Saturday, October 8, 2011

Skeleton Doll Tutorial

Halloween comes in just a few weeks and I have found myself very much in the zone for creating all things ghoul and ghostly. I have decided to give a tutorial on how to make a skeleton doll by utilizing a simple technique for making a skeleton head combined with my technique for making a doll body out of Creative Paperclay. Hope this gets you in the mood for trick or treating as much as it has for me!!!

What You'll Need
Creative Paperclay
Styrofoam ball - 2" or 3" cut in half
Cup of warm water for sculpting
Sharp pottery tool or toothpicks
6" of 12 gauge garden or jewelry wire
12" of 24 gauge jewelry wire
Acrylic paint
Fabric, lace, ribbon, buttons, etc.
Thread and needle or strong craft glue

What To Do
1.  Take your styrofoam ball cut in half, mold it a bit into an egg shape, and cover with paperclay. Use water to dampen, smooth, and blend the clay into the ball.

2.  Take two fingers or your thumbs and press eye sockets into the clay. Press up a bit to create little eyebrow ridges.

3.  Take your sharp tool or toothpicks and create little nostril holes in the shape of triangles or teardrops.

4.  Take a small bit of paperclay shaped in a symmetrical leaf shape, dampen with a tiny bit of water, and place where the mouth will be. 

5. Take your sharp tool and carve a mouth. I prefer lips and a line that divides the jaw and top of the head. Feel free to carve in teeth, a smile, a frown, a scared expression....whatever you prefer! I also like to add little details here, like little carvings above the eyebrow ridges, stitch lines over jaw line, heart shapes on the cheeks. You have creative control!!!

 6.  Take your 12 gauge wire and cut a 5" length. Insert this wire into your skeleton's head, a little off-center toward the back of the head. This will be your doll's neck and armature for its torso and waist pieces.

7.  Roll out a small snake of paperclay and insert it over the wire. Skeletons have bony necks, so make this part really skinny. Use a toothpick or your sharp tool to make the individual neck bones. 

8. Sculpt a two triangles out of the paperclay for the neck, top half of torso, and bottom half of torso. 

9.  Add two triangles with the tips touching each other to the wire.

10.  Dampen fingers and break off small pieces of paperclay to fill in gaps between the cylinder and two triangles. Smooth the clay as you go using slip which simply means that you take a small amount of paperclay, dampen it in your cup of water, and smoothing it between the two body pieces.  

11.  The pictures that were meant for the rest of this skeleton doll tutorial were lost due to a technical glitch. Sooo....To build the rest of this doll, visit one of my previous doll tutorials following steps #9-20.  You can also see how this doll body comes together by reviewing this tutorial!!! Please note that the neck style on the skeleton doll is completely different from the Kitty Doll. The skeleton doll neck does not need to be blended into the torso!!!

12.  Now that doll is assembled, go ahead and paint it. Allow paint to dry, seal with varnish and allow to dry again. 

13. And once the doll's paint is dried and sealed...EMBELLISH LIKE CRAZY!!! Visit another previous tutorial of mine to learn an easy technique for dressing your doll!!!

My doll is far from finished, but this is what she looks like so far! 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I'll be posting better pictures of my completed doll...hopefully this weekend. Please visit when you have a chance! Until next time, happy creating!!!


Rachel said...

Very awesome!

Amanda said...

Great tutorial :)

Lyneen said...

LOVE YOUR Skeleton and how easy your steps are to follow!!!!

Molossus said...

This is just amazing!

Barbara said...

What a wonderful Skeleton doll! Great tutorial too.

Hugs XX

Jingle said...

Fun tutorial!