, an air-dry 2 part epoxy compound. Some doll makers use this product for forming an under-sculpt prior to sculpting their doll (see the topic'Under-Sculpt' listed in the Index for more information)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Problem: Using Sealers Over Heat-Set Paints

Many doll makers have reported that some acrylic varnishes and sealers remain tacky when used over Genesis paint. To find out more about this problem, we checked the Genesis Oil Paint web site. Here is what we found out: they state that you do not need to seal Genesis paint for protection. If you choose to use an acrylic varnish or sealer over Genesis paints, be sure to test it before using it to be sure it is compatible with polymer clay and the heat-set paint.

Genesis makes 3 varnish products that can be used as a sealer over their heat-set paint: 
Heat Set Satin-permanent varnish
Heat Set Matte - permanent varnish
Air Dry Gloss - removable varnish
To use the Genesis varnishes, first paint with Genesis heat-set paint on your doll and then apply a very thin coat of Genesis Varnish with a brush or sponge. Heat-set the Satin and Matte varnish as usual but do not heat the Gloss Varnish. If the doll gets dirty over time, the Gloss Varnish can be removed with an ammonia solution or window cleaner and a fresh coat reapplied.

Sometimes when you paint your dolls face, the heat-set paint develops a slight gloss appearance. You can apply a thin coat of Matte Varnish to the area where you do not want any shine.

Hope this helps

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

More About Sealing Polymer Clay

Thanks to this polymer clay artist for her in-depth artile on sealing polymer clay and types of sealers to use (and why or why not). Check it out here:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Make An Armature For An 8 to 12 Inch Doll

This doll maker is using white floral tape to cover any exposed armature wire, and the aluminum foil and aluminum duct tape covering the wire (you can also use masking tape). She used foil for bulking out the body on this size doll. Most smaller dolls do not need to have the bulk added. The object of bulking out the body is to apply a layer of polymer clay that is uniformly about 1/4  inch to 1/2 inch thick to ensue complete curing during baking.
NOTE: Notice that the foil is crumpled loosely around the wire; do not crush it tight.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Coloring Liquid Clay

This article is a report on the testing done by a polymer clay artist as she created liquid clay in colors. This technique may be of interest to makers of art dolls:

Monday, September 1, 2014

Another Sculpting Baby Heads Video

I love this YouTube video. these heads are so tiny and those little expressions are sooo cute! Thanks to this doll maker for sharing this demonstration with us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One Last Thought On Conditioning Clay

This post is one clay artists thoughts on mixing clay with a pasta machine vs a food chopper. Be sure to read it here:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Choosing An Oven For Baking Polymer Clay

Thanks to this polymer clay artist for her information about baking; dos and don'ts, what's safe and what's not. Find it here:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Painting Realistic Eyes

Thanks to this artist for her step-by-step photo tutorial, plus a detailed explanation, on how she paints realistic eyes. Find it here:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pattern For A Corset/Bodice

Here is a web page with a link to get a ready made pattern to fit a 1:12 scale doll. The pattern is for a 3 piece corset; front back and shaped sides and is sized to a particular mannequin so be sure to cut the pattern from paper towel and adjust the pieces to fit your own doll's torso. It is sometimes difficult to get these 3 pieces shaped right when starting from scratch so our thanks to this doll maker for sharing her pattern:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Making Half and Quarter Scale Dolls

Thanks to this dollhouse and scale doll maker for her WIP as she constructs half scale and quarter scale dolls:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Body Proportions And Anatomy - Simplified

One of our favorite articles about the differences between male and female anatomy and proportions, and differences because of the age of the figure being sculpted. Simplified and illustrated;we found this article to be very helpful. Be sure to  read it here:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Skull Proportions

Are you trying to  make a skull under sculpt? This front and side view may help you with correct proportions:

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Forming The Shape Of A Head

This video trailer for a DVD demonstrates shaping a basic skull in preparation for sculpting facial features. The head is larger than the smaller scale dolls we sculpt but you may find it helpful to visualize the shape. View it here:

Friday, June 20, 2014

More About Sculpting A Baby

Thanks to this doll maker for sharing her sculpting a baby photo tutorial. The web page is in Russian but you can translate it:
For more about this topic be sure to check this blog's Index for "Babies and Children."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Undersculpt For Eyes - Part 1 of 2

This video demonstrates using Epoxy Sculpt as an under sculpt in the eye sockets, placement of the pre-made eyeballs into the epoxy, and when set, adding the eyelids. She also shares how she visualizes the planes of the head as she sculpts the face.

Undersculpt For Eyes - Part 2 of 2

This video covers adjusting the depth of the eyes as well as sculpting the back half of the head, inserting a wire armature, and ears.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Feather Wings

Here is a little pdf booklet about how to make small scale wings from feathers:

Tips For Using UV Gel

Many doll makers use a UV gel product for coating eyeballs and for embellishments. There are several brands of these products to choose from. This video demonstrates how to work with them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Polymer Clay Eyeballs

Creating eyeballs for your polymer clay dolls is both easy and affordable. This doll maker shares her method of making eyeballs from polymer clay and painting them with acrylic paint and a Micron pen. She begins by making a mold to control the size. See her complete tutorial here:

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Easy Picture Hat

Here is a photo tutorial, with a pattern for a 1 7/8 inch brim, for making a basic picture hat for your miniature doll:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Under-sculpt For Your Doll's Head

You can make a skull from polymer clay to use as an under-sculpt for your doll's head. The size of the skull depends on the scale of the doll you are making. For small dolls the under-sculpt must be small enough to fit inside the doll's head, leaving space to add about 1/8  inch of clay over it; for larger heads, about 1/4 inch. Directions for forming a basic skull shape are found here:
and this photo tutorial demonstrates covering the under-sculpt with clay and sculpting the head:

Sculpt A Male Figure

Thanks to this doll artist for sharing his WIP photo tutorial of a nude male figure. Lots of sculpting tips included too:

Copyright Explained

Confused about copyright issues? Here are two links to some information that may help explain copyright and myth. The first article is about taking an on-line class and then what is required of you in regards to giving credit for your work: 
The second article is information about copyright in general and some myths you may have heard:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

How To Make A Wash With Heat Set Paint

How to make a wash: 
Genesis states on their web site that “transparent washes can be achieved by tinting the Thick Medium. Using the Thick Medium gives you a good layer of paint and the transparency that you need". Some doll makers mix a wash by thinning Genesis colors with odorless thinner. Genesis states that "thinning with a small amount of an oil solvent will not permanently thin the paint, as the paint will return to its original state as the solvent evaporates off". Read more about using Genesis products at:

Blush technique using a wash:
To use as a blush on the body, apply a bit of the Thick Medium on to a flat glass surface and tint it to the color you desire. Work it to make it soft and buttery. The consistency is soft but thick and transparent. Take a very tiny amount and smear it on the glass palette until it is very thin layer. Then dab a cosmetic sponge into it. You want the sponge to pick up just a tiny bit of it. Apply to you doll using a pouncing motion where you want to add blush to the head and body.  Always apply a thin layer, heat set, and then add more until you achieve the depth of color you desire, like painting with china paints.

Be sure to check this blog's INDEX and click on the topic 'Painting" to read more about heat set and acrylic paints.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sleeve Patterns

This link is to a series of sleeve patterns for 1:12 scale dolls. If you change just the sleeves on your doll's costume you completely change the look of it. For variation, you can also add cuffs, ruffles, lace, etc. or just cut longer and turn under for a hem.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Profile Grid

This drawing tutorial offers a grid to overlay your doll's profile helping you to check placement and depth of its features. A great tool to self critique using a photo of your sculpt:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Brow Mapping

Brows generally follow the brow bone. On humans, the brow hair grows there whereas on your doll, you will need to determine where the brow hairs will be placed. This mapping technique works for human makeup artists so it should help you design eyebrows on your OOAK doll:
  1. To do brow mapping, take a toothpick and hold it on the outside of the nose (not the nose wings) going straight up along the bridge. This is ideally where the brows should begin. Mark this spot.
  2. Then, by angling the toothpick from the outside edge of the nose, to the outside edge of the iris, and up to the brow, mark that spot as where the brow should arch naturally.
  3. Then, mark one more spot - where the angled toothpick hits the brow when it lines up at the outer corner of the eye, that's where the brow should end.
  4. Then connect the 3 dots on top by drawing straight lines connecting each point around the top outside edge of the brow. Fill in the shape with tiny hair lines from the base of the brow up into the width.
Want to see this done on a person? See a video clip here:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tips For Dressing Male Miniature Dolls

This doll maker uses the glue method for making costumes. She shared some tips about men's pants, shirts and jacket lapels here:    Be sure to check out this 'how to". Included are tips on sculpting male bodies too.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

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:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

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.

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 is a link to some some information about Bunka:

And here is, a video demonstrating the unraveling of Bunka to get those curly threads:

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'.

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 of 2

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ball-Jointed Doll - Stringing - Part One of Two

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, February 1, 2014

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:

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.
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.

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.