How to Make Bisque Dolls

What You'll Need
Bisque doll features (Head, Arms and Legs)
Doll body (or make your own)
Bisque paints
Artist's paint brushes
Doll hair
Doll eyes

Bisque dolls have been a collectors item for well over a century. Bisque dolls first came on the market in the 1860s, and continue in their production today. There is a difference between bisque dolls and porcelain dolls. While almost all feature beautifully painted heads, arms, and legs, porcelain is glazed whereas bisque is not. Bisque dolls can come in a variety of sizes, but generally are pretty small, ranging from twelve to twenty four inches for most. Making your own bisque dolls is not difficult, and can produce some treasured gifts for friends and family. Here you will find the information needed to make such a doll.

Step 1 - Painting Features

You may want to collect pictures of several different dolls that appeal to you when considering how to paint your doll's head and limbs. While some people prefer cute chubby babies, others prefer stylishly dressed and poised fashion replicas. By studying pictures of what you want your doll to look like, this will help you determine what color paints you will need to purchase. You may also want to consider how you will correct a mistake if one is made, and purchase paints that are water soluble and will clean up easily. Generally, there is a base coat for the head, arms and legs of a flesh tone, while features such as lips, rosy cheeks and eyelashes are frequently painted in.

Step 2 - Creating a Body

You can purchase a doll body from the local art supply store. However, these bodies are generic and many may want something different than what is offered in the store. Making a doll body is relatively easy. Trace the shape of body desired onto close woven cloth and cut it out. Repeat for the back side. Stitch the two pieces together, leaving openings at the neck, arms, and legs to insert the bisque portions later. Fold a slight seam at the openings and stitch, leaving a small opening so that you can tread a piece of small cord through, and leave the ends free. This will be used to attach the bisque portions of the doll. Fill the body with batting, or rice or barley for a baby with a bit of heft. Turn the body inside out so that the stitches are on the inside..

Step 3 - Assembling the Doll

Once all the bisque pieces are painted and dried, you are ready to assemble the bisque features with the body. The bisque parts should have a groove at the end of each arm, leg, and around the neck on the head. Slip each part into the cloth body,  tighten the strings around the grooves in each piece, and tie securely.

Step 4 - Dressing Your Doll

You can make clothes to fit the doll, or purchase them. If you stay with an averaged sized doll, you can frequently find darling cloths in the toy departments of retail stores.