Monday, March 8, 2010

wood crafts week - painting people

Welcome to Wood Crafts Week!

Okay, I decided that I couldn't wait until next month to do something besides sewing.  So this week I welcome you to a whole week of wood crafts . . . wowzers!  (Check out the excessive use of the letter "w" in that sentence.) 

Since January I've been blogging about crafts I've been working on that I will be giving my kids for Christmas 2010.  However, I've also been working on some other crafts on the side.  I'm in the process of making two fabric doll houses that I will be giving them for Easter.  Check out some of the details on the houses I'm working on.  

These two doll houses have been a crazy amount of work.  Right about now you're saying to yourself, "What does this have to do with wood crafts?"  I'm getting there.  

As I was in the process of making the doll houses, I was inspired to make some dolls to live in these cute little bungalows.  I wandered aimlessly around Hobby Lobby - on one of my super rare trips there - hoping to be inspired by something.  Lo and behold . . . I found little wooden people.  I also found wood bobbins and little wood balls.  I figured I could paint the wooden people and/or glue the bobbins and balls together to make people.  However, after working so hard on the little houses, I decided to go the incredibly easy peasy route that did not involve using glue and waiting for it to dry.

First, let me say that I realize I'm not the first person in the history of crafting to do this.  I don't claim to be original.  Obviously, if someone makes these little wooden people, they expect people to paint them.  So take this little tutorial as a starting point to create your own unique masterpieces, but there are probably a plethora of other great ideas and tutorials in blogs across the web.  

What you need to get your hands on before you begin:
  • acrylic paint in a variety of colors
  • paint brushes in different sizes and stiffness
  • paint markers in medium and fine point
  • wood people in various sizes
  • toothpicks (not pictured)
  • modge podge (not pictured)- if you don't have modge podge on hand, another nontoxic paint sealer would work
1)  Choose skin color and paint two or three coats on head and neck. (I recommend doing a variety of skin colors - dark, light, in between.  That way your little dolls reflect the beauty of all sorts of people.)  The number of coats will depend on the skin color you choose.  Let each coat dry before painting the next.

2)  Paint main body.  Again, count on doing at least two coats - possibly three depending on the color you choose.  Let each coat dry thoroughly before adding the next otherwise you will be dealing with yucky clumping of paint.  I learned this the hard way.  I'm impatient, so it's REALLY hard for me to wait for anything - especially paint drying.  But in this case, waiting is totally worth it.  

3)  Add hair.  I kept the hair pretty simple as you can see from these pictures, but you could experiment with painting ponytails or curls using different colored swirls of paint.  I'm sounding like a broken record here, but you will need at least two coats for the hair as well.  And yes, let the first coat dry before adding the second.  

4) Add body details.  There are endless options here.  Probably the three most useful tools for this stage in the wood-person-painting process are the following:
  • toothpicks - Use these to add the fine dots you see in the floral pattern on my people or the details on the pants.  Toothpicks would also be great for adding facial features - which I didn't do.  I was planning too, but when I looked at my little people, I liked the idea of leaving the facial features open to the imagination of my girls.  If it freaks them out too much to have faceless people, I'll paint on some facial features later.    
  • fine-tipped/medium-tipped paint markers and permanent markers - Also, great for adding details, but gives the option of wider lines and larger details.  If you wanted to paint on arms, paint markers would be a great tool for that.  The medium-tipped paint markers draw on a pretty thick line, so don't plan on using these for little dots, fine lines or other intricate details.  Permanent markers, like Sharpies, are wonderful for drawing designs on clothes.  
  • q-tips - These weren't included on my list of supplies; however, I brought them in mid-project to wipe away little, or more accurately in my case - huge mistakes.  Do it quickly though; acrylic paint dries fast.  And obviously the permanent marker route leaves no room for mistakes. I ended up having to paint about three more coats of body paint over a major permanent marker mistake, so use with caution.
5)  Seal the entire doll with modge podge or another nontoxic paint sealer.  I actually did two coats of this as well.
Wa la!  Delightful little dolls done and ready to be played with by any little hands in your house.

Enjoy and craft on!



Kristin said...

Your little people are the cutest things ever! I like them faceless - hopefully the girls will too! :) Got a link for the super cute house for me?

rebecca said...

Those little dolls & the houses are so freaking cute...LOVE them! Your girls are so lucky to have such a crafty mom:)

cate said...

I'm adding this to my list! Just found your blog via one pretty thing, looking forward to seeing what you make through the year!

ArtSnark said...

these are so cute!

julia said...

very cute!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you...thank you...thank you for all your kind comments. To be honest, I can hardly wait to give them to my girls so that I have an excuse to play with them too. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I play with them more than they do. :)

Kalee said...

These look fantastic! And the tips are really helpful, so thank you! I have a niece that I am slowly gathering things together for, making them as she gets older (she's still a year and a half) and this was one of the projects I wanted to do when she is about 2- 2 1/2.

Sonia said...

i love your lil wood people! I went out and bought all the supplies, painted a few, and they looked terrible!!!!

Laura said...

These are the cutest! I love the colors you chose.
Thanks for linking up to Saturday is Crafty Day!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Love the sweet hairstyle and flowered dress! I have some people like this, but they are unpainted; I may try a girl like that! My children like people with faces, which is harder to do; I hope I can do well!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Nice project. I would love it if you would link this up in Modern Craftswoman Monday. Very well done. Rory

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Thanks for linking and helping to make this the most successful Modern Craftswoman Monday so far! Rory

Tori said...

That's so cute! It's funny--I've made both of those projects too! I made a barn from that dollhouse tutorial and I made wooden people dolls that look like my daughter and her closest family members. Yours look awesome!

Fawnda said...

These are adorable! :)

MessyMissy said...

Cute. I've got a whole bunch of the old fashioned round headed clothes pins that I need to paint into people. Recently, I used on as a Fairy. Your's came out wonderfully!!

KJ said...

Visiting via KojoDesigns. I love your dolls. I recently ordered a rather large shipment of wooden dolls from Caseys. Thanks for the inspiration on how to finish them.

Andrea said...

These turned out so cute! Your painting job is fabulous. I made some of these with my kids last summer. We put a little hook on top and made necklaces out of them! Not sure mine look as good as yours!

Stephanie Lynn said...

My goodness - The house and little people are so cute!! Every week you amaze me more and more. Simply adorable! Thanks so much for joining The Sunday Showcase Party. I greatly appreciate it! Hope you are enjoying your week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

Home❤ said...

I'm not sure if I left a comment on here but I wanted to include the link that I shared. These house are too adorable and I would love to have these made for my girls by christmas. We shall see ;)

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