Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Make a Fancy Doll Stand

Here's one more fancy doll stand I just made for a swap. My lovely swap partner, Astral in England, asked if I could show her how it was made; so, here you go, Astral, this tutorial is for you!

Start with pre-cut wooden plaques from the craft store. Mine are 5" square. Drill a 1/4" hole, centered, about an inch from the back of the plaque. (I've never used a drill before, and I was a bit nervous about it, but drilling the hole turned out to be the most fun part of making these stands!)

You need to have your theme completely planned out before you go any further. In my previous post, I showed two stands that have scrapbooking paper on the top, and I painted the sides to coordinate with the paper. For this "outdoorsy" stand, I painted the sides grass green. Be sure to paint around the drilled hole, and down inside it too. Paint over the edges on the top and bottom so no unpainted parts will show on the finished stand (since there was wet paint on the bottom, I set the stand on a can of vegetables to dry.)

Carefully measure and cut the paper or faux grass you will use on the top of the stand. Remember to cut a hole where you drilled the hole in the stand! You can find sheets of this dollhouse grass at hobby stores.

Also, cut a piece of felt to go on the bottom of the stand, so it won't scratch the surface you place it on.

The picture below shows all the bits and pieces I used to decorate my stand. The fence came from the craft store, and I made the watermelons and leaves out of polymer clay. The 1/4" dowel at the back of the picture will go in the drilled hole to support the doll on the stand.

The bush is made from a circle of fabric. I embroidered simple flowers on it, and  added some beads.

Glue on the grass or (scrapbook paper), and the felt, using tacky glue. Everything else should be glued with a hot glue gun. That's all there is to it!

I made a watermelon dress for the doll to complete the picture!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fancy Doll Stands

I've been working on a series of stands for Blythe dolls. These dolls don't stand on their own, so they are sold with a plain plastic stand.  I wanted to make something really cute and fun, with a theme or a scene that would be a good display item.  

Here's the first one I made; the theme was "spring". 

All the supplies came from local craft stores (Joann's and Michaels). The base is a wooden plaque with a hole drilled in it for the 1/4" dowel that holds the doll in place. I left most of the dowel unpainted, because Blythe dolls tend to pick up stains easily, so it's safer this way. 

I made the bush by embroidering flowers on a fabric yoyo, then stuffing it.

To put the doll on the stand, you just position her with the dowel inside the back of her clothes and she stands there just fine! I made this dress and headband to go with the stand and expand on the theme.

The next one is a "candy land" theme. I found the little wheelbarrow at Michaels, and I made the candy out of polymer clay.

The tree is a cone made of felt.

Again, I made this dress and headband to go with the stand and go with the theme.

I made this last one for a swap partner at Craftster in the recent "Invite Your Partner" swap. (It is a fun swap because you pick your own partner and the two of you decide what you will swap. We swapped Blythe doll goodies.) My partner is a musician, so I knew that would be a great theme to go with for her. 

Everything is hot glued in place, and there is a square of felt on the bottom of the stand so it won't scratch the shelf or table where it is displayed.

This time I bought the dress instead of making it, because it came with the plastic violin and bow that I needed for the stand! I also purchased the music stand from a dollhouse supply place.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Birdy Pouches

For two recent swaps on Craftster, I made (among other things) a zippered pouch for each partner.  They both like birds, and they both appreciate whimsy, so the birds are wearing party hats!

The basic construction is the same as my "popular" pouch, but I eliminated the gusset and just sewed them flat. I've made a lot of zippered pouches, but these are the first ones I've made like this, with an appliqued section and a fabric section on both sides. I think it makes them a lot more interesting and there are a million different things you could applique on them to personalize them--they would be great gifts, because anyone could use a pouch for something!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kira's Kitty Portraits

I simply MUST show you an amazing item I received from my swap partner, Kira. She asked me to send her pictures of my cats, and here's what she did with them:

She made this amazing hand-painted garland, which folds up to fit in a decorated matchbox!!

Look at those little faces!  I've never seen anything so cute!  I love the interesting texture and colors in the backgrounds too.

Kira is an artist (obviously), crafter and blogger; you can find her at Oops I Craft My Pants.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Morsbag Swap, Round 2

Last year, I organized the first round of the Morsbag Swap at Craftster; it was so popular that I decided to run it again, and the beautiful bags are currently pouring into the gallery!!

Morsbags are reusable shopping bags, made from a simple pattern; everyone in the swap was encouraged to do something "extra" to the bag they make for their partner, and that is what makes the gallery so interesting--each bag starts with the same pattern, but the finished products are all completely different.

In addition to the morsbag, we swapped one medium crafted item, or two small crafted items. Here's what I sent to my partner, Kira:

Kira said she loves "jewel bright" colors, so when I saw this fabric at the store, I didn't think twice--I quickly bought a yard of it!  It really is perfect. I personalized the bag with her first initial, which I cut using my Sizzix machine.

You may recognize this cute little zippered pouch from my last post:  I showed you the one I made for my Mod Swap partner.  I used the same simple bird pattern I had drawn for that pouch, but this time the fabrics I chose are more in keeping with Kira's tastes.

Kira said she likes small items because she doesn't have a lot of space in her house, so an embellished matchbox seemed like a good choice.  I've made these monsters before, and they seemed perfect for her because she is an artist and frequently draws cute monsters.

I felt like I wanted to add something else to my package, so I threw in this scissors fob, and a nice pair of my favorite Fiscars needlework scissors.

I am really looking forward to receiving my package from Kira, because she is an amazing artist and crafter--I was so fortunate to be able to swap with her!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mod Swap

Last month, one of the first things the moderators at Craftster did to welcome the newest mods (including myself) was to organize a craft swap. Each new mod would be paired with an "old" mod in a mini version of a "Make a Friend" swap. We would exchange three things:  one thing we do well, one thing we love, and one surprise.

All the "old" mods are amazing crafters, and I had the fantastic good fortune to be paired with rackycoo. She tends to focus on paper crafts and assemblages, while I am mostly into sewing. That meant that I had to really dig into her Pinterest to figure out what to make for her--she didn't have a lot of sewn items there!  We exchanged messages, though, and she mentioned she would love some fabric baskets, so that's where I started.  Here's the whole package I sent to her:

The baskets are "the thing I do well."  I've done these before; there's even a tutorial for them HERE on my blog. Rackycoo's Pinterest was full of things that look old and worn, so I decided to use one of my cutter quilts for the heart and star on the front of the baskets.

I cut the bold words "happy" and "love" out of a piece of new fabric with an old look to it.  I left all the edges raw, so there are plenty of loose threads!  (Everything is securely sewn, though, so it won't be falling apart any time soon.)

For her "surprise" item, I made this zippered pouch (although it could also have been the "thing I do well", since I've made so many of these!)  This is the first one I've done like this, though, with both a pieced section and an appliqued section on both sides.  Rackycoo loves birds, and things wearing party hats!

In return, rackycoo made me some truly amazing items!  First, this elephant box that I requested; she started with a blank paper elephant form from a craft store, and with a lot of work she turned it into this piece of art!  I love it. (Yes, the box under the elephant does open.)

Altered tins are one of her specialties, so she made this one for me. The old buttons are still on their original card.  So cool!

The third item is actually three miniature treasures for my Blythe dolls.

First, she made this box of letters and post cards...they all have writing on them, and tiny stamps and post marks! The envelopes each contain a piece of paper with a letter written on it, to one of my dolls!  These are unbelievably detailed.

Next, there is this sweet terrarium.  The butterfly is a metal charm that she painted and somehow bent to give it a more realistic look.

And last, a clock!  This is so beautiful and elegant!

The back of the clock features this pretty picture, so it can be used with either side facing forward.

I jumped right into this swap but then started to feel nervous as I was crafting...but rackycoo is pleased with what I sent her, so that's all that matters!  I love what I received as well--thanks so much for the swap, Kristen!