Saturday, December 20, 2014

Frankie Stein Monster High Doll Repaint Faceup Demo Tutorial

Here is another quick photo demo of my latest Frankie Stein repaint, or faceup.  I forget what Frankie this was, as I have dolls for months or more before I repaint them. I debox when I get them home and they are stored in a drawer until they are prepped for their repaint.

As always, I start by removing all factory paint with acetone. Don't let anyone ever tell you that acetone is not safe to use on a vinyl fashion doll face. I have been a doll repaint artist for 14 years and can have repainted more than a thousand dolls. ALL of them had their factory paint removed with acetone. Every professional doll artist I know does this. So if anyone tells you otherwise, they are incorrect. What you do not want to do is get acetone on a doll's BODY. It will eat/melt the plastic.  It has no effect, however, on the vinyl face.

 So on with the little photo demo of Frankie and her repaint. In an effort to keep this brief enough to blog about, a lot of steps aren't shown. If you want to see EVERY step I take in a Monster High Doll Repaint Tutorial, check out my popular Tutorial CD that teaches you every single thing you need, from pastels to watercolor pencils to acrylic paint to EXACTLY what brushes you need--- Monster High Makeovers.

If you have enjoyed this Monster High doll repaint demo, check out my Deuce Gorgon demo too!

The finished doll, ready for sale!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Deuce Gorgon Repaint Demo- Watch How I did a Faceup on Deuce Monster HIgh Doll

Just a quick little photo tutorial although I am not actually teaching anything...LOL!! It's just a short repaint demo of how I did my latest Monster High Doll repaint ~ Deuce Gorgon ~ From original doll, who is quite cute BTW, to hot curly haired dude with facial hair.

Deuce Gorgon repaint

Deuce Gorgon repaint

Monster High Deuce Gorgon repaint by Fantasy Dolls

Sunday, December 7, 2014

How to remove Deuce Gorgon's Snake Hair - Monster High Tutorial

Deuce Gorgon has some awesome snake hair. But what do you do if you want to remove Deuce's snake hair helmet? This was my recent problem.

Deuce Gorgon Monster High Doll with head of snakes

I wanted to repaint Deuce, but didn't want to keep his snake hair. When I redo a Monster High doll, I usually redo the hair completely. Deuce is no exception.

When I deboxed Deuce I just assumed his "hair" came off like a helmet. I had no idea it was glued on with glue so strong that it was impossible to pry that snake hair off!

The first thing I did was take a pliers and grab that nest of snakes on top of Deuce Gorgon's head. With a firm tugging I pried the snakes off his head. Start with the front section and pull up. It may take a little effort to remove Deuce's snake heads.

Deuce has his snake removal done

The snakes and the rest of his snake patterned scalp are two separate sections.

Here's what you will see when you pry the snakes off his head. I know that looks like a deep cavernous hole but it isn't.  This could easily be filled in with apoxie sculpt cause unless you wig him, that hole will  make gluing new hair to his head a problem.

The next step is to start at one sideburn and gently pry it up. I used a metal letter opener- The same one I use when I do dolly head and hair removals.

Removing Deuce Gorgon's hair

Pry up as much as you can to loosen it from the sides.

Insert letter opener into the hair on the top of Deuce's head and loosen what you can there as well. If you feel that Deuce's snake hair is stuck on too tightly, you can hasten the process. Boil a pot of water, same as you would for head and hair removal.  Turn off heat.
Let his head soak for 5 minutes in the hot water.  Then use the metal letter opener again and you should be able to get his hair off a little better once the adhesive has softened a bit.

Deuce Gorgon hair removal complete

It is not a pretty sight, what is under Deuce's snake hair. There's a ridge where the hair sat on his head, and maybe some glue residue.

Deuce Gorgon without his snake hair

Now that you have learned how to remove Deuce Gorgon's snake hair, you can consider what you will replace it with. I am unsure whether I am going to make him some dreadlocks, or just use some of my Tibetan Lamb fur to give him a new look.

His repaint is in progress now, so I'll update when he is complete.

Deuce Gorgon has had his repaint! View the results here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Quick Wig Cap or Wig Holder Tutorial for Doll Wigs

My doll hair obsession has taken off all over the place.  From this has stemmed the need to make wig caps faster and in larger quantities because I am launching a new line of wigs specifically for BJDs.

If you have seen my wig cap tutorial you know that the wig caps are made from fabric and are stiffened with Mod Podge or watered down white glue. When I was making these wig caps just for Monster High Doll Wigs, I always let them dry on the dolls head, which was covered with plastic wrap. When you have a few dozen Monster High dolls laying around, this is not a problem.

However, when you need to make larger size wig caps to fit BJD head sizes 6.5 - 8 and you need to make them in quantity, making them one at a time because you only have ONE BJD doll head to work on is not optimal. So, I created the silliest little gizmo that works so perfectly if you are making wigs in large quantities.

This may not look great, and there are probably better ways to do this, but it works, and that's all that matters.

I always have wooden bases and dowels in my house because I make my own doll stands.

I took one of the larger wood bases and drilled four holes in it. Inserted wood dowels that I cut in two taller sections and two shorter.One of them is crooked.

Step One- Wig cap holder

In lieu of doll heads stuck on the ends of the dowels I used what I had on hand at home. Tin foil to the rescue. You can make the tin foil balls any size you want for the size wig cap you need.

My wig cap holder- a 5 minute job

This couldn't possibly have been quicker or easier. I am all about the easy way.

And here they are with wig caps of assorted large sizes drying on them.

It occurred to me that instead of trying to make the wig ON the doll's head as I always have, that maybe a modified version of my wig cap holder would work. So this is what I made- a single dowel wig cap holder that I now use to make my individual wigs on. Much easier than trying to make it on the head of a 16" doll that I have to hold between my knees!

And that is my weird little wig cap holder tutorial, if you can call it that. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dreadlock Doll Wigs for BJD, Monster High Dolls, Tonner and more

Just a  quick post to introduce my newest line of dreadlock doll wigs for BJD, Monster High Dolls, Tonner 16" Fashion Dolls ( Tyler ) and similar.

I am dreadlock doll wigs to fit Monster High Dolls, Lati Yellow, Hujoo Baby, Hujoo Berry, Ellowyne Wilde, Tonner Tyler and similar, Littlefee, and Minifee, as well as any other dolls with head sizes from 5.5 - 8".

My newest style OOAK Custom dolls wigs are done in dreadlock style art yarn that I spin myself. Long story of the creation of these will come soon- but for now just some pics and a link or two.

My OOAK Custom dreadlock BJD doll wigs range in size from 5.5 - 8 " wig size.

Here are some recent wigs I have made for BJD, Tyler and Monster High Dolls.

Various styles and sizes available in my Etsy store and eBay.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My First BJD Doll - The Birth of another obsession?

 For years I have admired the breathtaking beauty of Ball Jointed Dolls. In fact, I have a Pinterest Board devoted to them, but until this week I had never seen a BJD in person. In fact, if I didn't need a doll with this particular size head to serve as a wig model for my custom wigs, I wouldn't have her at all.

Most ball jointed dolls are so far out of my price range that it is laughable. But, after an internet search of "cheap BJD" I came across several companies that had dolls available at a good price. Seeing as I only needed this doll because of her head size and to serve as a wig model, I did not need to spend much money.

I know that to many who collect BJDs, that a NON resin doll may not even count as a BJD, but since I am a novice who the heck cares.

So, I looked on Junky Spot's website and found that a Hujoo Berry was the perfect doll for me. Looked a little more on eBay and bought her there, from Junky Spot.

She arrived three days later. Remember your first time handling a BJD? I had no idea the whole doll was held together by stretch cord. My entire 15 year doll customizing career centered around Barbie, Tonner Dolls, Ellowyne Wilde and then Monster High Dolls the past few years. THIS doll was totally different from what I was used to.

First of all, I couldn't get the back of her head off. I turned to Google again and found a blog post by someone saying how hard it was to get Hujoo Berry's head off and to try a letter opener to pop it open. Well, eventually with an awful lot of effort I got it off.

Inside her head I found these two rubbery things that I did not identify. I put them aside and figured their use would become apparent eventually.

SO there she was. Bald, no eyes and in three more days I would notice that she actually came with TWO left hands, which was a mistake at the factory and not standard practice...LOL! Junky Spot was super nice and said they'd send me a right hand.

My new Hujoo Doll- "Berry "

The first thing I did the next day was to give her three coats of MSC to prep her for her faceup. I wanted to get it done before her eyes arrived. More about her eyes in a minute.

So she was prepped for her faceup. I have been repainting dolls for 14 years. And yet, because she was a brand new, and my first, BJD I was nervous. Where to start? Logically, start around the inner eyelids. Rosy pink. Nice. Proceed to add a little peachy shading to over the eyes and around the nose.

 I think it is far easier to do a faceup on a doll without eyes. Earlier this week I did a repaint on an Ellowyne Wilde doll that had inset glass eyes. There was really no way to avoid getting the spray sealer on her eyeballs when I had to apply repeated coats over the course of the repaint. And by repaint, I really mean faceup- virtually no paint was used on Ellowyne.  I tried covering her eye area but it didn't work. This is her before I removed her face and lashes. I bought her for a wig model also.

Ellowyne Wilde before repaint- inset glass eyes

Ellowyne with no face paint left
 So back to Berry. Next were the eyebrows. Since she is suppose to be a young doll,
 ( despite  the bosom - why do they do that? ) I knew she should have that innocent look that most dolls her age/ size have.

Berry with eyebrows

 So the basics are down, including a little bit of white teeth showing between her slightly parted lips. Very delicate pale pink, peach and a touch of charcoal pastels are all I used on her eyes for now. Later I added in eyeliner and lashes, as well as blush.  I didn't get step by step pics for all that though. As usual, I forgot. Lips and glossing finished it all up.

But she still needed her eyes. I couldn't tell what she would end up looking like.
I ordered her eyes off Etsy from a seller one town over. Three days passed and still no eyes. Really? From ONE town away?

I messaged the eyeball Etsy seller and got ZERO response. Three days after that my eyes finally arrived. Had I ordered them from across country they would have gotten here quicker. And you know what? I wanted hazel green eyes and accidentally asked for the hazel eyes..sigh. Oh well.

I put the eyeballs inside her head, into the large, rounded openings and then realized what those funny rubbery things they sent me inside her head were. EYEBALL Holders! I always read you had to use putty or something so this was a nice surprise. They held the eyeballs in perfectly.

Hujoo Berry with faceup by Fantasy Dolls

So there she is- eyes inserted. But she had no clothes! Oh oh! I knew my Monster High Doll clothes would never fit her.  My next best possibility was Barbie clothes. And you know what? They fit. Well the tops do- not the pants, which are too long.

I put a cute youngish tee shirt on her and Barbie's capri pants fit rather well. It was good enough to keep her clothed until I can make her a nice dress suitable for her style.
But in order to see how cute she COULD look as my size 7.5 - 8 head model for my doll wigs, I gave her a little preview. I haven't made any sizes for her yet, but they are in the works. 

Here she is with a wig that is not her size, but makes her looks super cute anyways.

Berry in custom doll wig 

What did I learn by buying my first BJD, even though hr use is supposed to be as a wig model? I learned that I MUST get more of these. The faceup procedure on a BJD is so fun that I long to do it again.  I guess this is how the ball jointed doll obsession starts.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tutorial- How to Fix your Monster High or Fashion Doll's Bangs When They Stick Up

 Want to know how to easily fix your Monster High or Fashion Doll's bangs if they stick up and go all crazy on you? I did a quick tutorial to show you a easy way to fix them so they look like they did before.

I am always careful when I repaint a doll with bangs. You need to keep the bangs off the face in order to paint it, especially when you work on the eyebrows and eyes.  If you use something to hold the bangs back off the face while working on it, you risk the bangs not laying flat when you are finished.

Also, when you reroot a doll and root in bangs, when you cut the hair to bang length you'll find it sticks straight out in front. You have to fix this somehow. Here's how:

I finished repainting my Elissabat  Monster High Doll and this is what her hair looked like after I removed the paper towel that I had pinned to her head to keep the bangs off her face when working on her.

Below: The first thing I did was cut out a little piece of cardstock to make a mask that would cover her face. This is ESSENTIAL. Do NOT skip this step!!! I pinned it with straight pins on either side of her head under the hair so the pin holes wouldn't show. Be careful not to pin your doll through her face! See below:

Okay, now that her face is protected, take a small washcloth and wet it, Wring it out so it is damp.  Fold bangs down over her forehead where they belong and place damp cloth on head to hold bangs down. See below:

Heat up an iron on low-medium setting. You don't need it super hot. When iron is hot, press lightly down over damp washcloth to flatten bangs. See below:

Lift up the damp cloth and check if the bangs are laying flat yet. If not, keep pressing down with the iron a few seconds at a time. Don't worry if you hear sizzling. It's just the heat of the iron reacting to the damp cloth.

When the bangs are flat and where they should be, remove the face guard.

And there it is- how to fix your Monster High or Fashion Doll's bangs.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Doll Hair- Wool Locks for Monster High Dolls , Hand Dyed Now Available for SALE

Well ya'll know I am a doll hair addict, right? I write a lot of posts about doll hair and tutorials about it, and post pretty pictures of wool locks of every color. I have showed you piles of hand dyed locks. Here's more: ( because I can't help myself )

I buy tons and tons of wool locks in all colors because I like the look and feel of it. Then I started making more and more wigs for the Monster High and Ever After Dolls.  I have a surplus of hair. Yet, I can't help buying more whenever I see a new pretty color.

And because I am not satisfied with being limited to the colors available that I can find online, I have learned to dye my own locks. I just bought 15 brand new colors of Jaquard Acid Dye from Dharma Trading. A full POUND of  white Cotswold locks came in the mail the other day. I am used to buying wool locks for doll hair by the ounce, which is actually quite a LOT of hair cause it is so darned light. A POUND is a TON of hair.

This is a full POUND of Cotswold Locks

Now check these out:

These are only a small sampling of the wool locks for doll hair that I am now offering in  my Etsy shop.

If you want to purchase locks for your Monster High Dolls in amounts appropriate to the size of the doll, my bundles are for you. When you buy online from some fiber artists what you get is an unsorted clump of tangled locks. In fact, this is how most sellers offer it. As a doll artist, I have to pick the locks myself, which personally I LOVE, but I doubt most people want to do this. It is very tedious and time consuming.

So, I have already done this. All my doll hair bundles of wool locks are picked and sorted and separated and ready to use. The amounts are done not just by weight, because that can be very inaccurate. I KNOW how much hair you need for a Monster High Doll head because it's my job to know this. It's what I do. Wigs, dolls, hair.  You get an amount that will do one head with probably a little left as long as you apply it correctly.

 If you find you do not have enough hair when doing a rehair or wig with my bundles, it means you are applying too many rows, applying it too densely, or too much on the lower and back of the head. I usually use far less on my own wigs and doll's heads than I am including in these bundles, so rest assured, there is enough for ONE Monster High or similar size head and you should have some leftover.

I plan on writing a comprehensive tutorial on how to work with wool locks to make your own wigs and apply directly to the head. Hopefully I can get this done soon.

COMING SOON- Yeah- you guessed it- More HAIR STUFF.

Guess what else I am going to be offering soon??? DREADLOCKS for dolls!!!
Stay tuned !!