As an adult, I have rediscovered the simple joy of making paper dolls. Now my paper dolls are art dolls, with crazy hats, crowns, shoes, mismatched clothing, odd heads, and often wearing wings to help them soar. I search the Internet for paper doll templates and royalty-free vintage paper doll images, combining them with my own faces, fashions and magazine advertising images. I relax and become a child again when I putter with my boxes of doll arms, legs, bodies, clothing and heads.
For my latest doll, which I call the Earth Angel Warrior, I started with pre-cut doll pattern from Retro Café Arts. Some time ago I purchased (and used) their chipboard doll, but I saved the leftover cutout/negative space to possibly use as a template. I flipped over a piece of Gwen Lafleur’s gorgeous Florentine paper (which I had already glued to cardstock to give it extra strength for doll-making), then traced the arm, leg and body sections, then carefully cut out the parts.
|Doll template, Florentine paper, and other supplies.|
|Body parts were traced on the back of the cardstock/Florentine paper.|
|Front of legs on left, back of legs on right.|
|The basic paper doll parts, made with Florentine paper.|
|I sorted through my collection of doll heads, hand painted faces and magazine photos.|
|The doll parts placed together, but not yet attached.|
|The grayscale wings and face, as well as the monochromatic butterfly, |
got a color boost with TomBow markers and pastel chalk.
To print on fabric from an inkjet printer, here’s what you do:
- 1-Cut a section of cotton fabric about 9” x 12” and iron so it is wrinkle-free
- 2- cut a piece of freezer paper about the same size
- 3-place the shiny side of the freezer wrap against the wrong side of the fabric and iron until they fuse and are flat and wrinkle-free (do not use steam)
|Freezer paper was ironed on to white cotton fabric in preparation for printing.|
|After the fabric and freezer paper were fused with an iron, it was cut to 8.5" x 11"|
- 4-using a cutting mat, metal ruler and sharp exacto knife or rotary fabric cutter, trim to exactly 8.5” x 11” so it is the size of a piece of paper.
- 5-snip off a tiny bit at top left and right corners. This will help the fabric pull through the printer without jamming.
|Snipping a tiny bit from the top corners helps the fabric feed through an inkjet printer without jamming.|
- 6-test your printer to see whether to place fabric face down or face up in the printer
- 7-select the design you want, press print, and it should emerge from your printer
- 8-peel the freezer paper away, and you will have the printed cloth. If desired, iron the fabric to help set the design and prevent running or fading.
|Gently peel the paper from the printed fabric after it comes through the printer.|
|Two of Gwen's downloadable pdfs were printed on fabric.|
|The top few inches of the rose-printed fabric was cut for use as a doll skirt.|
|Close-up of the skirt fabric, with stitching at top (to be gathered) and gingham ribbon at bottom.|
|The skirt was gathered at the top and fit to the doll's waist, then glued in place.|
|The finishing touch was a belt of Gwen's orange sari silk ribbon.|
|Mini brads were used to connect the body parts and enable the doll to be posed.|
|The finished Earth Angel Warrior paper doll, with flora & fauna elements.|
When all the elements were put together and I saw the finished doll, I realized that she was made of flora and fauna elements—with the bird wings, butterfly hat and rose skirt. While her face wasn’t traditionally pretty, it looked fierce, confident and interesting, and she seemed like a warrior. So, I decided to call her my Earth Angel Warrior. As a finishing touch, and to echo the flora/fauna theme, I put a feather in her hat and another in her hand.
We are doing a Gwen Lafluer Artisttribe BlogHop!
One lucky winner will receive $20 Gift Card to the Shop at Gwen Lafleur Studios! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on any or all of the blog posts during the hop - the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win! (One comment per person per blog please.)
You have until Sunday, October 1st at 11:59 p.m. mountain time to leave your comments. The winner will be announced on the Gwen Lafleur Studios Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/GwenLafleurStudios) on Monday, October 2nd.
Please visit the blogs of the other Artisttribe bloghop participants:
- To visit artist Mary Jane Chadbourne's website, click here
- For the Retro Cafe Art website, click here
- For the Graphics Fairy website of vintage downloadable images, click here