Friday, March 7, 2014

Going Green No-Sew Doll Dresses


With the exception of a Singing Holiday Sisters (Barbie, Stacey, and Kelly) and a couple of May birthday/birthstone themed dolls, very few of my playscale dolls wear green.  I needed at least two additional green dresses for a photo-sharing event.  I checked eBay but did not find anything suitable or economically priced.

Next, I watched a few Youtube videos on making simple no-sew playscale dresses and found instructions for one that looked pretty simple.

What can be any simpler than making a dress from toilet paper? I thought.  Yes, you read it correctly, a toilet paper dress.   Photos of what I did to make it are shared below.

Kara's body is Saran wrapped and two sets of  10 continuous sheets of toilet paper will be wrapped around her body.

Kara's body is wrapped with toilet paper with the paper moistened with water between layers and molded to the shape of her body.

Kara's legs are inside a paperclip holder on my desk where she is allowed to stand overnight until the toilet paper dries.
After the paper dries, painting begins.  I used green acrylic craft paint, leaving the top and hemline unpainted because these areas will be trimmed.

I used white acrylic paint to color block the dress because areas on the sides were a darker green after the green paint dried.

The paint has dried; ready for Mod Podge.  "How are you going to get it off?" asked my husband.  "Cut it." I replied.  

A generous layer of Mod Podge is applied and allowed to dry overnight.

The tricky part was cutting the dress off.  I used the smallest pair of on-hand scissors, but could not maneuver the scissors where the dress covered her buttocks.  I don't trust myself with an X-Acto knife; so I used a pocketknife to score that area.  Then I gently poked the tip of the knife in the scored section to create an opening.

In the video, duct tape was placed along both sides of the opening to create a closure in back held with Velcro dots.  I used white sports tape instead of unsightly duct tape.  The plan was to paint the tape, but after it was applied, that plan changed.  Kara models the dress from front and back later.
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Because painting was required, which also extended the length of this project, I decided to make a second dress using green wrapping tissue.  Except for painting, the steps to make this dress were very similar to those described for the first.

Kara's body is wrapped with wrapping tissue.

The paper is moistened liberally and gently molded to the shape of her body by squeezing out the excess water.  A strip is placed at the waist to create a belt.

The paper has dried and is ready for Mod Podge.

A generous layer of Mod Podge is applied and allowed to dry overnight.

The dress is cut off using the same technique used for the toilet paper dress.

As noted for the first dress, sports tape was used on one side in back to create a flap-over closure.  It extends far enough onto the other side that I did not have to use Velcro to keep the flap in place.  For the wrapping tissue dress, I used Curad adhesive tape and tiny strips of Velcro to secure the closure.  I initially planned to Mod Podge and glue a strip of wrapping tissue on top of the back flap of dress 2 for a monochromatic look, but decided to leave it as is.

Kara and Marisa model their new paper dresses.  Marisa models hers initially without the white "belt" that I added later (seen below).
Kara is now wearing color coordinated earrings and bracelets.  Marisa's "belt" is made using the adhesive  tape that was used for the back closure.
The ladies have officially gone green without saving the environment being the initial plan.

***

Two other paper ideas for doll dressmaking include using colored Kleenex facial tissues (if you can find), colored or print toilet paper (again, if you can find it), and white toilet paper or Kleenex colored with food color-tinged water.  There are loads of possibilities.

Click here to view the Youtube video that inspired this project.



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19 comments:

  1. That's a heck of a lot of work, but they look great.

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    1. The second one was a breeze compared to the first.

      Time is not a factor when I am doing something I enjoy.

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  2. It reminds me of a Project Runway challenge where the candidates have to use everything but fabric :-). The result is awesome, what a great idea!

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    1. Thank you, Nymphaea.

      I saw on another TV show a bridal gown made of toilet paper and I wondered how in the world they did it. Now I suppose I know.

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  3. What a fantastic project! I would never have thought that tissue paper could be used that way.

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    1. Thank you jSarie! I would have never thought of doing this on my own. There's a wealth of valuable information on Youtube.

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  4. Well, I think it's amazing! I have never heard of that and it looks awesome. What a great way to create a mold.

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    1. Hey Muff,

      I was thinking earlier today, this method would be great for molding doll shoes and/or boots.

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  5. Very interesting and creative this dresses!It's a form to put new doll ideas in sceene.As an artist that use paper ( on my collages),I must try someday this preocess.It can start a new artistic project.Thanks Debbie for share it!!

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    1. I look forward to seeing what you create, Jorge! Whatever and if ever, I know it will be fabulous!

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  6. Wow Debbie, these look great! Great job!! I need to check out that YouTube.

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    1. Thanks, GG! I'll try most doll-related things that interest me once.

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  7. Well, you saved electricity NOT using a sewing machine, Debbie. So your post is double green - ha ha. *Killing* humor unmercifully, I am.

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    1. I did go green in more ways than one with these paper dresses.

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  8. I just checked out the video and that is the coolest thing. I never would of thought of this! Your dresses turned out great. I'm going to have to give this a try.

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    1. I am glad you were able to take time to view the video Brini. The technique can be modified as you see fit. Please share results if you make a paper dress.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!