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Page history last edited by Linda McD 3 years, 7 months ago

DIY: character dolls for dollhouses, room boxes, and dioramas


See also character dolls,, hair,





3 pc blue floral luggage set
Castle Starcaster - Week 29




Miniature Character Doll  Supplies for sale

  • Supplies needed for making character doll projects.

Coban Elastic Sports Wrap - Dollar Tree and in the $1 section at Target, but mostly in the first aid supplies at drug stores like CVS and Walgreens. What you find in the first aid section is usually flesh colored, but the more brightly colored varieties are out there.

Creative Kits - by Jill Bennett (UK)

Draping Pins - from MiniKitz

Giselles Miniatures - full service store for dolls

House of Caron - Jackie Caron Doll Supplies


Minikitz Tools



Miniature Character Doll Molds

Doll Molds - Sue Heaser

Doll Molds - Patricia Rose


Miniature Character Doll Eyes

Glassworks - by John Rizzi , glass eyes

Lampwork Glass Buttons and Beads - by Mavis, glass eyes

Miniature Doll Eyes


Miniature Character Doll Feet

The Foot by Laurie Sisson - make your dolls stand independently without a doll stand! 


Character Doll Books

  • Books about miniature character doll projects (also books with chapters about them)

Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy  - Christopher Hart

Drawing The Head and Figure - Jack Hamm



Instructions for miniature character dolls


Miniature Character Doll Links

  • links to sites showing how to make items related to character dolls

Art of Doll-making

Dollmakers Dream

Frills and Fancy E-zine

Minidoll List Tutorials

Miniature Art Tutorials and Gallery - Dana Burton


Enchanted Hearts - sculpting, fairies, landscaping, photography and clay tuts by Deb Wood

Reference sheet - printout for sizing dolls according to scale from About.com

Hoffman Miniatures - by Stacy Hoffman

How to measure for your Doll - from Audrey's Doll Gallery - wigs, eyes, shoes, stockings, doll stands


Painting Faces for Miniature Character dolls (also see painting_miniatures for techniques on washes, shading, etc.)

Brow Painting -  from Air Dry Clay

CDHM Painting Faces and Eyes - on a Miniature Doll or Fairy by Eneida Rosa

Eyes - from Reaper Miniatures

Face Painting Part 1 - Frills and Fancy E-zine

Face Painting Part 2 - Frills and Fancy E-zine

China Painting Basics - Cynthia Howe

Genesis Heat Set Oils

Genesis Heat Set Paint TUT - from Morezmore

Genesis Heat Set Color Chart - from Clay Alley, for when you want to make lots of colors from only 5 of the Genesis

Genesis Heat Set Paint Color Chart - from Home Craft Express

Painting Eyes - from Reaper Miniatures

Painting a Face  - from Vallejo blogs 

Painting on Porcelain with Acrylics - Terri Davis


Sculpting Miniature Character Dolls

6 Steps for Modelling Cute Characters - from Squires Kitchen Blog

Armatures - from Squidoo

Build your own Armature Stage and Armature Jig - from the New Clay News

Armatures for Small Dolls - from the Polka Dot Pixie

Armatures: How to wrap - from Air Dry Clay Tutorials

Carvve a Realistic Pumpkin Face - from Instructables. 

Creative Place - online art class, sculpting

Sculpting Tools - CDHM Tutorial by Tony Rice

Faces and Body  - Aging characters - from Majnouna.com (click on the image to enlarge)

Faces - by Wayne the Dane

Faces - from Dollmakers Dream

Face and Head - CDHM Tutorial by Tony Rice

Face and Head - Youtube Videos by Twinessence

Faces - Emotions and Facial Expressions - from Majnouna.com (click on Image to enlarge)

Fairy Head - by Hannie Sarris

Basic Rules for sculpting a 1/12 Head - by Nicky CC

Male vs Female Portraits - from Design Tuts Plus

Mini Head -  from Robins Ragamuffins

Body - by MSAT Minidolls

Doll Hands - CDHM Tutorial by Tony Rice

Hand Armatures - from Doll Art by Julie

Hands - by Jenna Zadymov from the Clay Store

Hands - from Desiree's Desired Creations

Detailed Hand-sculpting - CDHM Tutorial by Julie Campbell

Hands - from Cold Porcelain Cuties

Hands and Feet - an album full of pictures and drawings

Hands and Feet - fingers and toes, (cloth Dolls) from Deanna's Bog

Doll Feet.html - CDHM Tutorial by Tony Rice

Feet - from Desiree's Desired Creations

Claymation Eyes - from Instructables

Eyes - from Much ado about Art Dolls

Glass Eyes - by Antoinette Cely

Miniature Eyes - from Polymer Clay Express

Paperclay Eyes - from BJD Collectasy

Realistic Eyeballs - from Halloween Forum

Baby - by Annie's Minis

Baby - from Dollmakers Dream

Baby Proportions - by Laura R

Baby Tutorial - by Stephanie Sullivan

Child - by Nicky CC

Child Proportions - includes adults as well

Doll Tutorial - Victoria Miniland

Elvenworks Tips and Techniques - by Katherine Dewey

Majnouna - Tutorial section is wonderful! Ethnic characteristics, body mechanics, body types, breast shapes  - a great resource. (Click on the image to enlarge)

Sculpting Melissa - Gina Bellous

Sculpting Tools - make your own

Height to Weight Charts - for boys and girls, newborn to teens. Scroll down for printable charts.

Ideal Proportions at Various Ages

Proportions - a simple technique by the Mad Sculptor

Posemaniacs - pose that doll realistically

Magic Sculpture - there is a free section,  but you must register. A paid membership gets you more services

Make Miniature Dolls - from About.com

Make Miniature People with Darwi or Paperclay - from the New Clay News - makes very animated characters - an unusual method

Poseable Polyclay Doll - from Dollshouse Miniatures Club

Paperclay Dolls - from The Polka Dot Pixie

Penny Dolls - calendar babies

Sculpting and Painting Tutorials - from Doll Essence

Video Tutorials - by Nicky CC

Wet Canvas - body proportions, posing

ZBrush Central - sculpting reference gallery


Molds for Miniature Character Dolls

Casting your Miniature Doll Molds- by Cynthia Howe

Casting Molds - by Cynthia Howe

Cleaning Greenware - wet method - by Cynthia Howe

Cleaning and Preparing Greenware - by Cynthia Howe

Li-Que-Ché Tips - air drying polymer clay

Using Flumo and Fimo in Molds -Swallowhill Miniatures

Using Push Molds- from New Clay News

Working with Flumo - Magic Miniatures


Dressing the Miniature Character Doll

see also clothes

Assembling the Doll - Cynthia Howe Miniatures

Assembling a Doll - Swallowhill Miniatures

Assemble a doll - Miniatureart Tutorial, showing how to alter a doll for more realistic poses

Assembling a Doll - using the string method - by Stacy Hoffmam

Assembling the doll - by Sammy Smith of Happiness is Miniatures

Create or Modify Fabrics for Small Scale Doll Clothing or Upholstery - from About.coma

Doll Stand - by Reflections by Ice from Deviant Art

Dollshouse Dolls - series of articles by Leslie Shepherd in About.com

Dress a Doll - Laurie Sisson

Needle Tool Tutorial - by Kathi Mendenhall

Scale - rules of thumb by Kathi Mendenhall

Syd's Tool - by Kathi Mendenhall

Tips for Making Hair and Wigs for Miniature Dolls- from About.com



Miniature Character Doll Videos

  •  YouTube videos about miniature character doll projects

Mini Tutes from Orr Lake - several Utube tuts, face, sculpting a baby, etc.

Sculpting a head - parts 1, 2, 3, 4 by Stacy Hoffman

Justin Beiber Doll - by Gentleman Bunny



Character Doll Research/ Inspiration


Miniature Character Doll Tips/Hints

  • In real life, people's arms and legs are longer when they are bent. Our limbs are not really like pipe cleaners. Our muscles extend and contract as we move. In fact, the length of the torso is slightly shorter when we sit down. Try measuring someone's arms and legs in standing and sitting position. For a sitting doll, make the legs a bit longer. For a doll holding something in her arms, make the arm(s) holding the item longer.
  • Take a piece of paper and draw a line as to how tall you want your doll. Let's say a man doll. You get a head and torso only, feet to the knees....hmmmmmm and arms to the elbow? So you might want him to be 6" tall.  Align the top of the head to the top of the line. Then line up the feet with the bottom of the line. Now you can see just how much wire you need to attach the legs to the torso. So do that. One more thing, if you are going to have that doll to be sitting, when you measure your wire you must measure 1/4 inch or a little over that to make sure that his feet will be on the floor when his knees are bent. So your doll, if straightened out should measure 6 1/4" long. If standing, just to the line. Now for arms, it is said that your arm length from middle finger to middle finger on the other hand should be the same as you are tall. However, if you want him to have bent arms - like the legs, you must add another 1/4 inch or so for the elbow.
  • Head looks too small?  Maybe a hat is an answer. Make it fit high on the head with plenty of forehead showing. Sometimes a head appears too small but when the doll is finished and dressed the proportions are better than some of the others. There is a lot of variation in head size in the general population. Someone may appear to be totally out of whack, and they are REAL!
  •  As for the eye size, for a doll head size of 3 cm, you need eyes of 6 mm,  for a doll head size of 4-5 cm, you need eyes of 6-8 mm, for a doll head size of 6-7 cm, you need eyes of 8-10 mm.
  • To make a character look younger, try adding more clay to the top of the head, so the features drop below mid-line, and blend well. 
  • When sculpting a head, bake an egg-shaped form on the end of a toothpick. Then you can add and shape the facial features of a firm base which doesn't distort. Carve one end of a cuticle stick that is about an eighth inch in diameter to a point. You may want to cure the stick by rubbing it with clay so the clay will stick easier. Shove a ball of clay onto the stick and make sure it's stuck on good. You don't want it swimming around while you're trying to work. Sometimes it is helpful to wrap another piece of clay below, like a neck would be, to help it stay put. Cut that away before baking. Just pull the head off after baking, while it is still a little warm is the easiest. Be very careful not to damage the ears.The torso is already baked at this point, with no neck. Drill a hole in the neck area and insert a heavy wire with super glue, about 18 gauge, and trim to about an inch. Stuff fresh clay into the hole in the head left by the stick. Try the head on the wire and trim the wire if needed. Remove the head, add fresh clay for a neck around the wire, and press the head onto the fresh neck clay. Position the head, trim the neck clay and clean up any seams. Rebake the entire piece with a bit of damp paper towel covering the face.This does not allow the head to move, it's position will be fixed. This is a nice method because you won't squish the torso while you are sculpting the head, and your heads should be better quality. 
  • For those of you who do full body sculpts, use a banana hanger. (Patricia Rose uses this method) 
  • For eyebrows, sculpt little hairs growing in a natural direction, using an Exacto blade, or a fine needle, to lightly etch the clay. When painted, the paint gets into the texture for a more interesting and lifelike look.

  • For the tiniest of dolls, use monofilament thread, plastic clothing tags or fishing line to fasten limbs and head to the doll body. Insert a piece of line through the outside of the arm or let leaving a tail. Burn the end of the line with a cigarette lighter until a blob appears that will not fit back through the hole. Put on the other arm or leg and hold the doll so the limbs are tight while burning that end to a blob. Practice getting the feel of it. This method can be used for the tiniest of dolls.
  • Is your doll a cry-baby? For tears, use an epoxy that dries clear. Wrap the head tightly with Saran wrap so no wrinkles were on the part where the tear is to go. Build up the teardrop so it was 3 D. After it dries, peel it off and using the same epoxy, glue it where it is to go. Or use a toothpick and nail clear gloss. Make a little drop, let dry, then redo it and make the toothpick go up to the eye to make the running tear.

  • How to get those clothes to look natural? Use very fine quilter's pins and pin the doll to a round revolving spice tray, lined with a piece of ceiling tile (fastened with double-sided tape). Pin the fabric in place, then spray lightly with the cheapest hairspray you can find.  Let it dry, then spray lightly again.  When dry remove the pins and if there is a tiny hole, rub it out with a fingernail.  Works like a charm.  You can do this even if the doll is sitting on a bench or chair.  Cover bench and chair with saran wrap place doll, pin in place and spray as above.
  • Draping can be done in steps. If the doll has a long gown and many petticoats, drape the petticoats one by one, again, pin, spray lightly, let dry, spray again.....let dry, remove pins, add next petticoat. Pin - but make it look realistic. Petticoats can be maneuvered into other pleats and folds over the original.... again pin, let dry, spray again. Very light sprays. Then add the gown over......and do the same......
  • Males: Make all features bigger. Think square chin, overhanging brows, prominent nose, cheekbones, and ears, eyes sunk deeper into the eye cavity. Make some lines on his forehead, emphasize the lines at the side of the nose to mouth, create smile lines around the eye.  Create a 5 o'clock shadow with dark eyeshadow. Shade cheeks and mouth with a brown/brick hue. 

    Men have wider necks that slope outward, with a hint of Adam's apple; broader shoulders, some heft on the upper arms, thighs, and calves. They need buttocks and a slight padding in the front. Larger/broader hands and feet. Men tend to point their feet outward. Observe the movements and positioning of men friends and incorporate these natural movements into your figure. Watch the length of trousers - when too short or straight, they can look sissy.

  • Painting faces - use a dark flesh wash over the entire face and wipe most of it away, which makes the features stand out. Make the eyes settled within the socket, inside the eyelids (look at your own eyes, some of the iris is behind the eyelid). Focus the pupils in the same direction. Have a beautiful lash brush. It can be trimmed a little, but not too much. Then when you are stroking the paint to fill the brush, make sure the brush is well loaded. Then stroke on one side and then the opposite to get a flat brush. Paint eyelashes with the edge. It makes for a beautiful, thin lash. Hold your paintbrush in your dominant hand, the doll in your non- dominant hand ( for righties, paint with R hand, hold with L). For eyes, sometimes it helps to paint the dominant side of the face first, then turn doll upside down and paint the other eye/brow. Take a picture of your doll - sometimes this can help pick out where you are having a problem. 
  • Re-String or string a doll from The Spruce
  • Stretchy medical tape comes in various colours, and can be used to wrap arms and legs. Although the beige colour is available in most pharmacies, check vets supplies or pet stores for a better price. It has a tendency to shrink after it is applied and can get very tight.
  • Regarding posing and dressing seated dolls,  always make the back longer from the waist to the crotch, and shorter in the front. Pull the front of the legs up to the crease where the doll legs attach to the torso and force tiny pleats in the fabric where it would naturally bunch up a bit. The doll legs should attach at the front of the torso, not at the bottom like a standing doll would be. Make the doll "bottom" very flat and a bit wider than it would be if standing.


Miniature Character Doll Proportions - Child

  • At 6 months, the RL baby would be 26" or approx 2" in 1:12.
  • At 2yrs, it would be 34 RL inches or just under 3" (1:12).
  • At 4 yrs the RL size is 40" or just under 3-1/2".
  • At 6, the sizes are 45" & just under 4";
  • at 8 it is50" & just over 4"

Ideas about what is needed for miniature character doll projects

  • links to inspiring pages about character dolls

Characters in Miniature - by Cornelia Koehler - do a search for Miss Marple or just browse through this gallery. Great stuff here!

Doll Empire

Dollmaker's Journey -  An interesting site that does cloth dolls - all sizes - with some great free tutorials from mermaids, fairy wings to Raggetty Anne type dolls, some in 1-12, others would need to be reduced also a tutorial on making fairy wings,

Dolls - Pinterest board by Paola Ragonesi. Some beauties here!

Dolls and Such - Pinterest board by Jacki Poulson

Drawing or Sculpting - Pinterest Album

Hello Dolly - stunning collection of ethnic, art and fashion dolls, a Pinterest album by Rosie Sobiesiak

Fabric Sculptures - by Lisa Lichtenfels

Fine Art Dolls - by Diane Keeler

Making Dolls all mediums - Pinterest board by Dawn Smith

Munecas - dolls Pinterest board by Nila Cn. Wonderful art dolls, sculpting info

Original Art Dolls - by Lex

Wonderful Dolls - Pinterest board by Laurence Bergeot Vereb

  • ideas for shop names
  • YouTube videos on the subject

Sculpting Demonstration Videos - by Phillipe Faraut. Simply awesome - not mini, but the techniques! Expressions change magically from one extreme to another.




Hits Apr 2011:

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