Polymer clay makes it easy for anyone to create fun hand made dolls using a few items from the craft store and your home oven. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make a miniature polymer clay doll that can be hand painted and dressed as you wish.
Poke two parallel holes into the center top of a cork, going all the way through.
Fold a 10 inch piece of wire in half. Stick each end into one of the holes in the cork, pulling the wire all the way through until you have only a 1" tall loop sticking out of the top of the cork. Each "leg" should be even.
Flatten a small piece of polymer clay into a rectangle and fold it around the end of one of the wires. It will make up the calf and foot. Repeat on the other side.
Smooth out the clay and shape the end into a foot by squeezing the ankles to make them thinner than the calf area and folding the foot upward so that it's perpendicular to the calf.
Take a five inch piece of wire and repeat step 3 on each side. These pieces will be the arms.
Mold the hands using a small pointed clay tool. Use the tool to narrow the wrists. Flatten out the hand area of the clay with your fingers and divide it into fingers with the tool. Smooth out the fingers by gently rolling the side of the tool along each finger.
Lay the body and arm piece onto the bottom of a glass baking dish and bake in the oven at 265 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Insert the arms into the loop at the top of the body, making sure each arm is even. Twist the wire loop tight over the top of the arm wire to secure it.
Flatten out another rectangular piece of polymer clay, about twice the size of the pieces used for the arms and legs. Wrap it around the upper part of the body to form the chest, shoulders and neck. Smooth it out.
Bake the entire body for 20 minutes and allow it to cool.
Wrap cotton string around the thigh and upper arm areas until they are roughly the same diameter as the polymer clay calves and forearms. This will give the limbs the flexibility needed to change the doll's pose as you like. Tie the ends of the string off close to the torso.
Roll a piece of polymer clay between your hands to create an egg shape that will form the head of the doll.
Pierce the wider end of the head with a sharp object and stick it onto the wire at the top of the body. Smooth it down and shape it.
Use a sharp, pointed clay tool to mold the eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks and chin. The eyes do not need to be detailed as you will paint them on later. Don't forget nostrils.
Fold a flat piece of polymer clay over the head to create hair and shape as desired. Keep it close to the 'scalp' to avoid breakage after it's been baked. If you wish for the doll to have long hair, you should either keep it in one solid piece or skip the hair at this point and add a wig to the doll later.
Bake the doll for an additional 20 minutes.
Paint features onto the doll with acrylic paints using a small round brush. You can add blush or create shading by watering down the paint a little before applying it.
Dress your doll in pre-made clothing, or sew your own.
You can use a push mold for the face if you like. They can be found at most craft supply stores.
Tips and warnings
- You can use a push mold for the face if you like. They can be found at most craft supply stores.
Things you need
- 3mm flexible armature wire
- Wire cutters
- Clay tools
- Polymer clay
- Cotton string
- Acrylic paints
- Small paintbrush