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    Doll Painting Notes & Supplies

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    Doll Face Painting Process Recap

    I start with a baked head (see the Doll Portrait series) if you're thinking, "I know how to bake a potato, but not sure about a head".

    That was dark humor.

    And I add the first layer of paint.

    Layer 1: Vein Blue (#1 in the Bountiful Baby system)

    Bake. I preheat my oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 C) utilizing a separate oven thermometer ensure precision. Bake in a preheated oven for about 10 or 15 minutes. If you put the head in a cold oven, once the oven reaches the desired temperature, leave it there for a few minutes longer. I usually do the latter.

    Layer 2: Warm Blush (#3 in the Bountiful Baby system)

    Bake

    Layer 3: Baby Skin (#2 in the Bountiful Baby system)

    Bake

    Layer 4: White Genesis Heat Set Paint

    After I have the skin tone just the way I want it, I paint the eyeballs white, and I may want to add just a few more highlights on the face with the baby skin color again.

    Bake

    Final Layer 5: Brow Brown (#6 in the Bountiful Baby system) & Black Genesis Heat Set Paint

    I used the brow brown for the eye lashes, the eye brows, and the irises. I used the black paint for the pupils. You might want to paint on the irises, bake it, and then paint on the pupils, which is what I do when I'm painting pupils onto lighter colored irises.

    Final Bake

    Doll Painting Supply List

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    Genesis Heat Set Paints, Bountiful Baby Premixed Kit

    I think I've already talked about this stuff to death. One thing I didn't mention is that these jars are small but this paint goes a very long way. One jar lasts forever... you can make many a doll with this set, even though each jar has only 1/5 ounce of paint.

     

     

    White Genesis Heat Set Paint

    This is a big 1 ounce jar. I like having more white than I need, not sure why. I guess because I often paint leggings on my dolls using white first, then I make stripes or dots in another color, so I end up going through white a little quicker than other colors. Whether you buy a 1 ounce jar, or a smaller jar, you should be aware white is not in the premixed kit shown above, and you'll need it for painting the eyes at least.

     

    Black Genesis Heat Set Paint

    Again, the premixed kit doesn't come with black, and black can come in handy, especially when it comes to painting the pupils of the eyes. If you want to skip buying the black you could always darken the pupils with a couple coats of the brow brown that comes with the premixed kit. Again, this is the 1 ounce jar, which will look massive compared to the 1/5 ounce jars that the premixed paint comes in.

     

    Speedball Mona Lisa Odorless Paint Thinner

    Yes, it's odorless. No, it's not non toxic. Read the label when you get it because you'll want to take similar precautions as you would for other solvents. You know, open a window, don't drink it, don't bathe in it, don't dip your cookies in it, etc.

    Also, the 8 ounce bottle is kinda small. I certainly recommend the 8 oz to try it out, but if you want to use it to clean your brushes as well, you may want a bigger bottle.

     

    Small Paint Brushes

    I have yet to discover the perfect paintbrushes for painting small doll faces. These are pretty OK. There're fine, they work.  I just really feel like the perfect set of miniature brushes is out there some where and we just haven't met yet. Oh, when we do meet, that will be a glorious day. I will declare my love on the roof tops and there will be great rejoicing.

    So, for now, I will reluctantly recommend the Virtuoso Detail Paint Brush Set as a pretty OK buy.

     

    Rubber Tipped Tool (Shh, it's a dental tool)

    I am linking to the one with lots of refills because the tip will get lazy after awhile, and it's not that much more for 6 refills. This is also a very handy tool for sculpting. I use this tool all the time.

     

    If I missed a supply or a tool, please let me know, I'd appreciate it. I think that's all though. Happy doll face painting!

    with love, Caroline

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    Printable Materials & Supply List

    Genesis Heat Set Paints, Bountiful Baby Premixed Kit

    White Genesis Heat Set Paint

    Black Genesis Heat Set Paint

    ~ Speedball Mona Lisa Odorless Paint Thinner

    Small Paint Brushes

    Rubber Tipped Tool

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    Working Miniature Lantern

    On the corner of Chive Ave and Daisy Lane, where the chives do not blossom, and the daisies do not dance, there's an old street light that tells the tale of the wayward bunny witch. This story, and the projects that go with it, will be continued. In Part 1, I go over how to make a miniature lantern. and in part 2 I cover how to make the stand.

    Put them together and you'll have your own kinda creepy-weird, all-be-it working, miniature street light. Cons: you will have a kinda creepy-weird miniature street light. Pros: you will have a kinda creepy-weird miniature street light. Since the pro-con scale is about equal you might as well get going and make the thing.  This is what you'll need...

    Working Miniature Lantern Supplies

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    Graph Paper

    This is something the miniaturist needs to have hanging out in their studio anyway, so if you don't have yourself a pad of graph paper, you might wanna pick it up.

     

    Miniature Battery Operated Lights

    These lights were the smallest I could find at a reasonable cost. I researched mini light bulbs for longer than I care to recall, but I still think there must be smaller ones out there somewhere. I designed my street lamp to accommodate a bulky mini bulb, but street lamps are pretty big in real life, so I figured they could be on the bigger side in miniature land as well. I don't think this bulb would work for a miniature table lamp though.

     

     

    ~ Thin Cardboard & Plastic

    Luckily you most likely don't need to buy thin cardboard because, if your family is like mine, your kids eat too much cereal and not enough vegetables and so you have plenty of cereal boxes that you can then recycle into miniature lanterns.

    Fabri-Fix, Fabri-Tac, or Tacky Glue

    I like the Beacon glue products (Fabri-Fix, Fabri-Tac, 3-in-1). If you've been following me for long, you know that very well. Their glues dry fast, they're paintable, waterproof, super flexible, great with polymer clay, and they create an incredibly strong bond. That said, I bet Tacky Glue would work just as well for this project, if you're more of a Tacky Glue crafter.

    Gray & White Acrylic Paint (and paint brush)

    Lace Ribbon

    Remember you don't have to buy lace ribbon for this project. If you have an old dress that you'll be throwing out anyway, just grab some embellishments for your miniature lantern from your old dress. If you buy trimming, keep in mind you'll cut the lace to the size you want so the width doesn't matter. And the color doesn't really matter either because you'll be painting it.

     

    Twine or String

    Twine is helpful to create faux ledges for a more complex design. Again, it can be any color and thickness just depends on what you're going for. All I had was a white and yellow patterned twine, so my lantern looked pretty darn unique before it was painted.

     

     

    Small Paper Fastener

    I really hope you have one of these lying around the house so you don't have to buy a big pack just for this project. That's when you begin to ask yourself, "how dedicated am I to this project? Is it really worth buying a $2.50 pack of paper fasteners that I never needed before in my life until this moment in time and space. Is this really worth the commitment? Just how badly do I want a kinda creepy miniature lantern made from a recycled cereal box? What do I gain, what do I lose? No guts, no glory...I'm going for it!"  Press 'buy' button. Immediate buyers remorse. Cancel item. 10 minutes later...buy again.

    Wire

    I can find wire like this for one dollar at my local dollar store. It's $6 on Amazon and that seems awfully steep, but I'll link it for lack of another online resource.

     

     

    Cotton Balls and Scrap Fabric

    You can use cotton balls, cotton batting, or any kind of padding to hold the light in place. Perhaps the basement couch has a rip in it and some stuffing is spilling out a bit. Perfect opportunity. You only need a couple pinches.

    Scrap fabric. You only need a wee little bit of fabric, so just cut a little corner out of the curtain or something. Don't do that! I was joking!

    Metal Jewelry What-Nots (totally optional)

    If you want to embellish like a mad hatter, you might like the this pack of metal jewelry what-nots. Perhaps this pack also has some sort of ring for the top of your lantern (for the handle). The metal ring I used for mine came from an old bracelet that I destroyed.  This supply is very optional.  Of course, it's all optional. If you need to make a miniature street lamp, then we have some talking to do.

     

    So that's about it, except for the ladybug supplies, which would just be some polymer clay. And you've probably got that lying around from the other projects I dragged you into.

    Thanks for hanging out with me, guys, and happy creating!

    with love, Caroline

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    Miniature Basket Weaving

    Have you always dreamed of someday learning miniature basket weaving? Do you often think (and sometimes mention out loud),
    "I hope to be just like all the other miniature basket weavers I know, for they are strong of heart, and sound of mind".  Have you had sleepless nights because you don't know the basics of how to make a basket for a doll?  Well, it's time to end all this needless envy and worry right now and learn this important life skill.

    I laughed at that thought the other day as my fingers whirled around 2 inch cake paste wire with looping hemp cord (don't ask me how cake paste wire is actually suppose to be used) and my mind was entirely engrossed in my strange miniature obsession.  We mini makers are quite the unique bunch, aren't we? :)

    Miniature Basket Weaving Supplies

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    20 gauge Gum Paste Wire. I used a 20 gauge, which is pretty heavy handed. You may want to try a 22 gauge, or better yet, try both and see which one you prefer.

    I had to look in the cake decorating section of my hobby store for these wires.  You can try the floral section but I found the wires there were too flimsy for mini basket weaving. It was somewhat intimidating, venturing through an aisle I have hardly ever been in, but I did it, and you can too. I have no idea how these wires are used in decorating cakes, but I think you make flowers out of them. Just don't eat the wires, they probably tell people. You can eat the petals, but please refrain from eating the wires.

    71dRa8hIYDL._SL1500_Acrylic Paint, "Sand".

    If you buy this on Amazon you'll be spending at least double what it's worth. If you want to save a few dollars, go to your local hobby shop.

    This is the color that worked really, really well for the color of cord I used. You'll want a color that somewhat matches the cord color you choose.

     

    Hemp Twine, natural color, 0.5 mm thick

    The thickness is important when you want to make a 1:12 scale miniature that looks convincing. I really like using the 0.5 mm thick cord.  The 1 mm cord is just a little too thick, though still doable in a pinch.

    I used the natural color for a natural look to start things off, but you'll quickly want to expand into whites, and pinks, or how about white and pink. Is there anything cuter than a miniature white and pink hand woven basket?

     

    Tacky Glue

    You will only need a drop or two, so any household glue will likely work just as well. Chances are good you'll use tacky glue again if you're getting into crafting or miniatures, so if you don't have tacky glue yet, it's worth buying for all sorts of purposes.

     

     

    1/8" Ribbon

    A completely optional supply.  Thin ribbon is nice to have around even if you decide not to weave it into your basket design. I enjoy making a mini bow and securing it to my basket as a final touch. I really enjoy it, actually. The bow is like the cherry on top. Would you ever go to an icecream shop, buy a sundae, and not get a cherry on top? If you did, you'd probably question the legitimacy of said icecream shop. So, scratch the optional supply comment, it was bad advice. A cute little satin bow as a final touch is a necessity.

     

    26 guage Gum Paste Wire (for the handles)

    This is also pretty optional. You could always use the other wire you have on hand for the basket "skeleton". This wire is just a little more flexible.

     

     

     

    And for tools you may want a few things on hand like...

    • Scissors
    • Needle Nose Pliers
    • Toothpicks

    That's about it. Miniature basket weaving is an easy project to take with you when you're on the go because the supplies pack nicely into a little bag. So now you won't ever have to be bored waiting in line at the pharmacy. Just get out your little basket weaving project and loop away. You'll be the talk of the pharmacy waiting room. :)

    with love, Caroline

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    How Many Hours Does it Take to Make an Art Doll?

    Question: How many hours does it take to make one doll? What if someone asked you to make 10 of them and happy to pay you? Would you make each doll individually or are there ways to use one doll as a master mold and multiply somehow?  Question is from a YouTuber going by the name Super Kitty Show.

    That's a great question. Art dolls are incredibly time consuming. Even though they're expensive, once you add up all the time, the hourly rate usually isn't impressive. I make dolls because I'd make them even if I wasn't getting paid, so it's just a bonus that there are people out there that are willing to support my work. Really famous art doll artists are able to charge huge amounts for their dolls, so it's also nice to know as the doll artist improves their skill and continues with their promoting efforts, they have the potential to make a really comfortable living just making dolls all day. Ooh, that sounds good, doesn't it?

    There are ways the doll artist can multiply their efforts and molds are a big part of that. It just depends on the business model. I've found that most art doll artists make a living without using any molds at all. You save a little time if you use molds and so you can charge a little less, so if you can get a larger volume of buyers, that may be the way to go for you. However I've found ***a lot** of my time goes into painting and clothing the doll. That wasn't the case when I first started doll making. At first the bulk of the time goes into sculpting, and I mean hours upon hours. As with everything in life, it takes time to learn a skill. As the artist improves and get faster at sculpting, that part of the process goes relatively quickly, and, besides, the artist can ask more for a OOAK hand sculpted doll.

    I tried molds a while back, and personally, I don't like using them for my kind of art dolls. I enjoy every part of doll making. The sculpting, the painting, applying the hair, making the clothes, everything. If I skipped the sculpting step and replaced it with molds, it just wouldn't be as much a labor of love, and I'd never get better (and faster) at sculpting, and besides all that, I'd have to charge less.

    However, I don't make ball jointed dolls. If you're planning to be a BJD maker, molds can really speed up your process. This is because everything must be perfect on the BJD, not just the face and hands. You can glue clothing directly onto a stagnant doll, so there's no need to make every part of the body perfectly. Buyers expect to change the clothing on a BJD, and they expect to be able to move the doll in a large range of motion effortlessly.  To sculpt the entire body perfectly, so that it looks amazing and it moves smoothly, is very time consuming, even for well seasoned artists. So it's customary for the BJD artist to use molds in their process. It's still expensive to buy a BJD art doll even when molds are used, but it should be outrageously expensive to buy a OOAK BJD.

    Ok, so now I'm thinking, I just rambled on and on but did I actually answer the question? Scrolls up to question. Failed. Fixing that now.

    Time it takes to make one doll? Oh, that question. I am still wondering that myself. I always try to keep track of my hours with every doll I make, but I am equally faithful at failing in following through with that endeavor. I get so wrapped up in the process because I love it. For my most recent doll I probably took two, or, gosh, it was probably more like three hours, just on her hair. I fixed her hair while watching Cinderella with my two daughters. Great movie, by the way (the 2015 live action version). If I had to guess I'd go with 30 hours for one doll when I do things like watch Cinderella while doll making.

    So, to sum up, the one-of-a-kind doll artist banks on two factors to justify the time it takes to make the OOAK doll.

    1. The artist that continually practices sculpting will get better and faster at sculpting
    2. With enough time and enough promotional effort, the OOAK doll artist can charge more for their work

    So there is this exponential growth thing that happens with time and practice. See...even though it looks like you're just watching Cinderella and playing with dolls all day long, your husband will end up thanking you because that exponential growth thing will really happen, and you guys will be able to see Italy and retire early. Thank you so much for the thought provoking question, Super Kitty!

    with love, Caroline

     

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    Miniature Polymer Clay S'mores

    3,953 views

    Polymer Clay S'mores Tutorial Show Notes

    (with video time stamps... because I love you guys and you deserve it, darn it.)

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    The Magic Marshmallows

    (Find it in the video at 2:12)

    Corn Starch Commentary

    If you're like me, you're going to love using the corn starch. What is so delightful is that you sprinkle a bit of corn starch on your clay marshmallows, which takes two seconds, and you get an immediate realistic look.

    Sprinkling corn starch onto your clay marshmallows looks like real powdered sugar that is sprinkled onto real marshmallows, as seen here...

    Homemade marshmallow loaf

    This is a homemade marshmallow loaf in real life (yes, there is life beyond polymer clay)

    Immediate realism never happens, at least not in my world. Usually I must strive and strain for realism in my minis, so immediate satisfaction with just a little cornstarch is a welcomed event in my life. And as a bonus, the corn starch also works to prevent lint and fingerprints from showing up on your vulnerable white clay.

    White Clay Warning

    Which reminds me, I must warn you about your choice of white polymer clay.

    If it is at all in your power, please avoid using the Original Sculpey that you can find at Walmart. It's much too soft for the average adult of sound mind.

    I know it's tempting because it's so amazingly cheap, but just don't. Actually, go ahead and buy it, but then give it to the kiddos in your life. It's an awesome product for anyone under 4 feet.

    Consider yourself warned.

    A better choice for you would be Fimo Professional or Premo or Sculpey III white.

    The Glorious Graham Crackers

    (Find it in the video here: 2:39)

    Template Tips

    I use a quad rule paper pad for drawing out my minis to the 1:12 scale because it makes life easy. I'm a mom of four, so I need easy. If you don't use a template, your graham crackers, and your chocolate bars, will be all sorts of interesting sizes. Variety may be the spice of life, but it's the bane of the miniaturist making a batch of S'mores (strange saying).

    Graham Cracker Color Clues

    I used the light flesh colored ProSculpt Polymer Clay for the graham crackers, but that was mainly because I had it lying around. You may want to pick a light tan color.

    I use this set of Rembrandt Soft Pastels to color the graham crackers. The set has served me well.

    I highly suggest playing around with the coloring a bit before making 50 bazillion graham crackers. And bake your testers before making your final decision about what colors you want to use. The color looks much less brilliant after baking.

    Putting the S'more Together

    (Find it in the video here: 3:28)

    Chocolate Clay Comment

    For the chocolate, I used brown clay from the Sculpey III pack. I believe the name for that clay color is "chocolate" (how convenient).

    Tweezers Tips & Tricks

    I use tweezers to plop the various S'mores ingredients on top of each other. Let's all pause for a moment to think about this. Tweezers are our friends. They sit around all day just waiting to be used, and do we use them enough? No, certainly not. How often have you worked with your miniatures, whether creating them or setting them up, and left your tweezers in the drawer? Meanwhile, things don't go your way, and the little things you are trying to conquer keep escaping from your grasp. Your frustration builds until you have the false notion that miniatures are just too tedious and you ought to go mow your lawn. Nonsense! Don't mow your lawn--simply get out your tweezers instead.

    If you like cheap tweezers because you lose them as often as your 12-year-old asks for a kitten, then meet your new friends:

    If you're into expensive tweezers, I can't help you. These tweezers do bend under too much pressure (kind of like me), but they're great for most jobs and when you lose them you won't start yelling at people.

    Miniature Food Packaging

    (Find it in the video here: 4:23)

    Marshmallow Bag Musings

    For the plastic, I just used a little zip lock bag that is normally used for jewelry. You could use a sandwich zip lock and just fuse two sides of it.  Remember to sand your plastic before attempting to paint it. It adheres so much better. I use a fine grit sand paper and just spend some quality time with it making little circular motions. Well, it probably doesn't matter if the motions are circular; the point is to sand carefully so you don't sand right through the plastic.

    Did you notice my disturbing glue gun in the video? It's my 10-year-old's. Technically it's mine, but she uses it all the time, so we just say it's hers. I wish I could show it to you in all it's glory, but it found a home in the trash, probably in a land fill by now. I did go out and buy another one after putting the video together, so next time I need a glue gun for a video, I will look incredibly professional (winky face). I bought two, one for professional little ol' me, and one for my daughter.  My daughter promptly painted hers a lovely light teal, and wouldn't you agree, glue guns look better in teal?

    glue gun glory

    Glue guns look better in teal

    If you really want to paint your own mini food packaging, be prepared to go over the lettering again and again because you won't get it right the first round. If you just accept that as part of the process, it's not frustrating.

    I just use acrylic paint for crafters. Brand doesn't matter but here's what I use:

    Deep Thoughts Regarding the Miniature Graham Cracker Box

    Sorry guys, still don't have that graham cracker box template up. I want to provide a nice one. I just made a quick one, and then promptly lost it, so I've got to draw out another one for you guys. Graham cracker box templates for dollhouses aren't easy to find online, actually. I know. I looked, and looked, and looked. Ended up thinking I could have drawn out my own ten times over after looking online so long. So I'll provide one for you guys because time is money, people (whoa, where'd that come from?).

    I use Beacon's Fabri-Tac, or 3-in-1 when gluing mini boxes, or when gluing just about anything.

    I have a suspicion that Fabri-tac and 3-in-1 are actually the same glue formula, they're just branding it differently. And by all means, because you can use this amazing glue for just about anything, be it fabric or anything else. They need to let the world know, so, I think, they're using the same glue with two different names. Correct me if I'm wrong.  I only know Fabri-Tac and 3-in-1 looks, feels, and acts like they're the same thing. And, may I point out, both names use hyphens. If this isn't a conspiracy, I don't know what is.

    OK, seriously, I love this glue. If you've been following me for long, you already know this well. The dollmaker has so much power with this glue. Think of it like Batman with his gadgets.

    Dollmaker + Beacon Glue = Batman + Gadgets

    What's so nice about it is that it isn't messy. You can hide it so incredibly easily. One of these days I'll show you what I mean in a video, but until then, just trust me on this one.

    Miiniature Polymer Clay Smores for Fairies

    ***NOTE***

    I have not uploaded the graham cracker box template yet

    Polymer Clay S'mores Printable Supply List

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    Materials

    Tools

    with love, Caroline

    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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    Miniature Pumpkin Soup

    Miniature Pumpkin Soup for Fairies

    Supply List

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.

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    I use item #262, #263, & #264. No need to get all three if you're just planning to make the pumpkin though.

    This place has so many fragrance oils, you wouldn't believe how easy it is to get carried away.  Don't be like me and get way too many and then not use them. Just get what you want now... they'll try to entice you with a free shipping deal. Resist.

    • Ball Stylus Sculpting Tool (not necessary, just a little helpful if you'll be sculpting a lot)
    • Rubbing Alcohol & Paper Towel (handy for clean up)
    • A Pointy Tool (toothpick works)
    • Old Toothbrush
    • Corn Starch (keeps your fingerprints off your creation)
    • A Small Paint Brush (or two)
    • Clay Cutting Blade (you could get by with just an X-acto knife)
    • Sandpaper
    • Twigs from your yard
    • Wood Slices (for the stool seats)
    • Dremel 3000 (if you are a crafter, you need to discover the wonders of a Dremel)
    • Wood Glue
    • Thin Slate of Wood (for the chalkboard)
    • Chalkboard Paint (or just dark gray acrylic paint)
    • Chalk Pencil
    • Old Necklace Chain
    • Fabri-Tac (this is my favorite glue in all the world)
    • Acorn Tops (if they aren't in you're back yard, try eBay or Etsy)
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    DIY Fairy Art Doll

    I almost stepped on a fairy in the forest today. Shh... secret here... I actually sculpted her out of polymer clay, and it was great fun.  I show you exactly how to sculpt the head of this fairy, and I've listed my tools here, so you can try it for yourself.   The process notes are coming, but here's a super annotated supply list.

    Supply List

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    • ProSculpt Polymer Clay, I use Light but they have a variety of skin tones.
    • Organic Egg (just kidding)
    • A Ruler (Helpful for your sketch to decide on your scale and proportions)
    • Something to Sculpt On.

    doll sculptingIn the video, you'll see I'm sculpting on some wooden thingy.  Well, that's a decorative piece of my dining room table.  I'm not kidding.  It has the perfect shape for my hand, so it's super comfy to hold. That's all you need. just something comfy to hold...wooden, plastic, whatever.  A lot of doll makers sculpt on a tile, but that's harder to hold, IMHO.  You can take your sculpture off the thing you're holding before baking, so it really doesn't matter... just something comfy to hold, like a decorative piece of your dining room table. ;)

    I use item #262, #263, & #264.  Just a heads up, these guys come with a really annoying store tag sticker on the tool.  I really wish they wouldn't do that because you have to use soap and water to scrap off the sticker.  Annoying.  However, I love the tools, and if you're going to hand sculpt a doll, well, you've probably got the patience to scrap off store tags. And if you don't have the patience to scrap off store tags, what are you doing trying to sculpt a doll?  Consider yourself warned.

    I don't recall where I bought this tool, and I'm finding it very difficult to locate it online.  I really wish I could find a source for you because I use this tool a lot.  I'm finding a lot of rubber tipped tools with pointy tips, it's just hard to find one with more of a blunt tip.  So here's a link to the closest thing I could find.

    fairy doll earI like a small ball stylus sculpting tool for the ears, though I'm sure you could get along just fine without.

    • Gum Stimulator (fine tipped rubber dental tool)
    • Rubbing Alcohol (from your local drug store)
    • A Small Paint Brush (to brush on the rubbing alcohol as a final step)
    • Clay Cutting Blade (to take the face off the comfy thingy your sculpting it on)

    Video Time Stamps for Your Convenience

    Part 1 - How to Sculpt the Face

    1:06 Basic Proportions
    1:17 Vertical line down middle, horizontal line across middle
    1:22 Horizontal line is for the eyes
    1:25 Draw short line in the middle of lower half
    1:37 This marks the bottom of the lip, move up a bit for opeing of mouth
    1:45 Ears go between the eyes and tip of the nose
    1:53 Divide middle horizontal line into fifths, from ear to ear
    2:08 Eyes will go here and here
    2:25 Start with a Sketch
    2:38 Draw basic proportions on face
    2:42 Smooth out eye sockets
    2:58 Use internet for reference pictures
    3:05 Indent around nose a bit
    3:28 Refine nose with rubber tipped tool
    3:39 Watch all angles throughout sculpting process
    3:45 Use dental tool around the nose, get thickness right
    3:56 Sculpting the Eyes
    3:56 Bake little ball of clay & cut in half
    4:06 Add thin strips of clay for upper and lower lids & smooth out
    4:31 Sculpting the Lips
    4:41 Make opening with knife
    4:46 Make indents in corners then pull clay down
    4:51 Finishing Touches
    4:55 Make very light as you finish refining and smoothing

    Part 2 - How to Sculpt Ears

    0:57 Brush in rubbing alcohol to smooth out face
    1:01 Slide face off
    1:04 Bake face
    1:04 Make oval ball of tin foil with flat side, add clay to it
    1:13 Joining Face to HeadSkull Profile Proportions
    1:30 Place face onto ball & add strip of clay
    1:33 Leave some room for a final strip of clay
    1:39 Bake
    1:39 Smooth in a final strip of clay
    1:49 Bake
    1:49 Sand
    1:55 Sculpting the Ears
    1:57 Skull /ear relationship
    2:16 Helix
    2:24 Concha cavum, triangular fossa, concha cymba
    2:43 Smooth out ears
    3:02 Antitragus/tragus nonsense
    3:30 Bake
    3:30 Sculpt other ear
    3:30 Bake
    3:34 Other Videos

    with love, Caroline

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    DIY Fairy Wings for Dolls or Jewelry

    Supplies:

    Disclosure: This post has affiliate links.

    Tip: Click that adorable printer icon below for the supplies & instructions already formatted for the printer! I've added this feature because I'm quite fond of all you & life doesn't need to be hard.

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    I used cicadfairy wings from insect wingsa wings from a dead cicada that my kids found in our back yard. Please don't kill a bug just for it's wings. If the bug dies and happens to leave wings behind, it's lovely, but unnecessary because you can get transparency sheets of wings over at OOAK Artist Emporium.  If your printer is finicky, like mine, you're going to love these sheets as much as I do.  They've got a wide assortment of insect wings including butterfly wings.  I plan to make a tutorial on butterfly wings in the future.  Here's a quick tip if you end up being lured into going with butterfly wings; use cornstarch with matte glaze as a final step so you can get that fuzzy wing loo

    You'll want 20 gauge for fairy dolls that will be about 3 to 6 inches tall (1:12 scale), or go with 18 gauge for fairy dolls meant to be bigger than that.

    You can get this cheaper at your locally at a hobby store.  Another option is Liquid Fimo.  I used Sculpey because I like the feel of it.  Liquid Fimo feels kind of rubbery, though it is more translucent than the Sculpey.  Since we're only applying a thin layer, the Sculpey works just fine and we're left with a more realistic feel (at least that was what I was going for).

    I got mine at my local dollar store, but they might not carry the same kind any more.  Amazon has metal scrap booking photo corners that will probably work just the same.  Or, look in the jewelry section at your local hobby store.  Decorative jewelry findings are great for fairy wing making.  The swirlier the better.  Look for something that is easy to cut and bend.  

    I got my Pixie Dust from Never Neverland.  I'm afraid you can only get there if a boy who was raised by fairies shows up at your bedroom window.  This may be a little inconvenient for some of you, so you might just settle for glitter instead.  Any extra fine silver glitter should do.

    I want you to be aware that this stuff is addictive (no I'm not worried about you sniffing things you shouldn't).  I mean addictive in a sense only artsy craftsy people understand.  Once you use it, you might want to use it again and again on other crafty things, and if you're not careful, there will be no end to it.  Really. I think this happens because this gloss dries to a super hard finish that feels expensive and high quality.  But it's so shiny glossy, that it looks wet even when it's dry.  This stuff is great for keeping your microbeads in place, you might want two coats over microbeads though.

    • Needle Nose Pliers, Paint Brushes, Scissors, and a Vacuum Cleaner to clean up all the glitter that will be all over your floor.  :)

    Time Stamped Instructions

    0:50 Remove cicada wings with pliers or cut out transparency wings
    1:02 Work on each of the four wings separately
    1:07 Form wire to shape of wing & add super glue
    1:18 Tip: use wax paper as your work surface
    1:34 Brush on a light coat of liquid polymer clay to both sides of wing
    1:49 Make a boat of tin foil
    1:53 Bake according to your clay's instructions
    1:59 Form the end of your wire to desired shape
    2:17 Brush on a bit of liquid polymer clay where you want glitter
    2:22 Be deliberate about where you want glitter, don't hide veins
    2:34 Bake again, same instructions
    2:37 Use decorative metal (tin) photo corners
    2:42 Cut them to the desired shape
    2:48 Clamp onto wing & add more liquid polymer clay to secure
    3:02 Bake again
    3:03 More liquid polymer clay in nooks & crannies of metal piece
    3:10 Douse with glitter
    3:15 Add mica powder if desired
    3:20 Bake again (last time, I promise)
    3:27 Add Triple Thick Brush On Glaze for extra shine
    3:31 Apply microbeads with a brush & secure with the Triple Thick

    with love, Caroline

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    DIY Mermaid Art Doll

    Supplies:

    Disclosure: This post has affiliate links.

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    These sets are going to last you a long time.  There is just no reason to purchase the larger bottles until you know you like the paint. I purchase OOAK doll supplies from MoreZMore on eBay, and I'm a very satisfied customer.  She is an artist herself and has a fantastic art doll blog with tons of rich info.

    MoreZMore offers a trial size of the glazing gel medium, if you prefer a smaller size. A little goes a long way, assuming you can avoid the temptation to dip your brush right into the jar (best practice would be to put a little on a plate so you can keep the jar clean).  Genesis Thinning Medium would also work.

    I have not tried this push mold myself.  As mentioned in the video, I much prefer to hand sculpt.  I took some time to look, though, and this one looked nice & had good Amazon reviews.

    • Polished Hardwood Modeling Tool, #263 & #264If you haven't tried sculpting with a well made polished hardwood tool, you really need to.  I use #263 all the time; I think of it as my essential tool that I couldn't live without.  I use # 263 the most, and I also like #264.

    Ideally you will want large plastic medicine cups, but I found those very difficult to locate. I ended up using the small plastic medicine cups and just mixing up a lot of batches.

    OOAK Mermaid Bather

    DIY Mermaid Art Doll Outline & Time Stamps

    Part 1

    1:00 This project is for both beginning and advanced sculptors
    1:25 Sculpting the Head
    1:56 Check every angle
    2:09 Poking and prodding
    2:27 Bake
    2:28 Sand
    2:34 Shaping back of the head
    2:43 Sculpting the ears, then bake again
    2:47 Separate tutorial on painting the face
    2:55 How to Use a Push Mold
    3:11 First, dust with cornstarch & tap out
    3:15 Shape clay with a point for the nose
    3:20 Push until clay starts to spill out
    3:26 Push molds have a learning curve
    3:36 Insert ball of tin foil with layer of baked clay
    3:45 Give it personality with sculpting tools
    3:58 Sculpting the Hands
    4:00 Remember hands are optional for this project
    4:16 First step, get into the right mood
    4:33 Use a high quality clay brand.
    4:40 I use ProSculpt
    4:46 Start with a rough shape like this & cut out five fingers
    4:58 Gently apply twisting pressure, focus on lower part of fingers
    5:18 Use tool to gradually round out area between fingers
    5:52 Twilight Zone stage
    5:58 Cut fingers down to proper size
    6:14 Shape tips of fingers
    6:29 Shape lower part of the hand and wrist
    6:45 Use tool to define veins and other details
    6:52 Chill your doll hand when you take a break
    7:07 Next tutorial will cover everything else
    7:27 Share with your fishy friends

    Part 2:

    0:52 Sculpting the Mermaid Body & the Tail
    0:54 Mermaid armature
    1:18 Adding clay & sculpting body
    2:07 Sculpting the chest
    2:29 Bake
    2:35 Sand
    2:40 Blush the body
    2:50 Paint the tail
    2:52 Bake to set the paint
    2:58 Wrap tail in translucent polymer clay
    3:14 Add the fluke (fin at the end of the tail)
    3:39 Add the scales & texture the fluke
    3:53 Attaching the Hands and the Head
    3:55 Refrigerate the hands
    4:03 Attach the hands, smooth out, & refine
    4:32 Attach the head
    4:56 Bake
    5:02 Sand
    5:08 Blush the hands and the neck
    5:15 Decorate the Tail
    5:21 Paint so darker at end, if desired
    5:29 Bake to set paint
    5:32 Add Angelina fibers to fluke
    5:38 Apply gloss on tail with glitter
    5:49 Apply shaved glass glitter
    5:58 Hair, Crown, Sea Shell Bra
    6:02 Tibetan Lamb Fur & Fabri-fix
    6:07 Cut off little plugs of hair & glue straight onto head
    6:12 Start at lower part of head & work to top
    6:20 Top of head instructions
    7:06 Final gluing around hairline
    7:13 Detailing the Eyes
    7:15 Cut faux eye lashes to various lengths
    7:27 Apply each lash, one by one
    7:47 Apply gloss to eyes, lips, and finger nails
    7:53 Fabri-fix for crown and sea shell bra
    8:05 Add the Resin
    8:07 Fill holes in shell with polymer clay & bake shell
    8:13 Mix resin according to package directions
    8:19 Half bury mermaid in mini shells or mix sand & glue mixture
    8:35 Fill half way, wait 4 hours, add star fish, fill again
    8:57 Acknowledgement

    with love, Caroline

     

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    Miniature Topiary for a Fairy

    Miniature Topiary Quick Supply List

    I'm going to quickly list each supply for you to copy and paste into Notepad, and then I'll expound upon the wonders of each supply & link to each supply so you can get a good idea of what I'm talking about.

    • Gray & Olive Green Polymer Clay & Liquid Clay
    • Mini Terra Cotta Pot  (& remember the cornstarch)
    • Amazing Mold Putty
    • Paint (either Genesis or Acrylic) & Thinning Medium (which would be water if you're using acrylics)
    • Hot Glue Gun & Fabri-Tac
    • Preserved Moss, Boxwood, &/or Eucalyptus
    • Medium Grit Sandpaper
    • Miniature Rose Buds (dried, ribbon, or paper)

    Links & Additional Notes

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.

    kids playing with polymer clay

    This is what we do all day in the Summer

    Check out the polymer clay at Walmart.  I know it isn't the same quality as the more expensive brands but for a thick miniature pot, there really isn't any reason you couldn't go with an inexpensive brand.  I buy Bake Shop polymer clay from Walmart for my kids, and sometimes I use it when I'm out of a certain color.  I actually really liked using it for these pots (I was out of gray Premo).

    I'd never use it for making jewelry or dolls, but I sure appreciated it for these pots.  Bake Shop clay is only $1 at Walmart.  And pick up some of their dried moss while you're there, which is also an amazing deal at Walmart.

    BTW, I wouldn't recommend trying to keep live plants in miniature pots because you'll have to water very frequently. If you still want to attempt it, you might want to try succulents or a ground cover for rock gardens.  I mention this because if you're like me, you want to try to make your miniature world as real as possible, so you're super tempted to actually try a real plant in a super tiny pot.

    Not necessary if you just plan to use the terra cotta pot as a mold.  The nice thing about making a mold of the pot using Amazing Mold Putty is that you can get that upper lip, so it's a little more pot-like.

    • Cornstarch (look in your pantry, that's where I found mine)
    • Liquid Clay

    Genesis Paints dry when you want them to, so I have no fear covering this face in black paint.

    This is the trial pack.  A little goes a long way and these are kind of expensive paints, so a trial pack is a great idea.

    I mention in the video that you don't have to worry about Genesis drying on you before you get a chance to wipe it off, and I want to stress it again here.  It really is a nice feature of these paints, I can't tell you how many times I was glad the paints dried when I decided.  It helps bring my art to another level, and I enjoy painting more because there is no reason for frustration when you know you can just wipe it off if you need to.

    • Fabri-Tac (or Fabri-Fix, or probably any glue by Beacon)

    Fabri-tac has changed my life.  I know I sound like a commercial but I don't care.  There are some products you find and you wonder what ever you did before, this is one of those products for me.  I wish I could just say, "use your favorite fabric glue for this project", but I can't say that and mean it.  I mean use Fabri-tac, because it's the one and only.  I'll shut up now. Let's talk weather or something; I'm still learning that talking about glues is boring. You can get Fabri-tac cheaper if you shop locally. I get mine from Hobby Lobby for around $7 to $8, I think, & no shipping, and that 40% off coupon just sweetens the deal.

    I wanted to tell you guys the variety type, but they don't tell you on the package. I've linked to the pack I used though...so you'll know it when you see it.

    Preserved boxwood is absolutely stunning but very expensive. If you can find a preserved boxwood supply for a reasonable price, buy a lot of it, quit your job, and resell it online.  OK, maybe not the best life choice. You can preserve your own, but that might be more complication than you signed up for. Dried eucalyptus will have a similar effect and will smell amazing.  Find a variety with smaller leaves.  Good luck... I haven't forged the way with the eucalyptus idea, but seems like it should work without a problem.

    I bought my dried miniature rose buds about a year ago and they still look great.  I also love the paper rose buds, they are just too sweet.  Another idea would be to sculpt your own roses out of polymer clay (I want to create a tutorial on polymer clay roses in the future, but this week was not that week).

    Quick Project Outline:

    0:48 Periwinkle's Topiary Tutorial
    1:00 Use terra cotta pot as a mold
    1:32 Bake, then decorate & bake again
    1:56 Make the topiary tree, use a twig & preserved moss
    2:05 Glue instructions
    2:25 Secure the topiary to the pot with hot glue
    2:35 Mr. Stone's Topiary Tips
    3:05 Sculpt two faces out of polymer clay
    3:20 Make a mold using Amazing Mold Putty
    3:30 Bake with clay pot in mold
    3:37 Secure a sculpted face with liquid clay
    3:42 Bake again
    4:00 Secure decorations with liquid clay
    4:03 Bake again, and repeat process for the other side
    4:05 Paint it black
    4:13 Wipe paint off
    4:21 Paper towel fairy garden :)
    5:02 Apply preserved boxwood leaves
    5:06 Hold a group of the leaves together while cutting
    5:16 Recommended glues
    5:26 Glue dried rose buds to topiary
    5:33 Ending remarks

    with love, Caroline

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    DIY Fairy Garden Ideas

    Fairy Garden Supply List

    I haven't tried buying plants online yet, but I thought I'd provide these sources because some of you might not have easy access to fairy garden plants. Before buying online, I'd suggest calling a few local garden centers first.  You might be pleasantly surprised to find a local source for these lovely plants.

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    My Favorite Fairy Garden Plants

    Pick your plants according to where you'll keep your container. I'll be keeping my fairy garden in a spot outside that gets 4 to 6 hours of sun a day, so all of the following plants like partial shade.

    Boxwood is awesome in a fairy garden because it's tree-sized to a fairy.  Boxwood is a slow grower so you can buy it small and keep it small.  These plants are often used in bonsai gardens for the same reason.  To make it look more like a tree, just take off some of the lower branches.

    Mini Oak Leaf Creeping Fig

    Mini Oak Leaf Creeping Fig

    Oak Leaf Creeping Fig is probably my favorite fairy garden plant; if you put it by a little fairy house it will climb just like Boston Ivy.  It gets lost in a large garden but suits a miniature garden perfectly.

    Mexican Heather

    Mexican Heather

    Mexican Heather is a profuse and constant bloomer. It has tiny purple flowers and glossy deep green leaves, and you can easily prune it to look like a little tree.

    The Polka Dot plant, other wise known as Freckle Face, looks like the fairy kind of over did it with the pink paint. Pinch back polka dot plants to keep them cute and compact.

    This is Blue Star Creeper is another favorite for the fairy garden because it is a profuse bloomer and its little blue flowers are the perfect size for a fairy bouquet. Even when it's not in bloom the dense mat of tiny leaves still look amazing in a fairy garden.

    And then there is the Creeping Fig. I especially like to prune this one because the new growth is really pretty. You can easily train creeping fig to climb topiary forms to create an English fairy garden look; it's a great clinger and a fast grower.

    Baby Tears is another favorite fairy garden plant of mine. Again, I love the delicate compact leaves.

    DIY Fairy Garden Accessories

    shabby fairy houseI like using natural and found objects to make fairy garden accessories. Here I used hardware from an old door to make a whimsical entrance for the fairy's house.

    Use polymer clay to make mushrooms, ladybugs, fairy food, fairy hats, fairy shoes, the list is endless. Polymer clay is weatherproof so have at it. Just remember if you paint your clay creation, you'll need to varnish it with a polymer clay friendly varnish.

    Making your own accessories can be a really fun activity to do with kids.
    Since natural materials look best, start your fairy crafting day with a nature walk. Look for twigs, acorns, dry bark, dried out pine needles, pine cones, and stones.

    I also use materials from the craft store like dried eucalyptus, jewelry charms, dried moss and flowers, and sea shells.

    Make your fairy garden accessories weather resistant by using a silicone glue, garden wire and varnish. You still want to bring them in for winter though.

    How to Make a Fairy Garden

    Fairy GardenFirst pick a pot that has a hole at the bottom so the plants can have proper drainage, and fill it with organic potting soil. Potting soil has nutrients that dirt from your yard doesn't have, so it's worth a trip to your local garden center to pick up.

    Pick your plants according to where you'll keep your pot. I'll be keeping this in spot outside that gets 4 to 6 hours of sun a day.

    In addition to the growing requirements, I chose my plants thinking of the composition. The fairy's house was tall. So I wanted one plant that looked like a tree in comparison to the house. And another 'tree' that was just a little shorter than the house. I wanted a plant that was the height of a bush in her world, and then a variety of ground covers with a trailing plant to hang over the side of the pot.
    Remember to loosen the roots a little before planting.

    Once I got the plants arranged the way I wanted, I laid out the stone path.
    And then laid bits of moss around the stones. Look for moss growing around your yard, or in the woods, and bring it home for your fairy, because what's a fairy garden without moss?

    with love, Caroline

     

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    How to Make a Fairy Door

    Supplies

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    • 1/8" or 1/4" plywood (from your local hardware shop)
    • craft sticks
    • polymer clay (gray & black)
    • Liquid Nails
    • Craft Paint (exterior craft paint for a garden fairy door)
    • thinset mortar (available at hardware stores. If it's for the garden, get exterior thinset mortar)
    • sanded grout (again, make sure to get the kind for exterior use if you're planning to keep it outside).
    • some sort of masking tape (to protect door while grouting)
    • flat stones (nature walk, or check Etsy.com)

    For an exterior fairy door, you will also need:

    *Note* Amazon and Blick links are affiliate links. The product prices are the same for you, whether or not you use the links. I only suggest what I personally use and love myself, so I hope my suggestions will be of value to you.

    Instructions:

    1. Cut the boards.

    If you want to make a fairy door for the garden, you'll want a 1/8" or 1/4" piece of plywood and a 1/4" piece of cement board.  I found it easiest to cut the cement board with a very sharp utility knife.  I had to score it a billion times. At least a billion. Seriously.  But once you've scored it till you're blue in the face, it does snap where you want it relatively easily. There is also a way to cut plywood with a utility knife, though you may want to break out the old jigsaw.

    Score the craft sticks and 'stick' in place with Liquid Nails (see what I did there?).

    2. Glue

    Glue the cement board to the plywood board with Liquid Nails. If you're planning to keep your fairy door inside, there is no need for the cement board. You can either put your stones right on the base plywood (the one with craft sticks are as well), or you can cut another plywood board to glue on top of the base plywood board. The benefit of having another plywood board on top the base is that the door will have a nice recessed look. Up to you, King Friday.

    3. Make the Polymer Clay Embellishments

    I used a mixture of gray and black polymer clay to make the door embellishments. About the decorative bar on the door... You can kind of wrap the polymer around the edges of the craft stick to make the polymer stay in place. I used a leaf imprint to get an easy leaf look. Bake it (yes, the craft stick can go in the oven no problemo). And then sand it to get a pretty aged look.

    I made a separate tutorial on making polymer clay look like stone. You'll want to watch that one, and add those supplies to your shopping list, if you want to go for the carved stone look on your fairy door.

    4. Paint

    I used black outdoor craft paint first, covering almost all the raw wood, including the back. I left just a little bit unpainted because I wanted the glue to stick right onto the wood, instead of the on the painted wood. Perhaps that doesn't matter much though.

    After that dried, I used a sage color of outdoor acrylic craft paint and dry brushed so I could see the black through the cracks. Love this step.

    There was a bit of a gap on the back of the piece where the cement board met with the plywood, so I filled it with exterior grade caulk.

    5. Mortar

    Watch a few videos about how to mortar, read the directions on the bag, and then just go for it. I used thinset mortar by Mapei, for interior or exterior use. There is a polymer additive in the mortar that gives it flexibility.  You can get mortar at any hardware store.  Let it dry 24 hours, and you can't cheat on that dry time.  I looked that up and they really want you to wait 24 hours before you put the grout on.

    6. Grout

    Again, watch some how to grout videos, read the directions on the bag, and, get dirty.  I used sanded grout by Mapei, for interior or exterior use.  I found it easiest to use my hands to work the grout between the stones, but you may want to try using a putty knife.  I taped the door before grouting just to reduce some of the mess.  Let that dry according to your bag's directions.  The door may need some touching up with the craft paint.

    7. Varnish & Seal

    • Varnish the painted wood.  If you're planning to keep the door outside, you'll want to varnish.  I suggest Varathane in the video because I know it works well with polymer clay.  You don't need to varnish the polymer clay.  Polymer clay is plastic; it is very weather proof.  I still suggest Varathane, though, because you may accidentally get the varnish on the polymer clay embellishments as you are brushing varnish on the door.  If you can kind of avoid the polymer clay embellishments while varnishing the painted wood, then any varnish made for outdoor furniture should do just fine.
    • Seal the grout.  Use a grout sealer and brush it over the grout.  Here's a helpful video on sealing grout.  I wouldn't spray the sealer all over, but brushing it into the grout is definitely a great idea.

    Some additional points to consider:

    • You can add a wire hanger to the back and hang it on your wall... really dresses up a room quickly.
    • If you're wondering why you'd buy all these supplies in bulk when you're just planning to make one little fairy door ($11 for a 10 lb bag of mortar, $11 for a 10 lb bag of grout, $19 for grout sealer, etc), I applaud you and I agree with your practicality. I knew I wanted to try a number of projects with grout and mortar so I splurged a bit on bulky supplies.  I found a hobbyist mosaic supply shop, and I saw some smaller sized products intended for the hobbyist, but the prices were so similar to the hardware store, you might as well just get the larger bags.

    If you're anything like me, you're always thinking of new artsy projects, and a 10 lb bag of mortar on your craft supply shelf is an OK thing. You have visions of fairy garden patios, dollhouse kitchen floors, another fairy door design, and on and on.  We never stop dreaming, do we?

    with love, Caroline

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    DIY Stone Fairy Necklace

    DIY Fairy Necklace Supplies

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    Tools

    DIY Fairy Necklace Instructions

    1. Mix the Polymer Clays

    Go on a nature walk and find a stone you like. Or, if you aren't a fan of fresh air, Etsy has a great selection of crafting stones.  Study your stone to pick your polymer clay colors.  I found a gray stone from the woods so I went with white, brown, black, olive green, and gray granite. Mix them together until you get a marbled look.

    2. Sculpt the Fairy Head

    Pause and play the video as needed while you are sculpting.  It's also very helpful to look up references online. Be careful to sculpt what you see in the reference, and not what you think you see, and remember to consciously take enjoyment in the process.  I will be creating a slowed down, step by step, video series on sculpting the head.  I invite you to sign up for my newsletter if you'd like to know when that becomes available.

    3.  Add the Lichen

    Find some lichen as a reference, either from your back yard or find images online.  Use blue and green clay and mix them together, adding white as needed.  I used more of a turquoise blue and an olive green, which seemed to be just perfect together to make that fabulous lichen color.  Make tiny balls and poke them onto the fairy head with a toothpick or a pointy modeling tool.

    4. Make the Back & Secure the Fairy to the Stone

    gift

    Oh, for me?

    Roll out some of your clay and wrap it around your stone.  I found it was best to wrap it around natural indentations on the stone, if possible.  If your stone is round, without any indentations, you may want to make two rolls of clay and wrap them around the stone like a ribbon on a present.

    5. Add the Eye Pin

    I like to make a little bend at the end of the pin before sliding it into the clay to ensure that it won't eventually slip out.  After you slide it into the clay just push the clay down on it a little, (as seen in the video).  Make sure your eye pin will fit your necklace chain.

    6. Make the Leaves

    polymer clay jewelry designs

    So many different designs to make using these techniques.

    Find leaves from the great outdoors with distinct veins.  Make a thin leaf shape out of clay. Press the leaf onto the clay for awesome realistic texture. Secure the leaves onto the fairy (or on the strips of clay) with Liquid Sculpey.  Keep in mind you don't have to sculpt a face.  You could also make beautiful polymer clay jewelry designs with just the leaves.

     

    7. Bake

    Bake according to your clay's instructions. Check out my tips about how to bake polymer clay if you're just beginning your polymer clay adventures.

    8. Paint it Black

    Once your creation is cool, you can just go nuts and smother it with black acrylic paint.  Put on disco music and have some fun with this.  Your kids will think you've totally lost it.

    9. Wipe Off the Paint

    Use a paper napkin or two and wipe off the wet black paint immediately after fully covering it.  It will stay in the crevices and produce an instant aged look. So pretty.

    10. Sand It

    Once the paint has fully dried you can sand it with medium to light grit sandpaper.  Be careful not to over sand (do people say 'over sand'?... you get what I mean though).

    11. Varnish if You Want To

    This is optional, but if you are going to be handling your fairy necklace a lot you may want to add a varnish.  Be careful, don't use just any varnish. Varathane is a tried and true option, so it is highly recommended among polymer clayists.  I like the matte finish, but that's just me. Do your thing.

    with love, Caroline

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    DIY Acorn Tea Set

    Supplies:

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    Tools:

    Hope your acorn day dreams all come true!

    with love, Caroline

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    Muggle & Magical Mushrooms


    Here's the link to my video about How to Bake Polymer Clay:

    Supplies:

    Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

    Tools:

    with love, Caroline

     

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    DIY Rocks & Clay Fairy Furniture

     

    fairy garden benchIf only my house plant had a little fairy love seat, the fairies could tip-toe through the mossy brush and sit on the little seat, stare into each other's eyes, and fall in love. And so I envisioned fairy furniture featuring sculpted heads, a fairy man and a fairy woman, with closed eyes, one dreaming of the other.

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    Doll Makers Need Fashion History

    Why Fashion History for the Doll Maker?

    So I know what you're thinking "why all the focus on fashion history?  I'm a doll maker, not a costume seamstress!" (I captured that sentence from your thought bubble, that's how I know your thoughts. Creepy, right?).

    Because you've got to know a basic understanding of fashion history to know how to begin designing a dress for your fairy tale doll. Even if you plan to take artistic license while designing a dress, you'll be at the top of your creative game if you know when you're doing your own thing.

    Knowing the in-vogue female form for the time period is so important, especially if you're going for a believable fairy tale look for a specific character. For instance, after sculpting a Queen of Hearts doll (from Alice in Wonderland), I was excited to design her dress.  I was stuck though, because I didn't have enough knowledge about what a historically accurate dress actually looked like.

    After some research, I discovered that Lewis Carroll was probably inspired by the outrageous wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I (crowned queen of England in 1559) when he was thinking up his Queen of Hearts character.  So, I simply needed to better understand what the "Virgin Queen" would have worn to create a believable Queen of Hearts dress for my art doll.

    Queen of Hearts

    Lewis Carroll was likely inspired by Queen Elizabeth when he dreamed up the Queen of Hearts.

    Queen Elizabeth I

    Queen Elizabeth I, crowned Queen of England in 1559

    The longer version of this video and more historical doll dress tutorials will be released in the Spring of 2017. Each video will start with a short, entertaining, fashion history lesson and then will progress to making the clothing. If you're interested in staying updated on the release of these tutorials, please subscribe to my newsletter.

    with love, Caroline

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    How to Paint a Doll's Face

    OOAK Teacup FairyI made a little video for ya'll about how I go about painting faces for my dolls, and a little doll painting tutorial to go with it. I use genesis heat set paints since they dry when I want them too (that was always why I liked painting in oils years ago).  Hope you enjoy!

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    On Sculpting a Doll Head

     

    Doll Head Armature

    Doll Head Armature

    The Basics of Sculpting a Doll Head

    I like to start with a tin foil ball, basically the doll "brains", and then wrap a thin layer of clay on that and bake it. This creates a "skull", of sorts, which makes everything else easier. I put a new layer of clay over the baked ball, which you might call the "skin", and then I get to work sculpting.

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    What it Takes to Sculpt Hands in Clay

    Mermaid Bather
    Hands are so detailed.

    You've got 5 tentacley things with three bends in each, and a little dab of nail at the tips. These details create havoc for the sculptor. Especially for the dollhouse doll sculptor working in 1:12 scale.

    Squish it & Start Over

    Sometimes I can sculpt a good looking hand in 45 minutes, and sometimes, well, honestly, many times, it can take me 2 hours and, in the end, I just squish it and start all over.

    This is frustrating, but the artist knows that's just all part of the journey because you do end up getting it eventually.

    Successfully Sculpt Hands in Clay with Patience

    I think a really important part of art is patience. Almost patience to a fault because when you're too patient, you end up spending two hours on a hand just to squish it in the end. So the artist needs to have patience,

    I think a really important part of art is patience. Almost patience to a fault because when you're too patient, you end up spending two hours on a hand just to squish it in the end. So the artist needs to have patience, it's so important. Truly art is a try, try, try again process.

    But, I can't complain, and here's the love part of it all. All those lovely details create endless possibility. I create dolls to illustrate fairy tales, so I want a lot of expression in my work, and hands are a big part of that.

    OOAK Baker FairyHands are Awesome.

    I love the expressiveness of hands. Hands often can show expression far better than the face. The gentle feminine hand adds to the overall beauty of the sculpture. Hands communicate important messages about the subject.

    I also love hands because it means I can sneak a little miniature into my sculptures. And, as you probably know by now, I can't resist miniatures.

    with love, Caroline

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    What Does OOAK Mean on Etsy & Ebay?

    What does OOAK mean? Think snowflakes; similar but each so unique.

    OOAK snowflakes; similar but each so unique.

    What does OOAK mean? The acronym stands for "one-of-a-kind" and is often used when describing a handmade art doll that is so unique there is no other just like it. When I sculpt a doll, I know there is no other like it because I started from a lump of clay, and I sculpt until I am holding what I envisioned in my head.

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    The Little Mermaid's Sad Sisters

    The Little Mermaid's Sad Sister

    My sculpt of The Little Mermaid's sad sister

    Sad sisters

    Sketch of the mermaids coming up from the water.

    There she is, a very sad mermaid.  Poor thing. She is so sad because her sister grew legs and frolicked about on dry land, of all places, love struck for some human she hardly met.

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    Dreaming of Dolls, Miniatures, and Fairy Tales

    Queen of Hearts Progress

    Progress on the Queen of Hearts

    I plan to write and illustratate three of my favorite fairy tales in a way children can better enjoy them.  So here are the three tales (drum roll please): Anderson's Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid, and, Alice in Wonderland.

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    How to Make Fairy Furniture from Twigs

    leafy benchLook over my shoulder in this video to quickly learn how to make fairy furniture from twigs. Below the video you will find a detailed supply list that I hope you find handy as you prepare to make your own little work of art.

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    "Mermaid Bath" is Nearing Completion

    OOAK mermaid art doll

    OOAK mermaid art doll

    Here she is, almost done. I will be creating an encaustic shadow box for her, which will take quite a bit of time, so unfortuately I can't call her complete just yet.

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    Off With Their Heads

    imageI'm in the process of creating ball jointed dolls to star in my picture book series.  The two second summary of my book series would go something like this... Alice is old and recalls Wonderland for us in her scrapbook.  From left to right, here are the sculpted, and obviously undone, heads of young Alice, the Queen of Hearts, and Alice's older sister.

     

     

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