How to Make a Vinyl Doll

By Louise Harding

In the 1940s, dolls were made with plastic heads and latex bodies. In the 1950s, vinyl became a popular doll medium. To make a true vinyl doll, a figure must be sculpted, and a mold created from which the dolls can be made. This is a costly procedure and occurs in a manufacturing environment. As a result, many crafters purchase vinyl doll parts and then paint/craft them. Latex is often interchanged with the term vinyl when creating dolls. There is a slight chemical difference, but the look and feel is the same. Using latex vinyl, anyone can make a doll.

Wipe your molds with the towel to ensure all dust is removed.

Fit the molds together and place a large rubberband around the outside edges to secure. Place the molds on an outside or garage table. Work in a well-ventilated, cool, dry area.

Pour the latex into the pitcher. Stir with the spoon. Put the lid back on the latex bucket. Position the molds with the holes facing up.

Pour the latex into the molds through the holes. Wait for air bubbles to burst before continuing. Tap the sides to help air bubbles rise to the top. Check the latex levels in the molds and add more latex if necessary. Sometimes the latex settles.

Allow the latex to sit in the molds for 30 minutes.

Remove the bucket lid and pour the excess latex from the molds into the bucket. DO NOT OPEN THE MOLDS. You don’t need solid parts, and the latex clinging to the inside of the mold will create hollow parts. If you want solid parts, you can allow it to solidify, but it will take days, if not weeks, to harden.

Allow molds to sit undisturbed and unopened for 24-48 hours.

Open a mold, slowly, working from one side of the doll part first. The parts usually come out easily. If the part is sticking, dust powder into the mold and shake it around.

Place the doll parts somewhere safe, such as hanging from an indoor clothesline or on cardboard, until completely dried. Stuff fiberfill into the doll’s head to keep it from depressing.

After the parts are completely dry, trim any excess latex vinyl with scissors or a craft knife.

Stuff the premade cloth doll body with fiberfill.

Assemble the doll by inserting the neck flange of the doll head and the flanges on the doll hands and feet (molds create these along with the parts). Follow the doll body instructions.

Tip

You can paint the doll using latex paints and add doll eyelashes to the eyes using superglue. Many artist tutorials for painting dolls and doll features are online.

Warning

Always use latex vinyl in a well-ventilated area.

About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.