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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Doll Hair: free pattern and tutorial-Step 2, Making the Curls




Blythe's "Fancy Nancy" inspired doll for her birthday is coming along nicely, but this hair is going to take 3 tutorials to get it from a skein of yarn to a wig on her head.  I covered the base on Monday, the curls today, and I'll try to get the latching process Friday.  I am going to have the doll and embroidery pattern I made available next week!  :o)

I have been using this method for 2 years.  I discovered it after looking at primitive dolls with felted hair.  I didn't want to use wool because in a hard wash the dolls hair would all felt together in one mess.  So I found the Hungry Hooker blog with acrylic curls and adapted my method from it.  She worried about baking the yarn and checked it often, but please don't do that.  As long as you follow the steps everything will work out fine.  By the way, I have found that if you bake "soft" acrylic yarn it at 350 degrees it lightens the yarn and provides you with yarn "highlights" to put in your dolls hair.  I haven't tried it with standard acrylic.

Before you buy your dowel rods pay attention to step 3 in the baking process.  I bought long rods and had the nice people at Home Depot cut them for me to my needed size.  

Wrapping your yarn:


The baking process!
**Additional instructions for Step 4.  For "soft" acrylic yarn or "Vanna's Choice" bake at 300 degrees for 55 minutes and do not unwrap until it is cooled completely.


Looking for a doll to put it on?
 


31 comments:

  1. Charlie this is an awesome tutorial!! Pinned it for sure in case I ever need it for anything! I could even use this to add hair to hats I make! Awesome!!!

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    1. I am glad you like it Michelle! I love the curly yarn, so cute! If you do use it post it on my FB page for me to see. I would love that! :o)

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  2. Wow this is amazing!! Pinning!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! I love how it looks and it's permanent. It even survives the washing machine! :o)

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  3. How fun and cool is this! Love all these locks!

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    1. Thanks Heather! :o) If you do it, please post it to my FB page for me to see!

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  4. Wow I have never seen this. It looks wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Ali xx

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    1. Thanks for looking Ali! I hope you have a chance to put it to use sometime. :o)

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  5. It's just perfect!! Your dollies are so cute!!!
    Thanks for sharing this!!

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    1. Thank you and thanks for coming by Kukafera!

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  6. That hair is so gorgeous!!!!!! Thanks for sharing at Submarine Sunday!!

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  7. Thank you! Will this work with 100$ wool yarn?

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    1. Hey Linda! I am glad you asked before trying it. Wool and acrylic yarns are very different. The reason this works with acrylic is because the cooking process slightly melts the yarn creating permanent curls. Wool will not melt and this would not work. To make wool permanently curly I would suggest felting it. When you felt you bond the fibers together by opening the individual fibers up with a high PH substance (lye, PineSol, ect.), applying friction to join the fibers that split (like your split ends), and rinse it out to set it and let it dry in the shape you desire. However, I would NEVER do this to yarn that I paid so much for. I am too frugal. And also, with wool you would have to be extremely careful when you washed the doll because the hair would all felt together if you washed it like you would your everyday clothes, leaving you with a mess worth crying about. I make dolls for children that I expect to be roughly loved and easily laundered, so acrylic is a good choice for me and usually costs me less than $10 a wig. It is not a natural fiber though and I know that turns off some people. You can also look at mohair for waldorf dolls if you want a natural choice. It can be very cute. I hope this information helps your decision. Happy doll making!

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  8. any chance of it working in a microwave??

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  9. You must be having a "make it work moment." This could turn out a disaster, but I will tell you what I would do if I were you. I would cut a wooden dowel to fit on my microwave plate so that it can still turn and distribute the heat evenly and cut 2 1" peices of dowel off, notch them so that the rod with yarn can sit up off of it on the ends, this will keep the yarn from touching the plate. Soak and wrap half a rod with the wet yarn to experiment with. Put it on the notched dowel rod pieces on your microwave plate and turn the power level to 1, my power level has to be reset every time I want it on something other then high. I would check it every 30 seconds to see where it was at and go from there. It could just turn out to be a melted mess, but if it is all you have, why not try? Btw, I have zero liability for the results of this adventure. It is entirely up to you what you do. So be cautious & good luck. (& NEVER put metal in a microwave!)

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  10. Hi! First of all great job!
    I would like to know if you mind 300 degrees Celsius or Farenheit.
    Thank you very much

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    1. That is Fahrenheit. Which is equal to 150 degrees Celsius. You may want to try 165 though. I am finding that I like it a little hotter and it is fine as long as the yarn doesn't touch the pan. Good luck!

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  11. Your instructions are very blurry in the 2nd set of photos. In step 3, what does the sentence say after you place the rods on a baking sheet? Some thing about not letting the yarn something?

    Thanks for this tutorial. I'm excited to try this.

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    1. If you click on the picture it makes it clear when it pulls up as a larger photo on mobile devices. It says to not let the yarn actually sit on a hot surface because it could melt. That's why it's important of the dowel rods reach to the end of the cookie sheet and hang suspended over it.

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  12. Can't wait to try this, my question is how do you put the cap on the doll head?

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    1. I put this in the step 3 part I believe. You sew it on. Just use the color of thread that matches the yarn that you used for the hair.

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  13. Love this love curly hair will try very soon for my dolls thank you for this great tutorial

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    1. I'm glad you like it! I think it's really cute too.

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  14. Hey!
    thank you so much for your tutorial. Love it! You’ve been featured at www.plushiepatterns.com! We love your tutorial. Feel free to submit any plushie or doll tutorials to be featured again.

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  15. This may be a ridiculous question but how do I know if my yarn is soft or not?

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    1. It's okay! Soft yarn usually says so on the label. In big letters. It's also kind of fuzzy and has a silky feel to it. I posted questions to other people before then in retrospect felt ridiculous. However, I'm a very specific person and I'd like to know and sometimes questions feel like the best way. So don't worry about it! :-)

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  16. Hello,
    Thank you for yur very easy to folloow tutorial on making dolls hair. I am trying to make long hait for 5 inch dolls and I find it is making looser curls at teh top and ringlets at the bottom, I have tried using hairspray after, still does not keep the same type of curl.. do you have any suggestions please.
    Kind regards
    Eileen
    x

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  17. Hi! And thank you for a lovely tutorial. I'm wondering if I can use this method with cotton/viscose yarn? 54% cotton/46% viscose?

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  18. Hi! I just tried this using acrylic yarn and 1/2" dowels, but it didn't curl. Any idea what I may have done wrong?

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