DIY FORTUNE TELLER MACHINE

Part 1: Transforming a creepy looking doll in to a gypsy fortune teller

These vintage Bradley style dolls were popular during the 60's and 70's...I'll be honest, I've always found them a little creepy with their gigantic anime eyes!

These vintage Bradley style dolls were popular during the 60’s and 70’s…I’ve always found them a little creepy with their gigantic eyes!

I have been doing a lot of writing as of late and haven’t had much of an opportunity to work on any fun, crafty projects, but with Halloween just around the corner it is a perfect time to bust out that glue gun and get to work!

I will admit that Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday to decorate for. You can really let your imagination run wild and there are tons of different themes to choose from. I’m not much for the super gory stuff but I do appreciate the imagination, time and fabrication that go in to any project.

One of the things I’ve decided to work on this year is a Fortune Teller Machine with a vintage feel to it. This is something I’ve wanted to tackle for some time but for one reason or another it never happened. I’ll be honest with you, I would love to build a full sized version out of an old curio cabinet, but we really don’t have the room to store something that size, so I’m working with a smaller scale and will incorporate the finished project in to my buffet-scape for Halloween.

I’m going to break the tutorial in to 4 separate posts, starting with the transformation of the doll I found at the Goodwill (for $2!!)

Away we go……

The doll’s face wasn’t anywhere close to what I had in mind. I’m going for a vintage 1920’s look, similar to the boudoir dolls that were popular at that time…..this has more of an Anime-Lolita thing going on.  I decide that instead of trying to tweak the existing features, it would be best to start with a fresh canvas, so I paint over the doll’s face, using crafter’s acrylic paint.

Paint over the doll's entire face with a flesh toned paint of choice. I needed 3 coats to make the eyes disappear.

Paint over the doll’s entire face with a flesh toned paint of choice. I needed 3 coats to make the eyes disappear.

After the paint had completely dried, I decided to do some contouring on the face to give it some depth and dimension. I also started to sketch out the eyebrows.

Contouring added to the face and the start of an eyebrow.

Contouring added to the face and the start of an eyebrow.

Continue to sketch out the facial features.

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Here’s what the face looks like after all of the features have been sketched out.

To “color” the dolls face, I chose to use pastel pencils instead of paint as I feel my sketching and coloring skills far surpass my painting skills. My favorite pastel pencils are Stabilo Carbothello’s…they are like crayons for grown ups! They blend like a dream and come in a ton of colors. I ordered mine a few years ago from the Dick Blick website as there is no place local that sells them. At any rate, after some coloring, shading and blending, this is what I ended up with:

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At this point I feel like she looks like a cross between a Bratz doll and a sort of trampy Miss Jessica from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”….and I have the most terrible urge to have a cigarette hanging from her mouth.

And this is where I am stopping for now. I wanted to get her dressed in some type of costume right away but became discouraged as I couldn’t find just the right thing. I have a habit of wanting to get every project done right now and a lot of times mess it up because I was in a hurry to finish. I decided to put her to the side and move on to the next component, which is the actual booth itself…..which I will share with you next week!

Here is a fun side by side photo so you can see just how dramatic a transformation to the doll’s face this was!

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Before and After

What type of fun decorating or craft projects do you have in mind for this upcoming holiday season?

Peace, Love & Blessings to All…..

April