Dolls are made from a wide variety of materials. The majority of the dolls constructed as early as 1850 were made in England. These Queen Anne dolls were made from sculpted and painted wood. Papier mache dolls were popular in the beginning of the nineteenth century, made in France, Germany and the United States. Poured wax dolls were made in England from 1840 to the end of the nineteenth century. Some of the later wax dolls were reinforced with plaster or papier mache.
Heat up wax in a steel pot over a flame. Choose the type of wax; natural pure wax, synthetic wax, or a combination of both. Heat the wax to the melting point, but not to the flash point. If the wax is too hot, it can explode.
Pour the heated wax into a warm sculpted clay mold (see Resources). You can purchase a polymer clay doll mold at doll and hobby shops. The clay mold will have prefabricated doll facial features.
Insert the doll hair and the glass eyes into the wax head after the wax begins to cool down, while it is still soft. The wax will harden completely within 3 hours. Wax doll heads are more realistic than wood and papier mache, because the skin coloring is best portrayed using colored wax.
Shape the fine details of the facial features on the wax doll head by heating a small metal shaping spatula over an alcohol burner, and slowly melting small areas. This tool is ideal for making sure the nostril holes are equal and lip lines are distinct. Use a wax pen to add small amounts of wax to the head as needed. This tool is especially helpful if the wax has holes or bubbles.
Construct a fabric doll body by following any doll body pattern (see Resources). Stuff the body with sawdust. Attach the wax head to the doll body neck using a strong adhesive glue.
Pour heated wax into polymer clay molds of arms and legs. Attach the wax limbs to the cloth body also with a strong adhesive glue.
Things You Will Need
- Steel pot
- Wax thermometer
- Clay doll head mold
- Clay arms & legs molds
- Doll hair
- Glass eyes
- Small metal shaping spatula
- Alcohol burner
- Wax pen
- Doll body pattern
- Adhesive glue
After constructing your wax doll parts you can use them as molds for creating plaster molds.
Do not spill any hot wax on your skin or other body parts. The hot wax can cause severe burns. If you use a heat gun to clean up your wax doll features, use caution. The high heat of the gun can easily distort your creations.