Peddler Doll or Jewelry Display?

In Victorian times, people used to have peddler dolls; a doll with lots of pockets and a different trinket in each one. I've tried to make a more modern version.

2 wire flower baskets; 10" and 8" diameters
thin wire
2 wooden disks; 2 1/2" diameter
6" wooden dowel; 3/4" diameter
1 1/2" screw
14" piece of wire
aluminum foil
masking tape
1 1/2" smooth styrofoam egg
1 yard fabric
small straw hat
silk flower and leaves
Matte Mod Podge
acrylic paints; flesh and yellow ochre

hot glue gun
paint brushes
ultra fine black sharpie marker

Turn the baskets upside down and wire the large opening of the 8" basket to the larger basket, forming a hoop skirt. (I only attached it at 3 points)

Drill a hole in the center of each disk and the bottom of the dowel. Work the screw through the hole in one of the disks then place it under the small opening of the 8" basket (screw point up). Place the other disk above the opening and onto the point of the screw. Twist the top disk down until the two disks are bound tightly together. Place the dowel on the screw and twist it down as well.

Drill a hole through the side of the dowel, about 2 1/2" down from the top. Thread the wire through the hole then form a loop in one end. Put the other end through the loop and form a matching loop. Tape the wire in place by wrapping masking tape around in a figure eight.

Cut a section from the back of the styrofoam egg. Glue it on the top of the dowel as shown. Press into the egg to form eye sockets and a mouth. Cut a tiny drop shape from another piece of smooth styrofoam to form the nose. Glue in place.

Form the body and arms by crunching and wrapping aluminum foil. The waist should be 2" up from the bottom of the disks. When the body look about right (no need for perfection), wrap it with masking tape.

At this point she will look like Hannibal Lecter Barbie.

Fold a piece of copy paper in half and half again. Wrap twine around and around it for about 1 1/2". Carefully run a small bead of glue down the edge of the wrapped twine to form a part for the hair. Gently pull the hair off the paper and cut the edge opposite the glue side. Turn the hair over and run another bead of glue along the part but on the inside. Glue the hair to the top of the head.

Tie the hair in a low ponytail then tuck under and glue in place. Arrange the sides of the hair so that it covers the transition between the head and neck. Glue.

Gesso the head, body and hair. When painting the face, use your fingers to smooth out the brush strokes. Paint the face and neck a flesh color and the hair with ochre.

Tear 1/2" strips of fabric. Paint Mod Podge on the skirt wires and wrap the strips around and around. This is a tedious job, but a mindless one that can be done in front of TV.

Cut a piece of fabric 4" wide and 6" long. Turn inside out and fold in half lengthwise. Run a bead of hot glue around the wrist and pleat the end of the sleeve and press the right side of the fabric into the glue, taking care not to burn yourself.

Place the sleeve over the other arm; right sides together and carefully glue the long edges together.
Turn the sleeve right-side out coaxing it up the correct arm. Pleat and glue at the shoulder.

Repeat for the other sleeve making sure that you don't glue the new sleeve to the other one when you glue the seams together. You can hand sew this step, but my glue gun was handy and I prefer glue to needle and thread for some reason.

I wish I could be more specific with the dress pattern. I cut a rectangle 12" x 5". I removed a semicircle to form the neck opening, cut two semicircles for the arm holes and a slit up the front. Basically a pancho.

I brushed Mod Podge on the body then applied parts of the dress; snipping, wrapping and forming as I went. A thin strip formed a belt and was glued into place.

When all was dry, I cut out a triangle and glued a neckerchief in place around the neck.

Remove a silk rose and several leaves from a silk flower stem and place hot glue around the loops formed by the wire. Push the stems through the loops. Isn't that clever? No need to make those difficult hands.

Glue a straw hat on her head and with an ultra fine Sharpie marker draw in eyes, brows and lips. Also cut off all the long threads on the skirt but leave the torn edges of the fabric strips.

I haven't yet added trinkets to her skirt but envision hair clips, headbands, earrings and bracelets.

Beautiful and practical at the same time. Just like me.....right.


tara said...

How lovely. The painted hair is very interesting.

Maite - vitoma said...


maria said...

nice.... wow

Widad said...

you are incredible...the doll is sooo pretty

Morning T said...

You are too much- this is so cool and you make everything look so easy. I'm feeling quite inferior now so I'm heading out after being stuck here for about 30 minutes.
Love your blog!!

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