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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tutorial ~ How I Finish My Gingers

Hello friends, in this post I will be showing you how I finished this little Ginger! I hope you enjoy taking a peek! First two pictures show this little ginger finished, scroll down to see him as he is being worked on.
This is also going to be one of my next patterns, there will be this little ginger and a snowman in the same pattern. Stay tuned!
Here he is in all his baked goodness, he does look like you could take a bite doesn't he? Okay, lets get started....
Here is my ginger sewn with muslin, stuffed and ready for painting.
You will need to have three colors... Honey Brown, Camel and Light Cinnamon. For this color meshing technique you will need a dampened sea sponge and a foam plate.
To get your sponge ready for applying color, you will need to dip your damp sea sponge up and down into your colors. I use less cinnamon, just dip a smaller area.
Before starting in on your actual piece, you will need to dab up and down onto your plate to mesh the paint into the sponge and get rid of any globs. When you are satisfied with how the color is coming off onto your plate,  you are ready to apply this to your ginger. The mix of dark, med and light colors really looks neat!
Go to your ginger and pounce  on the color. Keep dipping into your paint puddles as needed to resaturate your sponge. Don't forget to work it out on your foam plate first. You might want to wear rubber gloves, my hands got awful messy doing this.
Once I have one side done, I stop and speed dry it with my heat gun, be careful not to get it too close to your piece or it will burn! Turn your ginger over and paint the other side.
The sponge doesn't always get every spot, so I pounce more color with a scruffy brush in the bare spots. Let dry
Now it's tme to draw on the face! I bet you thought I had some fancy method of doing this didn't you? Sometimes I even eye ball it, but this time I found the perfect sized button to trace around for the eyes. I start by finding the center with my caliper, put a pin in for reference and figure out from there where I want the first eye and draw around with a pencil. You can always erase if you don't do it neatly.
 For the second eye, I measure the distance from the pin to the eye on the first one and get an idea where to place my second eye. From here I eyeball the mouth and eyebrows.
Here is his face all ready to be painted, he looks quite odd doesn't he? I also free handed the nose, I guess it looks kind of like a jelly bean.
I have filled in the eyes, mouth and eyebrown in black, the nose in a rusty color. I did more of a sideload for the nose, making the color stronger on the outer edge. I might add that because this ginger was completely basecoated first, there is no need to use a textile medium at all, just water in your brush.
With some cinnamon and burnt umber, I added some floated shadow around the eyes, lower lip and upper nose. To see more detailed instructions on floating color, linework etc... I have more painting tutorials here and more information on my website tips and hints page. He kind of looks like an alien here and not a ginger. LOL
His little cheeks need some blush. Here you see Jo Sonja's retarder and antiqueing medium. I often times will do a light sheen of this on the cheeks before I apply color so it will come off soft and will be able to move. You can also just go on with your dry brush on a dry face and lightly swirl, it will look great too!
Here I have a medium sized Donna Dewberry scruffy brush, I left it dry for this application. I pounced into some of my color and swirled it around the plate a bit.
I rub most of the paint out into a dry paper towel until most of the paint is gone and only a bit comes off the brush. I now go to my cheeks and in a circular motion lightly apply the rosey cheeks.
He is looking more alive here, color on his cheeks, some sparkle added to his eyes with some white paint. His eyelashed were painted on with thinned down black and a fine liner brush.
He needs his yummy icing applied! I use a warm white and a long and fairly thick liner brush. I really load up the brush good so when I do my strokes the paint actually comes off crisply and you won't need to reload as often. If your paint is too thick, just thin down with some water. Put icing anywhere you like. I speed dry with a heat gun every now and then so I don't smudge.
Icing is finished, now I add three rusty bells down his front with a double strand of button thread. Since all his muslin was painted, he is nice and firm, fairly stiff like a real cookie.
Next I mix some water into some matte mod podge to thin it down a bit. I got this idea from my friend carol of Buttermilk Creek Farms! thanks Carol. She coated her ginger and sprinkled cinnamon and cloves, let it dry and coated the piece again in the mod podge. This makes it looked baked and very prim. For my little guy, I am going to do it a bit different. I will coat him in mod podge and then sprinkle a very fine glass glitter on him to represent sugar and give him some sparkle. He will also stiffen up even more with the mod podge. I did lightly sprinkle a bit of cinnamon here and there with the glass glitter, but I did not want to cover up my nice paint job so I did it really lightly.
I have him over a foam plate to help contain the mess. I don't know what I would do in my craft room without this handy dandy item. I also put my glass glitter into a glass spice jar so I could sprinkle properly. Any loose glitter is dumped back into the jar when I am done. Let this dry well, use the heat if you'd like. Tear a piece of homespun and tie a bow around your gingers neck.
I took my paint brush and painted on some fabric stiffener "stiffy" after I grunged up the fabric with some coffee and cinnamon. I liked the fabric to be fairly rigid since the ginger is as well.
Here he is again all finished! With the mottled paint, mod podge, cinnamon and glass sprinkles, he really does look like a ginger good enough to eat. How about adding a drop or two of a nice holiday fragrance oil to his bow, he will smell delicious then! Be looking for his pattern soon! Like I said earlier, he will be accompanied by a snowman. If you have any questions please email me. I do hope I have inspired you to make some gingers, what is a Holiday without 1 or 10 of them!! I will try to make up some extra gingers to have for sale during the Holidays.
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Very nice "Ginger" tutorial, Jody! Thanks for sharing! Your little guy is adorable!

  2. How adorable!! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I can't wait for the pattern.

  3. What a delightful little guy. Thanks for your tutorial.

  4. Wonderful tutorial, thanks so much for sharing. You do such great work and those him:)

  5. This little feller is so darned cute! NOW I've got to go and get me a heat gun! I usually have an old hair dryer but mine died and I need something else other than my large box fan!
    Thanks for the Tutorial and motivation!

  6. Hi Jody: Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial with the rest of us. I just love the ginger (and of course I already have the real thing...heehee!) I just love the way you do your faces and it is great to see a step by step of the process.


  7. Hello Jody, so so cute your little gingerbread man, love it, thank you for the tutorial.

  8. Oh what fun to see how you make them and how cute too see him come alive. I can't imagine every attempting something like this though. I'm just glad you are so good!

  9. Hi Jody,
    Love your ginger!! Such a fabulous face.
    Thanks for sharing but I have to leave the sewing to you the professionals!! TOO CUTE!!
    Enjoy your day,

  10. Your creations are absolutely adorable!! I am bookmarking your tutorial for that cute as can be gingerbread boy! Thanks for sharing!!

  11. He is so sweet! Thank you for being so generous sharing your technique on how to paint this little gingerbread cutie! I just found your blog and I will definitely be visiting again.


Thank you for taking the time to leave me your thoughts! I enjoy each and every comment.


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