Posts Tagged ‘desperately seeking susan’

Desperately Seeking Susan Skull Case WIP 5 and Done!

I have reached the finish line here πŸ™‚ I can hardly believe it, but the case is complete. It’s quietly curing it’s varnish in the corner even as we speak…

The “little bit of hand painting and touch up” I made reference to last time turned out to be something hard to stop lol! Just a little more here, just a little more there, then back over here and ….

My partner and I used to call that the plaster rule. Back when we were drywalling and plastering our first fixer upper, we often found that days and days could be lost in the swirling time-suck vortex of plastering, sanding, plastering, sanding with benefits versus effort diminishing everyday – but I digress πŸ™‚

At any rate, I was finally pleased with the paint.

I put the grosgrain ribbon loop tie-ins and sewed them to the original anchors and I made sure the lining and the backing were well adhered to the inside of the case all the way around. Thank you, straight up lowly clothes pins! I touched up and then gloss varnished the handle.

The whole case was then treated to several coats of spray varnish all over πŸ™‚ And ba Bam, It was all over!

So, without further ado, here is the finished project….


And Inside……



And once more with the tiny dolly version…


Once more with a dolly πŸ™‚


Hope you’ve enjoyed reading along with this project! Next up will be a Janet Jackson concert outfit for a 17″ doll with loads of detail I can sink my teeth into!

If you like what I do, you can subscribe to this blog at the very bottom of the page, visit my Etsy shop, support me on PatreonΒ and for more on LuxDolls (my very own resin dolls) please like LuxDolls on Facebook

Happy Saturday, thanks for reading!


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Posted in desperately seeking susan, OOAK, Restorations, Skull Case 8 Comments »

Desperately Seeking Susan Skull Case Bigger – WIP 4

This post is all about the interior lining. I want it to look like Susan’s case, even on the inside. Hers has an elastic topped lid pocket, so I’ll be including one of these in my version too πŸ™‚

I’ll be using a card backing with a layer of padding to give the lid silk and pocket a little structure and softness. It’s backed with muslin for durability. Below, I’m testing the look of the pocket on the card backing. Looks about right πŸ™‚


Then I sewed the pocket to the silk backing and then the whole thing to the muslin backing. I left as small an opening for the card as I possibly could. I didn’t want to sew too much of this by hand. Machine stitching is much more robust! Then I needed to insert the card into this before attaching permanently into the case lid. To get it into the opening I gently rolled it and unrolled it when it was all the way inside.


Here goes …..



Success! Yay!


The bottom edge just needs to be stitched πŸ™‚

Test fit!


On to the case bottom lining. Firstly I’ve added some padding into the bottom of the case to provide a soft place for whatever precious bits will be packed in here πŸ™‚


You can see the loop strap tie ins in the above shot. I will be replacing these with fresh black grosgrain ribbon ties.


Again, I wanted some structure here. I don’t want the sides of the silk lining to sag, so I’ve sewed the gathered silk sides to a heavy duty stiff Β interfacing and to the silk bottom piece.

And … tra-la!

(This stuff always looks so easy on the blog, lol! I assure you, dear reader that much time was devoted to gathering, evenly distributing the gathers and then sewing to the interfacing – but I digress!)




Some super fantastic waterproof awesome adhesive around the edge, gently clamped with the most awesome clamps ever – clothes pins! (These things are indispensable in my studio!)

The ribbons are half in. The other side of each still need to be sewn in.

The other thing I did was to clean and repaint the case keys and put them on a little skull key holder πŸ™‚

Here the keys are before I cleaned and painted them. The skull is getting some red rhinestone eyes inserted too.



Eye glue is dried and the keys are cleaned and painted.



Next time, I think the case will be finished! I have a little more hand painting touch up and then I’ll be sealing the whole thing with varnish and it will be ready for travel πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!


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Desperately Seeking Susan Skull Case – Bigger WIP3

I’m continuing on with the case and I’m excited to share the progress!


I finally found a good use for all of the pennies I have kicking around! They’ll get paint all over them, but I don’t mind a bit πŸ™‚


That’s me, painting away….


The pennies helped to keep my stencil close to the case, but there was still overspray, which I had expected some of anyway.


A little hand touch painting will take care of that.



Much better, but still needs just a little more πŸ™‚

Okay the side stencils! Wow they were a job and a half to cut out. A marathon cutting session and many blades later, I was ready to mask off the top and bottom and get to work painting the sides. It’s difficult to get the stencil to stay connected to the case especially since the lid is slightly bigger (of course) than the case itself and the dancing skeletons have to match lid to case. But hey I like a challenge, so…..


I’ve used sewing elastic, paper and much tape to mask the parts of the case I’m not painting and also the hardware that the stencil goes right over.



No doubt, a marathon of touch up hand painting is about to ensue….

The silk has arrived for the interior, so I’ll talk about the rest of the painting and the inside work next time.

Enjoy your day and thanks for reading πŸ™‚


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Desperately Seeking Susan Skull Case – Bigger WIP2

Work continues on the case. πŸ™‚

I have given the whole case a base coat of matte black paint in preparation for the eventual white skulls and dancing skellies. To do this, I masked off the locks and handle, hinges and feet.




Then I painted her up! Looks better already.


After that all dried overnight, I began to mask the not so silver hardware for it’s new silver coat of paint. I used this Chrome type paint…


Foot painted, hinge, not πŸ™‚ I’m very happy with how it looks. (The foot, not the hinge!)


What a difference, and, it looks even better in person!


Locks too!


There was, of course, a little overspray, which I have painted out with a brush. It’s noticeable now, but it won’t be when I seal the entire case after the stencil painting.


It’s beginning to look like itΒ shouldΒ πŸ™‚

I have ordered some lovely pink silk for the interior. I couldn’t find any of the right colour in my neighbourhood, so it’s on it’s way fromΒ San Francisco. Hope it hurries, lol! Although it’s not as though I have nothing to do while it travels here!

Next up will be the stencils, finally!Β Can’t wait to get to that fun part πŸ™‚

There’s one more thing I want to try to address and that is that the case is a little stiff to open. I want to try and loosen that up a little for ease of use in future. I’ve been mulling that one over and I have a couple of things I’m going to try. We shall see what works….

Next time – Skellies!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!



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Desperately Seeking Susan Skull Case – Bigger!

Well, it was bound to happen at some point. I’m making a case like Susan’s only this time, it’s not for a doll, it’s for an actual human!

Now for those of you who know me, this is extremely unusual. I work small, smaller than Barbie small. I like to work tiny and get caught up in ridiculously small details. Not this this time. This time it’s big! About 15 inches wide big πŸ™‚

I’ve bought a vintage lockable round case in black (of course) and will be refurbishing it, cleaning up the hardware and the handle and refitting the interior in pink silk and of course painting the skull heads front and back and the dancing skellies around the sides.

Here is the case before.


It’s in pretty great shape as it is. It has no markings, so I don’t know how old it is or who made it. It shipped from France but I don’t know if that’s where it originally came from. The hardware and the leather layered handle make me think 50’s maybe 60’s but I’m not really sure.

The handle will need some love πŸ™‚


The first thing I did was give it a cleaning. I just wiped gently with a damp cloth initially to get any dust and light dirt off. (Honestly, It didn’t even look like it needed even that!) I did notice some blacking on my cloth which made me wonder if someone had touched up the colour at some point, but it made no difference to the colour of the case, so I’m not concerned about that πŸ™‚

The stitched edging had lost some of it’s blacking as well, it’s even more pronounced in the pic than in real life, so I’ve redone that and it looks much more presentable!


I tested the locks and springs and they are in great working condition but they have lost their chroming and shine, not surprisingly. I thought I might be able to shine them up by just cleaning off the metal of rust and dirt, but the shiny silver was of course a coating long since gone by the wayside in whatever travels this case has enjoyed in the past. A dull grey is all I’m going to get going that route. I considered replacing all of the hardware, but it was a fruitless search. Different styles, slightly different sizes, and different finishes πŸ™

The hardware, feet and locks and so on, are all riveted through the case. This means that the replacements need to be the very same size as the originals. No small feat I can tell you! Different hardware would necessitate more rivet holes through the case and since the original holes can’t be plugged or filled, the new hardware would run the risk of migrating into the old holes and wide up being loose and wiggly. Not what I envision at all.

Chrome type paint to the rescue!

I’ve been working on the stencils. It’s hard on the hands because I am cutting through a bunch of layers, but the front (and back) stencil is all cut.



The side stencil is not cut at all, but here it is helping me visualize placement, size and the like πŸ™‚


Off to clan up that hardware now!

Have a great day and thanks for reading πŸ™‚



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