A Very Special Children’s Doll, Mariposa

cloth doll of a girl from Mexico with braids and a colorful dress

Earlier this month I finished a very special collaboration project – a cloth children’s doll that my sister-in-law designed! Mariposa is a young girl from Mexico, who wears a brightly-colored traditional dress. Her name means “butterfly.”

Mariposa will be part of the next issue of my sister-in-law’s magazine!

My sister-in-law runs Treehouse Magazine, a nature magazine for kids. She’s an illustrator, and sometimes features drawings of her two daughters in the magazine. Mariposa will be a gift for my youngest niece, and also a part of the next issue, “The Great Monarch Migration.” My sister-in-law requested that Mariposa be hispanic and wear a traditional Mexican dress, as monarchs migrate each year to Mexico.

a handmade cloth children's doll of a mexican girl in a brightly colored dress

Mariposa is completely handcrafted, just like my art dolls.

Mariposa is hand-stiched, with soft-jointed arms and legs. She’s made from snuggly cotton flannel, and her hair and stuffing are made from natural wool. I love her button eyes! Her other facial features are embroidered, to keep them kid-safe.

handcrafted cloth doll for children of a girl from Mexico with a detailed dress

Mariposa’s traditional dress is sewn in bright colors and trimmed with two different types of ribbon, as well as cute bobbly lace. Underneath her dress, she wears red cotton bloomers and a matching camisole.

I’ve considered adding more children’s dolls to my Etsy shop.

For a while now, I’ve been trying out different prototypes of cloth children’s dolls with the intention of someday adding them to my Etsy shop. Creating Mariposa was great practice for this possibility, and I’m really happy with the way she turned out. This is an idea that I hope to continue to work on and develop.

cloth children's doll with two braids wearing a Mexican dress

The Great Monarch Migration is coming soon!

When Mariposa’s issue of Treehouse Magazine is out, I’ll share it here, so that you can take a look at all of the awesome activities and illustrations.

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New Project Sneak Peaks

Over the past month I’ve been working on and off on my new Wind in the Willows project, stitching up the dolls’ bodies and stock-piling fabric for their outfits. I really love the willow-printed fabric that I found on Spoonflower!

two tiny handmade jackets for the Wind in the Willows dolls

I have two tiny jackets finished, and will be working on the others when I get a chance. Toad’s and Mole’s jackets are made using soft lines and watercolor pastels, which I plan to use for all of the dolls, to evoke the nostalgic illustrations that I love so much. They each have tiny embroidery on one of their pockets.

I took a break from that project for a few weeks to work on something else – an extra-special collaboration with another artist! This children’s doll was made as a gift for my niece, in collaboration with her mom, who is an illustrator who runs a children’s magazine! I’ve included a sneak peak of Mariposa below, and I can’t wait to share more about her and her role in the next issue of my sister-in-law’s magazine!

cloth children's doll with two braids wearing a Mexican dress

Three New Miniature Art Dolls: Miss Emily, Agnes, and Beau

I’ve been wanting to restock my Etsy shop with some new miniature art dolls for a while now – these tiny dolls are always my most popular creations! I took a break last week from stitching up bodies for my Wind in the Willows project to create a new trio of mini dolls.

Each of my miniature art dolls are sculpted from Paperclay, from their itty bitty facial features down to their tiny boots. Their arms and legs are jointed, and their bodies are painted with watercolors and sealed. Each doll’s hair is made from mohair curls, and their outfits are painstakingly created from cloth scraps, bits of lace and ribbon, and tiny beads. If you’re interested in learning more about the process of creating a mini doll, or in trying your hand at making a doll of your own, visit this previous blog post.

This time, all three of my new miniature dolls are Victorian themed, though each is very different!

Miss Emily

hand holding a miniature victorian doll

Poor little Miss Emily is at that in-between age – too old for the nursery, and too young for balls and parties. She can’t wait to be all grown up!

Miss Emily wears a tea-stained linen and lace dress over a lace petticoat. Faux pearl seed beads became her dress’s tiny buttons. A pink ribbon holds back her dark brown curls.

close up of a hand holding a miniature art doll of a victorian girl, to show scale

Miss Emily is available for purchase in my Etsy shop here.

Agnes

miniature art doll dressed as a maid, with lace cap and curly hair

Agnes’s mother always said that tidiness is next to godliness. If only Agnes could keep her curly hair as neat as she keeps her employer’s house!

Agnes the maid has bright blue eyes and wild curls under her lace cap. She wears a tea-stained linen petticoat and a blue print cotton dress with cuffs made from lace and ribbon, and buttons made from tiny beads. I really enjoyed creating her miniature linen apron, with its tiny tuckers and ribbon apron strings! Agnes is proud to carry her employer’s key ring – two miniature keys are sewn to her apron.

hand holding a miniature art doll in period clothing, to show scale

I imagine Agnes would take very good care of someone’s doll house! She’s available for purchase in my Etsy shop here.

Beau

miniature doll of a victorian gentleman wearing a suit with a rose

Beau is my very first gentleman mini doll. Beau is here to steal hearts – or at least to attempt to!

As my first male miniature art doll, Beau proved to be an interesting challenge. The creation of his clothing involved considerably more work than that of my previous mini dolls – his plaid suit was entirely constructed and stitched by hand before he was dressed. Underneath he wears a linen shirt, a lace ascot, and a green print vest with a tiny pearl button. I especially love Beau’s rosette that he wears in his buttonhole, and the debonair curl falling over his forehead! He reminds me a little of a young Charles Dickens.

hand holding a mini doll of a victorian man to show scale

Beau is available for purchase in my Etsy shop here.

Art Doll Postcards – New in My Etsy Shop

Sets of 2 – 3 art doll cards are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop! Each of these postcards are professionally printed, standard 4 by 6 cards, and have otherwise blank backs printed with my shop name and information. These are perfect for sending a note to a friend, but also high quality enough for framing as mini prints.

I wanted to bring some variety back to my shop, and offer a few more affordable options for my customers. Right now I’m offering five different sets of cards, each featuring a different doll. I’m offering the sets of two cards at $5.50 plus shipping, and the sets of three at $8.00 plus shipping.

The Mary Poppins Postcard Pack

Three postcards with images of Mary Poppins flying through the sky with her parrot-headed umbrella!

The Peter Pan Postcard Pack

Three cards showing my Peter Pan art doll soaring through a sky of stars.

The Mad Tea Party Postcard Set

These two postcards each feature one of my Alice in Wonderland art dolls attending the Mad Tea Party.

The Fairy Tea Postcard Set

These two postcards are my favorite! They feature images of a miniature fairy tea party that I once set up in my backyard.

The Secret Garden Postcard Pack

Three postcards featuring images of my Mary Lennox and Dickon art dolls created for a project centered around Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

Shop all the postcards here.

The Wind in the Willows Project: Watercolor Miniatures

This week I’ve been working on the first sketches for an upcoming project based around Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. I’m planning on making four small art dolls, based on the characters of Mole, Rat, Mr. Badger, and Mr. Toad. To plan out how they’ll look, I started out by doing some watercolor sketches of each of these characters.

While shopping for fabric earlier in the week, I’d come across a set of miniature paper frames. I was so happy with how my watercolor sketches turned out, that I hit upon the idea of using the paper frames with them to create a set of miniature portraits of The Wind in the Willows’ characters.

miniature watercolor portraits of the the characters from kenneth grahame's the wind in the willows

Each watercolor miniature is only about 4.25 by 3 inches, and will be sold together with the finished art dolls. I’ve been stockpiling new fabrics to use in their outfits, and have some beautiful willow print fabric from Spoonflower on its way! I’ll begin sharing more information about this project as soon as I begin sculpting and sewing!

Create Your Own Custom Art Doll

marketing graphic of featuring custom art dolls created by the free folk

I’m going to have some extra time this summer for creating custom dolls!

I’m currently working as a teacher with an arts academy, which means I’ll have the summer off to focus on my art and writing. This will give me some extra time to work on custom art dolls for my customers. If you’ve been thinking about commissioning a custom doll, now’s a great time!

Each of my art dolls are their own, one-of-a-kind characters.

Every art doll that I make is completely unique, and often inspired by my favorite stories. I love coming up with a doll’s character and personality as I work – it’s this that makes my dolls feel alive, almost like magic! If you have a character or idea that you’ve been dreaming of bringing to life, I’d love to create someone for you.

Take a look at the custom order options listed here on my site and in my Etsy shop. Whether you’re looking for an affordable miniature doll or a fully articulated art doll, I offer several price points and options to choose from.

Commission Your Own Miniature Doll

marketing graphic featuring custom miniature art dolls by the free folk

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be whipping up a new batch of mini art dolls to restock my shop. Now’s a great time to commission your own miniature doll – I’d love to make a one-of-a-kind character just for you! Each of my mini dolls are sculpted at 1 inch scale, perfect for life in your dolls’ house or miniature diorama. Additionally, through June 30th these dolls are 15% off when purchased in my Etsy shop.

View the options available here, or head over to my Etsy shop to commission your very own doll.