Monday, June 10, 2013

Creating a Stencil Doll

A couple of weeks ago I was playing with my niece.  She's 5 and loves Aunt Julie's paper dolls.  Out of the blue she asked me, "Is there another way to play with paper dolls?"  Another way?  You dress them up -- that's what they are.  But I thought about it.  Sure there's another way - make your own outfits!

Today we're going to talk about creating a stencil paper doll. This is what I recommended to my niece.  Trace the outside of the doll and create new outfits.  We're going to take this a step further and create a stencil/scrapbook style doll.  Today's lesson will be the doll.  Next week will be some tips on creating outfits.


A copy of a doll (preferably with an open body style) printed on cardstock
Heavy paper, a tracing method, and your original doll
Pencil and eraser
Paper in a variety of colors
Colored pencils, markers, or paint (for details)

Start with a copy of a doll.  Always use a copy -- originals are precious.  I've started new dolls with old originals.  It's just good practice.  If you can, print 2 dolls out on cardstock.  These will become the stencils.  If you can't get to a printer, use the heaviest paper you can see through while tracing, and trace out at least two dolls.

Or you can print out my doll, pictured above.  I have two dolls and two heads.  I will use one doll as a full body stencil.  The other doll I'll be cutting up into smaller, detail stencils.  The heads are just in case I need them.

Here's the stencil doll cut-out and ready to go, as well as the basic stencils for her hair, undergarments, and shoes.

I traced the whole body onto a flesh colored paper.  A heavier paper is better here.  You can always glue two papers together, if needed.  I would do that before cutting out the stencil.

There are two things worth mentioning here: first, if you want to avoid having your pencil lines show, flip your stencil over and trace it upside down on the back of your paper.  Secondly, you're new, traced doll will be slightly bigger than the original.  That's what happens when you trace the outside of a stencil.  If you trace the inside, the image is slightly smaller than original.

Here's the doll, hair, undergarments, and shoes.  I reversed the undergarment stencil and drew it on the back of the paper.  The paper has a pretty pattern that I didn't want to screw up!

Once your pieces are cut out, glue them to the flesh colored paper.  I used a clear Elmer's glue and I strongly recommend it.  A glue stick would be great here, too.  Notice how the camisole doesn't quite fit as well.  That's just the nature of tracing like this.  As long as you use the same stencil doll, everything should fit relatively well.

This is the doll with detailing.  I chose to use colored pencils.  The pencils sort of etched the paper as I applied it, giving the doll some extra dimension.

Here's a close-up of the face.  The jawline could use some work but I love the almost child-like quality of the final doll.

Feel free to experiment!  Scrapbooking paper or origami paper would make fantastic outfits.  If you want, you can make your own papers.  Use watercolors or tea to tint a sheet of watercolor paper.  Print out textures & patterns from the internet.  Really, the possibilities are endless.

Part of my inspiration for this doll is a series of Klutz paper fashion books and kits.  I have one of these kits and love it! I turned mine into a magnetic doll in a metal tin. (The images aren't the best....)

On the right is the cover of the tin.  I glued decorative paper that looks like a shop interior there with the doll.  The doll is glued down, too.  On the left is another "store" interior to keep the outfits in.

A close-up of the doll.  There's a mannequin for displaying an outfit as well as the doll.

A close-up of the storage side of the tin.  Kits like these are a lot of fun and a nice way to learn other techniques.  Sometimes creating "kid art" like this is a fun way to refresh & recharge the way I think about paper dolls.  As you can see from the lesson above, you don't NEED a kit, but it's fun anyway.

So next week we're going to make some clothing and possibly a base for the doll.  Should be a good time!

And a new doll on Friday.  Look for it :)


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