Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Repurposed Composition Doll Named Thomas

Thomas Walker

I recently purchased an old composition American Doll Co.doll in very sad shape with the idea of re-purposing it into an Izannah Walker style boy. Here are the before and after pictures. Thomas is 27" tall in his new cloth body which was adapted from a newly released Babyland Rag doll pattern designed and sold by Dixie Redmond of Northdixie designs. You can purchase the pattern here:
The only changes I made was making the waist with a curvature and stitching the legs to the outside of the body rather than inside the bottom of the body. I also added separately applied thumbs in the likeness of a Walker doll.

I removed the shoulder head from the original body which had many holes in the back which rendered it useless. I applied paper mache to form the eyeballs and a broader chin around the mouth, sanded and gessoed the head then he was painted with artist acrylics and a final coat of stain was applied to give him an antique look. I applied a paint wash (50% water mixed with 50% acrylic paint) all over his body so he is no longer a stark white color but has a warm skin tone. I like to use a wash on rag dolls as the cloth stays soft and subtle after sanding like a rag doll should feel like.

Thomas is dressed in period style clothing, a shirt with a wide lace collar and black bow tie, wool grey and white houndstooth knickers with a matching beret and very old soft leather baby shoes. I hope you like the new Thomas Walker.


  1. Hi! My name is Angela, and I live in Vancouver, WA. I recently acquired your Thomas doll from a fellow collector in my doll club! Imagine my surprise when I saw him on your blog, and realized that you had made him! I have read your blog for awhile, but have never commented until now. I just wanted to let you know that Thomas has found a new home with me, and that his antique, papier mache "sisters" are very pleased to finally have a brother.

  2. Hello Angela, very nice of you to comment on my blog. I have often wondered who was visiting from Washington state. I had a lot of fun re making Thomas from an old discarded doll and I am pleased he has found a good home. Please visit often, I love visitors,♥


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