Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Greyscale Ghoulia

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I started removing the head from a Monster High Ghoulia doll. I did it with that small screwdriver you can see in the photo. The construction turned out to be similar to Barbie's. The only reason for that odd round knob seems to be that Monster High dolls have such a thin neck that the post could not be attached to it without making that part thicker.

Next, it was time for the hair to go. I cut the hair as short as possible and then used the wide tweezers to scrape the inside of the scalp to pull the hair in. When everything was inside the head, I used the other tweezers to pull it all out (those tweezers are easier to use as you press to open them, so their "default position" is closed).

After removing all original paint using acetone, it was time to apply some new. I used Folk Art's acrylic paints and mixed the different shades myself.

I had thought that I would do a reroot, but I came across the perfect yarn for her hair and it was too thick for rerooting (or at least I couldn't figure out how it could be done). So, I used a sewing machine to sew the strands together for easy gluing. It's fairly easy when you arrange the strands on top of baking paper and sew at least twice across them. When finished, you just need to rip off the paper (by this time, it will have so many holes in it that it will be easy to remove).

I used three strips: back, front, top. The top one is sewn from the middle to make a parting. I used PVA glue to glue the hair in place as it has worked with a smaller doll I customized earlier. If it won't hold, I'll use super glue to glue it back. Even if I have to resort to that, the first gluing won't be a waste of time as I expect super glue to work better when there will be a smooth surface (the PVA glue strip in the hair) against a smooth surface (the vinyl).

And here Ghoulia impersonates Cousin Itt as she waits for the glue to dry.

Finally, photos of the finished doll. She's wearing a business suit for now as I haven't yet made her outfit. The boots are the ones I made for Draculaura a while ago.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Small custom doll

As I've got two basic Draculauras, I also had a duplicate of Count Fabulous. I decided to try some customizing on him.

The first thing to do was to cut off the head and wings and to find a suitable donor body. I don't remember what kind of a head that doll originally had, but it was some kind of a fairy.

The picture shows the parts and the tool used for making a hole for the neck post. Here the wings are glued together with super glue, but that didn't hold, so I had to find another solution.

Front view with head and wings in place.

Back view with head and wings in place. I used hot glue for the wings and that made a bump on the back, but at least it held the wings in place.

First coat of black paint applied. This was easy as black is black and the usual problem of finding the right shade could be avoided. The feet are not yet painted as I needed some place to hold the doll while painting.

After a couple of coats of black paint, pink on the clothes, and satin sealer to protect it all, the doll was finished. She's shown here with the first Count Fabulous. I only noticed at this point that their eyes are different for some reason.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steampunk softies

On the crafts fair last weekend, I came across the book Steampunk Softies: Scientifically-Minded Dolls from a Past That Never Was.

Unfortunately, the price was too high for such a small book (because of 23% VAT, customs charges and everything else that gets added on top of the original price when books are imported here).

So, I just browsed through it. The projects looked interesting and simple enough for anyone with basic knowledge of sewing to make. If I was more interested in steampunk, instead of just finding in an amusing curiosity, I probably would get the book.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Easy wig for Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy's blonde wig, which has holes for ears and therefore stays in place very securely, gave me the idea of trying to make her a wig myself. This is just the first version and I'm sure I can improve it.

The basic structure is very simple, just a piece of fabric attached to a rubber band.

Measure the rubber band so that it goes around the ears snugly, sew it into a loop and sew the fabric strip to it. The fabric in this one was first sewn into a tube to prevent fraying and to make it a bit sturdier. If you use thick fabric, just one layer is probably better.

Finally, sew yarn into the fabric as shown in these pictures of the finished wig. You'll need quite a lot of it to get a wig that covers the entire head.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Overview of past 6 months or so

I haven't been posting anything here, but I haven't been entirely idle. There are photos on my Flickr account on stuff I've been making during my absence and I thought I could post an overview here.

Bobo and Nikki got some crocheted dresses:

I got Robert Tonner's 11" Miss Piggy and made some clothes for her. You can find the patterns for these on my website.

I am also in the process of customizing a Bratz Boyz doll. He will become a feline and has already had his hands and head replaced, although the head is not ready yet.

And finally, I've been making some 1/6 scale furniture, for example, a chair for Monster High dolls.

Monday, February 7, 2011


As the cartridges for my old color printer would have cost more than an entirely new machine, I bought a HP Deskjet 1050 all-in-one. It replaced not only my old printer, but also the scanner.

Among the first items I made with it are these 1:6 scale printables from Jim's Printable Minis.

I also wanted to test the new scanner, so I scanned some of my magazines for 1:6 scale. Vogue had a black back cover, so I didn't scan it, but the others have the back cover as well.

I also scanned my crossword book and a cardboard package of chocolate and resized them to 1:12 scale.

I made a miniature version of Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur" with Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations. I made a smaller version first as it didn't need as many inside pages as the 1:6 scale version. The miniature version has a few pages from the beginning of the book, selected by how they would look in small scale, and about dozen pages starting from the first page of Chapter 1, which is the right side page here.

The inside pages are black and white (except the left side page here, which is grayscale), so I printed them with a laser printer on regular copy paper. Laser printer meant there was no need for fixative for these pages.

The cover was printed on cardstock. It looks a bit worn as I scanned the separate paper cover rather than the covers of the book. The book is so big that it was easier this way. The light parts of the cover are gold colored and that doesn't seem to print very well.

I have asked the current copyright holder, Random House UK, for a permission to make the files for this miniature book available for others. If I get the permission, the files will become available on my web site at some point.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dresses for Bobo

My latest doll purchase is Doll Factory's Pet Ari 2nd Edition Bobo. She's a very small BJD doll, but as she is a mouse, she fits in well with the Baha Cat.

Before she even arrived, I started making her some dresses using Mattel's Kelly/Shelly doll as their measurements are almost the same. Bobo is more pear shaped, though, so the dresses had to be loose at the hips.

Here are pictures of dresses I have made for her. I used the same pattern for all of them and just varied the fabrics and decorations. The pattern is available as a PDF file on my web site.

Dress with an iron-on picture:

Wool fabric with a felt flower in front and cotton yarn on the edges:

Slightly shortened pattern and lace added to the hem: