ART DOLLS "HOW TO" With Recycled Supplies

I have been creating art dolls from recycled/repurposed materials for about 12 years now.  It's something that I always come back to at some point, no matter how long I am pulled in other artistic directions.  If you follow this blog you'll have seen the post from December, 2012, where I shared some images of a series of art dolls I made with tags.  Here's the link to that post if you missed it:  We Want Some Old Stuff - Part 5

And another day, I will post some other art dolls I have made from all sorts of materials.

Today, I wanted to share with you a series of "Star Gazer" art dolls I made with the most innocuous of base materials.  Most of these examples have two basic ingredients:  a vintage wooden milk bottle cap liner and a chipboard star cutout (photo shows them with a quarter for size reference).

The chipboard stars were given to me by a friend who was going to send them to the trash.  "Oh no," I cried, "I can use those for something."  When will I ever learn?  It's comments like this that have my studio packed to overflowing!  Anyway, I digress.  As soon as I saw the stars I loved their wonky shape and thought they'd make a great body for some kind of art doll.  While rummaging through my stash of crap (I mean, wonderful stuff), I came upon the vintage wooden milk bottle cap liners and started experimenting with with a couple of face rubber stamps I already had.

One thing led to another and this "Star Gazer" series of art dolls emerged.  I painted the stars and then used various treatments on them.  Some have foiling, some are stamped and then glittered within an inch of their lives, and some are covered in glitter glass (which, for those who don't know, is glass that has been pulverized until it is the size of chunky glitter.  It is incredibly sparkly but hard on the fingers when working with it).

I had some Prima paper flowers that had been salvaged from the trash, along with a bunch of other doodads and a big supply of recycled butterfly embellishments that were abandoned on my doorstep.  Seriously.  I'd often open the front door to find bags of stuff (not crap) left for me.  Thankfully, these butterflies were things I could use.  Not everything left on my doorstep was exactly a treasure let me tell you.

Below are scans of the finished art dolls.  I am very pleased with how they turned out.  There are a couple that use vintage recycled slide mounts for part of the head (No. 6 and No. 9), and one has a face of hand molded clay (No. 6).  They all hang from metallic thread for easy display.  If you double-click on any image you should be able to get a close-up look at them.  The scans really don't do them justice.  They are VERY sparkly !!

I will list these in my Etsy store sooner or later, but if you are interested in purchasing one or more, please email me at:

I will be charging $25.00 for each one-of-a-kind doll and if you order here through my blog, I will pay the postage anywhere in North America (that's a savings of about $10.00, as my thanks for supporting my blog).

Any questions about how the dolls were made, feel free to contact me.

Adios Mi Amigas!


Anonymous said...

Very cool art dolls. Great idea to use the star for the body.

she3655 said...

I've just found your page, and Love your art work xxx