September 28, 2014

DIY Ichimatsu Doll: Doll Sized Fan Tutorial

I am currently working on a large craft project, and taking pictures along the way for anyone who wishes to follow in my footsteps of making AN ICHIMATSU DOLL!

Okay, so it isn't a traditionally made Ichimatsu doll that I am working on, but rather modifying a collectible doll to look like an Ichimatsu doll. This is a project that I have been planning for a long time and finally I am happy to be in the midst of making it. And I got to say, it is turning out spectacularly! So if you have always wanted an Ichimatsu doll of your very own but could never afford one, and you have the motivation to sculpt and sew one yourself, please keep your eyes peeled for a lot of tutorial posts! A word of warning though, this is a difficult and very time consuming project!

I've completed most of the sculpting already, and just to do a little bit of adjustments and sanding, so soon I will be able to post some sculpting tutorials. But first I wanted to post a smaller project that I completed for my doll:

How to make a doll-sized sensu fan

The doll that I am making is a little boy doll, so I made a plain white fan, but this can easily be made for a girl doll too by using gold or patterned origami paper.

Woodsies Craft Picks
Heavyweight Poster Board
Paper of your choice (origami paper preferred, I used plain printer paper)
A small headpin
Beading needle nose or round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Glue (I used Tacky Glue)
Acrylic paint and gloss, or nailpolish
Cutting supplies (I used an X-acto knife and rotary cutter)
A bead awl and/or sewing pins
fine grit sandpaper

The Woodsies picks are rounded on one end and taper to a point on the other end. Using an X-acto knife, cut the shape keeping the rounded end, tapering it to a teardrop shape, and the rest of the length very narrow, about 0.2cm. The top wood picks are uncut, the bottom picks have been cut to shape. Use sandpaper to smooth any rough spots, but sand in one direction to avoid splintering.

From the poster board, cut 6-8 small matchsticks, about 0.2-0.25cm wide, at least 5.5cm long (I kept the length longer and trimmed later). A rotary cutter makes this step easier. Only 6 pieces will be used, but I cut 8 pieces in case any of them get damaged.

Using sandpaper, gently round the edges on one side of each matchstick.

Using the bead awl and/or the sewing pin, drill a small hole about 0.5cm from the rounded end of the wood picks. Test to make sure the headpin can fit through the drilled hole.

Trim the wood picks to about 6cm long. 

Using a sewing pin, poke a hole 0.5cm from the rounded end of each matchstick piece. It may help to put a piece of corrugated cardboard underneath. Do this carefully, as the poster board matchsticks will bend very easily. You can use the beading awl to widen the holes.

Trim each matchstick to about 5.2-5.3cm long.

Paint each of your pieces. You can use a color you like, but black or natural bamboo colors are common. I could not find my clear gloss paint, so I ended up painting a base of black acrylic topped with black nail polish for shine. I don't recommend nail polish if you can help it, if it doesn't dry completely the spokes of the fan may stick together.

Insert a sewing pin into the hole of each piece to prevent the paint from sealing the holes, and stick the pieces into a pin cushion or the side of a cardboard box to dry.

Cut a 10cm diameter circle of paper.

Fold the circle in half and measure 3cm in from the outside edge all the way around. Cut out the inner circle and cut the outer piece into two halves.

Valley fold each half circle in half, and then fold the outside edges in half towards the center fold line to make 4 sections. (If you are using patterned paper, fold the other half circle in the opposite direction, so that when they are put one on top of the other, the patterned side will show on both sides.)

Valley fold each of those 4 sections in half again to make 8 sections.

Now Mountain fold those 8 sections in half to make 16 accordion folded sections. 

Cut off one of the sections along a fold to make 15 sections.

Once the paint has fully dried, insert the headpin through the holes of your fan spokes, with the wood picks on the outsides and 6 poster board matchsticks in the middle for a total of 8 spokes.

Trim the headpin with wire cutters, then form the cut end into a tiny loop with needle nose pliers. If you plan to attach a tassel, you can make a larger loop.

Use the pliers to press the tiny loop flat against the fan. Do not squeeze it too tightly, ensure that you can still easily open and close the fan spokes.

Glue 7 of your spokes to one piece of folded paper. Start with the bottom outside spoke glued in the middle of the front of one edge section, then glue the 6 shorted spokes to the center of every other section. Leave the top spoke unglued.

Finally, glue the second piece of paper on top of the other, covering up the inside spokes. Glue the last outside spoke to the double layered outside section of the fan.

The fan is finished!

To help keep the shape of the fan from spreading apart, cut a tiny stripe of paper and wrap it around the tip of the fan and glue it into a circle. The protective strip can be removed by sliding it down the handle. Then replace it by sliding it up the handle.

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