How to Make Pixel Doll Clothes




Introduction: How to Make Pixel Doll Clothes

In this tutorial I'll show you how I make clothes for my pixel dolls. I'll only be showing basic shirt and jeans.

Dolling is basically a pixel art form of dressing up dolls, but you create your own clothing, hair, accessories, etc. using pixels. To some dolling is art, and to some it's merely a hobby. It just depends on how you feel about everything. A Base is the body that you start off with, and they vary from simple and small to complex poses and sizes. If just starting out I suggest using a single base that is small to medium in size, this way you aren't overwhelmed with so much to work with. Yes, base's are "naked" most don't show any nipples or junk, but some do. If you're parents don't want you looking at it then sorry, this might not be the best thing for you to be doing.

There are some major guidelines for dolling that should be followed by anyone who plans to take part in the dolling world.

1) Frankendolling; a term used in the dolling community that means taking parts of other people's doll creations and pasting them together to form your own. It's basically stealing and is extremely frowned upon.

2) Always always always give credit to whoever base you use. It's just nice to give credit and if someone wants to use the base you used, they'll be able to get to it.

Like I said before, this is how I doll, and I've been doing this for about 6 years. I've found my style, so feel free to try doing this a different way to find what style suits you best. If my style suits you, then go ahead and use it lol.

If this goes over well, I'll post some more showing shoes, hair, accessories.

The base I used for this tutorial is from Swiss Cheese Army

Step 1: Select Your Base.

You start off with your base body, edit what you see fit to make it suit you. I edit bases, but some dollers don't. I edited the face and body on this base.

I chose a small base for this tutorial, and like I said before, when starting out it'll be easier to do single small bases. This is a base I started out on 6 years ago, and I still use it to this day, haha sometimes you just find your favorites!

Step 2: Outline of Clothes

I normally do each piece separately, but to save on length of this tutorial I did them at the same time. I did the outline of the shirt and pants, you can see little folds in the outline on the shirt and the seam lines on the jeans. That added detail really shows up in the end product and makes a doll look nice.

Step 3: Darkest Shading

Next step is to do your darkest shading/shadows, which helps define your folds and details. It's not always best to just follow the outline completely, don't be afraid to connect some spots and make it look like a real shirt. Look at your own clothes for help in shading.

Step 4: Second Darkest Shading

This is step is basically to really define your details. You'll use your third darkest color in your palette to shade this time. Give your clothing some nice shape and refine things.

Step 5: Flood Fill!

Flood fill all the empty spaces. I call this the base color for the clothing. This is probably the easiest step for this whole process lol.

Step 6: Highlights!

This step is to add some definition to your doll's clothes. Highlights will give your details in the clothing that final kick to really look nice. Try to keep your highlights in the color you just flood filled and don't make them just round blobs. Since she's a girl, make the highlight curved on her chest. Also pay attention to your folds, make your highlight go around them.

Step 7: Extra Highlighting

This is something I personally do, but it's not something everyone does. To me this give the clothing an extra pop of light and makes it look fresh and clean. I know this is a technique used by pixel artist, and I don't know the name for it, but I've adopted it haha

I basically go around the edge where a light shining on the clothes would be angled from. I typically do it from the left side, but light comes from all sides, so feel free to experiment!

Step 8: The End, for Now.

So that is basically it for now, if I get a decent response from this one I'll make more.

Dolling isn't an exact science, it's a lot of trial and error and figuring out a new way to do things. It's a big community if you want to join it, lots of forums and sites that offer any help if needed. But I think if you're willing to try it, you just might enjoy it!

If you have any questions/comments, feel free to post them below or you can email me at:

Thanks for reading <3

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    13 years ago on Step 8

    THANKYOU SOOOOO MUCH!! It helped heaps in making my first pixel doll, and now they look Awrsome :DD Thanks. Would you be able to show one on hair for pixel dolls...? Because thats not my strongest area.


    Good shading on this doll! I always have problems with jeans...this tut has helped a good deal..thanx ☺


    13 years ago on Introduction

    There are plenty of dolls that are "overweight" but typical doll makers are skinny. Dolls came from those 'Prep' drag and drop makers from years ago and I guess they just never changed body shape. The more you look into the dolling world you'll see different sized dolls. It's just what we call them, are dolls not reproductions of humans? It's something we dress and decorate. In pixel art they count how many colors they use, you'll see 'used 16 colors' and sometimes a number of pixels used. With dolling we use pixels, but don't ever count the colors and such. If you took a picture of a barbie doll it's be a photograph, a pixel doll is something made in MSPaint or Photoshop (or some other painting program) Does this explain my 'trivial artwork' enough?


    13 years ago on Introduction

    pixel doll, huh. How many pixels is overweight?


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    the point of pixel dolls isn't how many pixels you use, which is why it's not considered pixel art. and don't mention something if you can't explain yourself.


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    lol well I would expect that from someone who probably hasn't ever seen any of this before.