How to Make a Bobble Head Doll

Use a personal photo to custom-make a bobble head doll.

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When making a bobble head doll, it helps to study photos of your subject and identify his or her most defining features before you take clay in hand.

Materials and Tools:

white polymer clay
acrylic paints
artist's paintbrushes
20-gauge wire
24-gauge wire
aluminum foil
epoxy glue
wooden base
oven
pliers
wire cutters
photos of person to be sculpted
drill

Steps:

1. Study the selected pictures and determine the features that depict his or her character.

2. With wire cutters, cut a piece of 20-gauge wire for the feet, legs and hips. Bend the wire into a "U" shape with pliers.

3. Wrap the lower body wire with aluminum foil. Wrap the foil at the bottom of the legs with 24-gauge wire.

4. Condition the polymer clay by kneading it with your fingers until it's soft and pliable. Cover the aluminum foil on the lower body with the clay, smoothing it with your fingers.

5. Drill two small holes into a purchased oval wooden base positioned at the same width as the wires in the feet. Place the foot wires in the holes to hold the figure while sculpting.

6. Cut a piece of 20-gauge wire for the body and push it vertically into the clay portion of the lower body. Cover it with conditioned clay, shaping the torso, neck and shoulders.

7. Sculpt shoes for the figure with two balls of clay. Remove the figure from the wooden base and insert the feet wire through each shoe. Glue the feet into the drilled holes in the wooden base with epoxy glue.

8. Sculpt the clothing details in the clay with a craft knife and a needle tool.

9. Sculpt arms and hands from clay and attach them to the shoulders.

10. Make an enlarged head from a ball of clay. Referring to the photos, sculpt the facial features, hair and ears with clay-sculpting tools.

11. Bake the head and body in a 250-degree oven for an hour. Remove from the oven.

12. Paint the body and head with acrylic paints and artist's brushes. Detail such features as eyes, lip color, cheeks, freckles, buttons and shoelaces.

13. Create a spring to place on top of the neck by cutting a double length of wire, folding it in half and twisting it together with pliers.

14. Wrap the twisted wire around a pen.

15. Cover the ends of the twisted wire with polymer clay, and epoxy one end of the spring to the top of the neck.

16. Drill the inside of the bobble head to hollow it out enough that the head balances well on the spring.

17. Place the bobble head on top of the spring and glue it with epoxy.

18. Add embellishments such as earrings made of wire or a flower made of polymer clay and wire.

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