If you modern kid needs a
modern bike, try Target. They have kid's bikes in the candy section of
all places for $1.99 (it does come with some candy).
I found the neatest little
BMX bikes, the perfect size for a child doll at the dollar store. They
were only $1 each... They had skateboards and scooters too but of course
I noticed them after I was on my way out and had no time to go back...
My son likes a candy called Kindereggs ... they come with little toys
inside. Every once in a while he finds a little wooden trail engine or
a metal soldier figurine (about 1.25 inch high) and he donates them to
my accessory box...
I've found that Hallmark
makes a line of tiny ornaments that work well as toys. Check out toys at
Wal-Mart, especially the little skateboards with the tiny tools
There are so many ways of making fairy wings. I'll try and explain those
I know work and look great.
Firstly, there are the butterfly wings, which are printed onto
transparencies. I paint the back of the wings with white paint (or any
other color that may look nice) to bring out the true colors, decorate
them with sparkles (glitter) and gemstones, and cut them out.
Then I use a hot glue gun to glue the two together at the bottom. When
it's cool, I bend the two wings towards each other so they will stand
out at a nice angle. I hot glue them onto the back of the fairy.
The more difficult way, but much more effective, is to draw the wings on
a piece board. Use wire to make the outline of the wings, starting at
the inside bottom of the wing and leaving about 3" of wire to start.
When you have bent the wire all around, twist the wires
together. Cut off leaving about 3" or wire. The next part is
difficult to explain, it needs to be demonstrated, but basically you
cover the wire with a small piece of pantyhose, gather the excess at the
bottom and tie with copper wire. You can then decorate the wings with acrylic
paints, glitter or whatever to make them beautiful. Make 2 of course.
Then you twist the two wing's wires together to join the wings at the
bottom. To attach them to the fairy, I usually make a hole in the back
of the fairy in the cleaning stage. When the doll is complete, you can
just push the wire into the back and glue it into position.
I'm sure that there are many, many other ways of making fairy wings, so
hopefully someone else with contribute their ideas too!
Fan and Umbrellas
Resistors are making fantastic handles for the fans and umbrellas...
Making a Fan
I suggested earlier that you consider making a fan from
gift wrap... but let's make one from a piece of lace that is
approximately 1/2" to 3/4" wide and about 1" long.
Wet and then pleat the lace using your smallest pleater.
When dry, take a sewing stitch at the bottom of the lace to join all
pleats together at the bottom. Tie off.
Then lay the pleated piece onto a slab of Styrofoam (or
similar) that's been covered with wax paper. Pin (top and bottom) of
each pleat to hold them in place. Now hairspray with a strong hold
spray. When dry, turn over and repeat for other side. Unpin when dry.
Make a handle. This is how I did mine. I cut a
decorative toothpick to about 3/4" long. Then I used a utility knife to
split it all the way down... I now have 2 halves. Once piece may be
thicker than the next... split the thicker one again and discard the
Now spread glue down the cut side of one piece and lay it
on top of the fan (flat side down.) Then spread glue over the other
half and lay it down the other side of the fan, matching up to the first
piece. Hold together a few moments until glue holds. There will be a
gap between the two pieces. Fill in the gap with glue.
When glue dries, wrap and glue bunka around the handle
starting at the bottom of the pleated piece and going down to just above
the decorative part of the toothpick. This will cover the gap.
Now decorate as desired. This is how I did mine. I
glued tiniest rosebuds (1/2" scale size) across the bottom of the fan.
I added a few tiny hole less gold beads tucked amongst the roses. I
also glued gold beads across the top part of the fan. I tied a gold cord
around one of the grooves of the handle at the bottom. Then I frayed
the gold thread and let it hang down.
It's ready now to be placed into the hand of your doll.
I'll send a picture of the finished project to the picture list. I've
put her with the doll so you can get some idea of the size in relation
to the doll, although the fan (being in the foreground) looks a bit
bigger in picture than in real life).
Cut out 2 matching fans,
using a glue stick. Paste back to back; punch a teeny tiny hole in
handle with a needle; trim with a tassel made from embroidery thread to
match a color in the fan; go over one or more of the colors in the fan
with a metallic gel pen and then touch up with a very thin coat of
I found this description of a fan in a book I purchased and have put it
on my 'to do one day' list. This is taken from Queen Elizabeth I
wardrobe list of the year 1600. Item:
One fan of white feathers with a handle of gold having two snakes
winding abut it, garnished with a ball of
diamonds in the end, and a crown on each side with a pair of wings
garnished with diamonds. And Item: One
fan of different colors, the handle of gold with a bear and
ragged staff on both sides and a looking glass
on throne side.
If you have a scanner and a printer, you could scan a print or wrapping
paper, reduce if needed and print out on fabric paper for printers. I've
seen silk in this printer paper. Then you peel off the paper from the
silk. Now I know you have to put some kind of "stuff" on the silk after
printing to set the ink. If you have a mini iron, you can then iron in
the folds. If you really want to get detail, carve down some
toothpicks for the "ribs" of the fan.
I have taken old fur collars from coats and cut small strips of the
fur....cutting from the back side, the leather side, carefully so as not
to cut the fur itself. When cutting I have it come to a point at the
front as well as what would be the tail end to make a neckpiece. I trim
the fur for the end for the face area by clipping it short with small
cuticle scissors. Your fur will look best if the lay of the fur is going
towards the back. I line the back side with narrow silk ribbon and use
bunka around the edges....keeping it to the under side of the fur piece.
I cut tiny ears to match the fur color from thin leather or very fine
felt....actually small triangular shaped pieces, and glue them "into"
the fur for ear placement. I use tiny black beads for the eyes, and one
a bit larger for the nose. This can be draped over the shoulder of the
doll, over a chair in a scene or trailing from her hand.
thing I like to use mod podge for is when you put a pair of glasses on a
doll to use a very thin coat of mod podge, being careful of not creating
bubble in the lens, dries crystal clear and looks good.
Make glasses by
taking two strands of fine wire (the sort for jewelry or lace bobbins) I
make a couple of twists in the centre and then place a thin dowel next
to the twist. Twist again, enclosing the dowel and then do the same the
other side. Next keep twisting tightly for an inch or so each end making
an ornate wire bend to width of face and just past ears. Cut the wires
and bend to slide behind ears. Next dip the circles in tacky glue and
it will dry clear or lenses or use clear dip it film. You can
experiment with shape e.g. square dowel or use round-ended pliers and
tweak into desired shape.
I know you can paint them
on with slip and fire them, but I don't always know until I start
whether I want gloves or not, so I paint them on. I use "Puff Paint"
that all the craft shops carry. It's not thick to paint, but is puffy. I
works better than trying to put numerous coats of acrylic paint on.
I tape off the top of the arms to keep the line straight. I usually
paint 2 light coats of Puff Paint and make brush strokes around the
arms. I even let the strokes get heavier in the crook of the arm and at
the wrist where the material would bunch a little. I let the strokes
build up with the 2nd coat. I carefully remove the tape and
the paint should be built up at the tape like and looks like where the
glove ends. When I'm happy with the results, I apply a thin coat of
matte medium and let it dry overnight. I do the same thing for shoes.
I learned that gloves can,
indeed, be added to "after-mold" dolls. (I don't know the proper term.)
Dorothy uses paper (you can also use fabric) that she gives several
coats of acrylic paint. This is just for the arm of the glove; the hand
is just painted onto the doll's hand, and she adds a bracelet or watch
at the wrist to hide the edge of the paper. Then she pushes the arm down
toward the wrist to give it a few wrinkles and make it more glove
looking. I found it to be very effective.
I learned the following method in a class with doll artist
Dorothy Haw. We painted the hands, just to the wrists, the color of the
gloves. Then we painted fabric the same color, giving it several coats.
From that, we cut out the sleeves of the gloves and glued them onto the
doll. At the seam line where the gloves hit the wrist, we added
bracelets to cover the seam.
My favored method is to take tiny strips
of tissue (Puffs Plus) and saturate them in glue then wind them one by
one around the hand pressing with a toothpick into all the crevices and
sort of pulling and pushing the tissue into natural looking folds,
bends, etc., and continuing it right up the arm to the length you wish.
Two or three layers make a most realistic looking material or fabric.
When it's dry it's permanently adhered to the hand/fingers/arms and can
be painted any color you like. By rolling the tissue gently and building
up the layers around the upper part of the glove, it gives the ends of
the gloves a natural looking rounded cuff....... Paper towels just are
way too thick, but tissues are just the right consistency.
Gloves using Slip
Yes, some of Stacy’s molds have gloves molded on them. (She has such
beautiful molds) Also, you can take slip while arms are in greenware
state and apply the slip with a thin brush to look like gloves. Apply
this slip fairly thickly. There are actually a few ways to do it. I
have applied whole glove and then grooved indentations out, or applied
“wrinkles” with the brush. Also, make sure that the slip is thick at the
very top of the glove. I think another way of doing this could be to
take a thin strip of porcelain and apply to where you want the top of
the glove to be. Do this before firing. If doing this way, you can paint
gloves with white porcelain. OR, after firing, just paint it with paint
or nail polish.
Try as I might, I couldn't think of a single thing today that I thought
might help the list dress their dolls. What about tomorrow? Alas,
alack...I may be found to be lacking again. Horrors.
Anyway...even though I don't have a tip, I did find this great Halloween
effects site for some of you that likes to put their dolls into scenes.
It has a light beam trigger mechanism gizmo (at the bottom of the page),
there's the dangling spider effect, homemade fog machine...this type of
thing that I hope some will find helpful. Warning though...it plays the
theme to Beetlejuice. I hope you find at least a little bit of use with
thing I'm just thrilled about is that I figured out how to make a great
pearl chain. You know those long pearl chains that are worn with
Elizabethan dress-well I just wasn't happy the way it turned out just
stringing them one pearl right after the other –soooo crazy me had this
glorious idea to try and make a knot after each pearl just like the real
ones. I did this for hours-believe me it doesn't work! Finally yesterday
I had success. I took 1mm imitation pearl beads ( I got those from
Empyrean beads)-they have a beautiful antique color and are nice and
round. I alternated stringing those with a 22/0 or 24/0 ( forgot which
size they are-they are tiny) antique gold color bead. The result was
great. It now looks like there is a tiny space in between each pearl and
the chain doesn't kink at all and hangs very nice-yeahhhh!!!
When working on modern dolls, don't be afraid to put extra jewelry on
them. It seems more and more people are wearing earrings and rings
these days. For a very modern look, put a tiny no-hole bead on the upper
ear to represent a cartilage piercing.
And don't forget Thumb rings and pinky rings, and natural beaded
necklaces. This all works on the male dolls too!!
I have bought
beads and rhinestones from Pam Kille at etcetera. Then I use whatever I
can to get the tiny beads onto the dolls. Usually I squeeze out some
glue (and I've started to use Tacky for everything) on to a piece of
paper or foil ,then pick up the flat rhinestones or beads with my curved
tweezers ,dip them into the glue and place them. For the real tiny, tiny
beads like Dana used on her Desiree necklace use a straight pin to apply
some glue where the beads will go, pick up the beads with the tip of a
toothpick that I have wet on my tongue or a piece of thin spaghetti.
(Same thing there ,if wet on your tongue the starch makes it sticky
enough to pick up the beads.) You really don't need much glue, it’s
amazing how well it holds after it's completely dry ,specially if it is
reinforced with a little clear nail polish to finish it up.
To make either
gold or silver chains fro ladies take gold or silver lame fabric and
unravel it strand by strand this makes real nice chains.
If you can't find
fine chain anywhere else, try the railroad stores. They often have very
fine chain, if so tiny that you can hardly tell it is a chain.
Bev in Colo
Bracelet – Wide bronze, lace like
You could start with sheet copper or brass from the hardware or hobby
store. Some is so thin, you cut it with scissors, then you can emboss
designs using a dull pencil or pen. I saw instructions for making a
plaque by putting the thin metal over a coin and rubbing with a
sharpened dowel; the design on the coin comes out in relief on the
metal. This would work with other textured surfaces, too. You can glue
on wire or narrow strips of the metal to build up the edges. Get a
bronze color by using a brown magic marker on the finished piece, and
wiping it off the highlights right away.
Two things come to mind: use an actual piece of lace that is suitable by
design for what you want, stiffen it with STIFFY or other stiffening
solution and then, using one of the new metallic paints, paint it the
color of Bronze that you like OR if you are handy with the round nose
pliers use one of the findings like at Ben Franklin - they have metal
bits and pieces to adorn small boxes etc. - you can use the bronze paint
in the same way to get the color and heaviness of bronze.
You might try
the embossing technique--place it over something hard (i.e., metal, not
lace) with a design you like and rub with a wooden tool, THEN, while
it's still on the form, use an Exact-o knife or pin tool to poke holes
where you want them. If you can get a deep enough embossed design, you
might just paint the whole thing dark, then wipe off the high spots; the
darkness will look like holes.
I have the instructions on how to make one
version of these on my website:
Mardi Gras theme
party for our school last year, and all the kids made
incredible masks from brightly colored poster board. metallic trims, and
those fancy shaped metallic sequins. Just think small in this case.
anyone is just starting out in flowers AC MOORES just got in $1.99
punches they may not last long for a pro but they will work well for a
beginner or someone that just wants to make a few many leaves, flowers,
Parasol / Umbrellas
a parasol I would draw a circle the size of an open parasol, draw
dividing lines (like cutting a cake) where the spokes would go. Then
make a scalloped edge all around the circle. Glue this paper onto a
piece of fabric and smooth. Cut the scalloped circle out, to make it
less bulky I would remove several "slices of cake" then glue the cut
edge back together. You can trim the edge with lace or what have you.
Fold on the lines, with crease to the outside. Gently form the parasol
into shape by pulling and rolling between fingers. Find a dowel the
right thickness for your handle and paint and finish it to your liking.
Punch a little hole in the pointy end of the parasol and push handle
through the parasol body and out the hole to form the tip. coat the
handle on the inside of parasol and gently roll the parasol around the
dowel and let dry. I have made several in this manner and had very good
I use extra long cocktail sticks that I cut to the right size. Don't
know if you have these overseas - they're used for sateh and are the
same diameter as regular toothpicks but much longer. I have also used
steel wire, which is fun because you can bend the end to look like an
umbrella/parasol handle. I glue a bead to the handle or make a handle
out of Fimo. I have also used the little umbrellas that come with
children's ice cream, and used electricity wire for the handle - I
pulled out and cut off half of the wire and slid the hollow tube of
insulation over the end of the umbrella stick. Then I bent the other
half of the wire (the half that still has the copper wire inside) into a
handle shape. Then I cover the ice cream umbrella with a piece of silk,
or thin black paper (like rice paper or the kind you use for making your
own kites). I like black because with other colors the 'ribs' of the
kiddie umbrella really show, and they're not in scale. :-) I decorate
with lace and ribbon, sometimes roses. I often use a bead on top, but
sometimes when I use a pointy cocktail stick I paint the point in
metallic and slide a little ring over it to cover the raw edge of the
fabric... I like making closed ones with lace on the top and then
crossing ribbon over it, starting at the edge of the lace and criss-crossing
all to the way to the pointed end, then tie it with a bow. This looks
like the bow is holding the parasol closed. It also hides the raw edge
of the silk. The other way around (starting at the tip and going down
to the handle) works, too. :-) IMHO this looks nicest if the parasol is
made out of thin silk because it 'bulges' between the ribbons... :-)
I've made them in all different sizes, I guess it depends on the dress I
use them for. I don't have any pictures of dolls with parasols... :-(
I used to make an open umbrella this way: I'd cut a circle in card stock
and divide it into 8 equal parts. I'd *score* all the lines with an X-Acto
knife (breaking the surface but not cutting all the way through) so that
they bend nicely. Cut away one or two wedges of the circle, leaving a
gluing flap. I covered it with fabric or paper while still in the 'flat'
stage. Then I glued the two ends of the circle together, and added a
handle. The effect was a nice umbrella with very visible 'spines.'
Diana in Canada
You can make a little
drawstring purse by cutting off a fingertip from one of those really
thin leather gloves. I prefer the "pinky finger" because it's usually a
bit smaller than the rest. The older the better for the gloves, as they
are "broken in" and thinner. Check out the second hand shops and
garage/estate sales for these.
Sew all around the top for the
drawstring and pull tight. I used 2 strands of thread and pulled one of
the strands in one direction and the other in the opposite direction so
there is a handle on both sides of the purse so it hangs a little
straighter but you don't need to use 2 strands if you don't want to.
Knot the ends so you have your handle(s) and you're done. You can
embellish the purse with beads and trims if you want.
If you end your strings on the *inside* of the purse, then you can hide
I understand you can also dye leather to match the outfit but I've never
At a show recently I
purchased two wonderful beaded purses with floral designs. The purses
were apparently shaped from Fimo with the design painted on. Having
examined them closely, I'm guessing that a single section of the flower
was painted with glue and tiny no-hole beads in the appropriate color
were poured on to fill that section. When it was dry, next flower part
was done, then the leaf section, etc., and the background of the evening
bag was solidly filled in with gold on one purse, black on the other.
They were completed with jewelry findings to form the rim and clasp of
the purse and tiny gold and silver chain for the handles.
Wanna in El Paso
I have made the cutest little purse out of two buttons. Look for the
kind that is shaped dome like with one flat side and one rounded side.
There is some that look like brown leather ( I think they may be actual
leather) with sort of a grit pattern on it-do you know the ones I'm
talking about? Very popular for coat buttons etc. Of course the trick
is to find some that are small enough to be useable. Don't forget to
check your thrift stores too. Once you have two suitable buttons, take
the 'stem' off with your wire cutter and glue the two together. Now all
you have to do is add a little finding for a clasp and attach a fine
chain for the strap if you like. You could also cover the buttons with
the fabric or material of your choice first before you glue them
together. Looks great and you can make it to match your dolls dress
I have taken the fancy ribbon like trims that look like tapestry....JoAnn's
Fabrics has many.....and I cut the piece according to the pattern. Some
have perfect designs from which you can design your purse like an
envelope with a pointed fold over flap. I have trimmed the edges on the
side and around the edge of the flap with bunka trim to coordinate with
a color in the trim. I made these from various trims and even did some
with pastel tulips on a white background using pastel bunka for the trim
and added a loop at the top for the handle or purse strap. At Christmas
time there was a red, black and gold piece that made up very well. They
also had a very fine narrow gold metallic ribbon that resembled metal
chain. By using this for the 'strap' it looked like a chain for the hand
bag. I hope this is understandable. I will see if I have pictures of
Purse - Beaded
Guess what I
found out how to do? Make incredibly tiny design beaded purses - EASY! I
had gotten a wonderful clear glass marble (bead) purse from someone
(sorry can't remember who <G>)....and I took it one step further! I took
the regular 'shrinky dink', ink stamped a design on it, colored it in,
shrunk it (mind you this is in a rectangle shape) and when cooled down
lightly covered it with glue and sprinkled one layer of these clear tiny
beads on it. Then repeated for edges and other side. The results was a
tiny, flat, in scale beaded purse with wonderful designs in color!
Purse - Beaded
The directions to make the beaded purses are on Mab's DIY pages. Here is
the shortcut http://members.tripod.com/~Folkgal/bead.htm
Purse using no
I have been using no hole beads for quite sometime to help accessorize
my dolls and just love the effect. Something as simple as making a
little fimo "blank" (purse shaped) coated with all gold no hole beads
and a finding and some chain looks fab.
FAUX BEADED PURSES
Fall 1997 issue of Dolls in Miniature magazine (sold out) had
instructions for a unique way to make faux beaded purses (and other
beaded minis) If I remember correctly: She glued glitter to a piece of
sewing thread, and shaped the thread into a design. When dry, she glued
the thread to a purse. The result was a very realistic looking purse,
with a lovely tiny "beaded" design.
My mom did a great beaded effect on a gown my painting the design on
with fabric with acrylic and sprinkling on the no hole beads while the
paint was still wet. It is the Julia costumed by Jan Doehring on my
I saw an article a while back on doing mini purses in a similar
technique, and they looked really cute. The trick was to find a fabric
with a solid background, and a small flower in the center, and cut out
your purse from this fabric, placing the flower in the center of the
purse. The sample picture had a red rose on a black background. Then I
think the purse sides were sewn or glued, right sides together, and
turned to right side, and lightly stuffed. Fabric is then coated with
white glue, and clear no hole beads applied over the entire surface.
The print of the fabric shows thru the beads, but gives the appearance
that the purse is made with tiny stitched beads with a floral pattern.
You have to remember to leave the top edges un-beaded, so that you have
room to gather them together and attach jewelry finding, etc. but they
turn out real cute! Not really clear on the exact instructions
regarding assembly and the order of the steps, but the clear beads over
a small print really look neat!
Victorian Beaded purse
Since dolls are now my 'job' my 'hobby' is rubber stamping! Well in the
search for a tiny, realistic beaded purse (without going blind gluing on
all those tiny no hole beads)...I found a GREAT print on the web,
printed it out on the computer (tiny, authentic and IN SCALE). Next I
cut out a rectangle around it in purse shape. Then I took that
wonderful double sided embossing or bead adhering tape from the rubber
stamp store (which is pliable AND see through) and attached it to top of
rectangle and then poured no hole GLASS (see through) beads over top of
sticky tape. Then bend purse in half, glue together. Glue a brass
finding or brass purse top on with tiny gold chain and WOW! It looks
really great, without the eye stress of individual beading!
I've also done this in black no hole beads, with just a couple red beads
in middle to simulate roses...then glue on a couple of black threads to
bottom with black beads to simulate beaded fringe.
Purse - Clasp
Just take two small circles out of a dryer fabric sheet (it's very thin
and almost see thru), the size of a test tube opening... cut one off
just above the half way mark...spread one side of each with tacky glue
and sprinkle with 1/2ml clear no hole beads... you may need to tap a few
down into place...wait till they dry... now put glue around the inside
edges (not across the top of either) just where the two meet. Slip an
itty bitty piece of wax paper in the "pocket" so it doesn't glue shut.
When about ½ dry turn over the "top flap" so that it makes the "opening
flap" of the clutch... adorn with a tiny bit of a cut up finding that
looks like a clasp! You may wish to put a tiny bit of glue all around
the "outside edges" of the clutch... including the opening flap and
sprinkle a few more beads for a more even finish. When completely dry
insert a minute piece of "kleenex" (1ply tp works best) and perhaps a
itty comb cut out of the plastic top to margarine containers. Ta da! Hey
Dana your improvement sounds great and no need to glue the two sides
together...although it would be difficult to carry your tissue's and
Purse For Your Victorian
I'm sure you've all seen the embroidered ribbon with the fringe on the
bottom. The embroidered part is about ½" wide, with an additional ½"
fringe. If yours is wider, that's ok too. That can make a very nice
little purse and it is quite easy to put together. Start by cutting off
two of the scallops to use for the purse. Fold that in half and glue
closed at the side. (Turn one edge under and overlap and glue it to the
other edge.) Then use a toothpick to dot glue inside across the
bottom edge (above the fringe).
Next, stuff a tiny bit of cotton or lint into the purse to fluff it up a
bit. You can use a tiny chain or a matching colored piece of bunka for
the handle. Cut a piece about 1-1/2 inch long and tie both ends in a
knot. Cut off excess that extends beyond the knot and then dot the knot
and a small area around the knot with glue. Push that glued portion deep
inside the purse so the amount that extends outside is an attractive
length for a purse (this type of purse often had a fairly long handle).
Add more glue as necessary to secure the handle without gluing the top
edge closed. Then pinch the purse closed so the glued handle can be
stuck to the inside of the
purse, trying not to glue to top edge of the purse. Then tightly gather
across the top... pull the thread tight and tie off. Use a mini purse
clasp, jewelry finding or even a portion of a gold doily and fold it in
half glue it over the gathered top portion of the purse. Next, trim
across the fringe so the fringe is straight across and not scalloped.
Purses & shoes - how to
Take the little brass findings that are charms in your beauty shop or
craft store, and gently push them into the fimo BEFORE you bake. Then
glue in a pointy edge rhinestone BEFORE you bake. To add dimension to
painted shoes on dolls.......
Step 1 - paint
shoe with light wash of acrylic paint
Step 2 - dust on LIGHT application of extra extra fine
glitter let dry
Step 3 - paint another wash of acrylic paint
Step 4 - seal protect with either matt acrylic spray or
fingernail polish depending on look desired. This gives a 3-D look with
out the harshness of just glitter.
I have a lady saddle Pattern
Mini sequins: for purses, trim, belts etc. No Hole Beads. They come in
all colors, They are glass and the brand I have is called: Glitter
Beads,1/2 mm, made in Germany. I used them as decorations on my Sculpy
cakes. Just spread a line of glue on your material and sprinkle the
beads on. Don't try to pick them up as it is not possible. You can only
sprinkle them on. Since they are colored glass they should not fade or
tarnish. Connie in Georgia
I used the holes
punched out of big sequins as mini sequins. When you buy a bag of
sequins look in the bottom of the bag there are tiny circles left over.
They work great as sequins if you use tweezers to place them on the
costume. You can also punch them yourself if you happen to have a tiny
hole punch also. I believe its 1/16" circle hole punch.
The way I learned to make
shoes was through Sue Atkinson's videotapes. She shows you step by step,
and it looks so easy! Actually it is pretty easy. Sometimes when I don't
want to make shoes, I paint them onto the feet! That's pretty effective
too and you can get very carried away. Tip, if you make the shoes out of
leather, use the very thinnest, finest leather you can find. I have had
disasters using what I thought was thin enough leather. My dolls ended
up looking like Minnie Mouse!
I've never used this method on miniature
dolls, just larger fashion dolls, but for one of my fairies, I dipped
her feet in glue and then dipped those in glitter--voila, Fairy Boots!
I've also done the glue thing and then dipped the feet in beads, but for
the minis, you'd have to have very tiny beads...
It's neat (if you
work in the greenware stage) to just paint those shoes on with
one-steps! When they come out of the cone 6 firing, they are rough like
leather. At that point I sand and clean the legs, but leave the shoes
alone - rough. Add socks, and viola! Shoes!!! I ask folks when they ask
for custom dolls what type of shoes do they want - Victorian boots, or
modern shoes – and what color they want.... If they can't decide I paint
them white and then when they get them they can paint the shoes with
acrylic colors if they want.... Lately on the Victorian boots I've been
firing the buttons silver or gold!
Georgina Hanford Simmons-Gagnon
Baked Shoes or
This is good for either sculpted baked shoes or leather shoes that are
constructed on a form. I spread a thin layer of puff paint on the
bottom of shoes. Then I hit it with a heat gun. It will puff up in an
irregular pattern. Continue to use the heat until paint is dry. Then
gently press sole on to a flat surface till sole evens out. To make
really old shoes, when spreading the paint keep it off of one small
circular section at the front (toe area). When everything else puffs
this will remain flat. Then paint this indented area with a light
beige/gray. Really looks worn. Hope this is clear
I make my dolls
shoes out of thin leather or fabric. I've even made sneakers from light
denim look cotton and elastic, go have a peak at my photopoint site
under friends sharing mini's to see the sneakers on the dolls. Apply
Tacky (gold) to the area you want as a shoe or boot onto the dolls. Then
I take a small piece of leather or fabric which has been cut into a
strip wider than the top of the foot and longer than the length of the
foot. I then take one end of the material and run it down the back seam
so that it is tight against the ankle and heel if a low shoe; the leg,
ankle and heel if a boot. Next I pull the fabric around the front of
the foot and ankle and allow the width of the fabric to drape over the
front of the toes. Continue around the
foot with the fabric until you have joined the back seam, trim so that
ends butt together. Now comes the tricky part, coax the fabric or
leather to lie flat to the dolls foot until there are no wrinkles by
pulling carefully on the material around and under the bottom of the
foot. Trim off excess material under the foot leaving enough material to
glue to the underside of the dolls foot. Once dry, I use brown paper
shopping bags for a sole, coated with two coats of clear nail polish
shaped to fit the dolls foot. I then add shoe laces or small hole less
beads as buttons, if a heel is required on the shoe, I cut one out of
several thickness' of the brown paper bag and coat it with the clear
polish and add it to the shoe. It also makes the sole seem real if you
take a marking pen and darken the ridge of the sole and heel. Hope this
is written so that it is understood, gosh it's ten times easier to do it
than try to explain it...lol
Marilyn of Michigan
For the person
asking about shoes, I posted recently about a book I found entitled The
Art of Making Beautiful Fashion Doll Shoes. Authors are Timothy J.
Alberts & M. Dalton King. It is a beautiful book just to look at.
Besides that, it has wonderfully
illustrated steps for making shoes. Although the patterns are for
"fashion doll" sized dolls, as miniaturists, most of you are adept at
shrinking patterns. It gives instructions for making the shoe last (the
thing on which all shoes are built) by dipping the doll's foot into some
kind of molding compound. It also includes a "Visual Shoe Dictionary"
with drawings of different shoes and the periods or years when they were
in style. As I said, even if I never make a pair of shoes, the book is
wonderful to dream over. The book is published by Hobby House Press and
is a 1999 release.
I do a couple of
different methods my favorite is to shape the shoes from fimo or like
clays and bake the legs before putting the dolls together. You can paint
them, add sparkles, flocking, bows, just anything. The other is with
fabric. If you want the instructions for the fabric.
I've been using
some 3 D paint ,it makes the shoes look like they are textured, it's
quite durable too I found and won't chip off while the doll is going
through the rigors of being dressed-smile. I have used some veeeery thin
sort of suede like material to cut a little sole for them .It's a light
brown color and looks quite nice. There is a lot that can be done with
shoes, I have just started to play around with it .There is a wonderful
little paperback book by Linda O'Keefe called 'SHOES’. It has many, many
illustrations of different shoe styles in there for different periods.
Alice Zinn of
Small Stuff has a marvelous little booklet complete with shoe and
slipper patterns. In fact, she has two of those booklets
I found this
information posted to the 1 inch mini group. Those of you that were
looking for information on making shoes might find this interesting.
Tom from Earth and Tree is selling these books I guess. I'll see if I
can get more info on these books if anyone is interested. They seem very
Shoe It Yourself Vol 1
by Alice Zinn, 16 pages, patterns and instructions for many different
types of footwear, along with special tips to make their construction
easier and more fun. Makes bunny slippers, ladies and men’s slippers,
canvas Chinese shoes, penny loafers, saddle shoes
and shoe box pattern
Shoe It Yourself Vol#2
by Alice Zinn 20 black & white pages with instructions and patterns to
make high heeled clogs, tennis shoes, sandals, baby shoes, baby shoe
box, leather boots and box for boots.
by Alice Zinn, 23 pages, patterns and instructions and tips for making
miniatures that do fulfill their purpose, they really open and close.
Create your own purse and its accessories, a wallet, attaché case and
even a studio couch, which opens into a double bed.
chambray material fitted and glued around the dolls foot, used a brown
paper bag that I coated with clear nail polish for the sole of the
shoe. Heavy blanket thread was used to make the laces, start at just
above the dolls toes and gluing the thread as you go, crisscross the
thread until you are at the top of the shoe, tie a small bow. To create
the rubber sole that tennis shoes have I cut two ribs off a flat piece
of elastic and glued it to the very edge of the shoe and the sole. Very
I would be glad to share how I make the tiny shoes with anyone
interested. Cats Paw has many tiny brass items that work for faux
buckles, pins and decorations. Write back if you want the item numbers I
use. To make the silk ribbon parts I put Aleene's flexible stretchable
fabric glue and let it dry then cut whatever pieces I need, they won't
ravel because of the glue. I use leather from old gloves or thin leather
from Al Chandronait.
best way that I have found to do stockings is to
work in sections.
I used a very fine black nylon mesh, (Dana carries it in her stocking
kit) but really I
fine enough and stretchy will work. Using a pencil I draw a fine line
down the middle
on the back of the
leg. Then I cut a rectangle of the
straight( make sure it's plenty big so you
won't come up
short) and glue that next to the line I
drew. Then I let
dry. I did both pairs of legs at the
same time so while
one was drying I worked on the next
one until I had
all four then went back to the first
I find that if I
work in small sections and let the
glue dry well in
between it lets me get a much nicer fit and I won't continually pull off
parts of the
to get it all glued at the same time.
Just work it all
the way around the leg and foot
stretching .Once you hit the back of
the leg again
apply a fine line of glue next to the glued down part of the stocking.
Pull the fabric around
and glue down
butting up to that very nice straight line you drew. I try to not
overlap anything but just
have the two sides
meet. Once dry use small embroidery scissors to trim the excess fabric.
I guess my favorite wings are those like in the movie
John Travolta wore.... the white dove wings, which I guess would mean
possibly purchasing a fake dove and cutting off wings... or shaping
cardboard and gluing white feathers.
2nd favorite wings shaped in wire covered in sparkle netting. In real
life Diana I did this many times for theatre stage for fairy god mothers
I put lights in netting which were battery operated and the fairy
godmothers could turn them on an off with a remote switch at their
waist. Sometimes we had fairy godmothers who were a little forgetful and
their hocus pocus didn't always work on first try...so I had to come up
with remote switch so they could turn on wings or lighted skirt when
they wanted the hocus pocus to finally take.
Tatania **the good witch**
I think I would
try to use wire and cover it with (stocking) I haven’t made one in mini
but just did for daughter for Halloween we used white sheer stockings
over pretty stiff shaped wire pulled it over it just like pulling them
on a leg then tied them off and trimmed then we also sprayed the wings
with that spray glitter really fine stuff in an aerosol can would love
to see a picture of the doll done.
An EASY way to
make angel wings is to use the wings from the white feather/flocking
doves that people put on wreaths, Xmas trees, etc. around the holidays.
Cut the legs off first (because the wire of the leg is connected to the
wing) then carefully cut around the base of the wing being careful not
to cut the wire that connected each one to a foot. You can now trim the
ends so they join perfectly and use the wire to attach to the angel. A
more labor-intensive method is to use these wings as a base and add more
white feathers in rows. Interestingly, the Victorians were the ones to
insist that angels and fairies have wings... they didn't believe in
levitation I guess.
I think wings
made from polymer can turn out just beautiful if they are done
correctly. I love the wings that have many colors added with the
translucent (so nice when backlit!) then they are rolled out and shaped
like a butterfly's.
*Hugs from big ole Texas*
My choice for
wings, of course...would be eggs, as that is what I do. They make lovely
wings, either cut or sculpted. I realize not everyone would be doing
that, but if I ever manage to come up with an honest to goodness, real
sculpted fairy (it the face thing with me), she will have egg wings. My
Pavan from Dana is waiting for her egg fairy wings now. She will be very
pretty, I think.
I've made wings from very sheer fabric that is stiffened and then
embellished in various ways. I didn't use wire as a frame because I
wanted a more airy and natural look.
I have made
fairies for about 16 yrs and have used just about everything for wings.
At first I used the butterflies that were made of netting stretched over
wire. Then the white petals available in the bridal dept. of the craft
stores (these are fabric stretched on wire that can be shaped). Moved on
to silk that has been stiffened with "petal porcelain" and even did some
silk dyeing for wings. Sometimes used wings from the white doves (fake)
enhanced with more feathers and such. But I think my favorite wings are
the cicada (locust) wings I use now. They are transparent with fine
veining and come off of one very ugly bug! Husband is sent OUTSIDE with
the tweezers and scissors to debug the wings.
the bug BODIES for something). GROSS! These cicadas come from South
America and are huge. The wings are about 4 inches long and the bugs a
bit bigger with big eyes! GROSS again! But the wings are crystal clear
with beautiful veining. Can't believe they come on that bug!
I have used lace
stiffened with clear glitter paint and let dry. I put it on a piece of
plastic wrap to paint and left it there to dry. Turns out very pretty.
Very dense or airy depending on the lace used. Some of the fancy lace
that is in the bridal department would work very well cutting the design
pieces apart and using the pointed ones for the bottom of the wings and
rounded ones for the top. Like a butterfly.
Also you can make lacy wings with water dissolving backing for machine
embroidery. Just stitch on it and then dissolve the paper. The paper is
also good for stiffening fabric so pull off as much as possible and then
rinse out the rest.
Lots of ideas for threads to use for this. Clear and iridescent would be
the first ones that come to mind. Lots of beautiful rayon and poly
embroidery threads for the sewing machine available and the color range
Take care, Charlean
There is a
wonderful rubber stamp out with both sides of the wing. If you take
sheer batiste, stamp on your design, put embossing ink on in a light
glittery shade, and then cut out, the results are amazing! Sheer, pose
able and printed on both sides! Visit your nearest rubber stamp store
for the design.
I have used
clear acetate page protectors, with veins drawn with color sharpies, and
spray paint and glitter. If you reinforce the segment between the wings,
you can glue on a Velcro tab.
Visit Dana's site
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