Sunday, November 29, 2015

Big Hero 6 - Barbie to Honey Lemon

My four year old daughter loves superheroes, and she loves pink and purple.

Quick quiz: Name one superhero that wears pink and purple...

I can think of only one, and my daughter loves her; Honey Lemon, from Big Hero Six.  She is smart, clever, fast, and wears pink and purple ( when she isn't in her yellow lab coat.)

Now, the holidays are coming up, and, like most parents, I'm looking for a few presents I know she will love.  I search Amazon.  No Single honey lemon on sale for less than $50.  I search the internet - No single Honey Lemon doll that is affordable.  Sure, I can get one on ebay for $300!!  Seriously?

So, I do what any mom with lots of extra paint laying around and Barbies that lay naked and lonely at the bottom of a toy box does.  I made my own.

I started with a sad lonely Barbie:

I've seen other blog posts using other kinds of dolls, most of them have a healthier figure size - but I'm working with what I've got.

First thing I did was take acetone I normally remove nail polish with, and, with a soaked Q-tip, rubbed her face away.  Honestly I shouldn't have gotten as much pleasure from it, but I did.  If you do this, make sure you are in a well ventilated room.

Now, I couldn't just paint her because she is wearing a  micro skirt  ( which in the movie flows despite the true lack of material used) and armor. (Though her leotard like thin midriff is fully exposed)  So, I dug through my huge box of material I meant to do something with one day and never did, and found a good square of stiff interfacing.  Not sure what it was meant for, but it will become a skirt and armor.

I started painting her arms and legs.

NOTE - If you decide to do this, I suggest thin coats of acrylic paint. I used what I had ( which was a combination of Basic Acrylics, Apple Barrel, and Bella Acrylics.  Aside from the Basics, the other two are pretty cheap.  Paint three to four thin coats in smooth long strokes in one direction.  I cheated and used my hair dryer between coats.

Then, I added her clothes.  I tried crazy glue for interfacing to Barbie.  It was a sticky (read sealing fingers together and forming a fingerprint free layer ) mess.  Then I used Tacky Glue which worked a lot better.

Since I've never draped a real person, let alone a doll, I had lots of toss away "oops" pieces.  I figured my 4 year old wouldn't mind the folds. I added a belt with covered the upper seams and actually pulled it all together,

Once she was mostly dry, I watered down some paint and painted her clothes with 4 coats and a little on her body.  The interfacing soaked up the paint, which is why I wanted watered down color at first.  I painted the inside of the skirt with leg color since it was in shadow anyway.  Once again I dried it with the hair dryer,

Since I didn't hold her legs apart, the paint stuck together a bit - I just touched it up in the end.

Now it was time for mixing top coats.  I catered to my daughters color needs but still tried to stay close to Honey Lemon's color scheme. Once she was mostly dry, I used the armor color with a bit of extra white and stippled the top to add a look of texture.

By this time, the secret was out, she was seen.  The doll was seen by my daughter, and just like driving a long distance; "Are you done yet? Are you done yet? Are you done yet?? "  Mind you it was only about 2 total hours to this point, but I was was bedtime.

The next morning required only another hour or so.  She got some stitching details, some shading, some seams, and .... a face.  I suppose if I had the right tools; thinner brushes, patience, and a magnifying glass etc, it would have come out better.  I reminded myself over and over that my daughter is 4. FOUR, and she won't notice.

 I even made a sad excuse of a helmet out of FIMO.   I took some Saran Wrap around her head, used my dried out FIMO the best I could then baked it at 230 for 20 minutes.  It's passable - Barely.

For her bag, I used a clipping from an old plastic bead curtain. Fit it so it would fit from under her arm and over her head.  I tied it, attempted the crazy glue again, then used spray paint primer on the plastic.  Once mostly dry I used the acrylics again.
As a top coat, instead of painting, I used spray clear sealer, 2 coats- likely not the best choice, but I was ready to be done.  I added a little personal touch, and her bag can double as a bracelet.

And the best part?

She loves it.

Please don't mind the marker arms.  At least the decorations on her face washed off - mostly.

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