Self Portrait Dolls

May 26, 2010

Last night Emily pulled the “Make Self Portrait Dolls” from the summer fun jar. I had a vague idea about how I wanted us to go about making these, but I figured I had some time to think about it. Guess I was wrong. It’s the second activity chosen.

These dolls were quite the trial and error project. I think they got tired of drawing by the end! We started off with them drawing a self portrait. Madison used some creative license with her portrait.

First I had visions of stitching their creations onto the fabric to make the dolls. Then I decided that was too time consuming for a toy they would probably toss aside after a day or so. If they end up loving these, we can try that next time.

So then I decided to try to do a crayon transfer from the paper to the fabric. That didn’t go so well either. The crayon transferred, but it was too light to see no matter how dark the original crayon marks were. Crayola makes fabric crayons, but I don’t have any and I wasn’t willing to drag a sick child through Walmart to find some.

At this point I decided to begin researching online about another way to do a crayon transfer. Turns out regular Crayola crayons don’t do well. I guess that’s why they make the fabric kind. Some people said they have had luck with using generic crayons. I found some generic ones my mother-in-law bought the girls and tried those. They didn’t work any better than the first try.

Moving on to the next idea. You can color on sandpaper and iron that to the fabric. So I went out to the garage to snoop through Jon’s sandpaper supply. He had a new sheet of drywall sandpaper, but it wasn’t big enough for all three girls to use. Then he had small sheets of a very rough sandpaper. I colored a corner of one of them and tested it out. It worked well, so I passed out the sandpaper with instructions to draw another picture. The rough grit didn’t work well with the details the girls wanted to do in a small area. So we decided that idea didn’t work well for this project, but I think it would do well for other projects. I gathered up the sandpaper and put it back in a pile on the shelves in the garage. Wait until Jon needs sandpaper again and finds crayon drawings on them!

So after some more brainstorming, we tried to use freezer paper. That stuff does great for so many projects and it did better than using the regular paper, but wasn’t what we wanted either.

Then I decided I needed to stop wasting time trying to figure out how to do a crayon transfer. I just let them color directly onto the fabric. Then I placed a sheet of paper over it and used the iron to melt the crayon and set it right onto the fabric. Who needs to use a transfer?

After they finished coloring them, I let them go through my scrap fabric and choose something for the back of the doll. I stitched around the edges and turned them right side out. After stuffing them a bit, I sewed the bottom shut.

Now they have little self portrait softies.

Here are the backs of the dolls.

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5 Responses to “Self Portrait Dolls”

  1. Anonymous said:

    What a neat idea!! I’m going to do this with my girls right now as a test run, then plan it as an activity for our playgroup :)

  2. Beth said:

    Glad you got it figured out! They turned out great, neat idea!

  3. admin said:

    I’d love to see the finished results!

  4. Anonymous said:

    What a sweet project.
    -Crystal

  5. Kidfriendlyja said:

    love this I have to try it with my daughter.

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