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Hide The Seams

Hide The Seams

Here’s a great tip to take your cloth doll to the next level: make it into a mixed media sculpture by filling in the seams with Paperclay.


1) Assembled Cloth Body
2) Paperclay
3) Water
4) Stiff Paintbrush
5) Fabric Glue
6) Gesso
7) Paint (skin color)
8) Fine sandpaper

1) Apply fabric glue to the area that you want to fill with Paperclay.
For example, where the arms/legs are attached to the torso or any needle sculpted areas where you want to hide puckering and stitches. The glue makes the Paperclay stick. Otherwise, it can fall off.

2) Shape the Paperclay between your fingers and put it into the area you are filling. You’ll want to add Paperclay wherever you have an asymmetrical imperfection or where something doesn’t look quite right. For me, this is particularly helpful on the feet.

3) Dip your brush into the water and go over the Paperclay until it is nice and smooth.  Allow to dry.

4) Paint the doll with at least 2 layers of gesso, sanding in between.

5) Paint the doll with acrylic paint. 

6)  If desired, seal with gloss or matte varnish.  This doll has no varnish.  A bit of mica powder (Pearl-EX) was sprinkled into the paint to give it a moondust look.


Hint: You can try this technique on the doll’s head. If your needle sculpting is wanting, or you want to define the nose or raise the cheekbones, go for it. You’ll be glad you did!


The body used in this post is made from the Tikvah pattern, and the completed doll is Elsie.

This short tutorial was edited with the original photos intact.  The doll is not available for photo retakes, but the post is nostalgic.


Thread bearer, clay musher, paint brusher, seam ripper. Turning whimsy into reality, one doll at a time.


  • November 9, 2009

    Hi! I am a veteran sewer, but new to doll making. I would love it if you did an article on adding paper clay to faces….

  • November 9, 2009

    That is a great idea! I have several things on my plate at the moment, namely two upcoming classes and a pattern that I have to finish writing. I will have to create a new doll and make pictures, which I have to make some time for. I'll do that! In the meantime, I do have a lovely pattern that uses a clay-over-cloth AND THEN stretch fabric over the face. If you are interested in this pattern, the name is "NIAMH" and she can be found in my Etsy doll shop 😉

    Thanks for the great idea!

  • November 10, 2009

    Rivkah I love your blog! This is awesome!

  • November 10, 2009

    Ooh, just the tutorial I needed! Thanks!

  • November 10, 2009

    Thanks you guys! I am so happy that this was helpful! I will try to come up with a clay over cloth face technique in the future… plenty of open projects at the moment you know what I mean LOL

  • November 18, 2009

    Thank you for the tutorial. I am looking forward to trying it. I just ordered my Pimatex. . it dyes quite well. I had ordered it before, but this time it came totally wrinkled. I am hoping they aren't permanent. Have you made a tutorial on eyelids? I am seeing more and more now (in the Prims). Again, thank you. I love giving my dolls new looks. I have even done surgery on cataracts (glass eyes) with success 🙂 I am glad I found you on face book. Now I will follow. Blessings, Janet

  • September 1, 2013

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • September 1, 2013

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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