Building a Little Sister

While wandering around an antique store, I saw the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.

Great way to start a story, eh? If it’s not train robbing ghosts haunting a rusting rake, it’s the vengeful spirit of Abraham Lincoln ordering you to kill Dracula from a tea cup. Pretty sure Stephen King just wrote 1000 pages for both those stories. But not even he will touch the terrors swirling off the Teddy Ruxpin. It reads your own story to you, predicting your untimely and gruesome death.

This was just a doll, a three foot tall doll that can stand on its own. There’s nothing really creepy about that…

Little Sister

Look Daddy, an Angel!


Let’s go back to the days before Fontaine Futuristics flourished, crashed, then pulled a Lazarus because he liked convoluted, almost sure to fail plans.

The doll seems sweet enough. Hair’s been cut by Freddy Kruger, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

I also got an old cattle injector syringe to act as the ADAM collector because I wasn’t sinking that much money into this project. Getting to creepy and kind of recognizable is close enough for me. (Because I live in Nebraska, old farming equipment is 99% of our antiques. Excavating abandoned farm houses before a tornado drops them on witch’s heads is our state pastime.)

The first thing to go are those eyes, dearie.
Have you ever removed the eyes from a doll’s head? Of course not, you’re a well-adjusted person. It’s not easy. That head is sopping wet because I tried dunking it in a hot bath to make the face pliable. But that still wasn’t enough, so, with an exacto knife, I cut around the eye, slicing into the retina area.

After chopping up the back of the head and making a skull flap, I pushed and shoved until the eyeball finally popped out. I’m certain that this is how all Little Sisters are made.

I got the eyeball lights from Amazon. Getting a pair of LEDs is relatively cheap and easy, but without a Radio Shack, I figured I’d just buy one already hooked up instead of getting all the components and doing it myself.

After positioning the LEDs in the back of her skull, I realized I needed something more to cover the gaping holes in her eye sockets.

Then I got a grinchy idea. A wonderful, awful idea. This year, Rapture will be ours! Wax paper!

This isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, so anticipate burns and cursing. That’s how you know you’re really prop making.

Cutting out small circles for the wax paper, I worked them to fit in front of her eyes, then hot glued the outside. But to act as extra protection, I also covered over the wax paper with more hot glue. I thought about re-adding translucent balls into her eyes, but I wasn’t certain if my deodorant balls would fit or where they were. There are a lot of missing eyes in my house.

The next step, after screwing the head back on, was clothing. Again, I wasn’t going to pull out a fancy sewing machine and make something perfect. This was just supposed to be close enough. Goodwill it is!

That dress used to be bright white with little blue stripes running down it. Like the infant version of a tennis uniform from the 50s. At first, I tried burying it in the dirt, but frankly, I’ve always found that version of aging to only work if you have a few decades to kill.

Since I’m not a vampire, I dug it up and used the old coffee staining method. This is a good one if you don’t have time and don’t mind a universal color change.

Into a small ziploc bag went the dress and enough instant coffee to power twenty radioactive writers facing a deadline. I only added enough water to soak in but not completely submerge the dress.

After sitting in the coffee mixture for a day, I dropped it out on the line and it dried in twenty minutes thanks to summer.

But there was something missing. What’s a Little Sister without ADAM staining her clothes and fingers?

Blood is an art for haunters. Some pride themselves on their blood recipes and horde them like Aunt Petunias and potato salads. I’m not one of them. For clothing stains, I use my acrylic paint. I have some enamel crimson that’s seen me through a lot of blood. But for a base, I use a dab or two of black.

But how to get the paint onto the dress? Brushes leave too obvious of a mark. Then I had a crazy idea and picked up an old toothbrush. Working from the bottom up, I streaked paint upwards and it blended perfectly. I didn’t want too much, just a streak here or there and a few globs around the hems and on her stomach where little hands would wipe away excess ADAM.

The final step was gluing on the syringe, which I also painted with my red enamel. Now to send her out into the world to gather ADAM.
Get him, Mister Bubbles!

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