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Final Cloth Doll Making For Beginners

Updated on July 19, 2012

Final Cloth Doll Making For Beginners

So now you are at the final in this series of cloth doll making lenses for beginners.

I hope you have enjoyed all the information I have managed to gather for you in these lenses.

To find the previous lenses in the beginning cloth doll series, I have put them all together on the next part of this lens.

Just scroll down a bit.

I hope you enjoy this lens!

A Bit More About Tools Of The Trade

Personally, I have my favorite pens and pencils.

I think as you have more and more experience you get to like certain tools and hate and discard others.

I must tell you that I don't think the most expensive are necessarily the best.

I have covered what I use in the way of pens and pencils in the Tools Of The Trade section of these cloth doll making lenses

Embellishing Your Doll

Embellishing

Embellishing to doll makers means to decorate or enhance or beautify!

This is such fun to do.

When you first start doll making you probably will not embellish much, but later on as you get more confident, embellishing may become your favorite part of the doll.

It took quite a while before I started to use beading on my dolls, but now I love to bead them. I do choose larger beads than some, that's because I get very frustrated threading those tiny eyes on the beading needles!

Exploring embellishing will take you places you never thought you would go, after all, you don't just have to use conventional products to embellish with. What about tiny black rubber washers???? What about bottle caps, pot scrubs, shells, chains, jewelry, watch parts etc etc etc.

The list is never ending, think outside the square. Surprise people with your creativity!

Other Ways to Embellish Your Doll

A lot of free machine embroidery is done these days on doll clothing, once again this gives you a canvas to finish off with embellishments.

On the canvas of the doll you can use almost any other craft you have ever played with.

What about ribbon embroidery, embroidery, stamping, painting, decopage, dyeing, beading, burning synthetic fabric into interesting textures???

These ideas are unending. Spend a day a week playing with these ideas, bet you have lots of fun

One more little tip here, I believe the more embellishing you do, the better the doll. What a big statement that is, however from my observations we stop too soon!!!

When you think you are finished, do some more!

Online Cloth Doll Making Classes

I have some free mini online classes for you to get started with. Simple dolls, with the beginner in mind.

If you would like to try one of my bigger online classes, then they are there for you too. Most of mine are around the $45 great value for money.

I do write all my online classes with the beginner in mind, include heaps of photos to help you and I also provide step by step instructions.

Most of my classes have have between 200-300 photos, one for each tiny step.

Just go here to find them

Resources For Cloth Doll Making

There are so many resources for the beginner doll maker you just need to know about where to find them.

Here are some ideas

Wonderful Magazines

For instance.

Art Doll Quarterly by Somerset Studio

Available at http://www.stampington.com

Books to Read

The first book to start with is

Anatomy of a doll by the late Susanna Oroyan.This book has a HUGE amount of information for you to learn from. I know someone..a designer actually, who lernt all her skills by reading this book one chapter at a time and learning all the techniques in the book one by one. She did all the exercises and learnt heaps!

For instance Susanna has instructions on the many different types of joints you may use in a doll..

This is a great way to learn and you will come back to this book for many years. Each time you will find something new you hadn't seen before!

Often your local library will have this book..if not, request that they buy it in! Or buy it from my links above

More Fabulous Books For You To read

Susanna has written other fabulous books that you will learn heaps from as well. The two I recommend are:

Designing the Doll by Susanna Oroyan

Finishing the Figure by Susanna Oroyan

Patti Culea is a well known American designer who has recently published a few fabulous books for doll makers.

Creative Cloth Doll Making by Patti Culea

Making Creative Cloth Dolls by Martha le Van is also a great one especially if you like more arty dolls. It has simple patterns in the back of it as well

The Art Doll Chronicles by Somerset Studio

Available at http://www.stampington.com

Is a fabulous book if you have money to spare and love the more ARTY dolls and journaling

I really think that if you borrow or buy the first on the list you will have plenty to occupy yourself for ages.

I would build up my collection as I could afford it.

Getting Help and Support!

Getting a mentor. If you feel you would like ongoing support, some designers would be happy to mentor you.

Joining online internet groups

These groups are fabulous for making friends , asking questions, learning whats going on in the doll world, joining in challenges with other doll makers the world over.

Yahoogroups have groups on every subject you could think of , there are lots more cloth doll groups to find there.

Joining Up With Other Cloth Doll Lovers

Doll clubs

Doll Clubs are EVERYWHERE!

In Australia nearly every small town has one or maybe even two. Its the same in USA. Sometimes these groups are just three or four ladies getting together once a month in someone's home.

If you can't find a doll club in your town,why not start one up, especially for new doll makers.

I would just put a small advert in your local paper and wait for the phone calls. That is also a great way to meet other people, especially if you find yourself suddenly single or living in a new town.

I was so excited when I found the first couple that I went to. There is something so wonderful about meeting women of all shapes and sizes who all have the same artistic pursuits in common. All of a sudden you have found friends in the most unlikely places.

I have seen and experienced many Doll clubs over the years, and I feel that Joining up with a couple will be the very best way for you to learn and make wonderful friends with the same interest as you.

More about Play Days

Play days

Once you have made a few friends who live locally, it is a great idea to have play days. Sometimes these can be arranged in advance but it is also fun to announce them spontaneously.

My friend and great doll designer Jill Maas does this all the time. They may decide to just have a mixed play day where they play with anything or they may decide to hold it to explore a new product and see how many different ideas they can come up with.

They enjoy the socializing, get to know friends and also do something productive for their art!

I know how enjoyable these days can be too as I have recently moved to a new area and have had one play day in my home.

To Finish

I hope you really enjoyed reading these lenses for beginning doll makers and that you have learnt a thing or two.

All the best for your cloth doll making future.

Di

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Now it's your turn....

Make your own Squidoo lens

Squidoo is a fantastic place to create a web site (called a lens). You can share your ideas on gadgets, crafting, arts, food or what

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Click here to start your Lens

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    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 6 years ago

      A great collection of information and inspiration for new doll artists. Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a fantastic treasure trove of information on art dolls! I have experience with many types of fiber and paper art, but have always shied away from art dolls because I didn't think I could do faces. However, you have been an inspiration--I'm going to try my hand at an art doll to submit to a women's art exhibit coming up in the next few weeks. I've had so many ideas swirling around in my head--your 4 lenses really brought them into focus for me. Wish me luck! And a heart felt thank you, again!