The fabrics were actually the first inspiration. I love these colors together, but only had a very small amount of each. Art Nouveau art and architecture inspired the shape of this screen for 18 inch dolls. It’s sized so that a ball jointed doll can stand behind it with head and shoulders, and calves and feet showing. Of course, it’s also great as a room decoration or vanity table adornment.
First, that Art Nouveau shape had to be imagined and then drawn on heavy paper to use as a pattern. In the next photo you can see the paper patterns and the finished shapes cut from plywood. You can also see the smaller crescent shaped pattern pieces for the fabric adornments (the orangy fabric with the dots) which is attached at the top and bottom of the screen. All of the crescent shapes for the adornments were cut from poster board.
Next, I applied a very thin layer of dacron batting to the “back” side and stretched the silk over it, attaching it to the edge with hot glue. In this photo, you’re looking at the “front” side, but you can see the cuts in the silk which were necessary for the fabric to pull smoothly over the curves at the bottom of the screen.
Then, the main fabric was applied to the front of each of the three pieces. I didn’t bother to take it over the edge at the top and bottom because the adornment fabric will cover that. You can see that I attached this fabric around the edge on the straight side of the two very outside edges (on the small side panels), but only about half way across the 1/2 inch width of the wood. Trim will cover the raw edges of the fabric. The exception to this is along the sides where the hinges are applied. I carefully turned the fabric under and glued it into place. You don’t want too much fabric or trim under the hinges because the screws won’t reach through a thick layer.
Now is the time to add the adornments to the top and bottom. Remember those extra crescent shaped pieces in the second photo? In this shot, you’re looking at the back side (the side which will touch the wood) of the one that goes across the top. I make more of the little slits which allow the fabric to move through the curve and then hot glued them to the cardboard pattern across the bottom edge.
Unfortunately ;o( I don’t have a picture of the next step, but you can figure it out. Simply flip it over and line up the top edge of the cardboard pattern with the wood. Lay the fabric back and staple the cardboard to the wood. Be sure to staple down close the the bottom of the curve where the hot glue is holding the fabric on. OR if you don’t have a stapler, you can put hot glue along the bottom edge and carefully place it to aline with the top of the wood and press until the glue dries. This gives you a nice finished edge on the adornments where they meet the main fabric.
Do this same process on the bottom curved adornment, attaching enough fabric to also cover the legs. Then, add a little bit of padding to the cardboard surface (and legs) and stretch the fabric over it and around the edge of the screen. Make sure to trim it closely and carefully so the raw edges can be covered with decorative trim at the end. You can see that I’ve hot glued a pretty decorative trim around to cover the raw edges, stopping at the edge of the adornment fabric. This is where the hinges are applied, and if you remember, we turned the fabric under here so it’s already finished.
I added a tiny ornate metal picture frame to the back and put a photo of my three dolls in it.
There you have it. Not a project for a beginner, but you should be able to pull ideas and techniques from this to apply to simpler projects with simpler shapes. I hope you enjoyed getting an look at how I do this kind of stuff. Please comment if you have questions and I’m happy to help. This item will be posted for sale in my Etsy shop. Cheers!