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Sue Heaser 1:12 scale Doll Making Kit

Man Doll House Doll

Sue made this  man doll from one of her doll making kits.  His clothing, hair and painted face are truly accomplished.  

I was delighted to get the chance to road test one of Sue's kits - a project for the website and time to play.  I chose a woman doll kit and wasn't daunted by the task as I set about following Sue's detailed instructions, but as you'll see later on, I did struggle to dress her.

I recommend that each kit is approached knowing that it should be treated as a project.  Take the time to enjoy the doll as she develops, source your materials carefully and relish the tiny details which will eventually bring her to life.

The kits contain enough polymer clay, pipe cleaners, wadding and hair to complete three dolls.  Polymer clay is smooth and easy to work with.  It bakes hard in a domestic oven and is a popular medium for doll makers.

The kits offer hours of entertainment and distraction and require skill and concentration to complete - a true challenge for an avid crafter.  Allison Holland

The head and hand mould Polymer clay head with ears

Using the mould was fiddly at first, but after a few failed attempts, I got the hang of it! To achieve the best result, it is essential to follow Sue's instructions, and to first dust the mould with talcum powder.

The tiny ears are egg shaped, flat pieces of clay.  Use a darning needle or an empty biro to first push the ear to the side of the head and then to add detail.

Moulded polymer clay hand Dolls feet

Here the forearm has been shaped ready to be put in the mould.  A tiny 'v' shape has been cut out to define the thumb, and the rest of the fingers.

The feet and lower legs! These were a challenge, but after a little practice they began to take shape. The body parts are now ready to bake as per Sue's instructions.

Doll body parts for baking Doll body parts glued

This old oven proof dish has been lined with grease proof paper.  Polymer clay is safe to bake in the oven as long as it is not overcooked.  Open a window for ventilation, select the correct temperature and set a timer to remind you.  Do not re-use cookware for preparing food.

A pipe cleaner is glued into the holes once the body parts have cooled (note the black boots made from a spare piece of polymer clay).

The dolls are padded out A tiny, handmade doll

The quilt wadding has been cut into narrow strips and wrapped around the pipe cleaners to build up the torso and body shape.  This is where I went wrong and should have taken more time to define the woman's chest, waist and hips.

Dressing the doll proved to be the most difficult stage in the process (although I have not yet attempted to paint the face!).  There are a number of websites and magazines, such as 'Dolls House & Miniature Scene' and 'The Dolls' House', which provide great ideas for dressing your dolls.

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