Tomb Raider Game: Lara Croft Backpack mark1

Tomb Raider Lara Croft Backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Tomb Raider Lara Croft Backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Last time I made a backpack, I was maybe 11… made little scruffy backpacks for me and friends, I think they were a thing back then?

I like making working cosplay props. I’ve never been to cons, and quick googling didn’t even find any in Finland outside anime world so making things that would never get worn or used just doesn’t feel right.

I also have no room or interest to build a museum of stuff  especially as the shelves are already filled with dolls – I rather introduce geeky stuff to be used in daily life.

If I ever get a toaster, you bet it’s gonna be like the dancing toaster from Ghostbusters, or the talking one in Red Dwarf. I also really would like a sonic screwdriver, but it’s better be a working Flashlight, be used as a pen or even a real screwdriver (I actually found two! 10th doctors screwdriver from thinkGeek and 11th Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver
from Amazon)

Okay, so anyway, working props and cosplay, it’s time to make Lara’s Backpack from Tomb Raider!

Very first draft,  quickly sewn together with some scrap fabrics to test out the size, and also a drawstring mechanism I then discarded.

backpak, first draft

backpak, first draft

The size was good, but then I had another problem. I only got a large fat quarter of the brown pleather fabric. Also, wondered what could I use to stiffen up the back to help it keep it’s rectangular shape?

Then I remember purchasing a bunch of A5 craft foam sheets‘ few months ago!
They’d be perfect! So eventually, I re-patterned the backpack to A5 size. It is maybe little bit too small, but figured it’s all good for first draft anyway…

Lara Croft's backpack, inside out...

Lara Croft’s backpack, inside out… with all these colorful craft foam sheets…

BASICALLY the pattern pieces are 3x A5 (front, back, flap), 1x half A5, lenghtwise (bottom), and 2x third of A5, cut from short side – with 1cm seam allowances added to all sides.
the straps, pockets and little pieces were cut to fit the fabric, it was a puzzle and there were so little of the fabric that I was left only a 1cm strip leftover, so close it went!
If you are planning on making this, I recommend getting at least half a yard of fabric, large fat quarter is fine for the main piece, but if you want to make sure to match all the pieces, half yard or more is better.

So, this is the Tomb Raider Backpack Mark 1, made with fake leather, craft foam, recycled cotton and reclaimed buckles. Made with broken down sewing machine…

Tomb Raider Lara Croft backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Tomb Raider Lara Croft backpack mark I

The biggest problem is my sewing machine, that has jammed into tiny stitch 😦 I’m not taking custom orders before getting that fixed, because it really affects the quality of sewing.

Rectangular, with working buckles. Side pockets are small, but they are working.

In the back, there is zippered pocket to fit a smartphone etc. (I said I like making working props)

lara croft tomb raider backpack with pocket by merineiti

working prop, me likey

The straps, I ran out of fabric and didn’t have the needed accessories to make them adjustable, so instead there are loops sewn in the bottom edge, and you may adjust the straps with tying ribbons at the end of straps. F0rget making pretty bows, just tie them with anchor hitch and they will hold.

Inside lining has brown cotton printed with woods and bears! This used to be a skirt of mine, which didn’t fit anymore and had fraying lining, but I couldn’t bear (lol) to let go of such whimsy fabric. Here, I feel it’s a nice choice for Lara’s backpack 🙂
In the lining there is a little pocket too.


bear fabric lining in lara croft tomb raider backpack

bear fabric lining

It’s kinda nice but there’s lot I would change as well.

For Mark II, fixes:

– Sewing machine. Fix it, get new one, get access to better one, something, I NEED LONGER STITCHES!
– Need more fabric, preferably cotton canvas instead of pu leather
– If making bigger, bigger sheets of foam or other similar stuff
– Piping the edges might help maintain the rectangular shape even better.
–  Better buckles -maybe just decorative with snaps?
– The straps(handles, preferably pattern curved version with adjustable straps

– pattern the back pocket properly
– maybe more inside pockets as well
– pattern bulkier side pockets (so you can actually store something in them)
– zipper or extra fabric to cover the upper edges? Re-try the drawstring? So it doesn’t rain in the backpack?


Well, it was a nice little project, and will be sufficient for now ( I still have most of the costume to do!) but definitely will try to make this again some time!


Rose Tyler custom Doctor Who doll

Rose Tyler custom Doctor Who doll

Decided Rose has to go… so she’s on ebay now with humble starting price.
For some reason isn’t working so had to put her on, which doesn’t let me add true shipping to Europe, can only add the highest rate :/

Doctor Who OOAK dolls: Ten and Rose

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Here they are, wonderfully awkward Ten & Rose. Seems like they’ve misplaced the Tardis?
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Fashionista Ken (Ryan) doll was repainted and dressed as the Tenth Doctor, while a Bratz doll got full makeover to become his Rose Tyler.

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#selfie #OMG #TheDoctorTakingALeak #WTF
 photo IMG_5715.jpg Rose is kind of cute I think, definately improved from the Bratz face, not sure about the guy. Not David Tennant by far, looks maybe more like Hugh Jackman, or I don’t know, he reminds me of someone but can’t put a name on it…
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Making of Rose in this post
Making of Ten in this post

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Doctor Who – 10th Doctor Custom Doll mark I

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First male doll re-paint! I actually sow 11th Doctor’s coat a while back, but decided that Rose Tyler bratz doll needed her Doctor first.
So, this Ken/Ryan doll got, mostly because of the hair:

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 photo IMG_5458.jpg Adding some blush,
 photo IMG_5460-1.jpg Trying to make his eyes appear more round.
 photo IMG_5480-1.jpgIt’s obvious his upper lip is too full (and face too long and nose and and oh well) so I tried file  the lip a bit.

 photo IMG_5502.jpg After a while, it’s obvious it lacks resemblance. I am just not good enough at painting dolls yet. Also, the doll face is just too long to accommodate David Tennant’s features naturally (wow, quite a transform since those creepy 80’s short faced Kens!) But well, better than nothing I guess…

 photo IMG_5547mp.jpg Well, glasses help a bit, and adding sideburns 🙂
 photo IMG_5709m.jpg aaaa what is this nonsense with time paradoxes in Star Trek!!!
 photo IMG_5710m.jpg Clothing handcrafted by me. He’ll be off to adventure a bit with Rose, phots will be contined…

Rose Tyler – Bratz repaint

My first full Bratz repaint. Nevermind Han&Chewie dancing on T.A.R.D.I..S’s roof

The flea market Bratz, as it was.

I know there are a bunch of official action figures and figurines for Doctor Who and his Companions, some of them actually  having resemblance… but I like to create.
This blonde Bratz screamed Rose, so Rose shall she be!

Factory paint removed. Wasn’t careful enough with rubbing, but luckily the lips will be painted over.

Bratz have a really thick layer of paint on their face… I wasn’t careful enough while rubbing the lips, and I fear some of the paint smudged into the vinyl of the doll. Luckily that didn’t matter here, as her lips will be painted over anyway.
It’s also quite curious to see the actual mold underneath those strange features she was painted with.

trying out matte mediun instead of varnish

Now, I saw a youtube vid where someone painted the doll with diluted matte medium because the pencils would grab better on it.. So, I wanted to try it out even though I was a bit suspicious. I’m very new to doll painting, so any tricks are welcome! How ever, I’m not new to acrylics, so I did not dilute it, because medium itself is meant for replacing water as thinning the paint, and you should never add more than a drop of water to acrylics, otherwise they won’t hold!

…aaand I should have gone with the instinct. This definately does not look like a good base coat 😦

However, the pencils did grab on better, BUT the pastels didn’t… so after this I had to use Varnish… and wait for another 24hr for it to dry…

Luckily, a coat or two of varnish fixed the surface, but delayed the painting a couple of days.

coming along

I am struggling with the brushwork… quick sketch of the face up in the background 🙂

I think I’ll leave her here, I fear I’ll just ruin her completely if I continued.

These came with the Bratz, removing the “toes” these will suit Rose perfectly

It did help that Billie Piper looks bit like a Bratz doll to start with…

Almost done! She needs a haircut, gloss varnish for the eyes (I don’t have that yet…) a Tardis to be crafted…
Then, a photoshoot will emerge

Some works in progress

Quick sketch/ consept for Bratz repaint

Ken / Ryan Fashionista doll, just face wiped and hair washed, ready to start on repainting 🙂

Just some early pics of new project dolls… I have two repaints ready, but I need to find gloss varnish for their eyes to make them more photogenic. Oh and continue on their clothes, I haven’t had any inspiration to sew lately. Any how, here are these two lovelies, can you guess already who they will become?