I was so impressed with the idea of gloves with fingers, I began looking around the internet for more ideas. I stumbled across a blog, "Emilia Couture," who offered a short tutorial on painting gloves on spare hands (which you can also find on eBay).
But one thing still bothered me. What about my Barbies? Their hands cannot be swapped. As you know already, I do not like opera length mittens. While I'm happy enough with the fingerless gloves I featured on "Little Stuff" a couple months ago, I really wanted to create the illusion of gloves with fingers! And so the idea hit me.....temporary paint-on/peel off gloves with extensions or cuffs.
For this I needed some sort of masking agent that wouldn't harm vinyl dolls. Acid free rubber cement was the first thing that came to mind. One of its uses is to mask out dyes while working with silk screen printing. For this you must work in a well ventilated room away from flames. I also decided to play with a peel-away facial mask. The latter is my favorite because it is non-toxic and it usually dries faster than rubber cement. Both work, however, to create a barrier between the doll's "skin" and the paint. For paint, I tried both artist's acrylic paint (some of which dries matte), and nail lacquer (which always dries shiny). Personally I like the nail lacquer because it goes on smoother and has a better finish when dry. When you have finished playing or photographing your doll in her fancy gloves, simply rub the paint off with your finger and wash the doll's hands with soap and water. Her hands are clean once again and there is no damage to her. Out of precaution however, treat this technique as you would dark garments. Don't leave this on for too long a time. Also be careful when getting the doll in and out of the garment, because the "glove" is fragile and might well off in the process.
Preparing Barbie's Hands
1. Begin by applying a thick layer of peel-away facial mask to the doll hands. Don't worry if it globs in between the fingers or forms drips. When dry, you can slide a sheet a paper between the fingers or carefully cut away the glob. Go beyond the area you intent paint to avoid getting paint on the doll. Allow to completely dry.
2. If you will be using acid free rubber cement, use a cotton swab to brush on one layer. Allow to dry and then apply a second coat. Again, paint a little beyond where you intend to paint. Allow to completely dry
3. Now apply paint or nail lacquer. Depending on the coverage, you might have to let dry and apply a second coat.
4. When completely dry, add your cuff or tube.
5. When you are finished playing, simply rub the "glove" away from her fingers. Wash with soap and water.
Designing Your Extension.
The cuffs simply slide on and are held closed with a tiny pin. If you will be using these often, you can always use a little Velco or hook & eye to close your cuff.
For this post, I have created glove extensions that work for both FRs and the Barbies. The initial concept is the same--a painted hand with a cuff added to the wrist. The possibilities are limitless. And though I've used mostly black, feel free to experiment with a mix or match of color and painted patterns.
|Barbie painted hand and the tube extensions: leather crushed over wrist (l), cotton pinched at wrist (c); black cotton with beaded stickers (r)|
|FR "gloved" hands with a tiny tube of trim fashioned over the wrists|
|Barbie painted hands. Tiny leather mini-belt (top); the same velvet & tulle cuff we used for the FR glove|
|Fur trim cuffs|
2. Pin a straight piece of ribbon over the pleated piece then stitch in place.
3. Fold the end pieces over and glue down. Wrap around the doll's hand and hold in place with a snap or tiny piece of Velcro.
I put this around the doll's wrist and mark where it should pinch shut. I make a tiny hole on one side and add a "brad" (attaches parisienes) face up on the wrong side of the leather. I make a tiny slit on the other side so that my cuff can be buttoned over the wrist.
Oh yeah, we're full of surprises this summer!
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