Tag Archives: embroidery floss

Tudor Princess Toothpick Doll

Hello All –

Back today with a new little toothpick doll. Truth be told she has been done awhile I just haven’t made time to share her with you! I started this doll ages ago and she sat in my box of supplies with no head or arms. You see, the arms are the hardest part to get right with these little dolls. It can be a real challenge to get them to match up. So, when I came across this little lady in my most recent endeavor to tidy up my studio space I decided that she must be completed. Thus the Tudor Princess was born.

Tudor Princess Toothpick Doll by Jennifer Miner

I will admit that there are times that I get a little over zealous with my research to make my dolls historically accurate. This doll is what I would call “loosely Tudor.” There are a lot of details that have to be skipped or that are simply not possible when working on this scale.

Side View

This doll turned out a tiny bit shorter than my Fairy Doll, she is just under 3 inches tall. The “braid” trim was created with two strands of floss and was created using a rope making technique.

Back View

The hair was created by wrapping the damp floss around a few toothpicks and leaving it to dry. I have dolls that are over 20 years old that still have curled hair. It is sort of crazy that such an easy process will stay for so long, but I can attest that it does.

By Jennifer Miner

I made her headdress by gluing embroidery floss to a non-stick mat and once it was dry cutting the floss to the correct shape. Once it was attached, I also added a little bit of trim. Based on my research most Tudor women wore a hair covering or net of some sort but nothing I tried really worked out so her hair remains scandalously uncovered.  I made her collar in the same manner.

I use Aleene’s Tack Glue and there is a little flexibility in the pieces once they are dry. The one downside of the Aleene’s is that it tastes terrible. Yes, I realize that sounds strange but there are times when I hold something in my teeth and as a result get a little taste of glue. You may just have to trust me on this one.

 

Tudor Princess Toothpick Doll

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed today’s doll. I completed two afghans in August but they are Christmas gifts so I am debating if I should wait to share them with you. Have a great day!

 

Belle Part 2 – Toothpick Doll

Hello, World!

Well, it has been a little while since I have posted here. I just hate it when the “real” world gets in the way of this little blog. Oh well, I have been working on lots of projects and will try to share them as I can. I haven’t forgotten about sharing the rest of the Harry Potter party decorations. They are in the works, but on to today’s project!

I have a new toothpick doll to share with you. It is another Belle, this one inspired by the 1991 animated movie version of Belle. She is just a little different from my historically inspired Belle.

Belle Toothpick Doll

This doll took around four hours of working time to create. I have to let my dolls dry between layers. If I don’t I end up pulling my doll totally apart. I have also lost heads owing to my impatience. It is sort of unsettling to have a head in your hands, maybe not really when it is a doll but when you aren’t expecting it, it is a surprise. I created a video of my process. I compressed four hours into 13 minutes. Clearly, I am a little out of practice staying in frame, but I thought you all might get a kick out seeing it start to finish.

 

A view of the hair

This doll was a lot of fun to make. I used a variety of yellow embroidery floss for her dress and accents.

Back Detail – Belle toothpick Doll

Even though her hair covers it, I created a bodice lacing up the back of the dress.

Created by Jennifer Miner

I am really trying to slow down and work on being more accurate with my work. This isn’t easy for me, I always feel like I am in a hurry, which I think hurts my finished product. I think that this doll is neater and overall tidier than some of the previous girls but I will have to keep at it.

Just under 3″

I have a few new ideas for things to try on upcoming dolls so stay tuned. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! Stay safe.

 

Large Koma Ornament

Happy Sunday Night. I thought that I would share a quick post with you all tonight. I had a request for a large koma ornament. If you missed my previous post about these Japanese ornaments you can view that here.  They are really easy to make and could be any color you want.

When I started making these a few years ago, I made a large one for my parents. Most of my koma are made with a base of 6″x2″ and the previous ornament and the one I am sharing today are made with a base of 9″x3″. The only request for this koma was that it should be the same size as my large one and that the colors feature high contrast. Below I have posted two diagrams, the top diagram shows the size and scoring for a small (my normal size koma) and the bottom diagram shows the same for a large koma, like this one.

Dimensions for a small koma

I should point out that these are not to scale but just to help you if you create your own.

Diagram for a large koma

Here is what I came with. . . .

Created with cardboard, embroidery floss, beads, and glue.

This was so much fun. I was able to get started on this when my daughter’s school had a delayed start; she got to sleep in and I got to craft.

Silver & Blue Koma

I used DMC Embroidery Floss in the following colors:

  • 823 – Dark Navy Blue
  • 995 – Dark Electric Blue
  • 996 – Medium Electric Blue
  • S762 – Silver Cloud (Satin Embroidery Floss)

The Satin Floss can be a bit of a challenge to work with because the strands separate and it is really slippery. I made one tassel with it and it was a fight! It was totally worth it because it looks so great on the ornament. I really like the way the colors work together.

By Jennifer Miner

I purchased a hank of Czech Beads at my local store for the tassels and added iridescent seed beads in between each of the Czech beads. I was pretty surprised how quickly this ornament worked up.

Large & small koma

Above you can see how the two sizes look in comparison. As you can see, the larger one is much larger.

Beading & tassels

I am really looking forward to getting this ornament to its new owner, I think that they will be pleased. I am still hacking away on the same cereal box and I think that I’ll get a few more out of it before it is all said and done. As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

Japanese Koma Ornament Tutorial

Getting down to the wire for Christmas! I hope that you are all ready, we are woefully unprepared but I am sure that we’ll pull it together. Today, I will be sharing these Japanese Koma Ornaments called Koma. I think that they are related to the craft called Temari but much simpler. The first time I saw these was on the Carol Duvall Show about a million years ago and I haven’t really seen very many people making them since them but I think that they are so much fun that I would share them with you today.

I have made a video of the process which you can view below.

To begin, you will need a piece of light cardboard. I use cereal boxes as they seem to be just the right weight. My standard size uses a piece that is 6″ by 2″ with three-inch squares.  If you want to change sizes you would just need to stay with those ratios. For example, if you have a 9″ long it would need to be 3 ” with 3″ squares. Once you have drawn your rectangle, you will add the squares at 2″ and 4.” Then you will add diagonal lines. You can see how those are drawn on below.

6″x2″ score lines marked and cut

Once you cut out your rectangle, you will need to score along the lines you have drawn. I use a box cutter and start very lightly so that I don’t accidentally cut through the score lines. Usually, I use a steel ruler with a cork backing to do any scoring, for two reasons, one – it doesn’t slip and two- I don’t have to worry about cutting through it. I will admit to cutting through a plastic ruler before. As always, be very careful when scoring.

Masking taped

Now, you will fold all of your score lines away from you. You are ready to start assembling your Koma. I use masking tape to tape mine together. You can, of course, use whatever works for you.  I leave one corner open to glue in a hanger.

One corner open

This time, I made a hanger with embroidery floss, about 5 inches long but I have use cording or ribbon. I use Alene’s Tack Glue to glue the hanger on the inside.

Glued in hanger

Then you will tape all the sides closed. I leave my ornament to dry.

All taped up

Now it is time to start wrapping! If you ever made God’s Eyes as a kiddo, this is very similar. I start at the top and glue down my end. If you labeled your Koma points you would start at one, then wrap around three, then two and end the wrap at one. See images below.

Starting the wrapping
First wrap
2/3 around
First path completed
Six rows in main color

To change colors, you just snip the thread and glue it down. Glue your new color and continue on. Just keep wrapping until the whole Koma is covered. Then you will glue down your final end. I used about three skeins for each Koma, this includes the tassels.

Working the pattern – mid-point

Most of the Koma’s I have made have tassels, I think that they look nice. For this Koma, I created one larger tassel in my main color, which will hang from the bottom point and then three in my complementary color. I used a variety of beads and beading thread to sew on my tassels.

Koma hanging
With beading with tassels

That is it! You are only limited by your imagination. We have our Komas out at Christmas but there isn’t anything that says you couldn’t have them out at other times.

Created by Jennifer Miner

Here are all of the Harry Potter Komas I have made. The colors I used are from the Lead Cauldron site, here.

Hufflepuff Koma
Slytherin Koma Ornament
Ravenclaw Koma
All the Hogwarts Koma Ornaments

Now, you don’t have to stick with Hogwarts inspired ornaments, below are a few others I have made. You will see that a few have rings versus floss hangers and different tassel orientations.

Christmas Koma Ornament
Pink & Purple Koma
Bright Koma with ring

I hope that this Japanese Koma Ornament Tutorial has inspired you to create your own!

Materials

  • Cereal Box or other light cardboard
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Glue
  • Masking Take
  • Scissors
  • Exacto or Box Cutter
  • Ruler

 

 

Medieval Maiden Toothpick Doll

Back with another toothpick doll, I promise I’ll get back to my wooden sign tomorrow. Everything is done but I just didn’t have a chance to get good photos of the finished product.

Last week was just one of those weeks. I had epic failures in a ton of areas, I ruined two batches of French Macarons, I dropped an ink pad on a nearly completed card, I had to totally scrap a toothpick doll, then I had to frog (undo) about half of an afghan I was working on, TWICE! So, I have all my crafting bad luck out of the way, only good projects this week. Right?? I have decided that it will be. I think that I just had too much going on.  I was making little mistakes that became large mistakes, therefore I will be taking more time with my projects this week.

Medieval Maiden Toothpick Doll
Medieval Maiden Toothpick Doll

Here she is a Medieval Maiden. She has little arm braces and a corset. She also has tiny braids with tiny little ties.

Created by Jennifer Miner
Created by Jennifer Miner

Above you see her from the side.

medieval-maiden-3

Here you can see her hair. I used regular embroidery floss that I separated into individual strands to create this look. I use a few different tools to separate my “hair” from an unglue toothpick to a doll hair brush that I have  borrowed.

Toothpick Doll
Toothpick Doll

Her arms are created in two parts. This allows her to have large upper sleeves without having to carry the treads down to the lower arm.

3" Tall Toothpick Doll
3″ Tall Medieval Maiden Toothpick Doll

Her laces were created with a single thread. I just love how her strawberry blonde hair turned out. Hair is generally the last step in a toothpick doll and it seems to be the piece that can give a doll her personality.

View of the underside of toothpick doll
View of the underside of toothpick doll

Here you can see the many layers of floss that go into creating the full skirt. Really and truly this doll is only made with toothpicks, embroidery floss, and glue. Some of my earlier dolls had other bits added but I have been trying to only use those three supplies for my current dolls because I find that it really challenges my creativity.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! Have a crafty day.