Monday, August 5, 2013

Mixed Media Monday - The Art Doll - Creating with wire and Spellbinders Media Mixage Hatpins

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When I was growing up, I played with dolls.  I had two dolls I was especially fond of - a dolly I named "my Kelly doll" and another doll that my Grandpa Campbell gave to me called "Baby Beans".  I still have both of them.  Those are great childhood memories.

Well, while some may say I'm too old to play with dolls, I would beg to differ.  Dolls come in all forms, all styles.  Art Dolls are so fun to create because you can add personal momento's to them - making them a personal treasure.

I am especially fond of dress forms and decided to take this a step further and create an art doll.  There are no wrong ways to create this doll as each one is unique and special in its own way.  It’s a great way to create using bits and pieces that you have from other projects.  Anything goes – just let your creativity flow.

How to make The Art Doll 

Project Dimensions: Varies

Spellbinders Supplies:
MMM-001 Spellbinders® Artisan X-plorer™ Machine
MD1-010 Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™  Hearts Two Die Template
MB3-001 Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Circles Hatpin Bronze
20 gauge steel annealed wire (available at hardware stores)
24 gauge wire – any color
Air dry clay or polymer clay
Flexible face mold
Acrylic paint – flesh color
Small swatches of fabric
Polyfill fiber stuffing
Needle and coordinating thread
Balled headpin
Bi-cone crystal
Pearl bead
Bi-cone shape bead cap
Bamboo skewer
Printed dictionary paper or other paper of choice
Tacky glue
Wire cutters

Optional items:  vintage laces, copper mesh fabric, found objects, broken jewelry, buttons, micro beads, watch parts, chain, keys, feathers, etc.  Any object that has personal meaning can be added to this art doll.

Note:  Helpful hint:  dust mold with baby powder to help it release.  If using polymer clay follow manufacturers baking instructions.
Skirt frame:

Create the base by forming two circles of wire approximately 4” in diameter.  Loop ends of wire over the circle loops to secure.

Cut three lengths approximately 9 inches from steel annealed wire.  Curve in the center to form a dome. 

Lay two pieces together to form a criss cross.  Wire the top together using 24 gauge wire to secure.  Add the final wire and secure with wire in the same manner.

Position the wires at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12’oclock

Add another layer of wire in the middle by looping the one end and wrapping the wire around each section all the way around.  .  It will look somewhat like a birdcage when finished.

Tear strips of paper and glue this to the skirt frame.  Continue adding multiple layers of paper, copper wire mesh and vintage lace if desired.

Doll Body:

Cut two pieces of fabric using the #2 (with #1 being the smallest)  Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Hearts two die using the Artisan X-plorer™ machine. 

With right sides together stitch around heart leaving an opening on the side.

Slip curves with scissors being careful not to clip into the seam.  Turn right side out.

Add a bit of stuffing with a bamboo skewer and stitch the opening closed.

Insert a length of wire approximately 5” into the top portion of the heart.  Loop the ends of the wire with pliers and wrap the end of the wire around the base wire to secure. 

Wrap an additional length of wire around the arm to give it a little extra bulk.  Bend wires to form arm shapes.


Roll two small balls of air-dry clay.  Press one ball into the bezel area of the large hatpin forming a small dome.

Press the other ball into the face mold and release.

Place the molded face onto the domed clay and smooth in to the side seams being careful not to distort the face. 

To create the crown, insert a headpin through a bi-cone crystal, pearl bead and through a bi-cone bead cap.  Press the end of the headpin into the doll head where desired and allow to dry.

Once dry, paint the face a flesh color if desired,  daub glue onto head and embellish with micro beads and small watch parts and allow to dry.


Insert the end of the headpin through beads of choice and completely through body.

Insert the end of the headpin through the top of the skirt base and glue to secure.  Allow to dry.

Embellish and decorate to your doll to your hearts desire.

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