Friday, December 9, 2011

Bottle Doll Tutorial

Over the summer, I made a doll out of a glass iced tea bottle. This started a deep interest in building other dolls out of bottles of all kinds. Lately, beer bottles and root beer bottles are my favorite body armatures. I am currently working on a series of holiday inspired dolls. Here’s a tutorial on how to build a doll with Creative Paperclay and a glass bottle.

What You’ll Need
Creative Paperclay
Cup of water for sculpting
Beer Bottle or Root Beer Bottle…or any glass bottle you like!
1.5 inch or 2 inch Styrofoam ball
20 gauge jewelry wire
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Pottery sharp tool or long wooden skewer or toothpick
Acrylic paint (not pictured)
Cup of tea for sipping!

What To Do
11.  If you are using a bottle with a label on it, you may soak the bottle and remove the label. I prefer not to as it makes it easier for costuming later.

22.  Cover the Styrofoam ball in a layer of Creative Paperclay.

33.  Place the ball on the bottle top and press slightly to help the ball stick.

44.  Take a small lump of clay, roll it out a bit in your hand, and flatten in. Place this clay directly below the ball on the bottle neck. Blend in with your fingers…use dabs of water to help you sculpt. Make this nice and smooth. Add more clay to the neck if necessary.

55.  Continue to cover the bottle neck in Creative Paperclay. Creative Paperclay adheres remarkable well to glass. 

66.  Take a quarter-size ball of clay, cut in half with a butter knife or pottery sharp tool. Add one half to either side of the bottle neck…these lumps of clay will become the doll’s shoulders.

77.  You made need to make slip to fill in crevices and cracks and to also adhere the clay to itself. To make slip, take a small bit of clay, dip it in water so that it is paste-like.

88.  Once your shoulders are applied, feel free to use your fingers to sculpt the body shape you desire. Don’t be afraid to add many layers of Creative Paperclay!!!

99.  Take your sharp tool or toothpick and make holes from the top of the shoulders to the bottom in a diagonal fashion from front to back. Dip the tool in a bit of water and twist the tool inside the hole to make it smooth.

110.  Take your wire and measure out two 10-12 inch lengths. Fold each wire in half, hold the loose ends with your fingers or needle nose pliers and twist the loop end with your hand. Do this until the entire length of the wire is twisted to your liking.

111.  Place these wires into the holes you made through the shoulders. Keep the wire straight for now. Determine how long you want your doll’s arms to be and cut off any excess with the wire cutter.

112.  Roll out a snake of Creative Paperclay…about 10 inches long. Fold in half and cut. Make one end of each snake a hand, round the other end for a shoulder. Let dry for 10 minutes and then place over wire you’ve placed through the shoulder holes. 

113.  I always shape my arms in a round fashion…sculpt your arms in any way it suits you!

114.  Add facial features and hair to your doll. I use my thumbs to make eye socket, a lump for the nose with a couple little nostrils, round bits of clay for cheek bones, leaf shaped lump of clay for lips, and twisted strips of clay for hair.

115.  Allow your newly sculpted doll to dry for one to two days depending on your climate. It takes at least two days here in New England!

116.  Once dry, paint your doll and have a blast. Visit my blog ( Sunday, December 11th for a tutorial on how to dress your doll! Or feel free to figure out your own technique!!! (Decoupage perhaps?!?)

Wishing everyone very HAPPY AND HEALTHY HOLIDAYS!!! Thanks for reading my tutorial!!!


Molossus said...

Wow! This is truly awesome!

Debbie Buckland said...

Awesome! love it

Shilpi said...

Its so beautiful and you have explained it so well that it looks easy enough to try...i have been meaning to do this for ages,yours has inspired me to do this summer for sure.....thanks a lot for sharing.....One question though i don't have paper clay,so i make my own paper mache clay...can u suggest some varnish that can be applied on ?? let me know....checked your blog as well....Awesome stuff