Harley Quinn: My First Mixed Media Art Doll

The Suicide Squad: All that megahype for nothing.

I used to watch the Adam West versions and the Batman cartoon series and the 90s films although I didn’t really like Bruce Wayne because he was such a bore.  His universe was only worth looking into because Gotham has the most memorable and craziest villains. Michelle Pfeiffer as CatWoman and the soundtrack were the only awesome things about the films. But like most everyone, I was truly looking forward to Suicide Squad.

Harley Quinn was my least favorite villain because I didn’t like her sappy obsession with the Joker but Margot Robbie’s portrayal in the PREVIEW (minus the skimpy shorts, which only the guys get) seemed so awesome.  The look, the attitude — she was just waiting to be made into one of my dolls!

And so I did, last July 2016. And I fell in love with her! And I didn’t want to let her go. She was mine!

And then I watched the film. And I felt so duped. And I blamed the doll. And I couldn’t wait to ‘get rid of her’. And so I let her go and be ‘adopted’.

But now, I miss her. Even though I hated the film, I still think of how much fun I had staying up for several late nights, reading about her character, looking at pictures, researching, making ugly mistakes, redoing, retouching, experimenting and trying to come up with the final design that captured the character’s crazy personality. It felt like I had a very personal relationship with my Harley Quinn doll. I thought it was a little weird, but I recently read somewhere that MAKERS BUILD INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH PIECE THEY MAKE WHICH MAKE THEIR CREATIONS EVEN MORE SPECIAL.

I still receive messages from Harley Quinn fans who found me in Pinterest wanting to purchase the pattern. Not that I don’t want to share but unfortunately, I made her in freehand. There was no pattern because I didn’t write it down. When I’m “in the zone” of crocheting and creating, I don’t like stopping. Somehow, I feel as if writing down patterns  interfere my “zen-crocheting” state. I must learn how to incorporate it into my process somehow and soon.

I do tell those who are interested to feel free to take inspiration from my designs (by eyeballing. If I can do it, you can, too).  And to those who are still interested, here are the only pictures of how I made her.  I find taking pictures of works in progress bothersome sometimes, too, but I force myself to document. Maybe someone could get some ideas from these. I don’t really care about copycatas and all that stuff (at least not yet), but a little bit of acknowledgement would be nice 🙂 Maybe once I get the hang of writing down patterns in the proper format, I might even make one for this doll in the future!

The pictures are of poor quality because most are taken during late nights… and because I’m such a bad photographer.

Making her shoes took me hours. I almost gave up and thought about giving her plain black boots. Good thing I didn’t.

1. HarleyQuinn

1. Turning Harley Quinn’s shoes into a more “practical looking” pair.

2. HarleyQuinn

2. Bowling pin body and arm

Here, she is starting to look more and more like Harley.

3. HarleyQuinn

3. Bald Harley Quinn

I made a white skullcap for her so her skin tone scalp wouldn’t show. I hate visible scalps on my dolls.

4. HarleyQuinn

4. Working on her collar

I think most dollmakers would have dipped the ends of the white yarn to make ombre pink and blue hair but I was scared to do it. So I added thin colored yarns in the middle of her ponytails. One dollmaker whom I chatted with in Instagram said that she dyed her Harley Quinn’s strands one by one!

5. HarleyQuinn

5. Turning more into Squad Harley

Harley wouldn’t be Harley without her crazy eyes. She looked so tame with just the button eyes. So I researched and most amigurumi artists used either acrylic paint or real makeup for the blush. A real blush on would fade, but would probably fade nicely. If I used real eyeshadow, (which I did on some of my more recent dolls, so now I can’t sell them because the makeup might run if it gets wet) that might pose a problem when cleaning the doll. So I used acrylic paints. This was a scary process because I didn’t know how she would look like. If I make a mistake with stitches, I can always undo. That’s the pretty thing about crocheting. But here, the doll was almost finished, and if I botched it, do I undo her head and start over? Yaiks.

6. HarleyQuinn

6. Making her look even crazier with acrylic paint makeup

This is how special she was. I even made a mallet for her using a real mallet! I used stamps, markers, acrylic paint, and embossing powder to distress her weapon. The embossing powder was a happy mistake. It just bubbled directly on wood and didn’t turn into a shiny bronzy finish, but the final gritty result went well with the look.  Maybe I can make another for myself.

7. HarleyQuinn

7. Working on her mixed media mallet

I stamped and drew on sticker paper, adhered to wood, brushed on matte medium, and distress inked the edges.

8. HarleyQuinn

8. Harley Quinn’s mallet

Here’s my girl. Her beauty mark is a heart-shaped puffy sticker.

9. HarleyQuinn

9. Here she is: Harley Quinn doll

Nobody messes with my girl!

10. HarleyQuinn

10. Harley Quinn posing

Her choker is a part of one of my old bracelets.

11. HarleyQuinn

11. A Closer look at Harley Quinn

I got so into Squad Harley that I even made a Classic Harley Quinn! This was at one of the craft fairs I joined last year. I like to get busy while selling so I don’t have to talk to customers.

12. HarleyQuinn

12. I even made her a friend. Harley Quinn for Harley Quinn

Classic Harley! Take note, this was all before I watched the movie. Had I done so first, these two Harleys would never happen.

13. HarleyQuinn

13. Classic Harley Quinn

14. HarleyQuinn

15. A Closer look at Classic Harley Quinn

Here they are fighting over The Joker and who’s prettier.

15. HarleyQuinn

16. Harley Quinn vs Harley Quinn

But both of them are gone now. Squad Harley was adopted by a male high school history teacher who was also a doll and toy collector. Classic Harley was adopted by a very appreciative and loyal customer.

At least I have pictures to remember them by.  See! I was so excited for the movie and in love with HQ that I even made even more of an effort to draw!

I was barely breathing while I slashed her out of her paper frame.

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn 2

Papercut Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn 3

Harley Quinn 4

Le sigh. Goodbye, my Harley doll.

I take comfort in the thought that the movie sucked.


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