Homemade Dolls' Wigs
Doll making is a challenging pastime that will produce beautiful results, guaranteed to be cherished forever. Homemade dolls can be passed down from generation to generation, as well, multiplying the pleasure reaped from this activity by decades and even centuries. There is something truly special about a doll made by Grandma when she was young and played with by a grand daughter, a feeling unmatched by any other waves of nostalgia.
Making a doll wig need not be the formidable task that many fear it will be. Some doll wigs are as simple as tying and gluing a few strands of yarn. Genuine synthetic wigs from wig caps are more difficult to put together, but certainly within the grasp of our competent Stitch N' Savers. There are two main ways to make your doll wig:
1. Removable cap: This type of doll wig is made if you want to change the hairstyle of your doll frequently. A wig cap is purchased or crafted and hair is then attached to this cap. The cap can be made directly on the homemade doll's head or on a wig stand (molded from polymer clay or the like, approximating the size and shape of the doll head). The wig cap can be formed from plastic wrap or any other 'peelable' material. Place a piece of plastic on the doll's head and adhere with a rubber band. Hot glue or sew wefts of hair onto the plastic. When the glue has dried, peel off the plastic (discard the rubber band) and attach or secure onto your homemade doll's head for cutting and styling. You can also decide to make your own wefts by sewing (machine or hand) strands of "hair" (whichever material you've chosen) to a base strip of tape, caulk or using hot glue. If using hot glue, the strands or wefts can be applied directly to the doll head and peeled off easily at the end. Don't store hot glue wigs in a very warm area, as the heat can cause the hot glue to re-melt and stick to other items. Handmade wefts can be used on a removable cap or in the direct method below.
2. Direct method: In this method, the wig is sewn or glued directly onto the head (non-removable, obviously).
Yarn- Yarn wigs are used when making your typical homemade clothe doll. Simply, take a large bunch of yarn, cut it to the length you want it (from one tip around the head and down to the other tip) and tie in the center with the same color thread. Separate the two halves into two individual groups (so you have four) and then comb it out evenly. Attach using thread or glue and style.
Synthetic strands- Synthetic hair is the easiest to style and work with in general. It is also very shiny, which is a nice feature for doll wigs. Synthetic wefts can be hot glued in a row onto the doll head or sewn on. If the doll head is not attached (or can be easily removed and replaced), you can get a truly professional doll wig by sewing the strands, one at a time into the head. Start by sewing a few strands into the head starting from the outside and sending the needle through into the inside and out the neck hole. Pull the strands through the neck hole, leaving only about 3" or so sticking out of the doll's head. When you have three or four strands done, start tying knots into the ends of the hair that are coming out of the neck hole. The fewer hairs contained within each knot, the more securely the wig will stay in place. When you've tied your knots, gently pull the 3" hairs sticking out of the doll's head so the length of hair grows. Do this stage slowly and carefully so as not to tangle or rip the strands. This process is known as rooting and creates an incredibly durable base for the doll wig. Comb the hair and tie back so the completed strands won't get in your way as you continue along the nape of the neck and up around the scalp to complete your doll wig.
Doll making is a fun hobby to pick up at any age. There are plenty of tutorials available on how to make a doll, and the materials and level of difficulty can be as basic or as complex as you choose. So get started on this adorable keepsake that you will love to hand down to your grandkids.
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| March 26, 2017
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