These instructions will show you how to assemble your painted porcelain doll parts into a proportionally correct, posable doll, using a wrapped wire armature and a little time and patience.

Materials

Chenille Stems

 Hot Glue and Glue Gun

Cotton Balls

 Damp Towel

Wire Cutters, (no, you can't use your good sewing scissors to cut the wire....)

Tacky Glue

Note: Tacky glue may be used in place of hot glue if desired to glue chenille form into porcelain, but you must allow adequate time for glue to dry before completing your body assembly usually overnight.

 

 

1.  All of my molds include a diagram for assembly which gives the proper lengths of arms and legs.  If you are assembling a doll from another artist, or purchased a kit, follow this link to download and print assembly diagrams, resize diagrams as necessary after downloading, and then come back here to continue.

 To Assembly diagrams:

Chloe - 4" child doll

Dorothy - 5" teen doll

Adrianna - 5 1/2" lady doll

2.  Place your diagram on a flat surface, and cover with a piece of wax paper so that you will have it, glue free, next time you need it!  Position your porcelain pieces on the diagram. 
3. Fold one chenille stem in half and twist, making double. This will be used for the arms. insert the chenille stem thru the armholes in the torso.
4.  Fill one arm with hot glue and push onto the chenille stem. Adjust this arm and stem so that it matches the arm position on the illustration.  Note that the remaining end of the chenille stem is way too long.  You may trim it no shorter than the length of the arm on the diagram at this time.
5.  Now WITHOUT GLUE, try the remaining arm on the other end of stem. Remove and trim chenille to proper length so that when arm is replaced, it will be in the position shown on the diagram. Trim small amounts of the chenille stem at a time, and keep trying on the arm until the length of the stem is correct, and both arms are in the exact position shown on diagram. There is no magic length to cut this stem, because there is no way of predetermining how far your stem will go into the porcelain part.  Some pieces are poured thicker than others, and the stem won't go in as far as in other cases.  Custom fit your stem to your parts.
6.  When you are satisfied that your stem is the proper length, fill the arm with hot or tacky glue, and push onto the chenille stem.

7.  Twist two chenille stems together, then bend for use with the legs. Use the diagram as a guide for bending the chenille. Insert this stem up into the torso cavity. Fill torso cavity with hot glue.

8.  Look at the bottom of the feet together, and check the inner arch area to see if there is a right and a left foot. Please donít give your doll two left feet!!!  She may want to go out dancing!

In the same manner as you used for attaching the arms, place doll on diagram, and try one leg onto the end of chenille stem.

9.  Trim chenille and retry porcelain leg until the bottom of the foot rests on the bottom line of the drawing. When chenille is the proper length, fill leg with glue and push onto stem. Repeat for second leg.
 10.  When chenille is the proper length, fill leg with glue and push onto stem. Repeat for second leg.

 

1.  Unroll 2-3 cotton balls (yes, they really do unroll, just find the end, and gently unwrap!). Keep a damp towel handy, because you are definitely going to get sticky fingers with this procedure.
2.  Place a small amount of glue onto the top of the stem on one leg. Place the end of the cotton into the glue, and wrap down from the waist to the top of the porcelain leg, and back up to the waist again.
3.  Apply glue to the cotton, and with damp fingers smooth the glue over the entire surface of the cotton. This takes a bit of practice, so have patience. If necessary, add more cotton, smoothing and coating with glue, until the area is even, and smooth. Wrap and coat the second leg in the same manner.
4.  Apply glue to the top portions of the legs, in the area between the waist and the crotch. Attach one end of another cotton strip into the glue, and wrap, beginning at the waist, wrapping down to crotch, passing under crotch, and wrapping back up to waistline. Again, coat and smooth the area with glue and water, adding additional cotton as needed, particularly in the "seat" area. Be sure to pull the batting up tight in the crotch, and to carefully observe the crotch line, so that undergarments will fit properly.
5.  Cover each arm in the same manner, applying glue to chenille stem and wrapping from shoulder to top of porcelain arm, then back to shoulder. Do not pad the arms too much! Too much padding will give you a "weight-lifter" look!!!
 6.  Allow the body to dry overnight. It will be much firmer when dry. When dry, check your dolls body. If you feel that the cotton is excessive in some areas, you can carefully trim them away, the re-smooth the area with glue. If more padding is needed, it can be added. Remember this technique is one that gets better with practice, although the sticky fingers and mess never seem to improve!!!!

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