My awesome garland and pellet stove.
A close-up of my garland.
So that whole garland took one sheet each of about 8 different felt colors. I bought a HUGE mix pack of felt and I have tons left over.
What's that got to do with paper dolls?
I was never "crafty". I fancied myself a "fine" artist in the most snobby way possible. Felt is a new, awesome media and I love it. I found some felt doll tutorials here and here that looked fun. Both of those are a bit sewing intensive and, I'll be honest, sewing isn't my thing. I've wanted to learn how to sew for 20+ years and it just hasn't happened yet. I own a sewing machine. I can hem stuff. And that is about it! Someday....!!
So my goal was to create a sew-free felt paper doll. We're going to create templates and cut a basic outfit today. Next week we'll look into adding details and fancy stuff to our basic felt shapes.
Thick paper or lightweight cardboard (manilla folders would work great!)
Pencil and Eraser
Straight pins/ dressmakers pins (optional)
Scissors (the sharper, the better)
I'm using the kawaii girl doll from last week as a template. Whatever doll you choose to create, keep it simple. Felt doesn't cut as smoothly as paper, so simple lines are best.
(Forgive the weird shadows in almost all of these pictures!!) I have a whole bunch of this medium grey cardstock so I'm using that to make my templates. Trace your paper doll and cut it out. This will become your doll body template.
Here are all of my templates cut out. I wanted to keep everything simple. If I want to make a sweater set, for example, I'll just trace & cut the long sleeved shirt. If I want capri pants, I'' trace the pants template and shorten them, etc. I made some hair templates, a couple of skirts, a couple of shirts, and the pieces to make a princess or wedding dress.
This random pile of stuff is what I'll be working with and then some. I have a pile of felt, yarn, beans, needle & thread, patches, etc. Not pictured is some ribbon & embroidery floss. My plan is to make simple clothing and embellish the heck out of it.
I realized with my previous projects that I really didn't want to make the felt if I could help it, so I pinned the templates to the felt. You certainly don't have to do it this way. A marker or chalk would work fine, too. When cutting, be careful not to pole yourself!
This is the template and doll. I marked my templates with what they were (skirt, shoes, etc) just in case I forgot!
And it's starting to come together! Here's the template, hair, dress, shoes, and felt doll. Felt is great. It just sticks together. No tabs, no fasteners, no velcro - nothing! It just sticks.
This is a good stopping point for today. Next week I'll have more outfits ready to go following this technique. I'll show you how to add a face and some details. A needle & thread may be required! And track down a glue gun or tacky glue if you want to avoid sewing altogether.
Until then, new doll on Friday and more kawaii suggestions for December are welcome. Have fun making you felt doll!