Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Many Clothespeg Friends

This last week I've spent making five sweet dolls from clothespegs.  The basic instructions for this doll are here:

How Penny is made

And you can make a doll exactly like this, which is what I did with the first one I made...Nettie Peg Hitty.


With a carving knife, and a little time, I modified my next dolls to have more slender ankles and wrists, and more rounded shoulders and hips.

From the left, body peg, arm peg, leg peg, doll parts

I removed some material from the neck area and the hip area of the body peg; whittled away some of the area around the wrist peg and rounded the top of the shoulder, and did the same with the ankle and hip of the leg peg.

After this, the parts were well sanded with 320 grit sandpaper.  Here's a tip...apply duck tape to the back of the sanding paper; it will last a LOT longer!  A nice guy at Michael's gave me this tip :-)

Painting the face is always a challenge for me.  I resort to toothpicks as much as possible, though the eyebrow and top of the eye really need to be done with a very, very fine brush.  Below are the steps I use to draw, and then paint, the face:


To draw a face on the bead, start with a sharp pencil, like a mechanical pencil.  Place two dots where you want the eyes to be.  I like my faces to occupy the lower half of the head, so I placed my two dots just about the mid point of the bead.

Draw two U shapes under the dots, then an arching line over the U.  Place the eyebrows over the eyes, then place a dot where you want the mouth to be, and finally, two very tiny points for the nose.  Now you have the face drawn on your bead.


The first thing to paint is the eye color.  For this, take a round toothpick and snip the end off of it, as you can see in the first two pictures above.  Dip the tip into your eye color paint, then carefully dab the paint color into the entire area of the U shape of the eye (these dolls don't have eye whites...just my preference).

Next, use a new toothpick,  cut the end off of it, and dip it into your mouth color, load a little more paint onto this pick, then place a dot of paint where you marked for the mouth.  You can leave it just like this, which gives a sort of astonished or quizzical look to your doll, or you can take the sharp tip of another toothpick and pull the paint at the side, which is what I did to make the mouth above.  You can pull the paint up slightly, to give a grin, or down slightly, to make her more pensive.

With a new toothpick, dip very lightly into brown paint and dot the two points for the nostrils.

And finally, take your very fine brush (and in my case, my courage) and dip it very, very lightly into black paint and paint the curve of the top of the eye, and the eyebrow.


After the eye color has dried (and make sure it is dry...acrylics take about an hour), with another toothpick, dip the tip into black paint and paint in the pupil, leaving the eye color surrounding the side and bottom. 

Blush the dolls cheeks by putting a bit of blush color paint on a paper towel.  Dip a dry brush into the paint just at the tip, then scrub this on the paper towel until the brush has very little paint on it.  Rub this round the cheeks until you have them blushed to your satisfaction.  If you need more paint,  just dip the brush in and scrub most of it off on the paper towel.

After the pupil paint has dried, add the eye light with white paint and the tip of another toothpick.  And now you're done!

I carved and sanded and painted my dolls over the course of a week.  The last doll I made, which is Hitty size, I decided try some antiquing medium.  To apply, make sure all of the paint on the parts is very dry.  Leave them for 24 hours before applying the medium.  Use a brush barely loaded with the medium, and brush it all over one part, then wipe the medium off.  It leaves a patina on the doll parts that make them look older and somewhat used.  I was afraid of using too much, so it may be hard to tell from the pictures:


Both of these dolls were painted with identical flesh paint and white socks.   The one on the left was antiqued, the one on the right was not.  You can see the effect best on the sock in the middle picture.

And finally, a comparison between the first Peg Hitty I made, and the last one, which was finished up this morning:

The doll on the left in the large image is the latest doll, the one on the right the first one I made.  You can see that the neck area is more slender, as are the ankles.  The shoulders and hips are more rounded, and the inside arm area has the clothespeg whittled down a bit more.

In the images the side, the right hand doll is the more recent one; these are closer pictures of the shoulders, wrists, and ankles.

Now, all they need is some hair!

14 comments:

  1. Kowabunga Batman!!! LOVERLY!!!! They are awesome Beth. You certainly whittled away and I think they look great this way. The subtle changes really add to the doll.Thank you for this tutorial. It will help so many of your fans if they want to try making this adorable doll. You always take the time and care in making your tutorials so that anyone can follow you to the bat cave and make one or many. You are my hero. I'm trying very, very, very hard not to drop everything and start making one of these.

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    1. Dear Joyce, don't try too hard! I want some company down this rabbit hole :-)

      And thank you, as always, for the loverly words!

      warmly,

      Beth

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  2. Needless to say...I m absolutely in love with these wee little wonders!
    My heart is full of joy and all a pitter patter at the site of them...
    And polka dot socks to boot!!!

    Thanks for making my day,
    natalie jo

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    1. Dear Natalie Jo, thank you for your sweet words! I am in love with the dear little bed you made...my girls will need one for themselves, inspired by your work :-)

      warmly,

      Beth

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  3. Gracias por los detalles de realización. Me gusta mucho como has hecho los ojos. Dan mucha expresión a la cara.

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    1. Gracias a, Isabel :-)

      con gusto,

      Beth

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  4. they look pretty common but still so adorable..and I'd love to have one..still I'm not that good in DIY stuff..I pay others to do my laundry and apartment cleaning, pay to write essay etc..I guess I'm quite pampered

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    1. There is a great deal of joy in creating your own; especially if it doesn't require special tools and skills (like these little dolls). You should give it a try! You may find a hidden talent you never knew you had :-)

      warmly,

      Beth

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    2. Wow Beth! I am impressed with the amount of time and work you put into your little dolls. I think both examples are adorable, but I think the new one looks more delicate and definitely more professional!

      - Momma Cat

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    3. Thank you so much, Momma Cat :-) You know how fun it is to take something as utilitarian as a clothespeg and turn it into something special.

      warmly,

      Beth

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  5. Such adorable little dolls. Way back in the day I did something similar but nothing as beautiful as yours.

    Speaking of beautiful dolls, have you seen the Zizadora doll on Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/listing/398439771/crochet-doll-crochet-girl-amigurumi-girl?ref=shop_home_active_2? I can just imagine her with a full wardrobe designed by you! She's quite unique, unlike any crochet doll I've seen when it comes to her jointed arms and legs.

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    1. Hi Linda,

      Thank you for your good words :-)

      The etsy doll is similar (but not the same) as my Crochet Bleuette pattern. So if you are interested in making a jointed crochet doll, you can find Crochet Bleuette freely here on the blog. And, lots of clothing pattern too :-)

      warmly,

      Beth

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  6. :) No conocía esas muñecas pero se ven muy bonitas y divertidas! Coincido contigo en que las correcciones que has ido haciendo han mejorado mucho la muñeca, la última se ve más ligera y estilizada, felicidades! :)

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    1. Gracias tanto, Zuleta :-) Me gusta los pequeños cambios que hice para la muñeca, pero el diseño básico sigue siendo la muñeca de Penny. Una gran manera de hacer un poco prolijo articulado muñeco de madera.

      con gusto,

      Beth

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