Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Craft Night

This last week we found out that our Young Womens President is moving. I wanted to find something fun the girls could do to show our love and appreciation for all that she has done for us, so we came up with the idea of making a little house warming gift for her and her family. It was so much fun! The girls helped to make 3 different projects. We made wooden spool dolls for her two little girls, painted wooden spoons, and I had fun following an online tutorial for making a casserole carrier.

The wooden spool dolls were by far my favorite. They are so addictive! Once you make one, you will find yourself wanting to try different colors, hairstyles, smiles, etc. Here is a couple of pictures I used for inspiration!

Most of the pictures I found were from people selling them on Etsy. Wunderkind was one shop that I found to be particularly inspiring!

Here are some pictures of some of the dolls the girls made that night.

 It was so fun to see how everyone's turned out! They were all so different!

So now for just a small tutorial.

What you will need:

Vintage wooden spools, I found mine at Joann's in the wooden crafts section, but I imagine that they wouldn't be hard to find at any craft store.

Wooden knobs for heads. We used both wooden balls and the wooden knobs. The knobs have a flat surface on the bottom which make them much more easy to assemble.

Wooden dowels that fit inside the holes in the knobs and spools. You can manage without, but it makes it much easier to paint the heads if you have some way of holding the heads. I actually used the end of a spare paint brush as a sort of turntable instead. Also if you purchase the wooden dowels you can actually glue them inside the head and spool to give added support and keep the heads from coming off easier. I however did not do this on my first round. Luckily none of the heads have popped off yet, but I'm sure it will provide peace of mind against choking hazards if you do use the wooden dowels.

Floral foam to hold dowels. 

Acrylic paint

Paint brushes, lots of different sizes and tips.

Superfine black paint pen or a hairline tipped black sketch pen for making eyebrows. I found that even the fine tipped paint pens were to thick and preferred to use one of my hubby's pens!

Elmers wet glue,  some people use a hot glue gun, but I find that after it dries the wet glue holds much better.

Hot glue gun and glue

Clear Acrylic Sealer

OK, so now to get started. The first thing you will want to do is glue your dowel into your wooden knob and paint your hairline and hair. Doing the hairline first makes painting the face in so much easier. I like to do at least two coats to get my hair looking great. Three doesn't hurt either. If you want to make your wooden doll look like it has highlights you can dip the very tip of your paint brush in white or some other color and add a few streaks in while the first coat is still wet. I like to let that dry just a little before I carefully add the third coat of just the regular color on top, covering up any obvious streaks.

Next use your black paint pen or sketch pen to fill in the eyebrows. Then add rosy cheeks and a cute little smile! I am completely uncoordinated when it comes to the fine details like eyebrows and mouths, but I did find it easier to make my mouth heart shaped instead of trying to paint in little lips.

At this point, if you bought wooden dowels you can stake them into your foam. Take them out back and following manufactures instructions add at least two to three coats of sealer.

After your heads have dried trim the dowel down so that it does not poke out through the bottom of your spool. This can be easily accomplished by scoring it with a pair of scissors and then just breaking it off. Add a little wet glue to help secure it in the spool.

Next you can add whatever type of ribbon you want to the spool. I've seen some that just wrap a smaller ribbon a couple times around to cover the spool, but for these I opted to select ribbon about the same size as the spool. To add the ribbon you will first want to measure a piece about a cm larger than you need to go all the way around the doll. Seal the edges of the ribbon to prevent fray by using a lighter to melt the edges of your ribbon. This might take some practice. You don't want to actually burn the ribbon and you don't even need to touch the flame to the ribbon, just get it close enough to melt the very edge. If it is turning brown, then it is too close. After you have sealed both edges of your ribbon its time to affix it to your wooden spool. I just happened to have double sided sticky tape, but this is not your average sticky tape, it's more like glue, and is capable of doing some pretty hefty jobs. I know I ordered it online for another project, but can't remember where I got it. I would recommend using a very small amount of hot glue on just the ends of your ribbon. Start by adding a small amount of glue to the back side of your doll. Place the ribbon over the drop of glue, wrap the ribbon around your spool and add a small drop of clue covering the ribbon which is already glued down. Then cover it with the opposite end of the ribbon you have just wrapped around the spool. You will also want to make sure that your seam is facing the back of your doll.

And voila you have a beautiful if not somewhat funky wooden spool doll!

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