Promo Video

Course Information

Description: Students will be building a cloth chair over a wire armature, using sewn on batting covered with pantyhose. The "wood" part of the chair will be sealed with glue and painted with acrylics. The upholstery will be sewn on. There will be instruction on how to apply any decoration to be integral to the finished chair and instruction for how to create all the parts.
Media Category: Fiber Art
Course Type: Interactive (refer to the FAQ page for full descriptions of each course type)
Course Format: Full project
Course Begins: March 15, 2022 - Ongoing
Course Duration:  Six (6) weekly Zoom meetings planned; beginning in April; specifics will be announced via email and in private Facebook group.

What will Students learn? Students will learn how to create an idea into a chair form. They will learn how to incorporate batting and pantyhose into their doll making techniques and become expert in building strong armatures. They will learn how to combine odd objects seamlessly. Not only that, but they will create a personalized little chair.
Instructor/Students interaction: Answer questions via emails, “Live” Instruction (eg: Facebook Live, Zoom), Private Facebook Group/Community Room.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Required skill(s): Students must have basic sewing skills and the ability to be able to bend/cut wire. They will need simple painting ability.

Supplies and tools: 

  • 3 or 4 brushes: a fine brush, small 1/4" for paint and glue,  1/2"  for glue.
  • 18- or 20-gauge galvanized steel wire and
    28-gauge stainless steel galvanized wire
  • bonded wire batting
  • pantyhose (can be recycled)
  • acrylic paints: red, blue, yellow, black, and white
  • Sobo glue
  • thread, straight pins
  • easy to thread needles
  • a pair of scissors
  • needle nosed pliers with a cutting capability
  • matt medium
  • some paper towels 
  • palette, water bowl
  • fabric for the cushions
  • small objects for embellishments, such as tiny plastic toys/animals, buttons, beads, keys, charms, etc.

Downloads: List of downloads

Course Curriculum

    1. A Little Welcome from JoEllen

    2. Some Chairs and Their Dolls: a Note on Embellishments

    3. SupplyList_JTrilling_ChairBuild

    1. 'The Blue Chair' Lesson 1: Wire Armature 'Bones'

    2. 'The Blue Chair' Lesson 2: Rungs Spanning Legs

    3. Lesson 3: Composing Your Embellishment

    4. Lesson 4: The Red Chair, Needle-Sculpting the 'Woodcarved' Arm Forms with Pantyhose + Batting

    5. Lesson 5: The Red Chair, Needle-Sculpting 'Woodcarved' Leg Forms with Pantyhose + Batting

    1. Lesson 1: Priming Surface with Glue and a 'Medium-Toned' Base Coat

    2. Lesson 2: Final Surface Painting Demo for Both Chairs' Embellishments

    3. Lesson 3: Final Surface Painting Demo for Red Chair (Arms & Legs)

    1. More resources for you

About this course

  • $75.00
  • 12 lessons
  • 2.5 hours of video content


Jo-Ellen Trilling

Fabric - Mixed Media

Jo-Ellen Trilling created her own toys. Playing as a child, she sewed cloth scraps together, using bits of wire, glue, and paint to make an idea come alive. Her doll making technique is essentially the same. “A finished figure can be built in a series of illustrated steps,“ she says. Jo-Ellen has taught techniques in doll clubs across North America and Australia. Images of her figures have been published as illustrations and as editorial artwork in books and magazines. Jo-Ellen's artwork is in the permanent collections of museums around the world.

VISIT: Jo-Ellen Trilling Portfolio