Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clothespin Doll Tutorial.

Let's just get this out of the way; My photos are totally subpar...I am NOT a photographer by any stretch, but these feel especially bad. So I hope you can follow along, if you have any questions leave them in the comments below or email me!
There are several tutorials out there I'm sure on how to make these little dolls, so I"m not purporting that this is THE WAY to do it, but I've been tweaking it now for a while and like the results to here's my version of a clothespin doll. Ready?
Let's go!

Embroider floss (for the hair, top and knickers of the doll. Choose whatever colors you wish but make sure you have at least 3 feet for the top and knickers and enough hair that your doll won't be bald(ing).

At least one wooden clothespin ( I found these at Micheals)

Fabric Scraps ( at least enough to cut a rectangle 3.5 " X 2 ")

A hot glue gun.

Regular scissors for snipping threads

Pinking Shears  for cutting fabric (no sewing...yay!)

Right off the bat, cut some strands of floss for hair for your doll. Try to make them roughly the same length and choose how long you want her hair to be. ( I use no less than 2")

Next you will place a small bead of glue at the top of the clothespin above where the face will be in a thin line.
This is where you will start applying the hair.

Unless you want your dolly to have wild bangs, I suggest you place the hair on sideways to the face and continue to glue with the gun and simultaneously press the hair on with your fingertips until the hair now surrounds the crown of the dolls head and hangs down in a tail at the back of the head.
 like the photo below:

Tie a little bow around the hair if you wish, or you can get fancy and braid it etc.

The front of the doll should have her face free.

Now you will measure out the floss for her top and knickers.
Let's do the knickers first.
You will measure out about 2 feet of the floss for the knickers and about 1 foot for the top.

Place a small thin bead of glue along the waistline of the doll. This is where you will adhere the floss for the knickers and begin winding the floss around the body of the doll traveling down the body as shown below:

Now we have reached an impasse, and must choose which leg to continue down. Choose a leg and wind the floss around and between the dolls legs as shown below:

When you have the knickers to the desired length make a small spot of glue on the inside corner of the back of the leg you have been winding on. Snip your floss and press the free end of the floss into the dot of glue to secure it.
Still using the glue gun, make a dot at the top inside corner of the opposite leg that has not been wound and begin your floss again here so that you can wind it around this leg to match the first leg you wound. Finish it off the same way.

You should have little knickers that look something like the photo above. Yes? GOOD!
Now let's move on to her dress:

Measure and cut a small rectangle using pinking shears in rougly the dimensions shown below:

Once you have cut your fabric fold it in half and cut a quarter crescent shape from the rough edge to the folded edge as shown below:

This will help the little dolls dress to flare out when we attach it to her.

Back to the glue gun we go! Place a small thin bead at the waistline of the doll once again just above the knickers. This is where we will begin attaching the skirt.
It is important to note before beginning to attach the skirt. We will be attaching the skirt with the top of the skirt folded under itself. As you attach the skirt you will keep it folded over and make small pinches with your fingertips as you go to create pleats. You will have to work quickly before your glue dries or go bit by bit back and forth from the skirt to the glue gun. It's a little tricky, but I know you can do it!

Here's how we first attach the skirt with the right side facing into the glue.
then we fold it over as seen below:

Here are the pinches that create the gathers in her skirt.

Tired yet? We're in the home stretch, and she looks fabulous!

To fix the raw edges at the back of the skirt double fold the raw edges in and glue them down at the waist line. Place a small dot or two of glue on one side of the unfinished skirt and press the other down on to it to create a closed seam. ( the two folded raw edges should now be folded into each other)

To create the top of the dress. We will place one more thin bead of glue along the waistline just above the skirt and adhere the edge of the one foot piece of floss. Wind the floss around the body of the doll until it is finished or until you are satisfied with the width of the top on the doll. Place a small dot of glue at the back of the doll, snip your floss and press the edge of the floss into the dot of glue.
Guess what?
You're done!

Congrats, she's gorgeous!!!!

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