Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mermaid Doll Making Kit by 4M Industrial Development Limited

Wow that title is a mouthful!

A few months back, while checking out the local Hancock Fabrics, I found a whole shelf of these really cute doll making kits. They had a fairy, a ballerina, a princess and a mermaid, but I didn't end up buying one. I've been thinking about them ever since! Well, last weekend, my husband and I stopped by there again and I decided that this time I wasn't going home without one. After all how can I buy these for the little girls in my family if I don't test one out first? Right?! Right.

It took a while but I finally decided on the mermaid!
 She's a red-head! It really wasn't that hard of a choice.

I love how nice the pictures on the box are! I don't know too much about the company that makes them. They seem to make quite a few award winning science and crafting kits like this. You can check out their website here.

Love the packaging for this! You just open the box and everything is in this little bag:
The kit includes just about everything you need! You just have to grab scissors and a book or something to help make the wig.
Here is everything that come in the box. I'm not going to list it all now but I'll tell you more about each piece later on! Note: Ignore all the white fabric on the table. My husband was working on something and I didn't bother to move it all!

It comes with a very nice instruction book and another sheet with the instructions in like five or six other languages. I know I saw at least French, Spanish and German on there!

Like I said the instruction book is VERY nice!
It has very simple instructions and beautiful pictures. I think this would be pretty easy to do with a kid.

It also had a picture of their other doll making kits:
I'm honestly REALLY tempted by all of them!

Let's take a look at the doll now:
It's a very simple cloth doll! One of the very few things I'm slightly disappointed about is that I didn't get to make the doll. I do understand why but I think that would have been pretty cool.

It has two velcro strips on the back of it's head. Those are for holding the yarn wig on, which I found really cool.
I really like that the cloth isn't perfect. It's rough and it has little dark spots and imperfections. It just makes the doll feel a little rustic and more handmade.

The only similar doll I have is Addy's Ida Bean.
As you can see the mermaid doll is quite a bit bigger!

Making the wig was pretty easy.
The hardest part was finding something big enough to wrap the yarn around. I ended up using a cardboard insert from a calender.

Once the yarn is all wrapped around you just slip it off, tie it in the middle, fold it in half and cut the ends.
Then you stick it on! The velcro holds the hair very well. In fact it's almost impossible to get back off!
You do glue the "part" to the top of her head and I found the best way to get it to stay put was to stick a pin in to hold it down while the glue dried.

Next it was time to put her flower on.
This bag held the flowers, the beads for her jewelry and fishing line.

The flower just got glued onto her head/hair.
Again I found that the easiest way to keep it in place was to pin it until the glue dried.
Because the big flower reminds me of Kanani so much I decided at this point that this mermaid would be hers!

The bracelet and the necklace were really easy to make.
You just put the beads on some fishing line and tire them on! The rest of the fishing line you use to tie her legs together.

The kit came with three colors of scaly fabric:
 A very nice template for all the pieces:
 And again really nice instructions:
The tail was the hardest and longest part of the whole project!

Here are all my pieces cut out:

You start by making the fin and then you use double sided sticky tape (provided) and slowly build the tail in layers, from the bottom up.
One thing the instructions don't tell you is that you have to tape the back too! But you don't want to do that until you have all your layers in the right place. It's hard to space the layers out and I didn't have get them right the first time so I had to do it all over again. I actually ended up adding and extra little piece to the top even after redoing the tail.

Here is my finished tail:
The top is just two circles glued on. They tell you to do it in blue but you have enough fabric to do it in any color and I decided to I wanted her top to match her fin!

The last and easiest part was drawing her face. Luckily they give you this cute little template:
I'm not an artist and I don't even want to think about how this would have looked free hand. The template made drawing her face super easy!

Here she is all done:
 And a close up of her face:
It's a little light so I might go back and make it darker but I think it turned out awesome!

Last but not least I got to fill out this cute little birth certificate:
We named her Ondine! Ondine is a water-sprite who falls in love and marries a knight in a play by Jean Giraudoux. It's also a movie, kind of about mermaids, starring Colin Farrell. The name is associate with mermaids and that's what I was going for. She was almost named after Melusine, which is one of my very favorite legends, but she just seemed like an Ondine to me.

I don't have a picture of Kanani with her yet because it's been dark and raining all week, but I'll get that sometime soon. She is pretty long, especially with the fin, but I still think she looks fairly proportional. Kanani loves her so I'm happy!

All in all I really enjoyed this kit! I only have a few criticisms. I wish they had given me a touch more yarn because her hair is a little thin in back. My biggest criticism is the fact that the kits only come with a white cloth doll. I would have liked the option of other colors! I probably won't be buying another one for myself because of this. Unbleached muslin gets boring after a while. I probably will be buying them for gifts this Christmas though because this was FUN and pretty easy! I seriously want to try making my own doll now! That probably says a lot about this kit. It's one thing to enjoy doing it with the kit but this really inspired me to go beyond it and make my own. We'll see how that turns out!

I hope you enjoyed this look at a really neat doll kit! Till next time!


  1. She's very cute! The little birth certificate is a nice touch! Also it's nice that they gave you literally everything in that kit!

    1. I thought so too! I'm pretty impressed with everything! They even give you the glue.

  2. She's quite cute! And the whole project looks like great fun. :)

    I agree that it's a little disappointing that you don't actually get to make the doll itself though. I feel like there used to be more craft kits that involved the whole toy-making process (I was looking at craft kits over the holidays to share with my niece and nephew and they all seemed to be more the decoration elements). I wonder when the trend shifted to more customization?

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed myself!

      Probably in the last decade! There is a whole generation of parents now who want to wrap their kids in bubble wrap (but don't because of the suffocation risk) and oh God their precious baby angels can't use scissors, or needles or glue! They could get hurt!!!!!!

    2. Not only that, but it's likely that a lot of parents don't know how to do the sort of sewing and cutting that would be needed. Or they don't doing crafts themselves, so they're just as happy to let the kids do it.

    3. Oh you're totally right! There are a lot of not crafty people out there!