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AEDM2017 – day 16 – How To Make A Spirit Doll

AEDM2017 – day 16 – How To Make A Spirit Doll

Tammy November 16, 2017 2 comments
Spirit doll
aedm2017 - This is a fired clay face attached to an oak tree stick from my back yard

This is a fired clay face attached to an oak tree stick from my back yard 

Making the Face

Make your own mold from two-part mold material:

  1. http://pmcconnection.com/mega-sil-solo-mold-0-5-oz.html
  2. http://www.jewelryartistsupply.com/Mega_Sil_Material_p/dmm.msm.html

Mega Sil (silicone) is the name brand and it is used in jewelry making and PMC molds if you want to do some research yourself.

What I have is pink.  It comes in different colors. The color does not affect the mold making.

  1. Go to a thrift store and find an inexpensive doll or three and use their face for a mold.


Or,  if you prefer, buy a mold.  Google “face push molds” aedm2017 - day 16 - spirit doll 4

aedm2017: how to make a spirit doll

one way to make hair is to find interesting yarn, wrap it around your spreak fingers, then cut on bottom loop so that you have straigh pieces. Glue to heard.

and choose from among what you find.  Etsy shops sell both molds (which they have made by using doll faces or by molding a face they sculpted themselves) and completed faces (usually made from polymer clay).

Face material.  I make my faces from clay finish with stain or glaze.  You can also use Air Dry Clay, any polymer clay (i.e., Sculpy et al  – which need to be “cooked” and not in your home stove please), paper mache,  and/or two part resin (which hardens without cooking.  I use Apoxie Sculpt from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Apoxie-Sculpt-1-Lb-White/dp/B0013UDWXI ).  JoAnn’s Crafts, Michaels and googling on-line sources are good for any of these.

You stretch your imagination and make a paper/cardboard face, a shell face, use a thrift store doll face (or even the whole doll – there are no rules here!), use a wooden spoon for a face – the only limit to what you use for the Spirit Doll’s face is your imagination.  Streeeetch it!

Making the Body

aedm2017 - spirit doll body

Cut a large rectangle with a slit fo the head. Wrap with cloth banks. Netting is good because it makes her skirt stand out when you add it.

Just as for the face, there is no limit to what you can use for the body.  You can use found branches or driftwood to make a doll commemorating a special place, you can also use metal (new or used), wire, cloth, shells – anything that gives you the platform on which to build your doll.

Spend an afternoon with an allotted splurge of $20 (or more or less) wandering around a thrift store, a craft store, a sewing store and/or a Dollar store to see what catches your eye.

Explore small bins of pins and packages of buttons.  Allow yourself hours of uninterrupted browsing (i.e., go alone) for bent wire, and fabulous feathers.  Rummage through your jewelry box (a treasure trove of goodies!), tool box, closet and/or junk drawer and see what calls you.  The oddest things can make the most wondrous creations!

Pay attention to texture:  dried flowers, shells, pieces of wood.  Add materials with different colors and feel, ribbons, rough cording, lengths of beads, embroidery floss, buttons, old jewelry.

Think about hair: raw wool, nubby yarn, wrinkled paper packaging, straw, reeds, feathers, Spanish Moss

aedm2017 - spirit doll clothes

Spirit Doll skirt – a rectangle of material; fold back over a tie, tie around body. The more layers the better – be sure to add light materials like netting for lift.

aedm2017 - spirit doll clothes

thrift store find, cut up.

add ephemera to the Spirit Dolls outfit that means something to you - in this instance, cleansing and transformation and learning to fly.

add ephemera to the Spirit Dolls outfit that means something to you – in this instance, cleansing and transformation and learning to fly.

aedm2017 - day 16 - spirit doll 5

aedm2017 - spirit dollr

add face decorations, earrings, flowers, sea shells, mantilla – whatever fits your Spirit Dolls reason for being

aedm2017 - how to make a spirit doll

aedm2017 – finished Spirit Doll. Like a vision board, place her where you can see her so you can remember her message for you.

There is no such thing as “wrong” here.
Dive in.

Decisions are made in a person’s life by small moments
of knowing, each moment opening until,
like pieces of a quilt, one day everything comes together
in a precise, clear knowing.
Linda Hogan, Solar Storms

In Category : AEDM 2017, Art and Life


  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    November 16, 2017

    Wow! A lot goes into these. Really cool! 🙂

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    November 17, 2017

    It seems you need a ton of pre-planning to make one of these dolls.

    Isn’t it true that Precious Metal Clay needs a special kiln to prepare it in? Also, the clay is SO expensive, only dedicated clay artists can make these.

    Polymer clay seems to be a far better solution for those of us who might like to make a single doll. I have shown how you actually CAN use your own oven to create polymer clay shapes, even though I have a dedicated toaster oven for my own poly clay making.

    I like the way you used a stick to hold the doll up. It’s a genuine beauty and the hair is what most appealed to me. Of course, I liked how you dressed her, too. Thanks for the tutorial. It’s one I will certainly consider if I ever choose to make one of these dolls.

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