DIY & Crafts

Kids' art: making a doll out of a cartoon

Author: Canadian Living

DIY & Crafts

Kids' art: making a doll out of a cartoon

Cool Cat: he's a real doll
Colleen is in Grade 7, and she's a big fan of cartoons and cartooning. She has sketchbooks full of her drawings, and she's made some of her characters into FIMO or Sculpey clay figurines. Inspired by Making Crafts From Your Kids' Art (Lark Books, 2003) by Valerie van Arsdale Schrader, we turned her drawing of a finger-snapping cat into a cool cloth doll. Here are some general instructions for a project such as this:

You will need:
• a copier or a scanner/ computer/ printer
• tape
• 1/3 m of white cotton fabric
• pencil
• newspaper or cardboard
• waxed paper
• fabric paints and markers
• pins and pincushion
• needle
• white thread
• sewing machine


How to do it:

1. Scan your drawing into the computer. Enlarge the scan to the size you want your doll to be and print your file. Or, take your drawing to a photocopy shop and enlarge it there.

The steps are illustrated here: How to make a doll (pdf format, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

2. Tape the printout or photocopy to a window or light box. Tape your fabric over the photocopy. Trace it with a pencil including details.

3. Flip over your photocopy, tape it to the window and trace the back of your doll. Leave back of face blank -- this is where you will sew on the hair or paint in hair colour.

4. Cover your work surface with newspaper, then waxed paper. Put the fabric flat on top of the wax paper.

5. Using fabric paint or acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium, paint both sides of the figure. You can be a little rough at the edges at this stage-- you will be sewing them in. Use your fabric markers and clean it up by drawing in the details. Dry thoroughly.

6. Pin the two figures together with the right sides facing. Cut around these figures with a 1 cm seam allowance.

7. Stitch the seam by hand or machine, making sure to leave a section open to insert the stuffing. Clip curves where you need to and turn your doll inside out. You may want to add a gusset or oval piece on the bottom to help it stand up.

8. Stuff the doll; stitch closed by hand.

9. For hair, paint or get creative with yarn. Carpet thread is a good choice to sew yarn in place.

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Kids' art: making a doll out of a cartoon

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