Does your historical character doll love to write? Maybe she needs a new set of writing essentials! In this three-part tutorial series we'll show you how to make items for dolls such as Felicity Merriman, that she would have used in her reading and writing lessons all the way back in 1774!
Our first tutorial is a lovely little white and blue heart-shaped inkwell. Girls in her day would have used a quill pen dipped in ink to write with – a messy proposition that needed work to master! Join us in making your doll an inkwell so that she can perfect her penmanship, too!
Step 1: Take some of your white oven-bake clay and work it with your fingers until it is soft and you can form it into a heart shape. We made ours half an inch thick and about 2 inch across at the widest point. If you have a small heart-shaped cookie cutter that might help, but otherwise you can just use your hands to form it. Try to make it flat on top and bottom with definite sides.
Step 2: Once you are happy with your heart shape, press a clay tool into it to create the well. If you don’t have a clay tool you could use something like the end of a stick of lip balm, or the end of a chopstick to create the indent. Use your creativity! Press down pretty deeply, but do not go all the way through the clay.
Step 3: Take a little bit more of the clay and roll it into a tiny tube shape. Take this piece and place it around the top of the opening of the well, creating a lip, and trimming so that its ends meet each other.
Step 4: Using your feather, poke a hole in the top right section of the inkwell. This will be the place that holds the feather. Keep in mind when choosing your placement that this spot will be in the center of a blue flower you will later paint, so make it in the center of this section and not too near the sides. And again, press down deeply, but not all the way through the clay.
Step 5: Bake and cool your inkwell according to the oven-bake clay package instructions.
Step 6: Now it is time to paint! Use your blue paint (always dip your brush in water first, then dab on a paper towel, then dip into your paint), and create a design on the sides of the inkwell first, to make handling it easiest. We put a blue line around the bottom perimeter, then made a series of curved lines which meet in little “w” shapes, and finally added little dots for accent.
Step 7: Next we painted a blue line around the upper rim of the inkwell, and then we painted little flowers and leaves on the top. Remember to have your feather holder spot end up inside a flower!
Step 8: Once that was dry we went back and mixed a little white with the blue to create a lighter blue, and painted this inside our flowers and leaves. If you mess up at any point you can go over the blue paint with the white to cover it up. It is also a neat idea to use the black paint and fill in the recess of the inkwell hole, so it looks like it is full of ink! (We did not do this this time, but have in the past and it is cute!)
Step 9: Once your paint is all dry, just insert the feather, and Felicity is ready to practice her handwriting! (Do not add a clear coat to seal your inkwell. In our experience, it interacts with the clay somehow and creates a sticky mess!)
And that’s it! This is a pretty simple and rewarding craft – I hope your doll loves it!
@forofsuch & The Pixie Faire Team