Over the years I have learned many lessons…and have made many mistakes.  So to open this category  I would like to pass on my five top rules for doll making:

1)    Cut it a little larger, longer, bigger…it can always  be cut down

This rule probably could be applied to all kinds of crafts, but is especially effective when making clothes for dolls.  The only time I find it will not work is when patterning the bodices for dolls…the shoulder and neckline is proportional and just adding to the seam lines may throw the proportions off.  But for hemlines, sleeve lengths and widths, arms holes, side seams and waist measurements, this rule works well!

2)    Eyeball it!

You know that old expression carpenters have…measure twice…cut once.  I would insert eyeball it!  Trust your sense of proportion!  Once I was making a doll hat and measured the circumference of the doll’s head for the crown.  When I put the measurement to paper and fabric, I thought it looked too large.  Indeed, I was using a plastic tape measure from which, somehow, almost two inches got chewed off!  I know I said in my first rule to cut it larger, but this would have been really out of proportion!

The cut out fabric for this bonnet looked way too large!  I discovered that I was measuring the head with a tape measured from which almost two inches was cut off!  (Watch for later posting for directions on how to make this bonnet. )

 The first markings for the crown of this bonnet looked way too large!  I discovered that I was measuring the head with a tape measure from which almost two inches was cut off!  (Watch for later posting for directions on how to make this easy and quick bonnet.)

       3) Use the right tool

If directions call for a screwdriver, don’t use a nail file…if for a chisel, don’t use a screwdriver.  Sometimes tools can be expensive, especially those specialty tools for doll making.   But using the wrong tool can often end up in a botched job… and wasted materials!  Spend that little extra and save money in the long run.

4)Use the right glue

There are so many kinds of glues on the market these days…epoxies, resins, silicones and more. Wikipedia lists over 40 kinds!  When considering the kind glue for your project, check out the holding power, drying speed, color or clarity and ease of clean up.  While cleaning up casein based glues like Elmer’s glue© is easy , its holding power is inadequate for ceramics.  Epoxy glues work well for ceramics, but are messy. A whole article can and have been written about various kinds of glues.  Check out the DIY site!  And if you haven’t heard of it yet, Fabri-tac by Beacon© is a great substitute for a hot glue gun.

5)Mull it over!

If you run into a sticky problem that you just can’t  solve, put the project down and leave it for a while…maybe even overnight.  If you let your mind mull the problem or issue over, a solution may come to mind…or you will find a solution in an unexpected place.  Talk to other doll  makers…look on the Internet…sleep on it!

Well those are my first five rules for successful doll making. There are others which I may add later on, but these are the biggies!

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