Monsterfy This Number 1
Monsterfy This #1: Horror Doll
A bit about me
As some know I have a bit of a unique hobby…. I make what I call “Demented Decor”… this includes Horror Dolls, props, things to hang on walls, set on shelves and other items that make my friends and family worry about me. For those who care to know how I discovered this hobby I will include the story at the end of the tutorial.
To see a small collection of items I have done you can check out the Macabre Museum Thread
For this being the 1st Monsterfy This I decided to do a Horror Doll using limited easy to find (and cheap) items. This one has no external modifications other than a paint job.
What you will need:
A Porcelain Doll (I typically find them at thrift stores and on Facebook Marketplace and pride myself on never spending more than $4.00 on a single doll… in fact normally only spent $1.00 - $2.99 per doll)
Rotary tool with sanding bit and or Sandpaper ( I have a Rotary tool that hangs above my workbench that is variable speeds and uses a pedal to control speeds that cost me like $50.00… but any rotary tool will work like a Dremel or similar… Harbor Freight sells them for like $7.00 but if you don’t want that Sandpaper will work)
Dust mask and eye protection to use when sanding
Detail paint brush
Soft straight edge paint brush for blending
Soft wide paintbrush for covering large areas
(Typically find all three of these together in assorted paint brush packs for under $5.00 at Walmart or Craft Stores)
Black Acrylic Paint
White Acrylic Paint
Off White Acrylic Paint
(Cheap works fine… Most craft stores and Walmart have them for $0.50 - $2.99 per bottle… I typically use matte… better coverage in my opinion)
Mod Podge Matte (Sold at most Craft stores and Walmart for under $5.00)
High Gloss Acrylic Varnish or Mod Podge Ultra Gloss (The varnish works best in my opinion… Normally only craft stores will have it. Found near the Canvases and higher end acrylics costs about $10.00 per bottle but lasts forever… Mod Podge Ultra Gloss can be found at Craft stores and Walmart for under $5.00 and works just not as shiny)
Hair Dryer if you are impatient like me
Scrap piece of cardboard, Paper towels and/or craft paper
Find a Doll you want to work on.
Dismantle the accessories, outfit and remove the hair. I always save everything including the hair for other projects later. Removing the hair can be a bit of a chore. Most if not all porcelain dolls have wigs that are glued down. Carefully remove the hair and top cap from the head… normally just peel it back from the forehead back and it will come right off… sometimes the creator went a little nuts on the glue so you have to really struggle with it… just take your time and do it slowly. It will leave bits of hair and glue all over the head. To remove that just take your rotary tool and/or sandpaper and go to town until it is all gone… at the end it should look similar to this:
It is very important you use the proper safety equipment here… you must wear a mask that is designed to protect against dust and other particulates and proper eye protection. You never know the chemical makeup of the glue they used so better to be safe than sorry.
Use the black acrylic paint as a primer. Take the soft wide paintbrush for covering large areas Paint each porcelain piece black… This does not have to be perfect… but I always do 3 coats so the coverage is uniform. You can cut drying time down between coats by using a hair dryer.
Create a grey paint by mixing the white, off white and black acrylic pains… I always start with black and slowly and mix the two white colors a little at a time until I have the color I want. So take your time mixing well… you can just buy a grey off the shelf if you want… but I typically mix my own and make it more customized. Once you have your grey use the soft wide brush (clean it with tap water before reusing) and paint every porcelain piece grey… you want it to be uniform so it will likely take 2 -3 coats… use a hair dryer in between coats if you want to lessen drying time. You can see I covered one eye with the grey because… I thought it would look cool you don’t have to or you can do both… your call.
If you want to glue the plastic cap back on it over the big hole in the head at this point you can… but you don’t have to.
Back to Black… For this doll I wanted a simple Color scheme so I did the make up in black acrylic paint… Best way to achieve the blurry / worn makeup look is to take the soft straight edge paint brush and lightly dip it in the black. Then used your scrap cardboard, paper towel or a scrap piece of paper to get most of the paint off it. Then using a light dabbing motion paint on the make up around the eyes and the mouth (don’t jam it on… just lightly dab it). This will give you the blurry/worn look by blending it all together. Once you are happy with the eyes and mouth time to dry brush on more black all over the head. You will use the same technique… but try to get more off the paint of the brush and then gently but quickly swipe back and forth on the doll barely making contact… this will give it a dirty/aged look by only highlighting the raised areas. The more contact the brush makes the darker and more pronounced the streaks will be.
Then get around the neck line with a heavier coat of black but use the dab method just don’t wipe the paint off first.
For more tips and tricks for the Dry-brush Method… just look up dry-brushing on youtube
Paint and dry-brush the arms in legs with the black paint in a similar way you did the head.
Add a couple of coats of Mod Podge Matte to the painted porcelain areas to seal everything… This is very important… Acrylics tend to rub off if they are not sealed well… so add 2 or more coats to get a good seal.
Giving the eyes a wet look… before you do this you can add a little red to the corners of the eyes… but you don’t have to. If you do let the red dry completely before adding the gloss. I use Liquitex High Gloss Varnish medium but it can be pricey and harder to find. So you can also use Mod Podge ultra gloss if you want… It is cheaper and you can find it at Walmart and most craft stores… Just remember whichever you use the key is the more coats you do equals the glossier the finish… Sp paint over the eyes using the small detailing brush… In the picture below I did 4 coats of the varnish. I used a Hair Dryer in between coats to cut my drying time.
Dirty up the body using the black paint… Act like a toddler is painting it… don’t be afraid of making it messy.
Step back and admire your new Horror doll… you can place it on a shelf, Hide it in your kids bedroom, randomly place it in different places around your house… or give it to an ex and tell them it’s possessed. The sky’s the limit. But do take a picture if you make one and be sure to share it with the class.
For those who want to know…
You may ask “how did you discover this hobby?”… well the TLDR of is this… As far back as I can remember I have had an odd fascination with all things creepy. For most of my life it was just a fascination… but, a couple of years back I had a health crisis that put me in the hospital in a medically induced coma and a tracheostomy. After I recovered, got the trach out and started to get my life back to “normal” I found myself in a weird place. I was not sleeping well, I was having vivid bad dreams, I felt overwhelmed all the time and I could not seem to get back to the old normal. Then someone suggested I find a hobby that could help provide an outlet. So I tried writing… did not really help. I tried video games (which I loved before)… but could no longer get into them and would put them down after just a few minutes. I tried several different things… nothing really helped or appealed to me. Then I came across a random tutorial on youtube from Monster Tutorials on how to “corpse” a plastic skull (Click HERE for a link to that video)… and the guy on the video made it seem so easy… so I tried it… and I got lost in it. It was right then I realized I had found my outlet. So that progressed into creating other props and eventually found a small subset of the “Creepy Crafting” community that took old dolls and transformed them into Horror Dolls. I gave it a try and I was hooked.
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