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Poseable doll tutorial: Pt 1 by Catigma Poseable doll tutorial: Pt 1 by Catigma
I've gotten quite the amount of questions on how to make a poseable doll in the clay/fur combination. It seems people like to keep this a secret, as I was looking for answers to this myself before i figured it out on my own.

Well, if you have some experience with claying/sewing, it's really not that hard. It just requires time, effort and patience.

When I first wanted to make this, I had to look quite hard to get the materials I needed, as in the fake fur. In a fabricstore, the fake furs was really, REALLY expensive, so i got the tip to go and buy a furry blanket. And so I did, worked out just fine :D

In the tutorial I've mentioned the ladder stitch. It is quite important to know some kind of invisible stitch, to make this look good, so here's a youtube video I found that shows well how to do the ladderstitch..

This might not be the best tutorial in the world, seen as it is drawn loosly in PS, but I hope it can be helpful at some level :)

Part two can be found here:
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:iconlunarfoxesnamedspark:
It's also a good idea to use tin foil for the base (Then you cover it in a thin layer of clay) of the head/paws, that way it's less heavy, and you use less clay. (That means shorter baking times!)
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:iconlunarfoxesnamedspark:
Lunarfoxesnamedspark Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015
:) Thanks so much! This was very helpful! Now I don't have to pay 600$ to get an adorable posable! 
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:iconfoxykytten:
foxykytten Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2015
Thank you for making this tutorial, I have wanted to learn how to do this for so long!
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:iconrivvyn:
Rivvyn Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Out of curiosity, why take the hed off the armature and not the feet/other hard parts?
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Good question. It is because the head is too heavy for the wire to keep it steady during the baking process, so I found it safer to have it bake on its own :)
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:iconrivvyn:
Rivvyn Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ahhhhh, ok, that makes sense

thanks ^__^
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:iconpeanutbuttersandman:
PeanutbutterSandman Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
very helpful, thank you for making this.
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:iconzoralena:
ZoraLena Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi, I've got a really quick question, don't the joints get a little fragile/dont they break after a while? Steel wire tends to have that after a period of time, it tends to get weak and break off ... I was thinking about using real joints but I don't know how to fabrique those :p
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi :) I have not had this problem. But then again, these dolls are more art than they are toys, so they usually sit on a shelf and look pretty. I rarely rearrange the poses they are in, but it's nice to have to possibility :)
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:iconpeanutbuttersandman:
PeanutbutterSandman Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not really sure how it works, but there's a technique where they use ball and socket armature instead, like the industrial tool sort.
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:iconxxm-d-axx:
xXM-D-AXx Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, I'm looking for a good, cheap, yet stable and sturdy wire for making dolls that can not only stand on their own, but be posed and what not. These dolls would stand on two feet, as they're not animal

I found that pipe cleaners were too brittle and even though I layered the pipe cleaners to be sturdy and thick, the leg of the doll ended up breaking and now it cannot stand up even a little bit, and the leg won't stay in certain positions.

Will the steel wire you use be stronger than pipe cleaners? and if so, is it cheap? Can it be stable enough to support both itself and stuffing and cloth? Or does it need layers upon layers like the pipe cleaners did? Will it break it is bent too much? (These dolls will go through some heavy play, as they are being made for children)

I'm just looking for a child-proof alternative to pipe cleaners. I want these dolls to last a ling time for the kids, you know? Please get back to me as soon as possible.
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi :) I was about to say the steel wire is better, because it is, it is stronger, and you get it in several "sizes". The one i use is pretty thin so i layer it a couple of times, but i would guess during play by children it would break. I actually dont have any good suggestions to make it a safe toy for children :/
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:iconshadowfurxd:
shadowfurXD Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Student Artist
Is it okay to bake it with the head on the skeleton?
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes, as long as you make sure no clay parts gets destroyed during baking. The heads are usually pretty heavy and weighs the whole frame down. I usually wing it till' the moment i'm about to put it in the oven :)
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:iconshadowfurxd:
shadowfurXD Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Student Artist
Ok, thanks so much!
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Professional
nice
Reply
:iconsayoko900:
Sayoko900 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
Hi. I am totally going to give this a try. I have been attempting this myself for sometime, so this helped a lot. I'm not very good at sewing. >>;

I have one question, though. What size wire do you use? I know it has to be sturdy, but of course you want  it to be somewhat easy to bend. o-o
Reply
:iconvulcade:
Vulcade Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I'm making one now, it's a cat. I'm gonna use real fur (possum).
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:iconhama-girl:
Hama-Girl Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What thickness wire is that?
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:iconkophii:
kophii Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013
What type and gauge of wire do you use? 
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:iconroseandherthorns:
RoseandherThorns Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
Thank you for putting out this tutorial. I have been looking everywhere for this.
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:iconmaridevil:
maridevil Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I've been looking for some type of inside scoop on how to make plushies a bit more posable/movable.
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:iconmiayan:
miayan Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This was perfect! thank you so much for posting :D i have successfully made my first poseable doll while using this [link]
Reply
:iconbiniwood:
Biniwood Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
THank you so much for sharing your expertise! I used to do stop motion animation so I'm no stranger to armatures, but I've always wondered what type people put inside their dolls :)
Reply
:iconsandlioncurse:
SandLionCurse Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Wonderful doll and really helpful tutorial! :)
I've been considering making my own doll and recently started to collect the various materials that I need for making one. Just a small question. How thick is the steel wire that you use? I want to order from ebay and it's hard getting a straight picture at how thick I'll need by just looking at numbers.
I figured by looking at some of your pictures of this doll you used in the tutorial that the size I want to work with is about the same.
Reply
:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi! Sorry about the late answer, maybe u've already figured it out :) Well, i don't remember how thick wire i use, but it is not very thick, i rather buy a small one, and twin the wire around itself a couple of times, sometimes three times. I feel that makes it stronger than just using a thick wire. Hope that was of some help :)
Reply
:iconmomo-chanokami:
Momo-chanOkami Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
Thank you very much for this tutorial *-*
Reply
:iconparadisefreedom:
ParadiseFreedom Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Another way to get fur you may want or need is go to a thrift store & look at the stuffed animals if you find one with fur you want it can be cut up & made into the animal you wish to have:)
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
aah, good idea, and thank you for the tip :)
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:iconparadisefreedom:
ParadiseFreedom Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome:)
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:iconpandamochi45:
pandamochi45 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
Thank you so much! i am so happy i found dis!
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:iconaichankitsune:
AichanKitsune Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012
I have one question I don't think is answered here. What kind of varnish do you prefer for the clay. I've tried a few available at local craft shops but none of them really worked well for me (maybe it's the climate or something). I'd be interested to know what you use most frequently.
Reply
:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi! I'm sorry about answering this late, probably you've already found an answer to your question? I also just use the regular varnish from craft shops, really cheap one as well. Might have something to do with climate. Here in Norway, we have pretty cool, dry air, so that might be working in my favour ;)
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:iconahundredwingedwishes:
AHundredWingedWishes Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love it. One thing you may want to mention when furring is to ensure the fur goes in the proper direction. As for fur, you are probably going to have your best quality and pricing if you go to places like DF, Cr's, and a few others. ([link] has the full list.) Generally furs in fabric stores are really cheap and shed or are very thin so you cannot shave areas you need to. (Bald opossum!) There are rare exceptions and local finds where they get thick, quality fur in that's one of a kind.
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:iconginchen666:
Ginchen666 Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Student General Artist
Amazing tutorial! I'm so going to use it^^
Do you know how much fur you need exactly for one average sized plush?
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:iconjmagnus:
JMagnus Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
awesome tutorial! Yes, it does seem like some people like to keep their trade top secret. Fair play to them... but I'm so glad you shared your method! Thank you!
Reply
:iconroxxelle:
Roxxelle Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for making this tutorial!!!

I've been thinking of trying to make this kind of doll for awhile now and have been having a hard time trying to figure out how to go about putting a sculpted head on the plush body for awhile now. I've been over thinking it and doing my head in.

This is really helpful and I think because of your tutorial I'll be able to start making my own really soon. Thanks heaps!!!
Reply
:iconflytrapdog:
FlytrapDog Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
Great tutorial, thank you for sharing =D What type of glue do you recommend?
Reply
:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Loctite! It's the best glue ever made! :D
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:iconravenxarisa:
RavenXArisa Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
can you put glass eyes with paint in the oven?
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I don't think that's a good idea. Glue the eyes on when the baking is done :)
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:iconravenxarisa:
RavenXArisa Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
ah i found out its fine :D
Reply
:iconw-gray:
W-Gray Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011
Great tutorial, one remark: when using different kinds of clay, especially with smaller parts, make sure to know how moist the clay is, some need to dry up to a week before baking because the water inside can cause cracks or even make the entire thing explode.
Reply
:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks :) And thanks for the advice. I think i recommended Fimo in this tutorial? Never had any problems baking it straight away (and doesn't say anything about it on the box either). What kinds of clay is it?
Reply
:iconw-gray:
W-Gray Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011
I looked it up, down here in the netherlands we usually use natural clay or clay based off of that while I think Fimo is a polymer clay. There's a good possibility that polymer clay reacts differently and therefore doesn't crack.^^
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ok, yeah, that's a difference I should've put up there! Guess polymerclay is a bit different! :)
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:iconeviecats:
Eviecats Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011
Why do you take the head off for baking? I have found looping the wires and folding the tin foil through the loops and sculpting over that easiest and sturdiest in the long run, i use super sculpy though so not sure of the difference with fimo. :3
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:iconcatigma:
Catigma Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Because otherwise one part or another will be laying in the wrong position inside the oven, and result in ears, nose og something else crooked :XD: Happened first time i tried, so I found this the best way for me :)
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:iconeviecats:
Eviecats Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011
I see. I normally fabric glue fur to the back of the head so I use that part ^_^
Reply
:iconsherrteel:
SherrTeel Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Hobbyist
Thanks for this tutorial! I was looking for one so hard and now I found it!! :D
I don't want learning to do those amazing dolls to earn money (i'm too bad with clay and sewing -_-''), but just for fun and for having little creatures with me :happybounce: I hope to start soon to craft my first doll, also if i'll try with an airdrying clay called "Das"!
Thank you so much again for this tutorial, I hope to show you how it will come out. :dummy:
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