Friday, April 26, 2013

Checklist for making primitive folk art dolls

Here are some basic materials and supplies you'll need to make and display your primitive dolls. These are only suggestions, though, and some tips for aging fabric follows.
√ osnaburg or muslin fabric
√ Needle and thread to match dyed fabric
√ Embroidery thread in black
√ Fabric paint or acrylic paint
√ Some kind of stuffing (poly fiber-fill, sawdust, even rags)
√ Instant coffee
√ Vanilla
√ Cinnamon
√ Scissors
√ Pattern
√ Fabric pen
√ Buttons
√ Paint brushes
√ Something to stuff with (I use long-handled hemostats for both stuffing and turning)
√ Rusty accents (wire, pins, stars, etc)
√ Fine sandpaper

Tips for aging your fabric:

There are at least two ways to age fabric, dying the fabric before it is sewn, and dying after the doll is sewn. You can dip-dye, spray from a bottle, sponge or paint the dye solution onto the doll. Don't dip-dye a sewn doll, though, because you only want to get the fabric wet.

Mix 1 part instant coffee grounds to 3 parts water. Add a little vanilla to the water. You can vary this proportion to vary the intensity of the color. Dye the fabric in one of the ways listed above. Allow to air dry, or place on paper towels on a cookie sheet in a preheated 200° F. oven. Turn the oven off and turn the doll every 5 minutes or so.

After the doll is dry, paint eyes and leggings and any other details you want painted with a dry brush, letting dry between colors. Once all the painting is dry, lightly sand and then re-dye the doll, including covering the painted parts. Dry again, and then add the embroidered details and the button eyes. Rub a little cinnamon on cheeks for blush, and anywhere else you want the piece a little grungier.

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