Monday, November 8, 2010

Father Christmas Doll

I had a great deal of fun making this Father Christmas doll, the third one I have made. Supplies include:
2 pipe cleaners
stuffing wool (I got it thorough Halcyon Yarn )
Red, green and golden felting wool (also through Halcyon and fiber festivals)
A small amount of colored wool for eyes and lips and face if you want a different skin tone than I have here.
I used washed, un-carded curly locks for the beard and hair- you can purchase wool doll hair or make it yourself by braiding wool hanks and letting them set.
Needling pad or sponge

The first thing to do is take two pipe cleaners- one for the head and arms, the other for the bodice, and bend them, as below:

This gives you a form to work with and some flexibility in the arms later. Next, I wrapped the arms in stuffing wool and needled it into place (light needling at this point allows you to make changes later). I then stuffed the head from one side- the smooth front becomes the face, the back is later covered by hair:
Next I took a small hank of wool and needled it in the center to build up a nose. This takes some practice, so try a few times (and use tan or brown or whatever color wool for different skin tones on the face and "hands." When I have made darker skin tone dolls, I have set the eyes off in a white background so they can be easily seen):
I then needled the whole thing into place on the face:
Next begin stuffing the body- this is where you need a firm conviction that it will eventually look like something, not an amorphous blob!
Continue to needle the wool to get it tighter and firmer, adding wool as necessary. Needle from the bottom too, to "lock in" the core wool at the base- here it is firming up:
Begin to add colored wool. The red is a Christmas red, and the green is a forest green, but it appears darker on these photos than it really is:
I took some red wool and made a small poinsettia, adding the yellow accents (these are the true flowers of the poinsettia- the red are modified leaves, called bracts) (you will see later where I add this to F. Christmases robe):
I took a hank of red wool and needled it flat, into a rectangle. Then I folded it into a cone and trimmed it and needled the back seam from the inside to make a cone-shaped hat. Here it is being needled to Fa. Christmases head...oh and I added some facial features and later straightened his nose:
I made a small sack for toys and a wrapped present to put in it (honestly, this is red, not pink):

Then I needled on the hair and beard, folded the hat down, added some holly and assembled my Father Christmas!

Till next time, I'll be needlin' around!