My First Attempt at Art Dolls

I realized I hadn’t gotten around to posting my process pics prior to the end of our previous life so I figured I would post her here on the new one!

This is Mini @marionberries (formerly Cmarion3) that was created for the “Craft a Craftster Friend” swap. I had zero experience with creating an Art Doll prior to this swap and was super nervous to enter at first but @PerfectlyBohemian urged me to give it at try so I jumped tripped in to give it a shot.

Without Further Ado, ALL the pics… >>>

Now, let me e’splain

I crochet a lot, so I thought at first I would play it safe and do a soft crocheted doll but ended up stepping outside my comfort zone with air dry paper clay instead. The conversation in my head was like-

Me: Hm. I could crochet something really easily for this and make cute clothes…
Me: But seriously, it would be s-
Inner Craft Demon: NOPE. We goin shopping Beech!
Me: I really don’t think…
Also Me: <Suddenly finds myself in Michaels with a basket full of all the things for sculpting> How…?
Inner Craft Demon: No need to thank me. <Throws glitter>

Basically, I have zero impulse control and was thankful for the longish crafting period for this swap so I could do a bit of light research on the subject lol. Anyone else fall into that trap? :raising_hand_woman:t3::raising_hand_woman:t3:

I sort of “winged” it with the body knowing I wanted to make the doll stationary but I ended up following some advice from a professional art doll blogger on how to work with the paper clay to sculpt the face. I was super nervous throughout the whole phase but I really liked how her features turned out. Especially since I sculpted the body first and the head was a separate piece. I feel like I got super lucky the proportions worked out. (though I wasn’t convinced until the hair was added :rofl:)

She is painted with watercolor tints for a softer blush look and a touch of watercolor pencils to define the eyes. the next step was clothing. The top of her dress is just a satin ribbon from my stash that I strategically wrapped around her body because trying to stitch a dress around her delicate arms was beyond my skill and time lol. The skirt is a similar color fabric piece to the ribbon with a lace overlay that I hand stitched together. The cloak…I wanted this cloak to be my size lol. the fabric scrap has pretty gold bees on the outside and I thought it would be perfect for this woodsy avatar so she had a bright pop of color.

The last step was the hair for me for two reasons. 1 - it would have gotten in the way of me dressing her and 2 - I didn’t know how the heck I was gonna do it. Eventually, I decided the best strategy I could think of -and based on various ways suggested online - that hot glue would serve my purposes here. I didn’t get a picture of this part of the process unfortunately, but I ended up starting at the base of the skull, from one side of the face to the next and gluing section after section all the way to the top of her head.

The result being SO. MUCH. HAIR.

I got lucky on the length as I didn’t need to trim it at all either. the last accent pieces were the brown paper flowers (in her hair and hand) and a tiny gold origami butterfly I folded and painted for her outstretched fingers.

I am fairly pleased with how she turned out overall and I definitely learned a lot about paper clay in the process.

anyhoo, thanks for looking! :slight_smile:


She’s SO beautiful. I love all the details and the work in progress shots. Such an amazing doll :slight_smile:

Oh my goodness. You are amazing! This rocks!

Totally laughing my butt off at this internal dialogue too. :joy::rofl::joy::rofl:


She is stunning! I would be shocked if you told me this was your first attempt :scream_cat: I sometimes get the urge too to jump into completely new crafts; I think it come from needing a break from the tried and true to have an adventure with some new mediums. Lovely lovely job; her face is so delicate and ethereal.

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Holyyy craaaaaap… I’m in awe.

Her hands and the expression on her face are just wonderful! What a beautiful gift!

She’s amazing!

First attempt? Never would have guessed. She is beautiful! :heart::heart: I love the little details like the butterfly and the flowers!

This is so very, very beautiful. There’s a grace and serenity about her that is truly arresting. You want to stop and just be there with her in her world. Though you can clearly see she is a doll, there’s a sense that if you talked to her, she might just answer you. Or perhaps smile a very secret smile, and walk off into the woods. In an absolutely wonderful way, she reminds me of the Gelflings, in the Dark Crystal. Not that she looks like them so much, as that they both have such a sense of life about them. A tactile quality, mixed with a sense of magic and awe.

I’m so, so glad you joined us in that swap. I’m so glad your inner demon demanded new materials, and pushed you outside your comfort zone. And I’m so glad you enjoyed the push.


This is gorgeous. Good for you, taking the leap. I hope you high-fived your inner craft demon! :joy:

Impressive first doll!

You laugh because its true and you’ve had a front row seat to that nonsense! :rofl:

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Each doll from that swap was so cool and so unique and makes me so glad (and sad) I didn’t join. I love your inner convo and am glad the “glitter fairy” won because this is hella amazing).

No way, first attempt??? Flabbergasted :flushed::flushed:

I really love every part of your doll! And thanks so much for showing the process pics, I always love that (and totally forget to take pics myself).

Now I end up with that voice telling me I should really try this! :wink:

THIS ROCKS!! :metal:t2:

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Seeing the process gives me greater appreciation for all doll makers…wow…

She turned out lovely and with so much detail…glad you listened to your inner art demon!

Absolutely stupendous. You made such an incredible character, she is glorious.

She’s amazing! You have an innate talent!

Thank you so much for sharing this doll making journey! Your creation is stunning and I’ve enjoyed reading about the steps involved. Stellar facial expression and posing too.

She is beautiful!