Tag Archives: Disney

Custom Brunette Rapunzel

Im still here! This whole time Ive been sewing and repainting, I just havent managed to get any of it up online. Whatever, computers stress me out sometimes. Anyway, I made a brunette version of Rapunzel.

At the end of Disneys version of the story, Rapunzels hair is cut off, leaving her with a messy brunette bob. For one thing, I think it suits her, and I kind of prefer brunette dolls anyway. The more important thing for me though, is that this is how the film ends. Based on what we learn in the film, thats it. That is her hair forever now. And yeah, it looks like she somehow gets the blonde hair back in the new animated series, but up until then we had every reason to assume her hair stayed the same. So, for me, it makes sense that out of the dolls available, a fair proportion should have that hair. I do understand why that isnt the case, from the point of view of the toy companies; long hair is one of Rapunzels defining features, and if kids want to recreate the story, they’re gonna need a doll with that hair. Ive only ever seen one brunette Rapunzel though, at the Disney store, and she was only there for a short time when the film had first come out. Other than that, nothing (that Ive come across).

So, when I found a Rapunzel in a charity shop with horrendously tangled hair, that was obviously my first idea. I found Hasbros version of her, the first one they made

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Like this one, but naked and with terrible hair. Im not good at rerooting, nor do I enjoy it, so I wanted to make her a wig. Plus, short hair shows the roots more, so I think a wig works better for this anyway. I decided to use her to try out an idea Id had for wig making. Instead of creating brushed yarn wefts and then gluing them on, I wanted to try rooting yarn into a wig cap and then brushing it out. It seemed to me like this might make the individual strands of yarn more secure.

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I started off with the usual wig cap thing; stretchy fabric over her head then glue. Then I used a needle to root the wool through. I did it so that both ends are coming up, so that when Ive glued the cap to the head, any brushing will pull on both ends, and hopefully not pull it out

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Obviously I rooted it more thickly around the edges, same as you would with a regular reroot. The downside to this is that its pretty hard to gauge how thickly to root it. When wool is brushed out it becomes fluffier, but you also lose a lot of bulk in the brushing. I figured more was the best option.

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To try and reduce the amount that I lost brushing it out, I untangled the strands a bit with my fingers before I started brushing. After a lot of brushing and trimming, we get this:

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I put her in the dress I got with the Rapunzel doll in the last post, because it fits fine, and I want to dress that one in something completely different. Overall, Im quite happy with her. The hairstyle isnt spot on, but I dont think that the one the Disney store did was actually any more accurate really. I think I ended up going a bit too thick, but I can live with it.

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I have lots of other stuff to share, once I get around to it. Im going to try to post more often, but Ive said that a few times before. We’ll see

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Looks Like Disney Figured Out How To Do Doll Knees

So, I got these guys a couple of months ago, I treated myself to a Disney store trip after a medical appointment, but of course Im only just now getting the post up, because life keeps happening

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These two are from the new animated series which is somehow linked to the film Tangled. I dont really know how, I havent seen it, but to be honest I dont care. I just liked the look of the dolls. All of the dolls made to tie in with this series seem to be nicely articulated, regardless of who’s making them, which is nice, and I was particularly impressed with the legs on these dolls. In case anyone isnt familiar with them, these are some typical disney store doll legs

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Its either this, or the bend-and-snap ones, and much as I like dolls with articulation, I honestly think these are worse, because they look terrible, even if they do bend further. Obviously, most Disney princesses wear long skirts, so you cant really see this, but that doesnt help you if you want to change clothes

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Now, look at these! Much straighter, much more looking like normal legs. Im loving the larger feet as well, although its going to make finding shoes difficult, since Rapunzel didnt come with any.

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Double knee joint! I love it. Since the made to move barbies were released, I constantly just wish that all dolls had these joints. They pose so nicely.

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The rest of the body is nicely articulated as well, no double elbows, but enough for pretty much anything Id want to do I think.

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The chest joint is a nice feature, although I rarely find myself using those. Both dolls have identical articulation. The first doll, with the dark hair, is a character I know nothing about. Not even the name

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I love her outfit, she looks like a mercenary or something. The doll also came with gloves, but I took them off once I realised that they were staining her hands. She’s never going to wear them again, but its still a nice touch. As you can probably tell, her hair is just solid with gel

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Predictably, once washed and brushed, all the uneven hairs sprang out, which I’ve tried to trim down a bit. The only other thing with this doll is that in certain angles, I think her face is a bit wonky

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Couldnt get a photo that wasnt blurred. I think that theres just something about the eyes thats off. Im a little tempted to try and touch her up with paint, but Im stopping myself. Once thats done, it cant really be undone. Still, I think she’s cute. I love the faces on these guys, its quite different

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Rapunzel looks pretty much like herself, except that the face is in the style of this cartoon, rather than the film. I actually never thought that the Disney store got her face right anyway.

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Somehow, I dont get that wonk-eyed impression from her. That face is darling!

And, you may notice the fact that her hair seems to have a life of its own. A bit of investigation discovered a stiff wire running down the middle of the ponytail, which is a cute gimmick, but for my purposes, I didnt much like it, so I decided to take a risk and destroy her hair do, in the hopes of removing the wire.

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There it is, partially freed. Once I got to the scalp, I discovered that the wire bit is actually only plastic-tied to her head, not rooted in or anything

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Im not sure how clear that is, but her hair wasnt showing it up well

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Anyway, thats it out now. Ive plaited her hair for now. In the future, Ill sew for them, and probably just give them my own original characteristics, rather than sticking with whoever they’re supposed to be now. I just wanted to share how nice their bodies and articulation are. I strongly recommend them for anyone who likes a poseable doll, although if you cant sew you might have trouble dressing them, since they dont seem to be the same size as any other doll I can bring to mind. Im sure they will fit some Barbie stuff though

Dolly Holiday part 2

So here is the second part of my photos of Cassie. Her other main trip out where I took photos was at an old castle with a very fancy garden

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It was quite a hot day, and we were all pretty tired, so the day went at a pretty slow pace overall

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Mostly we looked at the plants, rather than the castle, since my mum has a particular interest in them

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Since it was a fancy garden, instead of the woods, Cassie had to be more respectful and not just climb on everything, but she wasnt exactly dressed for it anyway. And she did make an exception for the pumpkin/gourd thingy, since it looked sturdy enough (I dont speak plant)

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It was a nice day out, although much calmer. The only other place she went out for photos was on the beach. Cassie was pretty excited for that, since we found a deckchair she could use

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Here she is testing it in my kitchen/ the half of my bedroom with tiles (studio flat)

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However, I meant to make a new seat for the deckchair, which would have been pretty easy, just a fabric strip, and I didnt manage to finish it. The reason I wanted to was because the deckchair is actually a phone holder given out as a promotional item for a company, and as such has their logo on the current seat. I didnt really want to display their logo on my blog, thereby associating it with me, and I doubt that the PR team of that company would be thrilled either.

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So, I didnt end up getting any good beach photos of her sitting in it in the end. I was just too busy having a fun holiday to sew

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The other fun feature of my holiday was that Cassie did get to make a whole lot of new friends!

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My parents like car boot sales and charity shops, which is totally fine by me. I found a couple of bags of doll clothes as well as the dolls, and so I was able to put clothes of some form onto everybody, even if it didnt exactly all fit. Everyone looked cute though 🙂

 

Slightly random custom doll

So I had some spare doll parts from other customs, and I decided to combine them

Disney store mulan head on a raven queen body. The hair is pretty damaged, so im still considering giving her a trim. 

For some reason I just got inspired to make her a witch. The cloak and hat are from bratzillaz yasmina clairvoya

I made the dress, though its hardly my finest work. Its kind of just a sack with a belt and lots of bits of net

Without the belt you can see its really just shapeless. She’s got raven queens tights on and the necklace is actually shriek wrecked clawdeen

I thought it kinda worked with the moon on it. And everything else is just pinched from casta fierce

Including the ridiculous broom/microphone stand

Here I tried to pose her like she’s riding it. 

I also touched her face up a tiny bit

Just did the eyebrows and lips. I think mulan just has quite a distinctive face, so i wanted to tweak it a little bit. In my head she’s mostly a nice witch. 

Hasbro Moana doll repaint

I picked her up on sale. Loved the film, this doll… not so much. The thing is though, the art of the doll on the packaging makes it so clear what could have been, and its really only a slight difference

Just the tilt of the eyes, and the eyebrows really. So I decided to try and recreate the doll on the packaging

Heres what I managed. Its not really the same as the box art

I think its mostly the eyebrows, which is annoying, because I put quite a lot of effort into trying to match those. Moana is such a determined character, those eyebrows are a big part of that, but for some reason they just insisted on coming out softer. The disney store doll is much better

But I was never going to match that, she’s so good. In the end, I might have the hasbro doll be a different character. She does fit some Barbie clothes

I dont think trousers would work, because her feet are a lot bigger, but the stretchier skirts and tops work great

I think she’ll be cute as a modern girl! Though possibly not in that blue dress 🙂

Disney Animators Collection Merida Custom

I continue to be bad at doing this whole blog thing. Life goes on I guess, and I’ve got other stuff to be doing. I think it would help if there were less steps to the process. At the moment, I take the photos on the camera, then transfer them to the laptop and make the post from here. If I had one of the fancy phones with a good camera and internet access, I could do both the photos and the writing from the same device, plus, I could do some writing on the move. I am starting to think that switching to a smart phone is inevitable, eventually. Everyone just seems to assume that you have one, and so it causes problems when I cant answer emails until I get home or whatever. The expectation is that you can always check your emails, and I think people rely on that. I get emails or facebook messages about last minute changes of location, for example, after Ive already set off, and so I miss them. Anyway.

After christmas, I went around some charity shops with my family, and one of the things I found was an animators collection Merida doll. Im always excited to get second hand animators dolls, because I really want to customise them, but I dont want to do that to a doll that I’ve bought new. Merida is especially exciting, because she is my favourite disney princess, and so I was especially looking forward to doing her. She’s actually my third animator custom doll, but I havent shared the second one just yet because although her face is done, she still needs a outfit. She cam naked, and I wanted to make her into a totally different character. Merida, on the other hand, came full dressed down to the shoes, and I didnt want to change her anyway. I just tried to redo her face to make it look  closer to the animated character, using stills from the film as a reference

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Im not totally sure how I feel about the finished result. As I was working on her I was quite happy, and still from some angles I like her, but I feel like from most angles she looks a bit cross-eyed.

Not sure. I might have another go at her in the future. As well as looking different from different angles, she also looks different in the photos I took. In real life her eyes are darker than that, but for some reason they photographed a much lighter shade of blue.

Another problem I had is that working from a reference picture meant that I had to deviate from my usual style, which is usually an upwards gaze with big pupils, so I wasnt as comfortable working with her as I might have been. But, lets face it, a cutesy look like I often do is totally not appropriate from Merida. She needs a lively face, with lots of cheeky expression

Alice in Wonderland- customised Elsa doll

So far, so good in my resolution to post more. Its not as if I dont have anything to say after all, I am FULL of opinions.

Today I want to share one of my few finished customs. I have tons that are repainted, but waiting for an outfit so I can properly present them to the world. I finished this outfit on sunday night, and promised myself I could write about it once Id done a certain amount of my uni work. Since its been a fair while since I shared a custom, Im hoping you’ll be able to see some improvement on earlier work. I feel like recently I’ve made a bit of a skills breakthrough with the faces, and this doll is from the early stages of that breakthrough.

So, this doll was a Disney Animators Collection Elsa, that I bought on ebay for fairly cheap due to her condition

These photos are from after Id spent a bit of time with her hair and done a clean up. I mean, she’s hardly trashed, but you’d be a bit cheeky to charge much for her when she can be bought for around £20 new, sometimes less if there’s a sale on. I’ve wanted to repaint an animators doll, but they are a little expensive to buy new for that reason, and also, they are so gorgeous in their own right I dont really want to take off the original face. However, Elsa wasn’t a favourite of mine out of the dolls, and I decided to go for it.

First of all, her face was actually kinda hard to get off. The eyebrows really wanted to stay. I left her actual eyes as they were, because I liked them, taking off everything else includng the thick black lines, which Im not sure if they are eyeliner or lashes. I think she’s too young for eyeliner, but then you cant see the individual lashes. Whatever, all that was left was the pupils, irises and sclera.

Then, I had to decide what to do with her. I dont always go into these things with a character or look in mind, but I wanted to make her into someone specific. I considered a bunch of different blonde characters (rerooting isnt really my forte), like Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls, Harley Quinn, Alice, Tinkerbell, and one of the blonde sailor scouts. Then the actual Animators Collection Alice came out, and I didnt really like her. I think her face looks a tad derp when I’ve seen her in person. So, Alice it is! Or my version of her, at least, I dont find making carbon-copies very much fun.

Here’s the new face

I struggled to get a good close-up shot, as usual. Im not sure if I need a new camera, since mine is old, second-hand and lacking instructions, or if Im just bad at it. Anyway, she does have freckles, which you can only sort of see. I also made the whole outfit from scratch

No pattern, I just fit it to the doll as I went along. The dress and apron are separate, although I sewed a petticoat/underskirt directly to the dress instead of making that separate. She still doesnt have any shoes currently

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And, the back. That giant bow is sewn, with metal snaps underneath. I tend to favour snaps as fastenings rather than velcro because they are easier to sew by hand. I do use a sewing machine sometimes, but I like to take my sewing about with me, so I still do a lot by hand. The apron is supposed to be longer than the dress skirt, which I know is a bit unusual. Not quite as much as this picture makes it look though, its only a little shorter. The lace is from my mums stash, and I think is quite old, whilst the underskirt, which you can just about see here, is recycled from something else too, making it old-ish. Finally, here’s some more photos of Alice, just because

Im pleased with the fact that Ive managed to make her look different to Elsa. A frined of mine, one who does know her princesses, didnt even realise that was the sculpt til I’d told her, which seems like an indicator of success. Im also fairly happy with the outfit, there are a few fit issues but the overall look is good and the issues are only small ones. For instance, I think I made the neck of the apron too wide, but i dont know if anyone else would even notice that one. Im also please with how the hair turned out. It was just a trim and a brush, but it’s sitting exactly how I wanted it to.

I hope you like her! Its kinda nerve-wracking sending my little baby out into the world, open to criticism. I mean, people have seen her, but my mum and my friends aren’t very well going to say they dont like her, are they