I was very happy to be matched to Scoochmaroo in Carsoncool’s “non featured gift exchange” and immediately started thinking and experimenting to determine what to make. Scoochmaroo wanted something awesome to keep at Instructables HQ, but I hope the doll will not only go on display, but will also be played with ;-).
I first thought of making some kind of action figure of Scoochmaroo busy with food, but when I saw her DIY-Convertible-Dress Ible I went for a fashion doll, complete with a doll version of the dress.
When the Toy Challenge was launched I knew I couldn’t pass on that and rushed to finish the gift and enter an Ible on it in this challenge. Many thanks for all the votes getting me in the finale!
In the meanwhile, I added the shoes, both to the doll and to this Ible (step 8).
Step 1: Materials
For the doll:
- Sculpey® SuperFlex polymer clay, two packages of assorted colour, possibly other polymer clay and skin tone acrylic paint
- 5 or 6 strands of copper wire,1mm2, about 15 cm long.
- 5 pieces of brass tubing fitting over the copper wire, 1 to 2 long cm, about 2mm inner diameter.
- Some markers, or pencils to colour lips and eyelashes/mascara, optionally some high gloss varnish for the irises.
For this doll I experimented with Sculpey SuperFlex Bake & Bend on a copper wire frame. It proved to be a great and easy way to make a posable action figure, but after a couple of days some cracks appeared at the stronger bends. So bending should be kept limited. An exagerating thinning of elbows and back of the knees and careful positioning of the copper wires should help, but that is something to test in a next project. The “flex” also is still worthwile to make details like fingers and hair less prone to breaking.
Sculpey SuperFlex Bake & Bend™, typically sold in a blister with assorted colours. From these you can mix to obtain the colours you want. I made "skin tone" from white and red, some yellow and pinch of green. One blister gave enough material for the limbs only. So for the body and head I used Fimo polymer clay. As it slightly changed colour during baking I ended up painting all parts with the same acrylic skin tone paint. The acrylic paint holds well when bending the Sculpey SuperFlex. It also survived a second baking (see step 5) very well.
For the armature I used copper wire as in electrical installation wire.
Materials for the dress:
- Tyvek, about 1 A4 size
- Clear contact glue and optionally (for the shoes) white wood glue.
- Icrylic paint and or permanent markers
Tyvek is a polyethylene fibre based non woven with an appearance somwhere between paper and textile. It is quick and easy to work with as there is does not unravel, so there is no need to hem. Also, because it is thin, it is easier to obtain a scale look for clothes on small dolls (which can be difficult with thicker fabrics). It can be glued (preferably with clear contact glue) or sewn. It can be coloured with markers and acryl based paints and it is quite strong. Tyvek comes in different grades, with the most common ones a stiff "paper" type as used in heavy duty envelopes and a soft "textile" type as used in single use overalls. I used the latter, as in most of my doll clothing projects.
Wire cutter and pliers
The sculpting tools of your choice (I used the one included with the Sculpey SuperFlex, a tooth pick and a razor knife)
An oven that can be set to a 130°C:
Some non stick baking paper
Waterproof sanding paper, 320 grit
Optionally an iron.
Step 2: The Arms
I made the arms in a rough shape before inserting a straight copper wire. I did not insert into the hand. After insertion, I had to correct the shape slightly. The hands are made by flattening the hand end and cutting the fingers with scissors. You can adjust round the fingertips a little, but do not work too much on them. Bend the fingers in the desired shape and bake according the instructions. I made the right hand closing on something to hold.
After baking according to the manufacturers instructions, a small cut-out was made to the inner shoulder side of each arm. This is done to allow the copper wire to be bent perpendicular to the arm.
The arms are sanded to smooth out the surface slightly (under running water as recommended by Sculpey) . 320 Grit sanding paper works reasonably fast and gives a good finish. If needed you can sand down larger faults with coarser sand paper and finish with 320 grit.
Step 3: The Legs
Step 4: The Torso
The copper wires coming out of the limbs are straightened and cut to about 1.5 to 2 cm. The limbs are covered with cling film to keep them clean while test fitting when sculpting the torso.
If you use flex polymer clay for the torso, putting some twisted strands of copper wire in as a spine will give the possibility to twist the torso a little. But as I used ordinary polymer clay in this case, I didn’t bother.
The limbs are pressed into the torso and clay is pushed to form a fitting cavity.
Check the pictures for some inspiration on how some of the details are made.
Remove the limbs carefully before baking.
Step 5: The Head
One end of a copper wire is bent into some loops to form a rough basis for the head. The other hand is shaped into somehwat of a base to keep it standing upright.
The head is sculpted in skin tone polymer clay only, to be baked a first time. The parts beyond the hairline are only finished roughly and smaller than the desired end shape. The eyes are wholes made sticking in a toothpick and wiggling it to make an oval hole (looks a bit creepy).
After the first time baking hair and eyes are added. For each eye a small ball of white clay is put in with a toothpick and then pressed deeper softly. For the irises even smaller balls of clay, mixed to a dark brown, are made and flattened, before being put in with a toothpick. Upper eyelids are added as tiny skin tone clay rolls.
For the hair, first a layer of hair colour clay is put on, then hair is added in long thin rolls, as shown. I made dark brown by mixing black and red Sculpey Superflex with some green and yellow. The Sculpey Superflex makes the hair less prone to breaking than other polymer clay.
Lipgloss and eyelashes/mascara is added with markers. The irises get a drop of high gloss varnish.
Step 6: Assembling the Doll
The holes left in the torso by the copper wires are drilled out to hold the brass tubes. Take care not to drill to straight through. Each tube is put in after adding a drop of superglue to the drilled hole.
At this time all body parts are given a wax coating.
In order to give the copper wire ends a friction fit in the brass tubes, they are slightly bent. For those that are still to lose a small drop of superglue is added to the tip of the copper wire.
As the doll is complete, it is time to dress her, starting with some panties.
Added: Caitlinsdad suggested a clap-off bra, but I consider that a challenge to the master himself when the doll arrives at Instructables Headquarters.
Step 7: The Dress
For a template I refer to Scoochmaroo’s original Ible.The skirt was test fitted separately first and trimmed to the desired shape.
I ironed the folds in the two bands making the top. Then they were glued to the backside of the skirt, at the middle front. Again a test fitting was done.
Now that proved to be OK, the dress was painted with acrylic paint (letting it dry before doing the inside too).
Finally it was time to dress up and show.
Step 8: The Shoes
The shoes are made out of Tyvek. Using white wood glue makes them stiffer than when using contact glue.
The feet are covered with shrink wrap and the shoes are glued together on the feet.
The soles are made of 2 times 4 layers, glued together with some TyveK bands in between. The pictures show the substeps.
Finalist in the