Adding hair to a polymer clay doll
Kanekalon fiber wig for your doll!
Ok, you've just taken out of the oven your polymer clay doll and realize that it's time to add some hair. Terrifying? I know. Unless you are making a bald character, adding hair can be quite a daunting task. And an expensive one, if you use real mohair. How about kanekalon fibers then?
Here's a quick and easy tutorial on how to use a kanekalon fiber wig, which is heat resistant, to make a wig for your doll and style it anyway you want! Sure you've heard of or may already have used mohair, but these fibers are like real hair, giving you endless styling options. And are far more economical in the long run compared to mohair. They are also weather resistant, meaning that they won't fade during time nor lose their style due to humidity . Enjoy!
Kanekalon Fibers - The chemistry behind magic...
Kanekalon fibers are modacrylic fibers composed of a combination of two monomers: acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride which are joined together in a process called Co-polymerization. Co-polymerization produces a dry resin which is in turn dissolved into a liquid state, or dope. This solution is forced through a multi-hole metal disk called a aspinnerette, then into a water bath where it coagulates to form continuous strands. These strands are then dried and stretched and finally become fiber as we know it.
Kanekalon fibers are soft, strong, resilient, and dimensionally stable. They can be easily dyed in almost any available color, show good press and shape retention, and are quick to dry. They have outstanding resistance to chemicals and solvents, are not attacked by moths or mildew, and are non allergenic.
Here is what you'll need:
1) your polymer clay doll (baked of course!..) ,preferably without clothes, so as not to ruin them with glue.
2)Glue, two kinds. Instant glue and some craft glue like Aleene's Tacky Glue for example.(regarding instant glue,if you're not an adult ask for an adult's help and/or supervision)
3)scissors, small blade (if you are not an adult ask for an adult's help and/or supervision)
4) A kanekalon fiber heat-resistant wig, preferably with straight hair and of course the color of your choice.From a single wig you'll be able to make dozens of dolls hair !
5)A hair blow dryer
6) A wooden stick (a paint brush will do just fine, as long as it is made of wood, since plastic may deform or even melt under the heat of the blow dryer)
Here is what I use in my workshop
An excellent craft glue, thick enough to work with confidence and once dry it's strong yet flexible. I use it in almost all my crafts and I can't praise it high enough!
A powerful dryer, with ceramic for added heat emission and ionic technology to reduce static. What more could you possibly ask for?
Bonds instantly and permanently, a life savior in many cases of crafting.
Step by step guide (don't be scared, it's quite easy actually!)
Cannibalize your newly acquired wig (resisting the urge to wear it yourself!)
Take your blade and carefully cut and remove the thread that holds each strand with the elastic bands on the underside of the wig, trying to retain the strands as intact as possible.Prepare enough strands for your current project and for future ones ,if you're in the mood. Take your time and don't rush things.
It's time to put to the test the heat resistant ability of these wigs! Take a strand ,about 10 to 15 cm ( 4-6 inches) (i you have longer strands cut them accordingly) , and fold them repeatedly so that you have a nice hank of hair. Our wefts are almost ready! Turn the blow dryer on and carefully place it on a surface that can stay put, aiming horizontally. Wrap the hair around a wooden or metal stick holding the beginning with your one hand and the end of the hair with your other hand. Bring it in front of the blow dryer, letting the hot air do all the work. A few seconds and you'll have nice wavy hair, longer and you'll make curly hair. Mind not to burn your fingers!
Let the hair cool a bit before you slide them off the stick. Turn off the blow dryer. Hold the hank of hair with your one hand(pinch them) , just a couple of cm bellow the strand root and with the other hand cut with the scissors the roots. Caution: now your hair are actually loose so whatever you do don't let them off your pinch. Put some craft glue (UHU or any other, preferably thick and relatively quick drying) on the hair ends, wait a few seconds, and lay the hank on a piece of plastic sheet(or aluminum foil).
When the glue has completely dried it's time to attach the hair onto your doll's head! Pick the hanks f hair that you like the most and attach each one with just a tiny drop of super glue(instant glue) on the doll's head. Mind not to glue your fingers ,and remember that instant glue can cause serious damage if it gets on our eyes. Since it bonds skin instantly be extra careful. Place the tiny bit of glue on the head and then press the lock of hair you want, just for a couple of seconds.You're done. Begin from the back of the neck upwards.
Want some nice ideas and inspiration on hair styling? - Check out this fabulous book if you feel like you're running low on ideas and inspiration
No more bad hair days for you and no more dull styled dolls! With an abundance of pictures and step by step instructions you'll soon be able to achieve every possible hairstyle, or invent new ones!
Locks of hair
Here are some examples of how your hair locks for your doll will look like, depending on how much heat you will apply to them. The more heat you apply to them the more curly they will be.
Kanekalon heat resistant wigs - For you or for your doll!
These wigs can by styled in any way you want ,giving you endless possibilities of creation. Let your imagination run wild!
Kanekalon fiber is ideal for doll hair because:
1] it's as natural as it gets, next to real hair (no plastic appearance or wool-like effect)
2] it's heat resistant, so go ahead and style it with your blow dryer or ceramic styler!
3] it's impervious to water and humidity (bad hair day a thing of the past for your doll)
4]it has numerous color choices (almost every color in the rainbow!)
Completed project, Nalia
Here is Nalia, my beloved OOAK polymer clay doll. Her hair was done using this technique that I just described to you. I mixed curly and wavy locks along with straight ones to achieve this look.
Completed project, Leila
And here is Leila! Her wavy hair are once again made from a kanekalon fiber wig (orange red)
Polymer clay books - Make the doll of your dreams!
A complete guide to creating a polymer clay figure, with photos and detailed instructions.Sculpting a figure can't get any easier,trust me!
Trolls,fairies and witches, all come to life with this easy to follow and full of ideas book!
Very easy to follow instructions,even for the novice.Give it a try and you won't regret it!
Pick your side!
Both clays have their pros and cons. Both are very popular among doll makers. Only one will be the winner of this poll...
Are you a Cernit or a Fimo fan?
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