When we were small we used to make and play with dolls. When I came across Stariy Chemodanís blog I just fell in love with her ballerinas and was reminded of the ones we used to make. For some reason her ballerinas reminded me of the Nutcracker and ballet :-) . I thought it would make a beautiful gift for any little girls room. Here I have made a paper weight, a mobile and a table display. I am sure you would definitely know of a little girl who loves ballerinas!
Step 1: Materials
Paper Napkins/ serviettes - plain white for body. Printed or plain colors for dress
Wire - Medium Gauge
Step 2: Skeleton
The skeleton can be any size you want but keep in mind the paper napkin size for the dress length.
My paper napkin was 30cm x 30cm. I wanted the maximum length I can take from it for the dress. The measurement for the skeleton is based on that.
Cut 2 wires. One is 36" the other 16". Fold each one in half and twist it a bit on itself.
Keep the short wire aside. This is the arm.
Take the longer wire and fold in half. Twist the folded end a bit and then make a small loop. This would be the head. Make the loop smaller than the finished size you want.
Twist wire for the neck.
Place the arm wire which you kept aside at the end of the neck and twist the body length.
Separate the wire at the end of the body and twist each leg separately.
Wrap the arms around the body a bit. At the end, each arm would be approximately 3".
You will get the sharp ends of the wire in one arm and leg. Fold the wire in a small loop there.
Let's build some muscles now
Tear your tissue into strips. When you tear ( not cut) you would find there is such a thing as a paper grain :-). It would tear easily into strips when you pull in one side but not in another.
Now wrap your skeleton and build some muscles. Once done. Give it a nice soak with a paint brush loaded with watered down white glue (sorry forgot to take snaps of this step). It might be easy if you soaked some tissue in glue and then made it into a ball and jam it in the head part and then shape it up with your hands. Later to give a smooth finish just place pieces of tissue on the face and bush it with a glue.
Let it dry well
Step 3: The dress template
Paper serviettes already comes pre-folded in squares. Fold it into triangles and then fold back the flaps. Just as you would fold to cut a snowflake. Cut a curve.
Rather than cut each dress separately, just place this on a stack and cut.
Now twist each skirt so that your dress gets a nice crushed look.
As I couldn't get the colors I wanted I opened up my frocks and sprayed it the colors I wanted.
Step 4: Dress type 1
You need 2-3 layers for your dress.
Place all 3 dress layers on top of each other while still folded and make a small cut at top.
Open up the dress and align the hole.
Now hold the body and slip the legs through the hole.
Pinch the tissue above the shoulders and sew. Now gather the skirt around the waist and crush it close. Wrap thread around it and tie a knot. Now move the arms and leg the way you want it :-)
Step 5: Dress type 2
Take 3 layers of the dress in different colors. Cut different lengths in the skirt.
Place all 3 layers on top of each other and make a small cut at top.
Put the body through the hole. Pull till the dress is under the arm. Gather it tight and wrap with thread and tie a knot. The dress should hold up , but just in case it doesn't you can always dab a bit of glue under the bodice.
Another option would be to add paper strips as shoulder straps...but I like it just the way it is! :)
That's it! Pretty simple huh? and it looks amazing too :-)
Step 6: Dress Shirt
Now it's the ballerino's turn :-).
Cut 4 long strips about a 1.5" wide.
Gather and crush it. wrap each strip around a leg and arm. Gather and tie it with a thread.
Now tear strips of tissue. Take 2 strips (or more if your body needs more muscle) And starting at the gathered point cover and wrap tissue as you did when making the body. Secure with glue. Ah my ballerino is looking quite fine indeed!
Step 7: Paper Weight Ballerina
Now it's gift making time ;-)
First cut a wooden circle and paint it black. You could also just skip this step and use a black lid.
Now decide how you want your ballerina to be. Also keep in mind you need a minimum of 3 feet down to keep the balance.
Hot glue the 2 feet of the ballerino. Make sure to support it while you hold the ballerina in position and glue her down. Bend the arm of the ballerino so that you can glue the arm to the waist of the ballerina. It's now like a tripod!. Raise the ballerina's other leg for a high kick.
Doesn't it look romantic :-) sigh!
Step 8: Mobile
To make a mobile you would need
Transparent cord/ fishing line.
pom poms / or make your own with tissue or polythene bags
2 wooden dowels or tree branches.
1. Make a hole in the ballerina's head with a big needle. Now add a drop of strong glue on the fishing line and then insert it in the hole. Tie pom poms along the line.
2 Take 2 branches and place it a like a cross. It would be better if you can make like a lap joint. Glue and screw.
Drill small holes the size of the fishing line where you want to hang your ballerinas.
Sand your branch now. Add a hook on top.
Now all you have to do is hang your ballerinas! Add pom poms in between so that you get the balance right. Arrange your ballerinas in all the poses you know of :-)
Why don't you try it and make some little girl really happy!
Step 9: Table Display.
You could also make a lovely table display by arranging the ballerinas in a tray or frame. Do it the same way as the paper weight by gluing it down. To balance some of the standing ballerinas you can make the ballerina sit on a small bottle too.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and hope you make it too!
If you like it please take a moment to vote for it in the contests :-) Thanks in advance !