Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Simple bead head dollhouse dolls

April asked about acquiring a family of dolls at an affordable price, dressed as pioneers from the Little House books. Her twelve year old is working on a Little House project. Grammy is an example of the first dolls I made for my dollhouses. She has a pipe cleaner skeletal system. Her arms and legs are covered with hollow shoe string pieces and her torso was padded with batting and gauze. She has a wooden bead head that has been painted, along with the shoe string limbs with flesh colored acrylic paint. A simple face was drawn/painted and then she was dressed with fabric scraps. Her shoes are felt and her apron is a paper doily. Her hair is macrame cord that has been unraveled.

To make the skeleton start with one pipe cleaner that is about twice as long as you want the finished doll to be tall. For example, for a 5 inch doll start with a 10 inch long pipe cleaner piece. Bend it in half into an upside down "V." Leave about half to three quarters of an inch at the point of the V and twist that section tightly. Cut a piece of pipe cleaner to roughly twice the length of an arm and slip it into the skeleton right under the twisted portion. Twist tightly for the next inch or so, then spread the remaining pipe cleaner to form two legs. Cut a hollow shoelace into 2 arm length pieces and 2 leg length pieces and slip them over the corresponding limb. Paint the limbs and the bead with the flesh colored paint and let dry. Next, pad the torso with batting and wrap it with self stick gauze to hold in place. If necessary, stitch the shoe strings edges to the stuffed torso. Paint the face with simple eyes, nose and mouth - don't forget the eyebrows! Now dress and wig your doll. Have fun and good luck!

9 comments:

Lucille said...

It's a cute doll, De. The doll I'm holding on my profile picture also is made from pipe cleaners and a bead for the head. Her hair is embroidery floss. I got the pattern from a dollhouse book called The New Dolls' House Do-It-Yourself book by Venus & Martin Dodge. It gives the patterns for fourteen dolls and the clothes patterns to dress them all. That book is a real treasure. It also contains tutorials on making furniture and it has all sorts of tips on using everyday things.

My Realitty said...

Love it, great idea. CM

anna said...

Looks great! very cute! Thanks for all the explanations! :)

Steinworks said...

Granny looks very cute!

Fabiola said...

Your doll is adorable.
Grretings, Faby

De said...

Lucille, that's the first dollhouse book I ever purchased! And that is also where I learned how to make the bead head dolls.

Thank you everyone!

Neen said...

The shoestring covers for the limbs is a brilliant idea! I am going to get busy and make some people.

Cheers, Neen

Drora's minimundo said...

Granny is so cute! Thanks for the know how.
Hugs, Drora

April Dunlap said...

Hi De,
Thank you! I am sorry for not responding sooner-we are working on making dresses for three girls for the Jane Austen ball coming up in two weeks, so Little House fell off the radar for now. I will pass your detailed how-to along to my girl. THANK YOU.
-april