In the 1940s, dolls were made with plastic heads and latex bodies. In the 1950s, vinyl became a popular doll medium. To make a true vinyl doll, a figure must be sculpted, and a mould created from which the dolls can be made. This is a costly procedure and occurs in a manufacturing environment. As a result, many crafters purchase vinyl doll parts and then paint/craft them. Latex is often interchanged with the term vinyl when creating dolls. There is a slight chemical difference, but the look and feel is the same. Using latex vinyl, anyone can make a doll.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1 gallon CEMENTEX Latex L-200 Casting and Mask Latex (will pour approximately 5 medium-sized, cloth body, latex vinyl dolls, 17-19 inches)
- Doll mould for head, hands, feet
- Cloth body
- Large rubberbands
- Plastic spoon
- Plastic or glass pitcher
- Latex-based paints and paintbrushes (optional)
- Eyelashes (optional)
- Super glue (optional)
- Baby powder (optional)
- Fiberfill stuffing
- Craft knife
Wipe your moulds with the towel to ensure all dust is removed.
Fit the moulds together and place a large rubberband around the outside edges to secure. Place the moulds on an outside or garage table. Work in a well-ventilated, cool, dry area.
Pour the latex into the pitcher. Stir with the spoon. Put the lid back on the latex bucket. Position the moulds with the holes facing up.
Pour the latex into the moulds through the holes. Wait for air bubbles to burst before continuing. Tap the sides to help air bubbles rise to the top. Check the latex levels in the moulds and add more latex if necessary. Sometimes the latex settles.
Allow the latex to sit in the moulds for 30 minutes.
Remove the bucket lid and pour the excess latex from the moulds into the bucket. DO NOT OPEN THE MOLDS. You don't need solid parts, and the latex clinging to the inside of the mould will create hollow parts. If you want solid parts, you can allow it to solidify, but it will take days, if not weeks, to harden.
Allow moulds to sit undisturbed and unopened for 24-48 hours.
Open a mould, slowly, working from one side of the doll part first. The parts usually come out easily. If the part is sticking, dust powder into the mould and shake it around.
Place the doll parts somewhere safe, such as hanging from an indoor clothesline or on cardboard, until completely dried. Stuff fiberfill into the doll's head to keep it from depressing.
After the parts are completely dry, trim any excess latex vinyl with scissors or a craft knife.
Stuff the premade cloth doll body with fiberfill.
Assemble the doll by inserting the neck flange of the doll head and the flanges on the doll hands and feet (moulds create these along with the parts). Follow the doll body instructions.
Tips and warnings
- You can paint the doll using latex paints and add doll eyelashes to the eyes using superglue. Many artist tutorials for painting dolls and doll features are online.
- Always use latex vinyl in a well-ventilated area.
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