Anonymous said: Wowie wow I gotta tell you that you have some of the most creative plushies. I really love how all of them have their own distinct facial structure wow. Do you have any plushie tips or just tips on how to do plush heads for little plushie maker babies?
Thank you SO much, anon!!
I’ve taken some photos of my templates and plushies with varying face shapes to hopefully give you more insight into my process. I’m by no means an expert! It’s all trial and error. I use scrap materials to test new facial shapes instead of my good material, and end up with creepy failed variants until I find that satisfying likeness.
I’ve chosen Watson, Abed, the 9th Doctor, and Sherlock for my little demonstration!
First and foremost, I draw concept art of what I hope the plushie will look like. (Sorry, I don’t have them for all, I think Sherlock and 9 are on a scrap of paper somewhere..)
Really really rough, since you’re (probably) the only one who’s gonna see it. Since I’m working digitally I threw colours on so I didn’t have to reference this too much and disrupt the process. Any time spent checking online is potential procrastination temptations!! haha
Then, I switch to cardstock for patterning. If I’m unsure about something, I’ll use regular printer paper so I don’t waste cardstock, or if I need to trace something.
Above at the face and chin templates for Watson, Abed, the 9th Doctor, and Sherlock.
I draw on the facial details because I want to keep the plushies accurate when I replicate them. I usually make five or six at a time when working toward convention season. Sometimes if I really like the placement to be accurate, I’ll poke reference points through the faces with my pins, use the same hole to poke back up, remove the template, and have the center point for each feature. Or the outline, if you really like stippling.
This is the part, when drafting up a new face template, it bends to trial and error. I’ve created enough plushies that I have a good variation of faces in my arsenal to reference when making someone new (“Do they have a skinny face? Cheekbones? What about a cute squat face?”) so I now can start with similarities and work from there.
What you’re doing when drafting up a face is soft sculpting. Sherlock here is the best example of this. He looks pretty funny because his cheekbones aren’t defined up into his temples, but the way the pattern tugs against the fabric and with the placement of the ears, this looks perfectly reasonable in soft sculpture! This is also why you’ll see variation in my chin templates. They may all be based on a core template, but I draft up new (if similar) pieces for everyone.
Here are the finished products sitting in a row for reference!
If you’re just starting to make or modify your own templates, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with trial and error! If there’s a plush you want to mimic, tear the stitching and deconstruct it (er, if you can bear to sacrifice it of course!!).
Here’s one of my favourite tutorials when it comes to soft sculpture: How to make a 3D plush pattern from a 2D drawing
I’ve not personally done this method, but it makes a TON of sense as an approach to achieve those hard to visualize shapes!
Sorry for the long winded and anecdotal explanation! I’d love to help how I can. Feel free to send me any other questions you have and I’ll be happy to help where I can! Keep on creating!! :D
Amazing! I’ve been dying to learn how to do this.