How To: Wire Doll Display/Photo Stands

Oh. My. Gosh. You Guys!

This marks the first tutorial I have written in over a year.

!!!!

This also marks the first tutorial that I’m premiering on the front page of TawnyBee.com!

Why all the hoopla over a simple doll stand tutorial you ask?

It’s super cute first of all…

Well, for almost a year now (I started learning how to crochet on January 1st this year) I’ve been working toward achieving a dream of mine. I have always wanted to be a toy maker. When I was younger, I was always fascinated when my mother would sew toys for us. My favourite Toy Story movie is number 2 – the under rated one – because there is a scene in it when the old toy restorer comes to the bad guy’s apartment to fix up Woody before he’s sold. I love that old guy. I love his precision and love he obviously has for his job. I even have a recurring dream about a blue porcelain doll that my mom had sitting on her dresser when I was little. I only have this dream when I’m stressed out and it’s basically this blue doll leading me through a maze of an ice castle that it all blue and white and that we never make it out of. I’ve had this dream since I was about 10 years old in times of supreme stress. Weird.

Anyhoo… I am totally in love with doll making books and knew that I had to learn how to crochet in order to better be able to make some of these fantastic dolls. So I worked and worked at it and learned really fast. I know that the only reason I caught on so fast was because I was fueled by a passion for making toys.

So, in the new year I will be retooling my little Etsy shop to reflect this rekindled passion. I will be selling toys of all kinds. Fabric toys, crocheted toys, toys for girls, boys, adults, geeks. Toys of my own design and toys that have wonderful pattern designers that have graciously allowed me to make their designs. I will also have the standard mama cloth, potty trainers and nursings pads. And the teddy beds that I love making will still be in shop because you will definitely want some storage for all your new pals!

As I am getting ready to launch into a new area, I realized that I will want to participate again in local craft fairs. Which lead me to thinking about displays. Which lead me to thinking about how to make doll stands. Which lead me to try out a few variations. Which lead me to making the stands that are featured in this tutorial. Which lead me to stop yapping and actually get on with this tutorial already! SHEESH.

Materials Needed:

– An old wire hangar – the more bendy and flimsy the better

– a roll of duck tape – they sell tons of cool patterned duck tape, so I went with that

– a pair of pliers – or some serious brute strength of which I have none

Time Needed:

– this is a simple one – it took me about 20 minutes to make one

Skill Needed:

– heck, if you have the talent enough to make a doll, or even go out and buy one, then you can do this project

Step One:

Take your pliers or your arm strength and untwist the hangar. You can try to make the hangar relatively straight, but don’t worry too much about making it perfect. It’s going to be wrapped in duck tape, so if there are bumps, they will be smoothed out anyway.

Step Two:

Begin by forming a circle on the middle of the hangar. Don’t use the entire length of the hangar for this – just the middle. But make the circle as large as you feel it needs to be to make it sturdy. This is the bottom of the stand and the part that will balance the doll, so it should be the most sturdy.

Kinda like this. The two ends of the hangar will be pointed upwards for now.

Step Three:

Begin shaping those two ends. If you have a doll in mind for the stand, it would be great to measure to make sure the supports are at the correct height for your doll. The stand can be bent and moved around to fit when it’s done if you don’t have a display item in mind just yet though. I bent my two support ends out and around to get this sort of shape.

 

Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be perfect because the duck tape will smooth out any roughness. You just want two supports that will fit under a doll’s arm pits like crutches. If you are looking to support something small like a Barbie Doll, you might even want those supports to touch a little in the centre (making a semi-circle) thus securing the doll a little tighter. For my purposed, I wanted the support but not too tightly because the dolls will be changed out and people will want to come by and pick up the dolls to look more carefully at them – or give them a cuddle ;)

 

Step Four:

Start wrapping the entire thing in the duck tape. I am not the most graceful wrapper, so I ended up cutting off chunks of the tape and wrapping everything in small pieces instead of twirling the stuff around like a pro. Make sure to wrap the pointy ends of the hangar really well so that you don’t harm yourself on the stand.

Ta da! Even if your wrap job is as messy as mine, it still looks awesome because the duck tape is so much fun.

Step 5:

Try it out and make more!

Here is Holly Dolly trying out the doll stand. These stands also make really good props for taking superb product photos as well. Isn’t she so cute?

I made a taller one with smaller supports for Betty Boop out of duck tape that had gummy bears on it. :D

 

 

It may look a little wonky, but it works! And the great thing about these stands is that they are still adjustable with the tape on them. I could bend the middle piece back for a shorter doll or tighten the upper supports around the doll if needed.

Then you can make little scenes with your dolls.

Anna joined the party!

Wasn’t that simple?

I hope to work up to designing my own crochet patterns soon. I’m almost there. But until then I can certainly get in gear and create some sewn toy tutorials for you. What do you think?

 

Crocheted Rainbow Dash and Minion Siren Winter Hats

I’ve come to the realization that I can’t fend off winter any longer. It’s gonna happen with or without me, so I might as well at least prepare a little for it.

And this year I can crochet! :D
Oh my gosh!
That means HATS!
So far I’ve made this one:

Rainbow Dash!

And this one:

And would you believe that both of these hats come from one awesome designer?

Her shop’s name is BriAbby and I love every. single. pattern.

Here is the link to her Etsy Shop.

Here is the link to her Ravelry Shop.

And of course here is a link to her website.

I can not say enough nice things about these patterns.

 

The pattern was for a generic unicorn pony (well… it sorta resembles Twilight Sparkle *wink wink*). I just changed the colours and made one sorta resembling Rainbow Dash instead.

The instructions were super easy to follow and the sizing and tips and tricks were bang on.

 

I think I might have gotten a little carried away with the hair. I love it so much. Lane wears it and it tips over to the side a bit unless she arranges the hair down both sides. Ooops. I think an easy fix would be to anchor the hair with thread myself so that it doesn’t move as much. But when she ties it on, it’s perfectly fine.

 

Lane has gotten about a billion compliments on her Rainbow Dash hat so far.

You should totally crochet one.

Here is a link to my Rainbow Dash project on Ravelry.

 

Same with the minion siren hat – the pattern was easy to follow with lots of clear instructions. Very easy to figure out and put together.

It’s the little details that I especially love about this pattern. The twinkle in the eye, the 3D-ness of the eye and goggles and the little shines on the sirens is what makes this hat super special.

 

The mouth was probably the most difficult to accomplish, only because I kept thinking it looked more like an eye than a mouth. Maybe it needs a tongue? I don’t know. Anyway, I always have trouble with mouthes. When I made Dave and Stuart (the stuffed minions mouth) I had a heckuva time getting it right.

 

Here is the link to my Minion Siren hat project on Ravelry.
You should totally crochet this one too! :D

Days of Halloween Past

Most of you who have followed me throughout the years know that Halloween is kinda like my Olympics! Costume making is my favourite. Check out some of my creations from years past and stay tuned for Princess Belle for Lane and Ash from Pokemon for Logan coming soon. Woo boy! I always have my work cut out for me don’t I? Bring it!

I was just looking over these costumes and realized that with the exception of 2 (Tinkerbell in 2013 and Mermaid from 2012) I have designed and made all of these costumes from scratch without a pattern. And today, making Belle – I have altered the pattern beyond recognition to satisfy my own design aesthetic and Lane’s specifications. To heck with patterns! They just slow me down and hinder my creativity anyway!

Crocheted Yoga Socks

Earlier this month – I think it was September long weekend actually, we decided to make one last trip to the beach before the season changes.

We discovered Crescent beach at Westhawk Lake recently and decided that was our destination.

It takes about an hour and a bit to drive out there. Perfect time for a crochet project!

Hence the photo of my new yoga sock on the dashboard of our car.

:D

Pretty aren’t they?

Oh!? You thought I meant my new yoga socks? No!

I meant my feet of course! :P

hahahaha

(I used this pattern to make my new yoga socks. And here is the link to my project on Ravelry).

Snorlax Pokemon Pencil Case for Logan

Logan’s class didn’t include a pencil case this year. I thought it kinda strange, but didn’t bother with getting him one if he didn’t need it. Some teachers take all the supplies and pt them in a “classroom” container and students draw from it when they need to replenish supplies.

Turns out that the teacher made a mistake and forgot to put a pencil case on the list of supplies. Logan had all of his pencils, pens, etc in a Ziplock bag in his desk since the beginning of the school year.

Ooops!

I got right on making a pencil case for him. I took some boring green canvas and made a zipper pouch. It would do I guess, but it wasn’t very special.

So I decided to dig out all of my felt and make something a little better for my little guy.

Here’s what I came up with:

Snorlaaaaaaxxxxx!!!

Hehehe. I looked through Logan’s Pokemon book and decided that Snorlax was easy, recognizable and big enough to fit over the entire pencil case.

I think he turned out pretty cute (although I do admit that those feet kinda look like boobies to me – and a few others I’m sure. ACK! Boobies with claws! NOOOOOOO!)

 

Anyhoo… Logan took it to school and Snorlax has been busy munching on pencils, pens, markers, erasers, etc. I think it’s a good relationship. Snorlax can eat all he wants and Logan has a place to store all his school crap. Yay!

 

Crocheted Squirtle from Pokemon

Logan is still obsessed with Pokemon.

In fact, the project list that he has for me to crochet for him is at least 95% Pokemon characters.

So I set to work and made Squirtle.

I think the likeness is there. And he’s oh so cute.

I used this pattern that I found on Ravelry.

It took about 2 evenings to make. Logan has been driving Squirtle around on his toy dump truck for days now. I think he likes his new Water Pokemon friend.

 

A link to my Squirtle project on Ravelry.

 

Crocheted Hexagonal Baby Blanket using Red Heart Baby Clouds Yarn

I was at the thrift store checking everything out and found a ton of yarn called Baby Clouds in all different colours. It was super chunky and I got a super awesome price for it. Only problem: I haven’t ever crocheted with it and didn’t quite know what I would make.

Then a bunch of my friends had babies.

And special handmade gifts were needed – STAT!

Our neighbours had a baby and I needed a gift that would work for either boy or girl as we weren’t sure what gender baby they had. We’re not that close – but they are still our neighbours and we always try to be … nice?… neighbourly? … Tolerable?

So I got together my super awesome cheap baby clouds yarn and made this hexagonal baby blanket.

Cute right?

I used this easy pattern that I found on Ravelry.

And here is the link to my project on Ravelry with all the spicy details of what kind of yarn I used (even though I just told you… like right there… right there… ya… right there) and other such details like the link to the pattern (even though I also told you that just above… yeah… like right there.) Hehehehe.

Crocheted Jake from Adventure Time

Remember awhile back when Terry chose Finn as his crocheted creation? Well, Logan decided that since Terry had Finn, he needed to have Jake.

I got to work on Jake just before we went on holidays. Crocheting at the wading pool while the kids were playing ended up being a fun time. The kids at the wading pool were very excited to see Jake come together. While I was there, Jake’s face and body were already done. I was working on his arms and legs. The kids went cuckoo bananas to see Jake sitting next to me patiently awaiting his appendages.

 

And there he is! He turned out fantastic!

I used this lovely pattern – she also made the Finn pattern and you can purchase the two together! woo!

Logan loves him and Terry loves him and all the kids at the wading pool love him. He was getting lots of attention that’s for sure.

(The link to my project on Ravelry)

Project Pikachu

Logan requested that I make him a sewn, stuffed Pikachu. He insisted that Pikachu needed to be as big as Lane’s Stuart. I think he was going for a real size Pikachu – well… as real as a made-up character can be.

I thought and thought and thought about how I was going to make this thing.

There were no patterns for a stuffed Pikachu that I could find. So I was on my own with designing one for this project.

I used Logan’s Pokemon Index book for a reference as to how Pikachu was structured and then got to work making a pattern. Doesn’t that bottom pattern piece look strange? It actually worked! Although I admit I had to size it down quite a bit. Pikachu’s face came out looking a little Jay Leno (big chin). Ooops!

 

You can see from this picture that the bottom might have been a little big for Pikachu’s face if I hadn’t corrected it.

He’s looking OK here with the excess fabric folded underneath. Once I got the head and face done though, it was smooth sailing for making the pattern for the body. Phew!

I think I got Pikachu close to the cartoon. Stripes on the back, a lightening rod tail, cute red electric cheeks.

What do you think? This Pikachu took me just over 6 hours to make from start of making the pattern to finished product. And now I have a pattern to make another if I want – or more like if Logan’s friends need one for their birthday presents. It should only take me about 2 hours to make now. Designing the pattern is always the most difficult and time consuming part of the process.

The great thing about Pikachu – other than he’s about the size next to Logan of the cartoon character – is that his tail is stuffed so full that it acts as a balance.

Pikachu can stand on his own! :D :D :D

It’s really too much. All day yesterday Pikachu was standing behind my computer desk staring at me. Too much fun posing this little guy everywhere in our house!