Creating your own Studio Muse in JOYnal!

 In Art, Workshops

I bought my first Monster High Doll a few years back. It was Skelita, and I thought what a brilliant substitute for the classic wooden posing doll many artists have in their studios!

And then the collecting bug hit me. Big Time. I just adore the details and thought that goes in to each doll. and their amazing shoes. The tiny hands are so expressive. Each character has a different story and face mould. Then the same company came out with a ‘spin=off’ series called Ever After High. They are not as weird and quirky, but so cute and pretty. I loved Barbies when I was a kid, but all these dolls are the same price , but are ball jointed, so you can pose them.

Then I started customising them …. and oh my! THAT is fun.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 7.52.12 pm

This was the original ( you can click the image to still get one on Amazon by the way – I know you want one!)

So cute but too bright… so I repainted her and now she looks she would definitely cause a few shipwrecks…

I have learned so much from working on a 3D surface.  As a hobby, it’s immense fun. But as an educational tool, customising dolls a valuable skill to learn ( So I have good news coming up…).

I love mixing the doll bodies with other heads too. My leading studio muse is Fairy Nuff. This is her charging one of my pens with fairy dust! I love making the dolls look like my drawings!

Joynal-fairy nuff- Jane Davenport 361

She started out as this cutie:


I finally got around to recording the process, and am making a tutorial  for doll customisation as part of JOYnal, which starts as a LIVE class on September 1st!

You can join me for all the online fun and find out more by clicking the image ( or here).

Workshop---800-large-buttons-joynalAre you going to join me? I hope so!

What will you need?

If you don’t have one already, you may want to get a dolly ( or two, or three!) to customise.
I get most of my dolls from Amazon. They ship quickly. You can also go look at your nearest big box store (Target, Kmart, Toys R Us all stock them).

Ever After High dolls are based on the children of Story Book characters such as Cinderella, Pinnochio, Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Alice in Wonderland!

La Dee Dah dolls are a discontinued line, but they had such sweet faces and clothes!

Monster High Dolls are the children of famous ‘monsters’ such as Frankenstein, Dracula,  Zombies, Ghosts and witches. The subcontext of the entire line, is ‘it’s ok to be different!’. They come in all sorts of colours and fun themes.

You probably have all the art supplies you need already ( soft pastels, coloured pencils, paint pens, acrylic paint, pastel pencils), but you will need Some Mr. Hobby Super Clear in Matt or Flat.  Click on the images:


I mainly use the Flat as it has a UV protectant and dries Matt.

These sprays create a matt surface to work on and are made especially for vinyl. You could use Matt Fixative, but it has a satin sheen to it on the vinyl of the dolls heads which is not easy to work on.
There is a gloss version too, and I use that as a first coat on the hard plastic bodies and accessories I want to customise (such as the mermaid tail above), and then I spray with the Mat if I want to customise further.
If any of that is confusing, you can just wait until the class where I explain it all.

So are you going to join me in altering books, drawing fairies and mermaids AND making them too?

Do say yes!



Jane and Fairy Nuff!


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Showing 18 comments
  • Jena

    Oh oh oh!! I am so excited about this class and doing altered dolls! I bought 3 of them this morning: Monster High (Student Spirits) Vandala Doubloons, Monster High (Boo York, Boo York) Nefera de Nile (probably my favorite – have you SEEN her hair!?!?!) and Ever After High C.A. Cupid.

    I’m hoping we can do dolly mash-up in addition to altering their faces!!

  • Susannah


    I’m excited by this class as well! To make the mermaid, did you buy the make a monster base kit, or can you pull the legs off of a regular monster high doll and attach the tail? Do you think that would work with an Ever After doll? I’m trying to decide which doll to get. Thanks!


  • Tracey Mokrzycki

    wow what a awesome class loving it.. Just need to know Does it have to be those brands as I’m having trouble getting them over here in Western Australia, so is there something other We can use? Thanks heaps Tracey xx

    • Jane Davenport

      any doll – but Monster High and Ever After High are in Kmart, Target, Big W and Toys r Us.

  • Sandra V.

    Jane you are so WONDERFUL and BRILLIANT!!! Just like one of the other ladies after I read this post I spent several hours looking on line at the dolls. And today I went and bought an Ever After doll. I think that is so genius to use the doll as your model for drawing. I always have a hard time drawing side profiles and now with the doll I feel like I will have a better “view” of what I need to draw. Thank you so much for the great idea,

  • Barbara Fisher

    My 9 year old loves the Monster High and Ever After High dolls, and has several of them. They are very inexpensive for ball jointed dolls and are fun to dress and pose.

    Have you looked into the Pullip brand of ball jointed dolls? They are collector’s dolls from Korea with the oversized heads, with glass eyes that you can move and really beautifully detailed costumes. They are not too expensive (compared to the Dolfies, certainly!) and they are fun to make costumes for and customize.

    • Jane Davenport

      I love my Pullips, and Blythes and Tangkou dolls!

      • Barbara Fisher

        I am not surprised. I have three Pullips–a Geisha, Maiko and Catwoman. Because, well, Catwoman. They all live in my studio to give me inspiration, along with some other dolls. I can’t wait to do some face-ups on a Monster High or Ever After dolls.

        So much fun!

  • Karen coates

    Jane, I have fallen in love with everything you do. I love your classes, but I am in a place right now where I cannot afford another class. If I have already taken the original joynal class do I need to register and pay for the live one?

  • Rae Lynn Reffruschinni

    What an enabler you are! I spent an hour looking at those dolls. Now I have 3 I want to buy! But I love their faces already! Do you alter their faces in the workshop?

  • Leigh Armstrong

    Ooooooh, Mergirl looks badass! Love the fact that she’s so modest covering up her boobs! lol
    My youngest has about 30-40 of these dolls, mainly Monster High, wonder if she’d notice if I nicked one!? (After all I paid for most of them eh?? Liking that we will be doing this in class!

  • Lisa M

    Hello anyone who has read this far! if the price of the spray on Amazon is putting you off, you can buy it on Ebay very inexpensively; I just paid $12 with free shipping for the flat UV version.

    Which apparently means I’m going to join JOYnal! (I was uncertain up to this moment! LOL But the idea of making my own muse tipped me over the edge.)

    Love ya, Jane!

  • Jennifer Timpo

    I have a can of PYM II that I have for sealing polymer clay, it has UV protection and is also compatible with plastics, metals, glass, paper, ect. I am going to try that out instead of the Mr Super Clear, as I think (hope!!) it will work too. Luckily I have some spare MH dollies to muck about with! I am searching to see if they are as compatible as I hope they are. Doing a face up sounds like such fun!!

    • Jane Davenport

      if it works on Vinyl and stays Matt – you will be fine with that! I used Matt Fixative and it didn’t work. All you can do is try, and if it doesnt work, clean it off again! easy!

  • Kerry Sinigaglia

    Heck yes!!!!!!!! I have been trying to my hands on some Mr Super Clear to alter dolls. Can’t WAIT>>> Smiling form ear to ear.

    • Jane Davenport

      bring a dolly to dismantle when you come to the nest. it’s so much fun!

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