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Experiment: Polymer Clay with soft bodied dolls

Ever ran across life-like or super detailed plush dolls like these?

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Wolf Totem doll by Wereremjiff

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Inari Foxes by Santani

These adorable creatures were created using polymer clay and faux fur. Detailed parts like the faces and paws were carefully sculpted and painted, while the rest of the body is fur and stuffing. The construction is the similar to soft-bodied vinyl dolls like Baby Reborn or Cabbage Patch kids.

I’ve always wanted to make one of these but for me, it’s such a hassle to work with fur and have the patience to construct patterns for the bodies. I thought I’d try out crochet to create the bodies (if possible).

The result was this grumpy yeti!

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I made the polymer clay parts have tops that resemble the head of nails so that the limbs won’t fall off once crocheted over.

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The resulting crochet fabric is a lot thicker than fur so the resulting doll is stiffer, not squishy. Grumpy Yeti would probably be a lot softer if I used a softer type of yarn.

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The one detail that leaves room for improvement is how the face is attached. Using the tutorial below, the face is secured by fabric glue. Although that’s usually a safe choice, I would prefer to be able to sew the face on.

I’m really satisfied with the result since this opens new doors on incorporating polymer clay into future amigurumi projects.

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Edit 7/15/2014:

Grumpy Yeti is now available at the Etsy shop!

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I’ve experimented a bit with these using paperclay for the head and feet. It’s very lightweight and durable and can be painted. One thing I’ve seen people do is leave small holes in the edges to be able to sew them in place, I usually end up doing both thread and hot glue, though I’m not 100% happy with my results yet.

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