A while back, I was looking for a way to make hair for my poppet that didn't use yarn. In case you weren't aware, I needed a way to do short straight hair, and I wasn't able to figure out how to do so with yarn. No one seemed to know how to go about doing this with 'traditional' doll hair, so I figured that I would be the guinea pig/researcher and figure out a way to do it.
That having been said, I did finally manage to figure out *A* way to do this. I'm not saying it's the best method, just that it's the way that I'm doing it right now. Knowing me, I'll figure out a faster 'easier' way at some point. However, for now, this is how I'm doing it. It is working well.
Words of Caution:
**I've not finished this head, so this is a tutorial-in-progress. I have enough done that I'm confident that you bright people can figure out the rest of the process. When I make it to the next step, I'll post more instructions about parts, styling, cutting etc.
**This is NOT A FAST METHOD. I'm not kidding. I don't reccomend this for your first poppet, or for a comission poppet that you've got a deadline for, at least until you get proficient at it.
**Read the whole thing before you get started. I've made a LOT of mistakes in the process of figuring this out and I'd be sick to think that any of you made the same mistakes I did.
**This sort of hair is bought in hanks, the lengths vary depending on what you're doing (sounds vague, I know, but check out the sites that I've provided links to, I promise it will make more sense)
Ok, now that my warnings are out of the way, on to the instructions!
1. Get your poppet pieces sewn, stuffed and ready to go. Do NOT attach the head to the body, but get the nose and eyes done and the head stuffed.
2. Measure your baby's head around where you think you want their hairline to be. This is VERY important, do NOT skip this.
3. According to one of the sites that I looked at while figuring this out, you need about an inch of hair hank to do an inch of doll head. This is a rule for Barbies and the like, but I feel that it works for poppets as well. You'll need to have an idea of how long you want the hair to be. It works like this:
Poppet A's head is 7" around. I want hair for her that will be WHEN STYLED about 4" long. To be safe, I'll say I need 5" of hair, that way I can cut and style as I see fit. That means I'll need about 35" inches of hair to do her head. Does that make sense?
4. Once you've figured out your estimate of how much hair you'll need, find a good supplier. I recommend either Dolly Hair
or Restore Doll
. You'll notice that there are options for hair, for the most part it is up to you which style you choose, if you're going to bake it for any reason, you'll need to get Nylon or it will shrivel like a mad thing. There are a LOT of color option, and most places will blend two or more together for you.
5. Now you wait for them to deliver your hair
6. Once you've got your hair in your hot little hands, you'll need to gather supplies. Gather the following:
In this photo, you'll see a glass, a zip-top bag full of water and hair, a cup of coffee (no, not optional
), a needle (a use a doll needle) and a tiny crochet hook. You do not have to have the hook, but it can make life easier.
7. This is where I'm of two minds about this process. I cut all my hair before I even started. I'm not sure that is the best way to do it, but it's not going to mess you up if you go that route. However, if you over ordered hair, then I'd really reccomend cutting it as you need it so you don't waste any on the off chance that you've got too much.
8. Take your cut to legnth hair and put it in a bag of water. Trust me, you'll thank me and you later. You can also use a bowl of water if that's easier for you.
9. Reach in your water and grab yourself a chunk.
You'll see in this photo that there is a LOT of free hair making this chunk not sleek, that's ok, we'll fix that.
10. Grab the hair lightly at the most 'clean' end and strip off the extra hair like such.
Put that extra in your glass for use later.
11. Most chunks of hair will try to break into smaller pieces on their own. Pull off one of those smaller pieces.
These smaller pieces usually pull clean as long as you don't think too much about it
12. That smaller piece will also split into smaller pieces. This is where this method shows that it was designed by Handsy. I don't count the hairs in each group. I found that if I do this, I want to stick a straw in my eye. Through a LOT of trial and error I discovered that you need to have a group of hair for each plug that is about the same width as your needle, otherwise it won't stay in place.
Here's what it looks like when you split it into these plugs: