Doll Beverage Tutorial.
Hello! Today I am featuring a doll drink tutorial of sorts.
I’ve had several people ask how I make doll beverages. It is relatively simply, just follow the directions on any good quality two part epoxy. The instructions vary slightly depending on the brand used so I can’t really do a comprehensive tutorial. I will offer my best advice though!
The first thing you need to be aware of is two part epoxy can ruin any other surface it comes in contact with. I have a designated pouring station. I use an old, red, metal tray to mix, color and pour my doll beverages. The edges of the tray contain any spills. Here is my work area;
A few more pictures;
The jugs of epoxy, the hardening agent and a plastic waste bin are always kept in a plastic lined orange crate. All of the stir sticks and used mixing containers go in this trash. The trash only gets emptied when I am certain the leftover epoxy has cured.
I have a rag or baby wipes nearby at all times and I wear an old denim jumper to protect my skin and clothing. These precautions lessen the likelihood of injury or damage to other items in case of a spill.
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It is very important to remember to follow the directions precisely. Making doll drinks really isn’t difficult but you do need to be somewhat analytical. If you are careful, you should get good results. Missing any of the steps may prevent the epoxy from curing. When that happens, there is nothing you can do except throw it out and start over.
I use a two part epoxy, this brand is my favorite, you can buy smaller quantities. Unless your dolls are throwing a massive party, you won’t need this much! Casting epoxy Be diligent in following the directions precisely. Especially the instructions regarding measuring and using a clean stir stick and cup for the second mixing. A timer is necessary, don’t try to guess how long you’ve been stirring. I use a simple sand timer.
Epoxy is simple you just need to be precise in order for it to cure hard. If it doesn’t cure properly, it will be a sticky dust magnet forever.
Stirring sticks and mixing cups are available to purchase. My preferred method is to reuse washed out fruit cups and clean craft sticks to mix the epoxy.
Some people use acrylic water to make beverages but in my opinion, it isn’t a great option. It is always sticky and tends to get cloudy over time. Acrylic water tends to collect dust like a fiend, not appetizing!
I prefer this brand of dyes. They offer consistent results and don’t separate while curing. The dyes come in transparent and opaque. For milk, choc milk, etc. I use opaque dyes. For lemonade, juice, tea etc. I use translucent. The dyes will last a long time. Use one drop at a time, stir, then decide if you want more. the colors are highly concentrated. One thing to be aware of, the translucent red has a pinkish/fuschia tint. It is tough to get a true red. I am still searching for a true red translucent dye.
All of my dyes are labeled with color and type, sometimes it is tricky to tell what color they produce just by looking at the bottle. “O” stands for opaque; “T” indicates translucent. See the wine corks on the right? I cut a slit in them and push the craft stick in before I begin stirring. I have arthritis, the cork makes it easier to hold the stick while I am stirring.
Some people use craft paint to color doll drinks. It is less expensive than dye but I don’t recommend it. Paint often settles in the bottom of the drinks and sometimes prevents the epoxy from curing properly. I’ve had some success with food coloring but I can’t recommend it either. It can fade in sunlight.
Communion cups make good doll glasses. there are two sizes. I think the smaller ones are fine for desserts/jello but are just a tad small for drinks. The size I like is 3.4 cm tall (about 1 3/8 inches) this translates to a glass that would be about 4 1/8 inches tall in real life. Communion cups can be purchased at religious supply stores.
Ice, Ice, Dolly
Ice can be made in several ways;
1.) Bake a sheet of Fimo Deco gel, about 1/4 inch thick. After it cools, cut it into strips and then cubes. Usually very effective but also expensive.
2.) You can cut up clear plastic canvas, I’ve seen this done but it is tetchy work and I don’t think it’s as realistic.
3.) Tempered glass bits have a nice effect. You can find these in floral supply stores, they are sold as vase filler. They look great but they’re too heavy for a doll to hold and I worry about sharp edges.
4.) Some people use clear, plastic beads. I have tried these and have had some success but it is hard to know how the plastic will react with the epoxy. Some clear beads seem to “disappear” after the epoxy has cured.
5.) You can use plastic pellets. They are sold as the “beans” in beanbags or as weighting pellets for stuffed toys. This is what I use, it’s the best combination of realism and proper weight. Be careful to purchase the clear ones, white doesn’t simulate ice well. Plastic pellets
Use this method to add plastic pellet “ice”; Pour part of the epoxy in your cup, about 1/2 to 2/3 full, then gently add the ice so it is sitting on top of the epoxy. Finally, slowly and carefully pour a tiny bit of epoxy over the ice to hold it in place. These pellets are too solid to float but they’re light enough to sit on top of the epoxy with careful handling. I’ve seen doll drinks with the ice in the bottom rather than floating, totally ruins the effect. In real life, ice floats.
The straws I use are stir sticks, I make my garnishes and fruit slices out of polymer. Always place the straw in the cup before you pour the epoxy. If you place it after, air bubbles can get trapped inside and the straw floats out of the cup. Let the epoxy sit for a few hours before you add a fruit garnish so your fruit doesn’t sink. Be careful not to touch the surface as you are placing your garnish. I use an old pair of bent topped tweezers to keep my fingers out of the way.
An important tip, do not touch the top of the epoxy while it is curing!! It will stick to you, create bumps on the surface and ruin your beverage.
Leave your cups on a level surface where they will not be disturbed.
A couple other tips, Look into color theory and color mixing if you aren’t familiar with it. For instance, people think chocolate milk or hot cocoa will require brown dye. But cocoa needs white dye too. Think about in terms of the real food you are trying to replicate. Cocoa starts with milk and milk is white. Try making a milk color then adding brown until you get the desired richness for your cocoa. Orange juice and lemonade are not entirely clear. If you don’t add the teensiest dab of opaque dye, you’ll end up with something that looks like urine samples. Not a pretty look. Tea has a lot of orange in it, and cola actually has greenish undertones. Take a close look at the actual liquid you’re attempting to replicate.
When you’re making a layered jello or drink, let the first layer cure completely before adding a second color. If it hasn’t cured completely, the colors get muddied.
Ask if you have any other questions or if you want to know how to color a specific drink. Contact me through email or comment here with any questions. I’m always happy to help or share ideas.