Wednesday, August 3, 2016

WATCH Out!

Just as it appeared that wristwatches had gone out of style, Apple launched the ultimate accessory to compliment its iPhone...the iWatch, thus introducing new generation to this timepiece. Unlike Rolex or Cartier tank watches, these new watches do way more than tell time. They alert the wearer to incoming calls, email, social media alerts AND they've ushered in a new, more contemporary set of aesthetics making them a must-have fashion accessory for my divas!

The new fashion accessory: iWatches,
fitness trackers and smartwatches.

Angelina perfectly happy with her
modified Ken doll watch until she
discovered the smartwatch!
There are already a few watches in the house. In my effort to make the ones that came with my Ken dolls more realistic, I glued rhinestones or watch faces to them or simply painted the entire watch with silver nail laquer! Still this was not enough. So with wire and clay in hand, I was determined to give my darlings something their doll mom doesn't have....a smart watch!

Getting there was anything but straight forward! Making a watch band was simple, however creating a suitable watch was a challenge given the miniscule scale of the doll's wrist. On the other hand, the fact that most digital devices are black and sleek until you "wake" them up means it is not necessary to add analog references, unless of course, you just want to. Though the girls were pleading for iWatches, I decided to start out by making a classic watch first. In arriving at a simple and effective "watchmaking" method, I explored using a few different elements.
Mini Brad Base 
Think of watchbands as tiny belts. You have a band slightly longer than the wrist measurement, which is held in place with a buckle of sorts. Simple. The challenge is making the actual watch.
1. I started out using mini brads (mini attaches parisiennes." Poke a hole through your watch band and feed it through.
2. Spread the wings on the underside. The one issue is that the wire wings will have to be bent to conform to the curvature of the doll's wrist, thus adding stiffness.
3. I found a watch face on the internet and sized it down to 3/16" (6mm) in my photo editor before printing it out. Cut then glue to the brad. Brush with a layer of clear nail lacquer.
4. I made a second version following the first three steps. Glue onto a slightly larger strip of leather that fits around the doll's wrist. I used very thin Velcro to close it. But be warned...the end result of was quite thick. Though I love the look I felt it best to use only very thin leather for this accessory.
 Still, I am very happy with this classic analog watch and so are my dolls.
 
Grommet Watch Face
Next, I decided to try grommets to create my watch. 

For this version you will need a metal eyelet (otherwise known as grommet) along with an eyelet setting tool, the material you intend to use for the watch band, a bit of oven bake clay and some clear nail polish. The strip of leather you cut for the cuff or band needs to be, at the very least, slightly larger than the width of the eyelet.
1. Using the eyelet setting tool, first punch a hole in your "wristband." Push the eyelet through the hole and crimp.
2. Next, roll a small bit of oven bake clay into a ball the size of the eyelet and push through the hole.
3. Using a toothpick, smooth the surface of the clay.
4. Clear the clay away from the ridge of the eyelet. and bake for about 15-20 minutes. When dry, you can sand to further make the surface smooth, if necessary.
5. Paint on a dab of clear nail polish.
There are several ways you can finish this. I tried painting on a watch face but was not happy. If you can find tiny stickers this would be ideal. If not you can create a good look with a tiny bit of very thin wire. Cut and bend into a simple shape and press in the clay BEFORE you bake it. When hardened, paint over the face with two layers of clear nail varnish.
Note: should you decide to add watch hands after you have baked the clay, you should brush on a layer of nail varnish. While it is sticky, carefully lay the hands onto the face. When dry, brush on another layer of varnish.

Otherwise, for a "digital device" use black clay or paint the cabochon black and leave blank. After all, most devices are blank until awakened!

Circular Wire Base
After making quite a number of my time pieces (to many of my dolls' delight), I figured out the easiest quickest method was this wire and clay base.

1. First, make your watch. Begin by wrapping wire (about 20 gauge) two complete turns around a narrow source (knitting or crochet needle or even the nose of jewelry pliers). You can also make other shapes like squares, but circles are easier!
2. Roll a small bit of clay the same size as the wire shape you just created. Set aside.
3. Cut a strip of materials--in this case leather--for your watch band. Slide this strip in between the loops of the wire shape.
4. Place the clay ball on top and press in.
5. Using a toothpick, smooth over the top while exposing the metal wire around the sides.
6. Since I'm making an analog watch, I download a watch face and resized it to fit the shape. in this case, the watch face is 3/16 inch or 6mm. Cut out carefully.
7. Apply glue to the backside of the watch face and carefully, position onto the top of the watch.
8. Apply clear nail polish to the watch face (to give the illusion of a crystal).
9. Carefully paint the sides with silver paint or nail lacquer.

Chain Bracelet Watch
 
What I discovered in all of this is that if you "entrap" almost any material with the clay and bake, it will hold its shape without breaking when hard. (What you don't want to do is to glue a watch onto a band. It will not stick for long!) With that in mind, I made this chain watch.
 
It is simply a bit of chain with an "S" link on one side and a pea-sized ball of oven bake clay in the middle with a watch face glued on.
For my "digital" version, I used two small lengths of wire, twisted and shaped into a bracelet fitted to the wrist of the doll. I pressed in a small ball of black clay, which after baking, is given a splash of black nail varnish.
 
Dolly Hermes iWatch
You can also wrap your watchband with the clay and bake!
 
These watches, made in two sizes to accommodate both the male and female dolls, were designed with the "Hermes iWatch" in mind. The man's watch on the left is a square of clay pressed around the leather band. I shaped it to have beveled edges. After baking it, use an emery board to get a really smooth effect. Cut your band so that it wraps twice around the hand. Further down, I show you how I finished these watch bands. The female version on the right employs the circular wire base I illustrated above. When finished, add two layers of black nail lacquer for a high gloss shine.
There is also a double wrap band on the market. Here, I've cut it using a metallic leather. If you really want something on the watch face, you can paint on a few lines or dots or even use auto-adhesive stickers to create the illusion of "digital."
This watch is a male version of the turquoise blue cuff we made earlier in the post. There is a reptile larger cuff, over which I've glued on a smaller band. That band has a wire circular base, encased with clay which has been leveled. When dry, press on your sticker. If you can find stickers with watch faces, all the better!!!!
 
Finishing Touches
 
 One of the sticklers of this project was figuring out how the watch will stay on the doll's arm. Again, think of the watch band as a tiny belt complete with buckle. For the top two watch bands above, I used a double wire link. The strap with be threaded through both wire links, then threaded back through the top (or furthest) link. On the bottom, the "S" link that you've fashioned from 20 gauge wire, simply slips though the last link of the chain.
Again, think of the strap as a tiny belt. That includes creating a classic buckle with a prong in the middle! For more detailed instructions on creating belt buckle, click HERE.
 
The Fitness Tracker
And then there are the FitBit trackers that seemingly everyone is wearing. This is super simple.
1. I started off with a small rubber washer (you find in the hardware section of your store) and a small round of black clay.
2. Form the clay so that it encircles the ring.
3. Press into the shape you want. Then using a dowel or round pencil, smooth the surface and bake for 15-20 minutes on a low setting.
4. When hard, paint only the surface of the hardened clay.
5. Again, you can leave as is (the device remains black when "asleep") or you can make a few tiny marks to indicate the exercise tracker is reporting! My dolls don't move about all that much throughout the day, so their devices will be remaining black during my waking hours!!!
 
 
 
All images and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. 2016. Please do not reproduce without first asking permission. Thank you.
 
 
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17 comments:

  1. Oh, wow! These are seriously, impressively cool!

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  2. Wspaniałe formy! Fantastyczne pomysły! Rewelacyjna biżuteria!
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie!

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    1. Olla wrote: Great forms ! Great ideas! Sensational jewelry !
      Best wishes!
      Thank you, Olla.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Urszula. This was a lot of fun.

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  4. "Watch out!" is great fun with an opening to so many ideas in the watch creation. I am so glad to see this as now, I am noticing how many people are wearing watches. Not only the "I-watch" or any other high tech accessory, but seriously watches! All kinds. I love the case with all the "extras" and the matching blue leather wrist to match the blue leather outfit. Talk about the blues.... O

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Olimpia. The real creation is in the watch band! And with that, the possibilities are limitless. I forgot to mention...instead of strips of leather, I also used rubber bands!

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  5. So much fun! I would never think to make watches because I've never been able to wear them myself. But just like in real life, the watches make the outfits look even better. I know sometimes you can find the really small watch stickers at the craft stores. This would be the perfect application. Thanks for continuing to provide us with great ideas.

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  6. Vanessa, I haven't yet ventured out to search for such tiny stickers, but if they exist, I'll add them on. I've always worn watches and from time to time, I see doll watches. Either they're not better than the Ken doll versions I have already....OR....if they look remotely interesting (FR Hommes doll watches, for example) they cost more than I'm willing to spend. So this project has been in my head for some time. And then there's the fact that I've been dreaming of buying myself an iWatch (but need to upgrade my phone first). You know...living my fashion (and tech gear) fantasies through my dolls!!!!

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  7. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog... it's FUN to see you have great time re dressing them... Excited to see more... Followed your blog!

    Hope we can be doll buddy too :D

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    1. Hi there and welcome. Here, we do some serious redressing of dolls...all in the latest fashions from catwalk shows, red carpet events, street style and more. We can certainly be doll buddies...like dolls, one can never have enough doll buddies!!! Come back any time!

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  8. I am a watch person, wear one everyday so I love these especially the chainlink. You are so creative!

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    1. Thank you, Chris. I'm a watch person too, so for me, this has always been a missing element. But with this post, I've made enough watches to keep quite a number of them happy!!!

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  9. Waw ! C'est toujours un réel plaisir de visiter ton blog. Et une fois de plus tu nous surprends avec les montres et bracelets. Merci infiniment pour tous ces conseils.

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  10. De rien! Merci pour tous les tres gentils mots!!! Comme on le sait bien, la mode comprend tous les accessoires y compris le dernier cri, la montre Apple! J'avais envie de faire les montres pour poupees depuis tres longtemps. Mais ce n'etait pas facile car la poignee de Barbie est miniscule. Enfin, j'y suis arrive et je suis tres contente de partager avec tout le monde.

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  11. WOW your patience is brilliant,i can imagine the hard work behind this mini
    watches,well done
    xx

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