Elf Ears (or other sculpted body parts)


While this is a tutorial specifically for elf ears, the techniques involved here--essentially making flesh-toned additions--can be used in many other types of modifications.

What you need:

White-toned epoxy
Pigment to mix epoxy to match skin (whatever your epoxy brand recommends)
Blushing agent (ground pastels, pigment, etc)
Clay sculpting tools
Sandpaper (~1000 grit)


Day 1

The first, and probably most difficult thing you need to do is tone your epoxy to match your doll. This is the most important step, and the better you do this the better your overall result. So take whatever toning agent you decided to go with and mix it thoroughly into the clay until you get a ball that is as close as possible to your head color.

It's not exact, but it's very close. Now let's try out some ear shapes.

Let's call this 'perky ear' I like it. It's awfully 'little devil' though, so I tried a different style of ear on the other ear to see how it looked.

Here's the other style I went with. It reminds me a little more of 'earth faeries' I like this one too, but neither of them are quite what I was looking for, so I just kept fiddling until I found a shape I liked. There is no one shape for elf ears. You can make any shape you like, so look at elf illustrations and play around until you find the shape that's right for your doll.

Once you decide on an ear style, you're going to have to do it twice. Examine the ears from multiple angles until you have them as symmetrical as possible. Here's a shot from the front to show that one isn't higher than the other, and they both poke out about the same amount.

Back view.

After you get your ears in the basic shape and symmetric you have a choice. Option 1: let the ear shape dry and then go back and add the lobes. Pro: you won't accidentally push the ears out of shape while you work (I did!) Con: blending the lobes after the fact is much harder. Option 2: sculpt the lobes while the ear is still soft Pro: it's much easier to sculpt a natural looking ear while it's all soft. Con: the whole ear is soft, so you have to be very careful not to push the ears out of shape so they lose their symmetry.

Whichever you do, you're going to have to wait about a day for the ears to cure.

Day 2

Now that the ears are cured, take some of the fine sandpaper and touch them up. If you left any fingerprints, smooth them out, ditto for any rough spots. Most epoxies are carveable after they cure as well, so you can carve deeper valleys between the lobes or touch up the general shape for symmetry, whatever you need to do.

Once you have the ears how you like them, it's time to contour and blush them. Take a look at the Body Blushing and Toning tutorial if you're not familiar with how to do this. I applied a darker color into the valleys and also brushed a lighter color over the lobes as highlights.

Yay! All done. Your ears probably won't look exactly like this as your design will suit your own tastes more, but you get the idea. You can no longer tell where the original ear ends and the ear extension begins.