Saturday, December 19, 2015

Determine The Scale Of Your Doll

1.Determine the scale of your adult doll
5 ½ to 6 inch realistic doll – 1:12  scale (1 inch =12 inches)
7 ½ to 8 inch realistic doll = 1: 10 scale
9 ½ to 10 inch realistic doll = 1:8 scale
11 ½ to 12 inch realistic doll = 1: 6 scale (1 inch =6 inches)
For instance, your doll is 12" tall; 1" in his world equals 6" in ours (it is expressed as the ratio 1:6). This means that to find out how big a 12 inch tall doll would be in the real world, we simply MULTIPLY by 6.  For example, 12 inch doll x 6 = 72 inches or 6 foot tall.

2.Then you can find or make accessories in the scale of your doll - When we use the fraction to express the scale of something, example 1:6 (or one-sixth scale), we take something in the real world and DIVIDE it by 6.  For example, if we want to make or buy something for our doll to use that is just like something in the real world, we measure that real item and then divide it by the doll’s scale to find out what its measurements should be in that doll’s scale. Some readymade accessories already have their scale identified.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Genesis Heat Set Paint On Polymer Clay Dolls

So much confusion about using these paints on polymer clay. And no wonder, there is so much conflicting advice. Your best bet is to go directly to the manufacturers web site and click on their FAQ page:   Here is some of what we learned:

One of the characteristics of Genesis heat-set paint is that they are thick and like stiff paste in the jar. They must be stirred. Just lift a tiny amount from the jar, place on a ceramic tile or glass and work it until it is malleable and smooth. You can mix paint colors together to get the color you desire. Then add a Genesis medium.

Genesis has 3 mediums: thick, thinning and glazing gel (it is recommended that you do not mix Genesis paint with other oils, mediums, solvents or acrylics for use on polymer clay).

  • Thick Medium: This medium looks like heat-set paint without pigment.You mix your color of paint and the thick medium to get a good layer of paint with transparency but still maintaining the same paint body (it does not thin the paint). You can add as much thick medium to the paint as you desire. For painting a small scale doll this is often used to make a transparent 'wash'. The thick medium will dry matte.
  • Thinning Medium and Glazing Gel: Both these mediums give Genesis paint a thinner consistency and are very efficient so only small amounts are added to your paint color to permanently thin the paint. Add a tiny bit at a time because the ratio must not exceed 40% medium to 60% paint. Adding more medium than the recommended ratio may result in your paint remaining tacky after heat setting (doll makers have reported other problems too). For a matte finish, choose the thinning medium. Choose the glazing gel to get a finish with a slight sheen and some transparency.

These paints stay wet until heated to activate the curing agent. After the drying temperature is reached they dry immediately. For thin layers, such as when painting and blushing a doll, as little as 2 minutes with a heat gun or 5 minutes in the oven. To check if dry, touch lightly with the back of your hand and if it is still tacky, then heat it again.

No varnish is needed over polymer clay dolls but are used to add a glossy finish over eyes,lips and nails when painted with heat set paint. If you have another purpose that needs a sealer, check the Genesis web site for all their varnishes that are compatible with their paints and mediums.

The advantage to using heat set paint is that you can apply it in thin overlapping layers that you heat set between layers. The painting technique is similar to that used for china painting on a porcelain doll; apply a color, heat set it, and then apply more color until you achieve your desired effect.

Some tips:

  • A pallet can be made from any glass item.
  • Cover all left over paints on your pallet to keep them clean and to store them. Since they never dry, you can use the paint again and again. When left on a non-porous surface the paint will return to its original state.
  • Try conditioning your brush with thinning medium...a TINY amount worked into your brush bristles will help paint to slide.
  • Do not paint on a warm sculpt. Cool completely!
  • Keep dedicated brushes for use with Genesis paints.The paint in the bristles stays wet until you clean the brush (Genesis has a brush cleaner).
  • Click on the topic 'Painting' in the blog index for more information.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Metal Wires Used For Armatures

Doll artists have their preference about which wire they use. As you read their tutorials you may learn what wire they are choosing and if they twist strands together or not. We have gathered some very basic information about the different metal wires many doll makers use for small scale doll armatures. The gauge of wire you choose depends on many factors, such as height and pose of figure, or if the doll will be poseable after completion. It is up to each individual doll maker which wire they prefer.

Copper and Brass Wire. When pressure is applied to the clay with a sculpting tool, a copper or brass armature tends to give and then spring back instead of holding stiffly in position. Brass is stronger than copper or aluminum.
Aluminum Wire. Aluminum has almost no spring when pressure is applied and it bends easily. It also breaks from bending easier than steel wire. To compensate. you may have to use a slightly thicker gauge than you might with copper or brass.
Galvanized Steel Wire. Steel is stiffer than copper. brass or aluminum. It will break when repeatedly bent. Twisting several smaller gauge strands together makes an armature wire that is stronger and resists breaking.

Wire is available at hardware stores, home improvement stores and many web sites. Gauge refers to a wires thickness. For information about gauges, click on the topic Armatures on the blog's Index.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Problem: Glue Leaking From Syringe Tip

Here are several solutions to try:

  • Never put more than 1 inch of glue in syringe.
  • Pull back the plunger just a tiny fraction each time you are done placing a line of glue.
  • Place a stainless steel pin in the tip or use a rubber tip from the smallest knitting needle to cover.
  • Place syringe upside down with the tip stuck into a piece of close density foam (the kind used for packaging) as you are gluing a seam.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Applying Glue To Fabric Without A Syringe

When you glue a seam either with Tacky glue or Fabric-Tac glue, the trick is to use very little. A syringe is a tool that is used to keep a continuous, very thin line, of glue along the edge of fabric seams. If you don't have a syringe try this: first squeeze out a dot on a hard surface and use a needle tool or toothpick to lightly, and I do mean lightly, touch the glue along the seam line trying to make a continuous thin line of glue. Then allow it to dry until it is opaque. Once the glue gets to that stage, line up the fabric pieces and lightly tap them together. When tap, do not press hard. Once the seam is completely dry, then finger press. Some doll makers take the seam to the ironing board to press the seam. We find that sometimes that makes the seam slightly shiny but you should have no glue marks. Try it. See if it works for you.
Check the Index for more information about glues and using syringes.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Glue For Polymer Clay

When working with polymer clay, you will probably need to glue things together. I am sure you have found that there is no glue that is good for all situations.Thanks to this polymer clay artist for her article 'Whats The Best Glue For Polymer Clay?' that provides information about many types of glue. Find her article here:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sculpting A Pin Up Doll

One of our favorite doll artists has shared how she made her latest pin-up doll. You will find her technique for an armature and under-sculpt for the feet with high healed shoes to be very helpful.
Find her photo tutorials here:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Problem: New Clay Won't Adhere To Baked Clay

This problem occurs when you are series baking, that is, when you add raw clay over clay you previously baked to set it. The solution is to use a wetting agent, like Translucent Liquid Sculpey. Kato clay adhesive or some smoothing oil, to the already partially baked clay to insure a bond is created. See more about series baking, under-sculpts and adhesives.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Problem: Clay Darkens When Super Heating

Super heating is a technique to add strength and some flexibility to polymer clay. One issue with this technique is darkening of some clay; be sure to test the clay you are using before doing this. If your clay darkened, try the clay suggested by one doll maker who said this technique works well on ProSculpt Baby. After super heating, let the clay cool on its own. See more about super-heating here:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Making The Under Sculpt

Thanks to this doll maker for showing her technique for bulking out her dolls. Some doll makers use only foil wrapped with tape. Some use only epoxy sculpt. Others use only polymer clay. And others wrap the limbs with tape; masking tape, floral tape or aluminium tape. The idea is to bulk out the torso, cover the armature wires and provide a hard surface to begin applying clay and sculpting the doll. Experiment to see what works best for you.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hand Sculpting

Thanks to this doll maker for this detailed photo tutorial on sculpting a female hand, with male and elderly variations. You will find it here:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sculpt A 1;12 Scale Head

This video begins with forming a wire armature. bulking it out with foil and then adding clay. Eyes are pre-made and inserted into the head, facial features formed. the neck is added and torso started. The doll head and upper torso is cured before proceeding with the remaining sculpt.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Genesis Color Mixing Chart

With these basic 5 Genesis colors...burnt umber, Genesis red, Genesis yellow, titanium white and ultramarine blue you can mix the colors on the chart you will find on this web site:
Be sure to check the Index to find more information about using Genesis paint on polymer clay.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Advanced Armatures and Body Proportions

Some doll makers use epoxy sculpt or scrap polymer clay for bulking out the torso on their smaller dolls. Larger dolls, like the one in this video, need lots more bulking out and foil works well. You will notice 'bulking out' referred to as an under-sculpt.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Series Baking

Polymer clay can be baked several times without negative effects. This quality of the clay enables the sculptor to protect delicately modeled parts and build a solidly cured foundation for additional elements, a process I call "series baking." A word of caution though: each step in the series should be carefully planned, since once baked, the element is cured for good. So, as example, if the first element you bake in a human figure is the torso, you must plan to have all the detailing done, and the necessary wire armature sockets in place for the head, arms and legs to be attached later. Once the torso is baked, it's shape is protected and it then becomes a convenient "handle" as each of the unbaked components are added to the piece.
Find more tips and techniques by this doll maker here:

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mermaid WIP

Be sure to check out this doll maker's WIP as she sculpts a mermaid. This is a photo tutorial with lots of descriptions; including how she made a base too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Doll Eyes Tutorial - Cane Technique

You will like this video demonstrating the cane method of making eyes for your doll. It is not in English but there are sub-titles.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sculpting Teeth

Ever need to sculpt teeth? Thanks to this doll maker for his photo tutorial on adding teeth to an under-sculpt:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sculpt A Polymer Clay Baby

Warning: this video contains doll nudity!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Painting Eyes Using Acrylic and Genesis Paints

Thanks to this doll maker for her tutorial on how to paint eyes using both both acrylic paint and genesis paint. Find the link you find on this web page:   You need to click on the link to open the pdf tutorial.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Human Proportion

Caution: contains statue nudity!
This video discusses human proportion using head length as a unit of measure; a convenient reference for sculptors to use.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Genesis Paint Color Chart

You will find a chart for all Genesis heat-set paint colors here:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How To Alter A Miniature Doll Stand

This video demonstrates how to alter a mini doll stand to remove the wires that circle a doll's waist area. This doll maker then glues her doll directly to the stand.

Gluing A Miniature Doll To A Stand

This is an interesting idea for keeping your doll standing. If your doll is the poesable type, only the arms will remain bendable.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Iris 'Printies' For Doll Eyeballs

If you need sheets of iris 'printies' to use when making eyeballs to insert into your doll sculpt, look no more! Thanks to this doll maker who has shared 2 sheets for you to download (free). You will find them here along with several tutorials about making and inserting eyes:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

'No-Sew' Dressing For Miniature Dolls

Thanks to this doll maker for these 2 videos showing how she makes a 'no-sew' half slip and skirt on her doll. So simple! You can see them here:
And 5 more here showing how the jacket is made:
jacket pattern here:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Polymer Clay Eyes

Thanks to this doll maker for an interesting tutorial on making eyes using polymer clay and finishing with UV gel. Be sure to check out these 3 videos plus a discussion of this technique:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Polymer Clay For Doll Sculpting

There are many brands of polymer clay that are suitable for small scale doll making and each doll maker has their favorite clay. Some doll makers mix clays to get the flesh tone they desire or to increase strength. The Guild suggests that you try many clays until you find the one that suits your sculpting style. Listed below are some flesh colored clays to try:
  • Prosculpt  (comes in light, baby and flesh)
  • FIMO Puppen* is now called FIMO Professional Doll Art (comes in opaque sand, translucent beige, opaque cameo, translucent rose, and translucent porcelain).
  • Sculpey Living Doll (comes in light, beige, baby and brown)
  • Sculpey Premo (comes in light flesh)
  • Cernit (comes in flesh, suntan, biscuit, almond, nougat and caramel)
  • Kato Polyclay (comes in beige flesh)
* Puppen is still available at some suppliers (comes in beige, rose, flesh and porcelain)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Preparing To Sculpt An OOAK Doll

Ever want to watch someone begin to sculpt their doll? This doll maker shares her WIP so you can see her process: make a wire armature, stabilize wire with epoxy, add an undersculpt of crumpled foil for additional bulk, wrap all exposed wire and the undersculpt with tape, and then apply the outer layer of polymer clay. All that is done prior to starting to sculpt the clay into the shape desired. It's easy, especially once you see it done!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Working With Patterns Using Freezer Paper

This link is to a very good tutorial on making a corset for a doll and includes a free pattern for you to 'size' to fit your doll. Of particular interest is how this doll maker uses freezer paper for making her patterns and how to use the freezer paper pattern pieces when cutting fabric. Be sure to try this technique!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Using Black Markers On Polymer Clay

Thanks to this polymer clay artist who has tested and compared black markers and inks. Whether you’re signing your doll, coloring eye pupils or adding a design element, doll makers need to know which black markers may bleed or fade when used on polymer clay.  See the results here:
Our advice is to be sure to test your black or colored markers on a sample of your brand of polymer clay so you won't be disappointed with the result when used on your dolls (remember that products used to seal or gloss may cause some markers to bleed too)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Armatures - For Use In Molds

Thanks to this doll maker for these 2 photo tutorials on how to make and size a wire armature for use in small scale polymer clay doll molds:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Painting With Makeup

Here is another painting technique to try. This doll maker is using foundation, blush, and eye shadow on cured clay to achieve realistic completion tones.The products are all creme based; applied to the face and then baked for 15 minutes (lipstick can also applied to the mouth, and after baking, use a compatible sealer for a glossy finish).
Note: the Magic Eraser used for sanding cured clay is the original (not the one with added cleanser).

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015