Friday, May 16, 2014

amelia earhart doll

This is a fun project for anyone who has ever wanted to engage in some doll making, but without making the doll completely from scratch. For me the, the most fun part about making a doll is to create clothes and accessories that will make the doll unique. Making the body is not something I have proven to be that talented at. So, lucky for me, I ran across this 18 inch cotton doll at the craft store many months ago. It cost $8. The doll is not particularly attractive but has bendable fabric limbs and happens to be the same size as the American Girl Doll, which wound up coming in handy because you can purchase clothing items that you don't want to sew. Aside from the actual American Girl store, lots of places sell knock off 18 inch doll clothing including Joann Fabric and Toys R Us.
First, decide what kind of doll you want to make. If it is a literary or historical figure you should pick some identifying items of clothing and determine what color hair and eyes the doll will need to have. The clothes that Amelia is wearing were sewn were from Simplicity Pattern 5733, which contains all the clothes patterns you would need for virtually any doll including a skirt, a blouse, a robe, a long coat, a short jacket and pants.
What our doll is wearing:
  • white blouse sewn from pattern with pearl buttons at neck
  • brown suede pants sewn from pattern
  • black scrunchy boots purhased in 18 inch doll section at Joann Fabric
  • Long jacket sewn from pattern using Pleather. I used only one layer of the jacket and instead of making a liner glued on long strips of fake fur along the collar and inside. The coat does not button or zip, it is just open.  
  • Suitcase made from an empty Altoid tin. I covered the outside in brown felt and put purple satin on the inside. I made some medals out of shrinky dinks to represent her French Legion of Honor and her Distinguished Flying Cross medal. 
  • Goggles- wait until the face is done so that you know how far the eyes are spaced. Then cut simple goggles out of Pleather, twice. Sandwich some clear plastic (i used transparency from a stationary shop) in between the Pleather and use Superglue.
  • Hat - there is a really great aviator hat tutorial here at thedeviantart site.
  • hair- I used orange yarn
  • face paint- acrylic paint.
After I dressed the doll in her clothes I ran into the dilemna of how to make her face and hair. For this I turned to my co-blogger Corinne. She is a talented painter and has some experience with dollmaking so she took over and made the face and hair. She painted a circle on the face using gesso then drew the features in pencil, then filled them in with acrylic paint. She made the hair curly by gluing the yarn in loops under the helmet. It might be possible to find orange yarn that is already curly but I had not found any so this worked great.
We really enjoyed making this doll, as we both are big Amelia Earhart fans. You may want to make a similar one or make one in homage to your own hero or heroine.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Recycled May Flowers

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April showers are supposed to bring May flowers. Here in the Midwest we have some tulips in our yard, but the terrible winter has delayed a lot of our Spring flowers. You can make these flowers in a few moments and transform your paper scraps into an adorable bouquet to tide you over until your garden blooms. This project originally appeared in the April issue of Kids Craft 1-2-3! 
paper (I used a map, sheet music, and pages from a gardening catalog.)
pipe cleaner
something for the center like circles of felt, buttons, circles of contrasting paper, pom poms

  1. Cut a piece of paper into a long rectangle. Try 4 1/2 x 12 inches or pick your own size.
  2. Fold the paper like an accordion with small folds.
  3. After the paper is folded up completely, staple at the halfway point and fan out the sides.
  4. Glue the sides open to make the flower.
  5. For the center you can do what I did and glue on a small circle of felt and a button on top of that. You also could attach circles of contrasting paper, tiny pom poms, or other center items. 
  6. I used tape to attach the back of my flowers to the pipe cleaners. You could also use a glue gun for a neater appearance.