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 on: May 24, 2018 03:39:57 PM 
Started by RedheadWithThread - Last post by RedheadWithThread
Some artists use only watercolor pencils to paint their dolls.
I've done this for my self-portrait doll but I need to either do another layer of pencil or go over it with paints to sharpen her eyes to make them more visible .
The downside of using only watercolor pencils is that it takes a LOT of layers of sealant to get dark/vibrant colors, even when working with your darkest pencils.
And if you're using a brush-on sealant, you have to be super careful as they're very likely to run/smear even if you're careful. I'm not even sure how some artists have done this as my one attempt smeared badly.
Some artists refuse to use anything but Faber Castell Watercolor pencils. They have great pigmentation but are expensive: $38 for 24 pencils on Amazon.
The 72 pencil set I have was $20 but is no longer available on Amazon, nor is it available on the company's website. Prismacolor Watercolors are about the same price  ($20) for 36 pencils and they're a good brand.
If you choose to use watercolor pencils, be advised that you need to keep them sharpened to a very fine point for ease of use on dolls, especially if you're wanting to do tiny details. Invest in a good sharpener that can do this (I have a Prismacolor brand that has two sides: one for wide tips and one for narrow tips) or use a craft knife to slowly and carefully sharpen them. Sometimes even with a good sharpener you still need a craft knife for especially tiny details (lashes, freckles/moles, etc.)

 on: May 24, 2018 03:39:18 PM 
Started by RedheadWithThread - Last post by RedheadWithThread
Let's talk about sealants since it's the first thing you put on your doll's face.
Many doll customizers consider Mr. Super Clear UV Cut, aka MSC, to be the holy grail of sealants. It is made by a Japanese company called Mr. Hobby and is formulated specifically to adhere to plastic and vinyl as it is made with custom toys and figures in mind. It gives the doll's face/head a bit of tooth for the pencils, paints, and/or pastels to hold onto.
But it's expensive.
It can be found for $13/can on USA Gundam Store's website and that's not including shipping. Shocked (It's also available on Amazon but not as cheap though if you have Prime, it could be worth it to get it faster.)

There's a cheaper version of MSC (non-UV Cut) but you want the UV Cut variety because it keeps the sealant from yellowing over time due to prolonged exposure to light and/or sunlight. Yellowing can't be fixed and no one wants all their hard work ruined like that.

Even if you don't think $13/can is a terribly high price for sealant, there's the fact that you need a respirator mask to use it because it can irritate your lungs if you inhale it and those little paper masks don't work.
I bought my respirator from Amazon for $15 and it's a disposable one (supposedly good for 40 hours of use, if properly stored when not in use, which I do). A good reusable one (which I plan to upgrade to soon) costs about $15 on Amazon, and that's not including the vapor filters, which are around $9/pair and more. Shocked

If you choose to use MSC, apply it in short bursts instead of one continous one and don't hold it too close to the doll or you can cause clouding (white-ish discoloration).
Clouding can also be caused by using it when it's too cold outside. Using it while too hot may also cause clouding but I always use mine at night when it's less humid/cooler. I don't use it at all in the winter because I live where it's always humid and I worry about clouding.
MSC is a bit finicky compared to brush-on sealant, but it's definitely worth it for how it helps your pencils/paints/pastels stick to the doll.
But, on the bright side, if it does cloud up, you can use your acetone to remove it. Though if you get clouding after painting, the acetone will also take off all your hard work Shocked
If you aren't 100% sure that this hobby is for you (or you don't want to break the bank) you can use a brush-on matte sealant/varnish that you can pick up at Michael's or other craft store.
I've only ever used brush-on gloss sealant for my dolls' eyes/lips but there have been artists who use/used only brush-on sealant . The artist TheDollFairy (linked above) used only brush-on sealant until very recently. If you want tips for using it, watch some of her videos.

 on: May 24, 2018 03:38:45 PM 
Started by rockingbearranch - Last post by JoyfulClover
While sitting in traffic I suddenly had an image in my mind, and may want to get in on this action!

 on: May 24, 2018 03:37:10 PM 
Started by RedheadWithThread - Last post by RedheadWithThread
First things first: you need to pick your victim base doll.
Some folks like Barbie, others like Ever After High or Monster High.
There are lots of other dolls out there, but these seem to be the most popular because of how easy they are to find (though Monster High and Ever After High are getting harder to find).
Barbie is really popular, especially with people who don't/can't sew or are new to sewing, because of her huge closet (fashion and shoe packs galore!) but EAH and MH are popular because of their articulation (which is being replaced with fixed joints; yes, I'm salty).
Some people only use new dolls (which can get pricey! Shocked) and others use gently used dolls and others still use dolls that have been well-loved (these usually get a huge overhaul).
I recommend going to a local thrift store and seeing what they have that's in good condition.
For Monster High and Ever After High, make sure they have their lower arms and hands (well, hands for EAH because their lower arms don't come off) unless you want to make prosthetics or otherwise modify their arms (turn them into wings or something).
And check the hips of Monster High for elastic.
There's nothing wrong with elastic hips: it just means the doll is older and the elastic might be loose/about to break and will need replaced sooner or later.
You can also buy them online but often the online prices are higher unless you buy a huge lot, which you don't want to do unless you know for sure this hobby is for you (WARNING: it can be addictive: I have about 80 dolls in my stock box, maybe more.)

Part of this step is, if they're used, give them a warm bath with Dawn dish soap (or another dish soap: I just personally use Dawn; handsoap is also good) then set them aside to air dry or dry them with a lint-free towel (something woven, not terry cloth/fluffy).
If the doll has a strong odor, soaking them in warm water (enough to submerge the doll) with liquid fabric softener can help get rid of the smell. I've been told a soak in a vinegar bath also works but I've never tried it myself.

 on: May 24, 2018 03:32:11 PM 
Started by RedheadWithThread - Last post by RedheadWithThread
If you're here, somewhere, at some point you've probably seen a repainted doll and are interested in doing it for yourself.
Maybe you've been hypnotized by Dollightful's work on YouTube. Or maybe it's Hextian or DollMotion or TheDollFairy? (These are just some of my personal favorite artists.)
Or maybe you just liked the Frankie doll I made for gozer or the doll I made of myself? Wink
No matter who it was or what their work was, someone, somewhere has inspired you and you want to create your own custom doll, which is awesome!

But where do you start?

I will start by saying that I am no expert but I've been interested in this form of art/craft for nearly ten years and have watched/read a lot of tutorials so I know a LOT of useful tips that I'll be sharing here.
I'm also going to point out that this hobby can be rather expensive, especially when you're first starting out.
I personally have a lot of supplies but I bought them all over the course of several years to keep from breaking the bank (which is highly advisable).
I will be breaking it down into sections as replies to this initial post. For your convenience, I'll link each section so that you can jump to the section you're interested in reading.


If there's anything more you want to know that's not here, just leave a comment and I'll do my best to give you the information. It might be something I have to look up, or it might be something that I know but completely forgot to mention!

 on: May 24, 2018 03:21:45 PM 
Started by rockingbearranch - Last post by craftylittlemonkey
Check this one from Witchhippie, it's so detailed it's like a tiny fancy greeting card.

This little number from loca4crafts is layers of marker, black chalk pastel scratched away & sealer to keep the design intact.

Both fantastic, thank you ladies!

 on: May 24, 2018 03:18:00 PM 
Started by gozer - Last post by pioneer9
Woohoo! Let the stalking commence Smiley

 on: May 24, 2018 03:07:14 PM 
Started by RedheadWithThread - Last post by RedheadWithThread
Well, if it can filter mustard gas and the like it can definitely filter MSC Cheesy

 on: May 24, 2018 03:05:06 PM 
Started by RedheadWithThread - Last post by RedheadWithThread
I recently acquired two 28 inch tall Monster High "Voltageous Ghoulfriend" dolls from two sellers on Mercari (often cheaper than eBay!) I got them to use them as decorations: I intend to make various outfits for them (or at least one of them) and change the clothes according to the holiday.
One of them was nearly complete but the other was nude and didn't have her accessories, either. She was also missing her hands, had a piece broken off her arm above her elbow joint, a small crack on the side of her face, and another crack above her right elbow.
Here she is, as she was after I received her and took her out of her shipping box:

She reminds me of Jane Boolittle because of the skin and hair color.

I figured, since she was missing bits, I may as well use her as a guinea pig because I wanted to see if I could give her knee joints.
Now, I've never tackled any such modification but Dollightful, one of my favorite YouTube doll customizers, used Apoxie Sculpt and screws to transform a 17" Frankie Stein into the Pokemon Xerneas (note: it's a two part video because she did a LOT of modding on that doll) so I thought I could use the same technique on my doll, even though she's much taller.

So I sawed off one of her legs:

And put some Apoxie Sculpt on the pieces:

Which I broke off after it dried because I dropped it on my hardwood floor (note: Apoxie Sculpt is strong but it hit just the right (wrong?) angle):

So I sawed it all off and started over, deciding to saw her other leg off and do it all at once:

The sudden hands are because the nearly complete doll arrived and I put the extra set of hands (which were webbed) on this doll after modifying them.

After the Apoxie dried, I needed to modify the holes because they didn't line up quite right. So I used my rotary tool to make the holes bigger and threaded the screws and secured them with nuts.

Here she is, sitting on my dining table:

Her right arm fell off after I moved it a bit but I can fix that later.

A closer shot of her legs:

She still looks a bit rough but I'm not going to work on her anymore right now. When/if I get around to cleaning it up and making it look nicer, I'll update this post.

 on: May 24, 2018 02:42:54 PM 
Started by rockingbearranch - Last post by craftylittlemonkey
The embroidered mermaid is just lovely.

Yes! Glitter is the tiniest good thing! But not when it gets everywhere so that card is coated good and thick with sealant, ha ha.

My teen did chem last term and failed it, boo. I will be brushing up on the Periodic table with him when he retakes it in summer school. yay.

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