Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wedge soles using polymer clay

I decided to try, if the method I've been using for heels would also work with wedge soles. I have previously made this kind of soles using E-Z Water plastic that needs to be melted. With the plastic, I used a metal mold, but as polymer clay needs to be baked in the oven, I used cardboard for these.

I started by making a pattern. These soles are for Nefera, so I had to start from scratch.

Previously, I have made the back of the heel curved, but this time, I decided to try angles.

When using metal, the insoles are attached with adhesive tape, but as these molds will go into the oven, plastic isn't an option. So, I cut flaps all around the insoles, except at the back, where there needs to be a hole in the mold. The flaps need to be narrow, so the curves will come out nicely.

The next picture shows how to glue the insoles in place. This can be a bit messy with glue spreading all over your finger tips, but fortunately, only the inside of the mold needs to stay neat.

Then it was time to test that the arch of the foot is correct. The additional piece of cardboard on the side of the mold is there to fix a small hole (that particular angle is a bit tricky and if you're not careful, there will be a hole there). Note the hole on top, behind the doll's heel. That hole is there to help you see when the mold is full. When pressing the clay into the mold, only stop when it starts coming out of that hole. Remove any excess before baking the soles.

Here are the molds filled with polymer clay and ready for baking. At this stage, you should check that the bottom is even and that the soles do not lean left or right. Check also that the insole does not bulge. It is easier to fix that at this stage, but you can fix it also after baking, just use a craft knife and cut off any excess.

Finished heels after baking.


Amaret said...

Thanks for this tutorial!
Now I now how to start create my own doll shoes;)

Vanessa said...

Very nice again. Do you have to make new molds for each pair of heels? I'm just wondering how well the cardboard holds up.

Sonia González said...

hello, I'm yours faithful follower.
as melt the clay to fill the molds of cardboard?

Tarja said...

The cardboard molds are for single use as you need to tear them apart to get the soles out (see the method for making heels, there's a link at the start of this post), so this technique requires quite a lot of work.

There's no melting involved as polymer clay is used, you just soften the clay in your hands as much as possible and then stuff it in the mold. The plastic that you melt by heating does not work with cardboard molds, I've tested that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for creating this blog. Im just learning how to make my own dolls, clothes and finding shoes is often a nightmare. I wanted to learn how to make my own shoes and your blog has everything I ever wanted to know. yes please write a book!

alejandra fernandez said...

Hello Tarja ! First I think it's wonderful your work, and second 'm from Argentina and I wonder what name him in my country the polimery clay , thanks! sorry for my english

Tarja said...

Alejandra, I'm sorry, but I have some trouble understanding your question. If you're asking for the name of the polymer clay, the usual brands are Cernit, Fimo, and Sculpey. Any one of these will work.

Anonymous said...

Great tutorials here! Can I ask bout what glue you use for the cardboard? All, in general, what glue do you use for straps and uppers.


Tarja said...

I use PVA glue for most purposes, but plastics and metals require other types of glue.