Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spirit Dolls

Many cultures have a history of creating dolls that hold spirits or just represent faith and spirituality. The Native Americans made dolls that they believe represented the guardian spirits that inhabited the forest, mountains, rivers, and plains. Regardless of your beliefs, spirit dolls have become a collectable piece that many people enjoy as art in their home, or on their person. For these small dolls, you will need:

Creative Paperclay
Face mold, or talent in sculpting small faces
Acrylic paint
Yarn in natural fibers, thin strips of torn cloth, wire, or whatever you want to wrap her with
Sticks- I used some craft sticks that are about two and one-half inches long
Any embellishments you might like, such as charms, beads, etc.

The first thing is to cover at least one end of the stick in Creative Paperclay, somewhat like a swab. You can cover the entire thing in clay, if you desire, and if you have plenty of clay to work with. I am about out, so will need to be running to Michael's or Hobby Lobby this coming week. I can't imagine not having Creative Paperclay on hand at all times now that I know how many things can be made with it. If you don't find it near you, you can order at:

Add your face, either by sculpting or using a mold, then use a bit of white glue to make sure it will stay attached well. Let it dry.

Then you can paint it in the colors of your choice.

Then unless you used a lot more clay to pad out the body, you will need to build some volume here with yarn or strips of cloth. I used some regular yarn, and saved the natural fibers for the outside. You could also use fiberfill to pad the body out, if you cover it well. Glue the ends down, as you go from one yarn or cloth to the next, and wrap your doll with a variety of materials and colors. You can add a pin back to make her a fashion accessory, keep her in your pocket for good luck, hang her from a rear-view mirror (She will fade quickly if the dyes are natural), or attach her to a package when giving a gift. Think of the variety you can create with these dolls. I am going to make more of them in the next few days and add the pics here, so that you can see them. I'm going to do a personal one with a few strands of my kids' hair, torn strips from some favorite old clothing, tuck in a few small personal items that my kids have made, and whatever else I think of to make it have special meaning to me. I will also do some with charms, strings of beads, and perhaps vintage buttons. Only your imagination limits you. Have fun! You can visit my blog at:, and my Facebook page at:!/NightmaresAndDayDreams

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