Copy a Doll Face onto Fabric

Laurie Carlson Crafts - Photocopy Doll Face on Fabric
Top: My drawing on paper; Middle: fabric sheet out of the copier. You can see it is lighter than the original; Bottom: the copy on fabric, after adding some highlights and details with pens. 

For cloth doll makers it’s always tricky trying to make the right face on a doll and some of us find it very difficult to draw features evenly onto the fabric. This technique lets you draw onto paper first, then transfer it to muslin fabric. You can also use this technique to print photographs onto muslin, then stitch them into dolls.

Draw something you like onto paper.  Color in the features darker than you want them to appear on the doll, as when it prints onto fabric is is somewhat muted. The photocopied image on cloth will not be washable, so either spray it with a sealer, or add and define details with permanent marking pens, crayons and acrylic paints. That’s what I did for the final product at the bottom of the photo above.

You’ll need:

  • Lightweight Pellon — iron-on interfacing
  • Muslin or other lightweight fine woven cotton fabric
  • Photocopier with inkjet ink
  • Scissors
  • Fine-tip permanent marking pens, colored pencils, crayons
  • A drawing of the doll face — made with markers, pens or whatever
  • Steam iron

Using a piece of copy paper as a template, cut out a piece of muslin and a piece of lightweight Pellon interfacing, both 8 1/2 ” x 11″. Follow the interfacing directions to iron the interfacing to the fabric. Let cool. Trim the edges if needed so they are smooth, straight and have no loose threads hanging that can get caught in your printer.

Laurie Carlson Crafts - cut pellon and muslin
Cut muslin and interfacing — both 8 1/2 x 11- inches to fit the copier. 


Laurie Carlson Crafts - iron interfacing onto the muslin sheet
Press the interfacing to the fabric and trim the edges so they are even and will feed easily into the copier. 

Place the face drawing on your printer screen, then insert the fabric sheet into the paper holder, with the fabric facing the side that will print, and the interfacing as the backside. In my printer, I place it upside-down, yours may be different. I also make sure there are a few blank papers under the cloth sheet so it feeds in with out moving sideways.

Make a color copy. Ta-da!  It should look just like your drawing, but a bit muted.

Inkjet inks aren’t permanent or waterproof (at least my HP inks aren’t) so if you plan to give it to a child, use permanent marking pens to go over the details. I added a bit more color and detail with pens and markers to give more definition to the features.

That’s it!  Now to get sewing and finish a doll or two. Or more. . .



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