Whoa…when I started this series I clearly forgot how much time tutorials take! Goodness.
But finally (FINALLY), the final installment on making makeunder/rescued dolls. This tutorial covers my very simple shoe-making process.
For the first part, a tutorial on repainting makeunder faces, go HERE!
For the second part, a tutorial on making simple dresses, go HERE!
And for the third part, a tutorial on making shoes, stay here.
Polymer clay in whatever color you want your shoes to be
Preferably use Fimo clay or Sculpey Primo (the good stuff)
An exacto knife (or any sharp knife)
A marker or pen for rolling clay
A pen or pencil or paintbrush
Hot glue gun (preferably high-temp gun but a low-temp gun should work fine)
Cooking oil of some sort, or vaseline.
A doll (duh)
FORMING THE SHOES
Here is the clay I’m working with. The clay on the left is Fimo, and the clay on the right is lower-quality Sculpey III. I wouldn’t recommend the cheaper Sculpey III – use Fimo or Sculpey Primo or something. The higher-quality clay doesn’t pick up fingerprints as well, and it’s stronger so small children won’t break the shoes getting them on and off.
Not many people know this, but I used to run an Etsy shop making tiny clay cupcakes and cakes. I ended up featured on Anderson Live! I had a shop in Etsy for a little over a year before I grew bored with the venture and stopped. But, working with clay so often gave me a head start on making shoes and other doll props with clay, so now I can pass on a bit of my clay knowledge!
Some Polymer Clay Background
If you don’t know what polymer clay is, it’s a plastic clay that hardens when baked. The higher-quality clay (Fimo and Sculpey Primo…anything that’s not the cheapest kind) is pretty sturdy stuff, but it becomes fragile and brittle if it’s too thin or if it’s baked improperly (not enough baking time or too much). It has to be baked on glassware, nothing else!
A note on choosing a color: this clay LOVES to pick up dust, and unless you want to spend half an hour sanding your shoes down after you bake them, I wouldn’t recommend using white or any other light color of clay for the shoes. It’s for your mental health, really.
Conditioning the Clay
Before you start working with clay, you should condition it first. ‘Condition’ is just a fancy way of saying you need to warm it up. Work it around with your fingers, smoosh it, roll it out and crumple it up…just get it nice and kneaded. Working with clay that is warm (literally warm, cold clay is rock hard) makes everything so much easier!
Once your clay is conditioned, roll it in a ball between your palms and then form it into a sort of log shape, shown above.
A note on surfaces: clay likes to stick to things, especially rough surfaces. For this project glass or tile is the best surface to work on, but you can make do with wax paper, aluminum foil, or just being really careful on whatever surface you have available.
Cut the log in half with an exacto knife or something sharp, then roll the two halves into balls.
Form the Shape
Now you’re ready to start forming the foot shape!
Here you can sort of tell the shape I was going for. I went with little booties with a rounded toe, although you can see in the left photo that there is a right and a left shoe, which I made by rounding the toe box out more on one side of the shoe.
The right photo shows the ankle. You can make yours shorter or taller depending on how you want your boots to look – but you can’t go too tall without making the boots fragile.
Making the Hole
…That sounds weirdly dirty. No. Just doll shoes! That’s all!
Take a pen, pencil, or the end of a paintbrush and smoosh it into the ankle part on the boot you just formed. This is the hole for the doll’s leg pegs to go into.
Work the pen around, making sure to stabilize the boot with your fingers as you work so the ankle doesn’t get too misshapen. If it does, just mold it back into place.
You want the hole to be a bit larger than the doll’s legs. The legs should fit in there with room to slip around.
Now take a new ball of clay, get it nice and warmed up, then form it into a ball.
Roll the ball out into a long, thin rope. My clay rope (on the left) is about half the width of an exacto knife or pen.
Making even ropes out of clay is actually harder than you would think. Try to make it as even as possible by using your fingers to roll instead of your palm. Use both hands and roll slowly to prevent the rope from flopping around.
Now take whatever you want to use to roll the clay out and gently roll over the rope, working to make the new width of the rope even. I rolled this out with an exacto knife.
This flat rope is going to be the ankles on the booties! If you want taller booties, make the rope taller or wider, just remember it can’t be too thin – polymer clay (even Fimo and Sculpey Primo) isn’t the sturdiest of stuff when thinned out.
Cut two length of the flat rope, and gently wrap each one around the ankle part of the boot bottom you formed earlier. Then take your pen or something that fits into the hole of the boot and use that to help press the two boot parts together (with the pen on the inside and your finger on the outside of the boot).
Smoothing it Out
If you’re like me, your boots are a mess of fingerprints by now. If this was a crime scene we’d be screwed. CSI would love us. There are a couple ways to smooth everything out.
First, you can just lick your finger and use that to smooth out the clay. I normally don’t do this. You can also dab your finger in baby powder and rub it on the clay, using the baby powder as a film between the clay and your fingers to prevent more prints from showing up as you smooth the old ones away. I don’t do this with boots because it’s a bit messy, and because it doesn’t work very well with dark colors (baby powder is white, after all).
So…get some rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip.
Dip the Q-Tip in a healthy amount of rubbing alcohol and start rubbing the fingerprints out.
Bake according to the directions on your clay package. I bake mine for 15 minutes for every quarter inch of clay there is. So I bake my shoes for 30 minutes. It’s better to err on the side of overbaking, underbaking will only make the shoes brittle.
Make sure you bake on glass, nothing else!
After it’s done baking, let the shoes cool before you pop them off the glass bakeware.
Making the Leg Peg Hole….Things
Get out that glue gun and get it warmed up. While you’re waiting, put a bit of cooking oil or Vaseline onto a paper towel and rub the doll’s leg pegs with it. They should be coated in a thin layer of grease (not so much that it’s just dripping off, though, so don’t just dip the doll’s legs into oil).
Fill the holes in the boots part way with hot glue. I normally fill the boots up to the line where the flat rope is wrapped around. Be careful not to over-fill, you don’t want the glue to spill out everywhere.
IMPORTANT! Before you stick the doll’s legs into the glue, WAIT for 10 seconds or so for the glue to cool a bit. You may not have to wait at all if you’re using a low-temp glue gun, though.
Now, after you’ve waited for a few seconds (if you have a high-temp gun), carefully insert the doll’s legs into the center of the glue, pushing down until the pegs are fully covered.
If the doll’s legs aren’t perfectly straight, you may want to insert one leg at a time, instead of doing both at once.
Now let the glue dry. I normally let it dry COMPLETELY before removing the doll, so I let them sit for at least ten minutes or so. To get the doll out, start by twisting the shoe around the leg to loosen it up, then pop the leg out.
Decorating is always the best part, for everything.
I painted these shoes with acrylic paint, but you can do lots of different things! You can wrap ribbons around the part that I painted, you can glue bows on, you can cover the whole damn thing with glitter if you want!
You can also use thin foam sheets to cut out a sole for the shoe, if you like.
After painting these shoes I coated them both in super thick varnish to make them super shiny. Then I put them on our makeunder model, Andy!
Time for another makeunder tutorial! I did one a little under a year ago with a Moxie Girlz doll, but my style has changed (and improved) so much I figured another tutorial would be helpful!
You can find the Moxie Girlz repaint tutorial HERE.
Update: now that I’ve finished all three parts of the Makeunder/Rescued Doll series, you can skip to my tutorials on DRESSMAKING and SHOEMAKING for dolls, if you like!
Also, because this is the part of the blog people seem to write random things totally unrelated to the post that no one cares about or reads, I JUST WENT TO THE MOTHER OF ALL JOANNS FABRICS STORES AND IT WAS HEAVEN. My quick trip (I literally needed two items) ended up taking two hours and about $40 more dollars than I planned on. I know all you crafty people know how that goes!
Back on track….
WHAT IS THIS TUTORIAL GOING TO TEACH ME?
This is part 1 of a three-part tutorial that goes through my process of rescuing or making-under dolls like Bratz or Moxie or whatever. Part one (you are here!) goes over the process of repainting the face. Part two will cover making a simple dress, and part three will show how I make simple shoes.
This isn’t a quick step-by-step photo tutorial. It’s really in depth, with lots of tips and tricks for repainting explained under each photo. But if you don’t want to read all that, you can go through the tutorial by looking at the photos. The captions to the photos explain what I did in what order.
What is this tutorial NOT going to teach me?
Lots of things, I suppose. Like how to cook chicken without over-cooking it (this is a problem I have 100% of the time). But as far as doll-related things goes….
First, this tutorial does not cover how to wash/tame/fix/style doll hair. If your doll needs a good salon day, head over to my tutorial HEREon how to fix doll hair.
Second, this tutorial won’t teach you much about the materials I use or how to prep the doll for a repaint (“what?! But that is so important!” I know. Don’t panic. It will be okay.).
GETTING STARTED (This is the part where you should start reading if you skipped all that stuff above).
Matt Spray Sealant like Mr. Super Clear
You’ll use pastel dust, which you make by scraping the surface of a chalk pastel bar.
High-quality watercolor pencils (Derwent or Faber Castell or Prismacolor)
You’ll use these dry…don’t get them wet!
White acrylic paint
Satin varnish (or glossy varnish, I don’t care, you don’t care).
What, you thought you could get away without reading my tutorial on Materials and Doll Prep? If you have any questions about how I remove factory makeup from the dolls, and protect and seal them, you should read that ‘Materials and Doll Prep’ link just above.
If you’re a veteran, get your doll all ready to start applying pencils and chalk dust.
How many layers of MSC do I spray before repainting?
It used to be that I only put one layer down. That’s not enough. I use 2-3 layers of spray sealant now, and it’s SO worth it. Trust me. Go spray another layer just to be sure.
We’re going to call her Andy, because Andy is an adorable name for a girl.
Andy is a 2015 Bratz, so her head is bigger than the older Bratz, her body shape is quite different, and she has articulated knees (whoo!). This particular Andy is the ‘Hello My Name is…Meaghan’ doll I got in a five-pack of Bratz from ToysRUs (at a price that made it worth it, I promise).
In the photo on the right I’ve gone through all the prep necessary, including spraying two layers of MSC on her. We’re ready to go!
FIRST LAYER OF SEALANT
This doll was done using only three layers of MSC after I started repainting. So we’re going to go by layer, because I’ve found it’s the most efficient use of MSC (which is expensive; you definitely want to minimize your use).
* Note on how this tutorial is organized: each picture has a caption with numbered subjects. Each subject is then elaborated on (in numerical order) underneath the photo.
1. EYE OUTLINES
Very first thing I do is outline the eyes. I never move on until after I’ve gotten both eye outlines where I want them.
Eye placement and size
The bigger the eyes are, the younger the doll will look (until they’re so big it’s just creepy. Don’t go to that place). I find that the 2015 Bratz look better with eyes about the size I did here. Smaller eyes start to look out of place on the super large heads. I went with medium-large eyes. They could be a little bigger, but not much.
As far as placement goes, on a big-headed doll I make the eyes wider than normal. You can see the shadows in the picture above where her ‘eye sockets’ are. I’ve made my eyes a bit wider than the sockets, and they’re definitely wider than the original factory paint.
Um….How Do I Make My Eyes Symmetrical?
Practice? But seriously, practice. Some tricks I used in the beginning:
Do the left eye first so you can copy it while drawing the right eye (or if you’re left handed, do the right eye first). This way your hand isn’t blocking the finished outline.
Don’t be afraid to modify both outlines to make them match. I set one down, then the other, then I go back to the first and change it, then so on.
If you have a hard time reaching one of the eyes, turn the doll upside-down to work on it.
Look at the eyes from different angles, especially from the top (bird’s eye view). This is SO HELPFUL!
Don’t be shy about taking a ruler out and measuring distances between the corners of the eyes and the bridge of the nose.
Hold a pencil (or anything straight) against the bridge of the doll’s nose and make sure your eyes line up along the pencil. I use this to make sure the corners of the right and left eyes are on the same plane.
Hold the doll up to a mirror for a different perspective.
Put thin outlines down, and make them more symmetrical by making them thicker in the same places.
2. EYELID CREASES
After the eye outlines are in place, you can pencil in the eyelid creases!
To achieve a more natural, child-like face, I keep the creases rounded and fairly close to the upper lash line of the doll’s eyes. For other dolls I might make the eyelid larger and the eyes less round (this achieves a more sultry look).
I also do a double-crease, just because….why not?
3. EYEBROW OUTLINE
Now for the brows.
I only pencil in an outline for the outer edges of the brows, because I’ll fill in the rest with chalk pastels. These brows are going to be pretty neutral brows, nothing crazy going on!
Caption: 1. Fill in brows. 2. Eye whites.
This is where the chalk pastels come in. Make some chalk pastel dust in the right color for your brows. Then use a small flat brush (I use my black 10/0 flat brush for this) to pick up some pastel dust and fill in the eyebrows.
You can go back and clean the brows up with a kneaded eraser (the weird grey kind that’s like gummy clay) or any eraser, really.
2. EYE WHITES
Using a white pencil, fill in the eyes. A lot of people have trouble getting the whites to show up well enough, and this is normally because they didn’t seal the doll enough before beginning. The picture shows just one layer of pencil, and it shows up so well only because I sprayed two layers of MSC on the doll before starting.
If your white watercolor pencil isn’t showing up like mine, don’t worry, you’ll just need some extra layers of MSC sprayed on to make the color show up more.
Use a dark brown or medium brown pencil to mark two nostrils, about the shape of those in the photo. Make sure they’re centered as well as possible, and even. As far as placement goes, I put them right where the nose mold curves into the lip.
Warning: don’t make them too round or too tall! The doll will look pig-nosed (of course, if you adore pigs, go for it).
1. LIP OUTLINE
Use a dark or medium-brown pencil to make two very small dots in the corners of the mouth. Then draw a thin dark line from the dots towards the center of the mouth. My line is only about 4 millimeters long: they’re very short.
Then use a pink or red or whatever-lip-color-you-want pencil to outline the corners of the lips, and the upper lip curve. If you don’t want the lines to be too noticeable, use a lighter pink or nude pencil.
1. EYE SHADING
Break out those chalk pastels again! Make pastel dust in nude colors. Here, I used light tan, tan, and brown dust to shade the eyes.
Starting with the lightest shade, use a small flat brush (I’m using my black 10/0 that I used for the brows) to shade above the larger eyelid crease and the outer eyelids. I also used some of the tan dust under her lower lash line.
Note on natural v. makeup looks: for a natural look, this shading should be fairly light. If you want the eyes to look more deep-set, you can use some darker shading, but you have to be very careful not to go overboard. If you want your doll to have a more smokey-eye look, just use darker/not-nude colors to shade!
2. NOSE SHADING
For the nose, use the light tan and tan dust to make the bottom of the nose (area around her nostrils) a bit darker. You can bring the dust up the sides of the nose if you want more realism.
Warning: I would advise against using a pencil to outline the bottom of the nose. I haven’t been able to do it where it looked natural, so I only shade with pastels. But if you are a braver soul than I…I can’t stop you.
1. WHITE HIGHLIGHTS
This is more a personal style preference, so it’s up to you.
I use a white or off-white pencil to mark highlights around the doll’s tearducts and eyelid creases, and her upper lip curve.
Note: If you’re nervous about how white and bold these highlights are, don’t worry. They’ll fade a bit after they’re sprayed with sealant.
Use a dark brown (or whatever color you outlined your eyes with) pencil to add a waterline to the doll’s eyes just underneath the lower lash line you already drew. I keep them very narrow, and only extend this waterline to about the middle of the lower lash line. You can extend it all the way if you want; it’s just a personal preference.
1. COLOR THE WATERLINE
Use a light pink pencil to color in the waterline until it ends and hits the white highlight pencil.
2. FILL IN THE LIPS
Using pink/red pastel dust, fill in the lips. I use a larger brush for this (my short clear makeup brush that I show in the Materials and Prep blog linked at the beginning of this tutorial).
I use darker pastel dust in the corners of the mouth and the center of the upper and lower lips.
Using pink/light pink pastel dust, use a fluffier larger brush to blush the doll’s cheeks. I use a fluffy eyeshadow brush for this.
I use a lighter pink dust to blush the doll’s chin and center of forehead.
Why blush now and not earlier?
Because we’re trying to minimize sprays of sealant, I do blush right before I’m about to seal the doll. If it’s done earlier in the process it’s super easy to smear the blush dust all over the place, which sucks.
SEAL WITH A THIN LAYER OF MSC (OR WHATEVER)
First, let the layer of MSC dry for ten-fifteen minutes.
Tiny note: see how much the white highlights faded? It’s more natural-looking now.
1. IRIS OUTLINE
Using a color that is a shade or two darker than the shade you want your iris to be, make two round outlines for the iris. For example, I’m going for light blue eyes, so I used a dark blue pencil to outline here. You can go as dark as black, though, if you want.
I made Andy’s eyes looking to her left, but it’s easier to make eyes that are looking straight forward, if you’re just starting out.
Your outline shouldn’t be perfectly round. The iris should always be partly obscured by the upper eyelash (if it isn’t the doll will look crazy or terrified or some horrifying combination of both). For a rounder, more Caucasian eye, the bottom of the iris should just touch the lower lash line. For a more almond-shaped eye, or an Asian eye, the bottom of the iris can be partly obscured by the lower lash line, but generally not as much as it is obscured by the top lash line.
2. EYEBROW LINES
Using a pencil with a darker color than the pastels used to fill in the brows, use fast, short strokes to create individual ‘hairs’ inside the eyebrows.
I also colored in the outer edges of the eyebrows with a dark brown pencil to make them more solid. I often make the outer edges of the brows darker than the inner edges.
Oops, I forgot to take more pics of this process (sorry, I was watching Jurassic World and got REALLY caught up. Ahhh the raptors!).
1. IRIS COLOR
After penciling in the outline, color in the whole iris with the lightest shade you want in your eye. I chose a very light blue for this.
2. IRIS SHADING
Then take a darker pencil and lightly shade in the top 1/3 of the iris, trying to blend it into the lighter color as well as possible.
Using a black or dark brown pencil, pencil in the pupils using circular strokes. Start small, then build them outward so they don’t get too big too fast (if they get really big, your doll is going to look really stoned, which would be funny, but probably is not the intent).
1. SMALL EYE LINE THINGS
Using a dark brown or black or dark blue/green/purple/I-don’t-care pencil, make tiny lines in the irises, radiating out from the pupils.
1. DARKEN UPPER LASH LINE
Sorry about the lighting that keeps changing in these photos. I was chasing the good natural light around my tiny studio, which is definitely easier said than done!
Use a black pencil to make the upper lash line a bit darker and thicker. This is less ‘natural,’ so I suppose it’s my own personal style preference. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but I’d recommend it.
If you want a more natural look, use dark brown instead of black.
2. EYE WHITES
Using a light grey pencil, very lightly shade the part of the whites that is just beneath the upper lash line.
Then, go over the entire whites with white pencil (including the grey, unless you want your shadow more pronounced).
1. WHITE HIGHLIGHTS
If you want the white highlights to be more pronounced, go over the white highlights again with your white or off-white pencil. Remember, after we seal the final time they’ll fade a bit more.
2. LIP LINES
Using a light red/dark pink pencil, draw tiny lines inside the lips. These are the lip creases that most people have!
SEAL WITH A THIN COAT OF MSC!
Remember to wait for the MSC to dry!
Technically you could do these on the previous layer. I sometimes do that. But I normally try and do them after sealing because I often have to erase them once or twice to get them perfect, and I don’t want to ruin anything underneath.
For the upper lashes I do thicker more doll-like lashes using a black pencil. For the lower lashes I use a dark brown pencil and do tiny, thin, straight lashes until the waterline ends. For a more natural look on the upper lashes, you can use a dark brown pencil instead of black, or you can just make the lashes thinner and shorter!
2. EYE WHITES
Go over the whites of the eyes with white pencil again. If you want more shadow, add more light grey underneath the upper lash line.
3. DARKEN PUPILS
Go over the pupils once more with a black pencil, or dark brown, or whatever color you chose for the pupils (they don’t always have to be black!). If you want you can also darken the shading in the irises.
If you want, go over all the highlighted areas from earlier again with a white or off-white pencil. If you like where they’re at already, you don’t have to go over them again.
However, ALSO add some thin white lines to the lower 1/3 of the irises, and to the lips.
Sorry about the weird green lighting. Dunno what was going on there.
Optional, of course, but Andy’s a redhead so I decided to give her some freckles with a tan pencil. So adorable. Love freckles.
SEAL WITH A LAYER OF MSC
Let that stuff dry.
1. UNWRAP DOLL
She’s looked like a serial killer victim for long enough. And she’s SO CUTE!
2. CATCH-LIGHTS IN EYES
Or eye reflections, whatever you want to call them.
Mix up one drop white acrylic paint with two drops of water to thin the paint down. Then, using a toothpick, make a small white dot in the same place in each eye. Then make a couple other small white dots (or not, the number of white dots is up to you. I use two-three, normally).
Just make sure the white dots are in the same place in each eye (for the most part).
Using a gloss or satin brush-on varnish, brush a coat over the eyes and lips (or eyes only if you don’t want the lips to be a bit glossy).
I have a satin varnish, and I used one coat on the eyes, and two coats on the lips, so the lips are shinier.
And she’s done! I don’t have Part 2 written up yet, but I’ll try to do that this week. Stay tuned!
Furthermore, if you like Andy, you can adopt her on my Etsy page, here! She comes with a cute pair of glasses, a pink dress, and booties.
Lately I’ve been (frantically doing homework, working part-time, attending classes, teaching high school civics, trying to keep my house clean) repainting a lot of Moxie dolls.
Basically, I first started doing makeunder dolls on Moxies, because that’s what I happened to buy off Ebay this one time five months ago.
But then I ended up with, like, twelve of them and I started getting bored. Maybe I’m totally ADD when it comes to dolls (is that not PC to say?), but I can’t paint the same face after same face. Especially because Moxie dolls have very, very, very flat faces.
It occurred to me that the Moxie’s flat-ness works very well for some things: very large eyes. And what art style involves girls with very large eyes?
Anime and manga.
I felt like a genius. Still feel like one, actually. But that’s a personal problem.
Okay you’re here for a tutorial. Not the ramblings of an exhausted student with too much creative energy.
So here you are:
PHASE 1: THE EYES
Every time I write a doll tutorial I end up saying something like “the eyes are the window to the soul.” So there it is again. It’s especially true with anime and manga eyes, because they are literally half the face (if not more-than-half). If you have the eyes down, you’re in good shape.
Phase 1, Step 1: Design the eyes
Some general characteristics of anime and manga eyes:
They are large. Like, really large. Weirdly large.
They are rounder than natural eyes.
There is generally not an outline surrounding the whole eye. The lashes frame the eye on the top and bottom, but not necessarily the sides of the eyes.
The lashes are much thicker on top than on bottom.
The pupils are larger than natural. Think somewhere between ‘really dark room’ and ‘really high.’
They are much more reflective than natural eyes. Very large shiny white spots, basically.
They are not as detailed as a realistic human eye.
They are framed by fairly thin eyebrows.
So now you know all that, grab a piece of paper. Or, if you’re familiar with anime/manga styles, go ahead and grab the doll you’ll be working on.
If you want to start work on your doll instead of planning out the eyes on paper, make sure the doll is properly prepared to be repainted. For information on how to prep a doll for repainting, see my post on Materials and Doll Prep. I’m going to proceed assuming that you’re practicing on paper first, but if you’re drawing directly on the doll, the same principals apply.
You can start designing your eye in any way you want. Sky’s the limit. If you haven’t seen a lot of anime or manga art, do a google search for ‘anime eyes’ or ‘manga eyes’, or click here for the google search I used: “Anime eyes” image search.
I start by drawing the outline of the eye, then the top and bottom lashes. Thicker on top, thinner on the bottom lid.
Then I sketch out the iris. Large, more oval than a real iris.
Add in the pupil. There are different styles you can use for this part. Some anime or manga eyes are shaded to be very heavy on the black. There are black outlines everywhere, very much like a traditional comic book. See the picture below.
Alternatively, you could use a more gradient approach to fill in the iris and pupil, and leave out the black outlines.
Now that you have the idea of your pupil and iris laid out, add in the reflections. If you’re working with pencil or pen on paper, you’ll probably need to use a white gel pen to do this (or white paint).
Remember, anime and manga eyes are more reflective than realistic eyes. However, if you add too many reflective spots or too large of reflective spots, the doll will appear to have very watery eyes.
Play around with it!
PHASE 2: PAINT THE DOLL
Phase 2, Step 1: Prep
Now that you know what you want the eyes to look like, you’re ready to begin repainting. If you want more information on what materials I recommend, and how to properly prepare a doll to be repainted, see THIS tutorial: Materials and Doll Prep.
What kind of doll to use? This is a tutorial using a Moxie doll as a model. Like I said earlier, Moxie’s flat faces make them ideal for this style. However, with some creative adjustments I know you can modify the eyes to work with almost any doll mold.
Phase 2, Step 2: Outline the eyes
First, did you prep your doll? Seal her face once? It’s important! You cannot pass GO until you’ve done that!
Now’s the fun part! Draw in the outline of your eyes. Don’t worry about the eyelashes: you’ll add those in next.
Okay, now you can add the eyelashes.
Phase 2, Step 3: Make the eyes less soul-less and creepy.
Draw in the iris, then the pupil. If you want a more cartoon-y look (I mean, all anime/manga eyes are cartoon-y), use black to outline the iris. If you want the more gradient look (discussed above in Phase 1), you’ll want to use a dark color of whatever your eye color will be. With this model, I’m using more black outlines than a gradient look.
Note: You can kind of see in the picture, but I use a light brown or light pink pencil to mark in where my irises/pupils/anything is going to be, then I layer black over that. I don’t commit to black pencil too soon.
Well…she’s kinda creepy. I promise, we’ll fix that. Now you can fill in the irises. Fill in the entire iris with the lightest shade of color you want to use for your eyes. You will layer on darker colors next.
Go ahead and use a white pencil to fill in the whites of the eyes, too.
Lip interlude! Take a quick break from the eyes to draw the outline of the lips and then fill them in. I honestly just did this as a color-check. I wanted to make sure the doll would look okay with bright red lips. You could easily do the lips after the eyes, but I like to get a lip color down in case I need to change the eye color to match.
Filling in the lips doesn’t have to be perfect: we’ll go over it with paint anyway.
Back to the eyes.
Now you can shade the iris. I used four colors to do this. The lightest pink was the base color, used to fill in the irises in the previous step. Next I used the red pencil to shade in the tops of the iris, going down to just below the pupil. Then I used the darkest red to shade the tops of the iris again, but I didn’t extend the dark red as far down. Last I used a black pencil to make sure the area just underneath the eyelid was very shaded, almost black.
See? She’s less creepy, now.
Phase 2, Step 3: Seal
Now you’re ready to seal her. Make sure you like what you have, though, because after she’s sealed you can’t fix mistakes made on this layer!
Phase 2, Step 4: Do random things to the eyes
Add in the eyelids! Eyelids look good with this particular eye design, but keep in mind that if the upper lashes are thick enough, anime and manga eyes may look just fine without an eyelid.
Either way, if you decide to draw in an eyelid, it should be fairly thin. No big sultry eyelids here; those are more commonly seen in American comics. I’ve drawn mine with light pink.
Also, now that you’ve sealed the doll once, you have a fresh surface to work on again. I always go over all the black lines, and the whites of the eyes, with their respective colors to intensify the pigment. This will also fill in any areas that weren’t evenly drawn the first time.
Phase 2, Step 5: Eyebrows!
Add in the eyebrows. Anything goes here, depending on the expression you’re going for. Anime and manga eyebrows are typically very thin and simple, although you can do variations on that, of course.
Phase 2, Step 6: Blush
I’m sorry for the bad photo here: it makes it a bit hard to see what I did with the blush. For this doll, I used a combination of hot pink and red chalk pastel dust to apply blush to her cheeks just below her eyes. I used a lighter pink dust to blush her forehead and chin.
I love this step because the blush brings out so much character!
Phase 2, Step 7: Seal
Spray seal the doll for the final time. Make sure you like what you have, though, because after it’s sealed you can’t easily fix it. Also try and blow as much dust off the face as you can, and do a check for any stray chalk dust that may be lingering in a bad place (under the chin is where my chalk dust goes to evade detection, apparently).
Phase 2, Step 8: Paint the lips and eye reflections
I use a paint retardant to thin my acrylic paints out. It’s basically just expensive water, so if you don’t happen to have acrylic paint retardant, use water with confidence. It’s the same.
I do this lips first. Just thin out the red paint to the consistency of half in half or whole milk, and use a very very tiny brush (this one is an old 20/0 brush I had lying around) to go over the lines you already drew in on your lips.
Do a couple coats, until you’re happy with the color build-up.
Now do the reflections. I added a heart and what turned out to be a semi-colon to each eye. Anime and manga eyes can handle A LOT of reflection, so if you want more reflection than I used, go for it.
Too much reflection and the eyes will look watery, though (which can be great if you’re going for a teary look).
Phase 2, Step 9: Varnish the eyes and lips
Use a small brush to apply several layers of glossy varnish to the eyes and lips. Wait for each layer to dry before applying the next. I used the same old brush I used to paint the lips, because I find that the varnish can ruin good brushes if they aren’t washed out properly. And apparently I don’t wash my brushes properly, because my ‘varnish brush’ is just a disaster by now.
You can see that I added a little heart on her cheek. I did that before I varnished, so I could seal it properly with MSC.
Congrats! She’s all done. And I’m sure she looks great. 🙂
My models in this tutorial are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the dark-haired anime girl for sale HERE. You can find the light-haired girl HERE.
UPDATE 1/25/2016: I just added the little pink-eyed girl to my Etsy shop! You can adopt her HERE.
If you liked this tutorial, leave a comment below! And if you use it to repaint your own doll, I would LOVE to see your results! You can post your picture in the comments, or if you’re shy, you can send I Am Loved Dolls on Facebook a message.
Doll hair just looks better when it’s curled into adorable little ringlets that are going to be destroyed by an enthusiastic five-year-old girl shortly after receipt.
There are a few different kinds of curls you can go for, and this tutorial focuses on curling hair into ringlets as opposed to natural wavy curls.
What you need:
A doll with medium-long hair
Tinfoil (sort of optional)(actually, not optional)
A comb or brush
To start, your doll hair needs to be straightened and brushed. If you’re starting with a doll with messy hair, follow THIS tutorial to brush and straighten the hair. Then come back here!
We’ll use Violet as our model today.
To see how I repainted Violet, check out here Transformation Story HERE! Also, look for her in my Etsy shop later this month. She’ll have clothes on by then, because even faeries can’t walk around naked all the time.
1. Cut up the tinfoil and pipecleaner.
The tinfoil will be wrapped around the bottom of the small sections of hair, so the size of the rectangle depends on how small you want your ringlets to be. The smaller the ringlet, the smaller the foil. For a section of hair slightly smaller than the width of a pencil I make my rectangles about 1.5 x 1 inch (approx. 4 x 1.5 cm). You could probably go for a square, too: 1 x 1 inches or 1.5 x 1.5 cm.
You need one foil rectangle for each section of hair you curl, in between 10 and 15, depending on how much hair the doll has.
The pipecleaner straws should be cut into lengths in between 2-4 inches. Sort of up to you and what style of curl you’re going for.
2. Get the hair wet.
You don’t get a picture of this.
It shouldn’t be drenched, but wet hair is a bit easier to work with than dry hair because wet hair will stick together and isn’t affected by static.
3. Section and wrap the hair.
Now you can start sectioning out the hair, wrapping the end of each section with the foil strip or square.
What a pain! Why do I even have to do this!?
You don’t have to do this. But the foil strips will help the ends of the hair stay in place, and it will also help the hair sections curl down to the very tip. Without the foil strips the hair will curl the same, but I often have to clip off the ends of the hair when the ends didn’t curl as well as the rest. If you don’t care about cutting the doll’s hair feel free to not use foil.
*NOTE: some people like to combine this step with the next by sectioning out a piece of hair, wrapping it in foil, and then wrapping it around the pipecleaner before sectioning out the next piece of hair. The advantage to this is that you can get slightly neater curls by brushing out the section, wrapping in foil, and then wrapping before the section of hair gets mussed. Feel free to mix and match the steps!*
4. Put the hair in ‘rollers.’
Did you guys hate having your hair in rollers as much as I did when I was a kid? My mom used to put these horrid pink plastic rollers in my hair for Easter. It was the dreaded Easter hair-do to go along with the dreaded Easter dress to go along with the dreaded Easter mass.
If you hated rollers like I did, you can now get some vindictive pleasure out of making an innocent little doll suffer, too. Now is the time. Seize the day.
Take a section of hair and make sure the foil is covering the end of the hair. Pinch the foil-wrapped end with the pipecleaner by folding the end of the pipecleaner over the foil. This will help keep the end of the hair section in place. Now roll the pipecleaner up the strand of hair.
When it’s all rolled, secure the roll by wrapping the pipecleaner around it.
There are different ways to roll. If you want looser ringlets you might want to roll so that each rotation isn’t directly above the previous rotation. You basically roll the section of hair so that it spreads out over the space of an inch or so. If you want tighter ringlets you do want to roll so that each rotation is directly above the previous rotation, so that the completed roll is only about 1-1.5cm wide (you all love how I’m mixing my measurement units from metric to imperial, I know).
Violet’s curls will be very tight because I rolled all the hair on top of each other.
So now your doll looks something like this:
5. Boil the head.
This is another point at which you get to torture the doll.
Boil water by whichever method you prefer. If you are a small child or just an accident-prone person PLEASE GOD GET SOMEONE TO HELP YOU WITH THIS. Hot water is hot.
Put the hot water into a bowl deep enough to submerge the doll’s hair. Then stick the doll’s head into the water, making sure that all of the rolls are submerged.
This is an easy one. Just let the doll lounge around in the hot water for five minutes or so. I normally forget about it and just leave the doll until someone in my family tells me to get the creepy doll off the counter.
7. Cold set (optional)
After taking the head out of the hot water, put her head into some cold water to set the hair.
NOTE: you only have to do this if the water she was lying in was still hot/warm at the time you pulled her out. If you forgot about it like me, and by the time you remembered the water was cold, you don’t need to cold-set.
8. Let dry. Or don’t. Whatever.
After you take the doll out of the water, hold her upside-down over the sink to let any water in her head drain out. You can lightly dab at the hair with a towel to get some of the excess water out.
Now let the doll’s hair dry. You can let it dry halfway or all the way before removing the pipecleaners. I normally dry it halfway because it makes it easier to tame frizzies if it’s not completely dry.
9. Remove the hardware.
Gently undue the pipecleaner rolls and slide the foil off. If the curl gets messed up during this process you can neaten it with your fingers. The curls will snap back into place when they are unrolled, unless they weren’t boiled enough.
Other stuff you can do to make the curls look nicer.
Every time I take the pipecleaners out I’m always a little disappointed. Mostly this has to do with me being impatient and rolling the hair as fast as possible. But the way that the curl’s get rolled up is the exact way they will lay when they are unrolled. That said, it’s hard to get them perfect!
I always break up the ringlets with my fingers after unrolling them, and this takes all my disappointment away! I split each ringlet in half, and it makes the curls look MUCH better.
Tips for keeping the ringlets nice.
First, don’t give the doll to an enthusiastic five-year-old girl. But in the event that that isn’t an option, there are a couple other thing you can do to help the ringlets.
Second, don’t brush the ringlets, unless you don’t want them to be ringlets anymore. Like I mentioned above, if your ringlets are larger than you wanted them to be, you can split each one in half by separating the section of hair with your fingers.
I have had some success with taking the pipecleaners out of the hair while the hair was still damp and lightly spraying each ringlet with hair spray. I don’t like to do this when the hair is dry because the spray won’t go on clear (unless you use really nice hair spray but I refuse to use my nice hair spray on a doll I found in a thrift store).
I’ve also put a light coating of hair mousse on each ringlet while the hair was still damp. This works super well if you have the patience to re-roll each section of hair after applying mousse, but I’ve never had that kind of patience.
For the rescuers out there: you know when you get a doll from Ebay or Craigslist or wherever, and when she comes in the mail and you look at her you can’t help but think “what the hell happened to you?!”
Meet Devon, the red-head on the left.
Read on for tips on taming doll hair, fixing doll heads, and removing ink stains from doll faces.
Devon arrived a Hot Mess with a capital H (and M). I have honestly no idea how a child could take a doll and mess it up so much. Did it get run over with a car? Did you try to draw and quarter it? Did you think her face would look better with blue marker over all of it?
“Yes” to all of the above!
To categorize the damage:
Her hair was not in optimal condition. As in, it had been converted into a mass of frizz and then a frustrated mom, in an attempt to tame it, put the frizz into five braids that really didn’t help the situation much.
Her stomach joint (yes, stomach joint) was a little loose. Still haven’t figured out how to fix that without drawing and quartering her all over again.
Her head was so wobbly it was pretty much just not attached to the neck anymore.
Best yet, there was blue marker all over her face.
Fixing the hair was a three-day process. Now, hair is normally something I spend about half an hour on per doll. That’s it. I have no patience for hair.
For Devon, though, I was willing to put in more time only because I love Bratzillaz. Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of the process, but it went something like this: brush brush brush brush boil boil brush boil brush pour pour brush brush scream in frustration boil brush. Brush.
For an in-depth tutorial on fixing, smoothing, and straightening doll hair, see my post here.
And after all that, here she is:
I followed the method explained in a video here by Novastar Dolls. Bratz and Bratzillaz are both made by the same company, as are Moxies, so their neck joints are all built the same way, and can thus be fixed the same way.
The only change I made to the steps in the video was to heat up the head by immersing it in hot water before I popped it off and on. The heat makes the vinyl more flexible, which makes it easier to remove the head. Heated vinyl is less likely to tear or crack, as well.
Before I could repaint Devon, I had to get the stains out of her face.
If you have a doll with ink stains or marker stains on her face, you know that acetone won’t get them out. You have to bleach the stains out, but regular bleach doesn’t work.
Acne spot treatment with 10% benzoyl peroxide.
UV rays (sun)
I bought a cheap acne treatment from Walgreens (it was about $5.50), and then removed Devon’s factory paint with acetone, being very very careful not to get acetone on her acrylic eyes (it will melt them). Then I used a Q-Tip to liberally apply the cream to the marker stains on her face.
It looks like shaving cream.
Then I put her out on the porch, hoping that the sun would do it’s work and I could get to work on the faceup in the evening.
Of course, that didn’t work out, because I live in Colorado, USA, where the weather is notorious for NEVER DOING NORMAL, PREDICTABLE THINGS. The sun immediately disappeared and it started thunderstorming out of the blue, so I gave up hope and decided to start a custom project for a customer.
Five days later….So the sun came back. Finally.
Technically, the sun came back two days later, but I have some carpenters re-building my deck and I figured I’d spare them the trauma of building around a body-less doll with white cream all over her face. See, that was nice and considerate of me.
So you just got another doll to rescue, and like many dolls in need of rescuing, her hair is styled in the ever-fashionable ‘single dreadlock’ style.
WHAT YOU NEED
A sturdy, wide-tooth comb (or a fork)
A fine-tooth comb
Scissors (unless you have the patience of a Saint)
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
1. Put a movie on. Seriously, that is an important step.
2. Stare in misery at the doll. Start by staring in misery at the dreaded mass of doll hair. Just take it all in.
3. Brush the hair out. Begin brushing the hair out with the wide-tooth comb or the fork. I take small sections of hair and brush from bottom to top. Brushing from bottom to top helps keep little snarls from developing (or worsening) as you brush. This is the step that takes me the longest.
4. Shampoo and condition. Once the doll’s hair is pretty much brushed out—at least, you can kind of get a comb through it, sorta—shampoo and condition it. Depending on how badly tangled the hair is, I’ll comb the hair after I’ve put shampoo in it, but before rinsing. The soap helps keep the snarls from reforming. After conditioning, but before rinsing, I brush the hair out once again. And then AGAIN, I brush after rinsing for the final time.
Some people condition the hair with coconut oil. But let’s be real, I can’t even afford to cook with that stuff let alone use it on plastic doll hair. So I use Pantene conditioner that I got from the clearance rack of my local grocery store.
5. Trim the hair (optional). Sometimes the bottom inch or two of a doll’s hair is really, REALLY frizzy, even after all this. I have a pretty good feel for when frizzy hair can be fixed with boiling water and when it can’t be, so if I think the hair is just too dense and frizzy at this point the best thing to do is just cut an inch or so off.
When I trim a doll’s hair I layer it, so that the bottom layer of hair is the longest and the top layer of hair is the shortest. All in all, the bottom and top layers probably differ in length by a centimeter. It’s not much but it helps the hair lay flatter.
If I’m going to curl the doll’s hair I will make the difference between the bottom and top layer about three centimeters. This will help show the curls off.
This doll won’t get curls, but she will need a trim. I just don’t want to deal with the frizz at the bottom of her hair.
6. Boil and brush (only needed for dolls with very curly hair). Boil water in a pan. There should be enough water that you can submerge the doll’s head and hair in the water, and a little extra left over won’t hurt anyone. When the water is boiling, submerge the doll’s head and hair in the water for ten seconds or so. You can do longer, just keep an eye on the hair to make sure it’s not melting (’cause that would be tragic). Then, take your fine tooth comb and brush through the hair while it’s still hot. If it doesn’t seem to be helping, you can take smaller sections of hair and boil and brush those individually.
Okay do you HAVE to do this? It seems like a stupid amount of work. Honestly, I skip this step with a lot of my dolls. If the doll doesn’t have curly hair to begin with, then I’d just go straight to step 7, below.
Nope, I didn’t boil and brush Rapunzel’s hair.
7. Pour hot water over her head. After I’ve heated the hair once (or two times or seven times or not at all) in boiling water, I boil a kettle of water and pour that water over the doll’s head while she’s sitting in an upright position. The force of the water will help flatten and straighten the hair more than simply boiling and brushing.
I normally section out the hair in layers, starting with the hair closest to her neck and adding more hair as I’m happy with how the lower layers look. This helps the hair straighten evenly.
8. Cold-set the hair. When the hair is as straight as I want it to be (or as straight as I have the patience for, whichever comes first) I cold-set the style by brushing her hair under cold water (use the fine-tooth comb).
Honestly, I’m not 100% this step is needed. But the cold water feels kinda nice and makes the hair easier to brush so why not.
A word of warning! I don’t have proof for this, but I’m always a little concerned when brushing boiled doll hair that the brushing stretches the hair, making it snap back a little frizzy, or just stretching it out in general. I know many doll rescuers have complained that after straightening doll hair it will slowly lose some of its sleekness over the following few weeks, and my theory is that boiling and then roughly brushing the hair may damage it in some way. Not like that has changed my boiling and brushing behavior, though.
Can you use heat tools on doll hair? The safe answer is ‘no.’ Curling and straightening irons are generally too hot; they will melt the plastic hair and trust me, you do NOT want that to happen.
However, if you are very, very, very careful about using heat tools, you can do it. I’ve had success straightening doll hair by wetting it, wrapping it in a thin rag, and pulling it through a straightener on the lowest heat setting. That said, I’ve also had success melting the doll hair this way, too. Try at your own risk. Or, at the doll’s risk, I guess.
Okay hold the phone. Her body is gone. Why is it gone?
Rapunzel had a slightly wobbly head, so while her vinyl doll head was soft and pliant from the hot water treatment, I went ahead and popped it off so I could fix the wobble.
Taking Bratz/Moxie dolls heads off is super easy. Heat them up with hot water, push down on the head, and pop them off. Don’t twist or angle the head: just pop it straight off.
And yes, that is dental floss. Waxed, to be specific. Because no one has string just lying around anymore.
9. Dry. After cold-setting the hair, squeeze the water out but don’t brush it out. Let the hair dry completely.
10. Style. At this point, you have a nice blank canvas to work with. Styling straight hair is much, much easier than styling frizzy hair. You can, of course, leave the hair straight at this point, or you can curl it into ringlets if you want to spend some more time playing with hair.
Curl? Check out my tutorial on how to curl a doll’s hair HERE!
11. Finish your movie.
Questions or suggestions, leave it in a comment below! I love to help and learn from other rescuers.
I dislike this part of the process. It’s kind-of tedious, the perfectionist in me isn’t ever happy with it, and sometimes things happen and the doll is ruined before you even touched a drop of paint to her.
That said, preparing well makes the rest of the process much easier, so it’s not something to be brushed off. Read on for tips and advice about materials and doll prep.
Acetone. I use pure acetone from the nail section of a drugstore to remove the doll’s factory paint. Some people prefer to use other, less toxic and less horrible chemicals to do this, some people have found a non-acetone nail-polish remover…I like pure acetone. It works.
Sealant. I use Mr. Super Clear Matte, a fairly standard spray sealant in the repaint world. MSC is great because it has a nice tooth (or grain) to it that allows the pigment to stick to it and it’s not shiny. MSC is less great in that it is super toxic, and because I don’t have a respirator anymore, I’m probably going to develop lung cancer in a few years. Trade-offs, ya know?
MSC tends to be a little pricey. It comes in relatively small bottles, and costs about $10-20 dollars, if you get it from the right place. I always get mine on Ebay. It’s stupidly expensive if you buy it on Amazon. Junky Spot (there’s a link somewhere below) also has it, but I’ve always found the best prices on Ebay.
Watercolor pencils. I mostly use Faber-Castell and Derwent pencils. These have a high pigment concentration and they show up better on the dolls’ faces. One trick is to keep them very sharp during the whole repaint process, so a good sharpener is key. Using a good-quality brand of pencils is really important–don’t cheap out on these; cheap pencils won’t work.
Chalk pastels. I have Faber-Castell pastels, but I’m not sure that the brand matters as much for chalk pastels as it does for the watercolor pencils. The key with this is to really make sure you’re getting chalk pastels, not oil pastels or pencil pastels or anything else. My pastels come in a short rectangle cube shape. I scratch the side of the pastel with a razor blade to make chalk pastel dust.
Brushes. These are used mostly to apply chalk pastel dust, white paint, and varnish. I would recommend having a varnish brush that isn’t super high-quality, because I always ruin my varnish brushes for some reason.
I use three different brushes to apply pastel dust. First is a fluffy eyeshadow brush I got at a drugstore for no dollars (okay, maybe three dollars). This is great for applying blush to the cheeks and forehead–large areas. Large, as in tiny, because these are dolls, but you know. Second is a small weird eyeliner brush that I got with a fancy cream eyeliner by Clinique (this is the short one with a transparent handle in the photos). It’s the worst eyeliner brush I’ve ever seen, but it works great for applying pastel dust to smaller areas like lips and upper eyelids. Third is a very small flat 10/0 paint brush (it’s the one with the black handle in the photos). I use this brush for eyebrows, shading on the lips, upper eyelids, and lower lids.
I have a nice 20/0 spotter brush (red handle in the photos) that I use for applying the white dots to the eyes, but sometimes I just use my ruined 20/0 spotter that is now my varnish brush, especially if I want the dots to be a little larger.
For tattoos, facial designs, and other things that really can’t be done well with just watercolor pencils, I use a stupidly tiny series of brushes (not shown in photo). The Psycho and Insane Detail brush from JunkySpot are good. I also used to have, and liked, the 10/0-30/0 size brushes from Reaper Miniatures.
Varnish. I use cheap, ancient varnish that works just fine because varnish is varnish to me. Two qualifiers: (1) it has to be shiny (so look for a glossy varnish), and (2) it has to dry non-tacky. Apparently some varnish is tacky. I don’t know why a company would make varnish that doesn’t really dry, but in any case, avoid that varnish for these purposes.
White paint. Acrylic paint, please. I use cheap craft paint that I get for .69 cents at JoAnn fabrics, but it’s a little grainy so I would recommend going a little higher-quality. I just can’t find a good art store in my area yet. This is used for the tiny reflective dots in the eyes. Also seen in that photo at the top is Liquitex Slow-Dry Fluid Retarder. It is basically expensive water that you put into your acrylic paint to thin it out and prevent it from drying so fast. I use this stuff, but I’m honest-to-god sure it’s just water that I paid eight dollars for. So you can definitely use water.
PREPARING THE DOLL
This is where things start getting a little serial-killer-esque.
Removing the factory paint.
First, remove the paint with acetone or a suitable substitute. I use plain Q-tips to do most of the work, but using the special pointy Q-tips is handy for the hard-to-get places like the corners of the lips.
The Q-tips will smear the factory paint around on the face, which is fine. I get as much of the paint off with the Q-tips as I can, then, when the face is mostly clear, I finish up with a round cotton pad with a splash of acetone on it. The cotton pad has more coverage, so it’ll take off any remaining paint smudges without just spreading them around. This is a super important step. There is really nothing worse than getting to the end of the repaint process (and you always discover your mistakes at the end, never the beginning) and realizing half the face is still kind of blue because it has smeared factory paint underneath all your hard work.
Rinse the doll’s face off with water to get rid of any acetone residue and the cotton pad fuzz. Just in case.
Some dangers about removing the paint. I have ruined some dolls at this stage. I have discovered while removing paint that the acetone can work itself into the vinyl of the doll and make small dark spots. They look like freckles. I think it may just be a naturally-occuring tiny hole in the vinyl that then gets paint smeared in it and it’s too small to the get the paint out….But I really don’t know what it is. Sometimes I can save the doll, and at least once I’ve had to repaint it and give it away because I didn’t like those imperfections. This has only happened to me in about five of the dolls I’ve ever done though, so it’s a fairly rare issue.
Other dangers about removing the paint. Acetone will melt the hard plastic on the doll’s body if it comes into contact with it. It will also melt holes in your plastic craft table, just FYI. It won’t ruin the hair if it touches the hair for a bit, though.
Protecting the doll.
Now that the doll is face-less and super creepy, we get to make it creepier by wrapping it in saran wrap. This is when people in your family start wondering if they should be worried.
Wrapping the doll is pretty self-explanatory. I use saran wrap because it stretches and can be pulled really snug against the doll’s hair. The goal is to keep the doll’s hair and hard body from being covered in spray sealant. The hair especially, because the sealant turns it a crusty white and it’s super hard to get out.
Rubber bands or hair ties do a good job of keep the saran wrap close to the hairline. If the saran wrap goes over the hairline and covers part of the doll’s forehead, at the end you’ll notice a line between the MSC-sprayed vinyl and the vinyl that was under the saran wrap, which is something to avoid.
Seal the doll.
Now that she’s all wrapped up, spray a thin layer or two of MSC over her face. Do this outside (toxic, remember?), preferably with a respirator (not a mask; a real, actual, zombie-apocalypse-type respirator. They’re on Amazon for $30). If you live in a very humid place, try and do this at the least-humid time of day. You also want to spray when it’s a little warmer outside; the spray won’t work right if it’s very cold.
Hold the nozzle 10-12 inches away from the doll, and make sure to turn the doll at times so the sides of her cheeks get sealed as well. Let the spray dry for ten minutes or so in between coats. Try to avoid a really thick coat: if the layer is too thick the MSC starts to dry a little shiny.
As always…if you have a question, leave a comment below, or get in touch with me on my Facebook page.