Sunday, August 10, 2014

DIY Pop! Crowley Tutorial

I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, so before I go on to my Tampa Comic-Con roundup, lemme walk you guys through making your own Supernatural Crowley doll!

(This is ONLY for making Crowley as you see him here; if you want to make a different character, I'd advise starting with one of Funko's blank DIY figures.)

Now, this is dead simple stuff, but if you'll pardon the expression, the devil is in the details.


Ahem. So.

You Will Need:

- A Vincent Vega Pop! doll:

- and a Peter Venkman doll:

They'll cost you about $10 each online.

(It's all coming together now, right? Told you it was simple!)

You will also need:

- craft or model paints
- a pointed craft blade
- Epoxy and/or E-6000 adhesive
- Paper clay or Sculpey
- sandpaper

And for the box:

- gloss photo paper
- spray adhesive (or other paper glue)
- white posterboard

Start by carefully cutting the heads off both dolls:

Use the seam as a guide, & take your time.

Next paint Venkman's hair, since it's a little dark for Crowley:

Thin your acrylic craft paint with several drops of water, and use the softest brush you can find to prevent brush strokes. Also use flat paint; anything else will be too shiny.

Your watered down paint may take several coats to cover - mine took about four or five. In between coats, use a scrap of paper towel to buff out any bumps or brush strokes.

The eyebrow were the hardest, since I didn't want to chance painting them on directly, & figured cutting them out of paper would be too thick. So instead, John painted a thick swatch of paint on a plastic bowl...

 ... and I used my craft blade to cut them out.

Peeling the tiny eyebrows up is SUPER tedious (the paint wants to stretch), and will likely take you several tries. (See how many I did?) However, if you can do it, you'll have tissue-thin eyebrows that you can position as you like before gluing.

Or do it the easy way, and just paint the eyebrows directly on his face. (Or cut them out of paper.)

For the beard scruff I used an art marker, but be warned: the marker will rub off if you get it wet. This was great for getting the shape right, since I could "erase," but not very durable. So if you plan to handle your figure, go with paint instead.

Now the body:

Paint the shirt black and the tie dark gray. If you don't mind Crowley holding a gun (which you could always sculpt longer to look like the Colt - eh?), then you're done! If you want him to hold a blade, though, keep reading.

 Use a sharp craft knife to jab into the shoulder seam of the gun arm all the way around. The plastic should cut relatively easily.

Next shave off the gun:

And use sandpaper to smooth out the top of the hand.

Mix up a a little paint to match the face, and re-paint both hands to cover the scuffed plastic. 

(Another option, if you're not up for color-matching: when you're done with the figure just splatter the blade & hand with red to look like blood.)

Now sculpt your angel blade. I like paper clay because it's light & doesn't require baking. Roll a thin tube of clay, tapered at one end, and use a toothpick to make the hilt and blade grooves:

The angel blade has an extra long hilt, so cut off a small section to stick under the hand, too.

Let the clay dry completely, sand gently, paint with silver liquid leaf, and carefully glue both pieces in place with E-6000:

Use epoxy to re-attach the arm at a lower angle (don't want Crowley stabbing himself in the eye!) and then carefully attach the Venkman head to the Vega body. This part is tricky, but the fit *should* be tight enough that you won't need any glue.

And you're done! With the figure, that is.

For the box, John's done most of the work for you. So, just print out the two sheets I'll provide below on gloss photo paper, and glue them securely to a sheet of poster board with spray adhesive:

Use a craft blade to cut everything out, score your folds, and glue in the clear plastic window from one of the original Pop! boxes. Fold your box together, and secure with more glue.

To make your new Crowley fit in the old interior plastic holder, use your thumb to pop the right arm section of the plastic back, making room for the new arm angle. The fit will be tight on the head & feet, but it *should* work without any other adjustments.

And you're done! Now bring your new Crowley to Mark Sheppard the next time he's at a local convention, and ask him to sign it. Be sure to tell him John & I said hello again. ;)


Here are the box graphic files. Click each to embiggen, then right click and save.

You should be able to print both at actual size for a perfect fit, each on a standard 8.5X11 sheet of paper. Remember to glue them to your posterboard side-by-side, though, so the front & side windows line up!

Happy Crowley Crafting, everyone! 


Come see ALL of my craft projects on one page, right here!


  1. This is so awesome! Thank you for this!

  2. Amazing!!

    You guys are so good at the details!

  3. The method John thought of for the eyebrows...GENIUS!
    The way you replaced the gun with that amazing angel blade...BRILLIANT!
    The beard...PERFECT!
    The box...AWESOME!
    Your generosity in posting this free tutorial with these gorgeous photos, detailed instructions, thoughtful tips, alternate ideas, PLUS the files for printing out the box...Well, I'm just so incredibly impressed, and I'm so grateful that people like you two exist.

    Rock on and feel better soon!


  4. Shelley in So. IllinoisAugust 11, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    I know you say this is easy, but I am so impressed with all the creativity and inventiveness it took for you to go from hearing the other cast members tease Mark to making him his own Pop! figure! You are so inspiring!

  5. Really amazing!

    (Though I'm still curious: how did you end up smudging the eye? According to your tutorial, you didn't even need to touch it!)

    1. Jen didn't smudge the eye. The Venkman figure came out of its original box from the manufacturer with the eye already smudged, and Jen thought attempting to fix it in some way might just end up making it look worse and calling more attention to the flaw. I'm sure once they repackaged the figure in the box John made, the defect was barely noticeable.


  6. You're still feeling a little down and out? I'm so sorry! Hoping John doesn't catch it and that you can start to feel 100% soon!

    Thanks for the detailed tutorial; I might use it to make my sister's Christmas gift this year!

  7. You can also remove the heads easily by soaking the Pops in warm water until they loosen. It's a little safer than using the utility knife! :)

  8. I have to ask--why didn't you use one of those blanks? It looks like you could have made this figure from it (I don't work with such, so I could be wrong there). I'm very curious about this, actually :-). One way or the other, this is an ingenious way to make this figure!

    1. Oh man, starting from scratch with a blank fig would have been SO much work; I'd have to sculpt all the clothing & hair, then try to paint everything without leaving any brush strokes - and as I said before, I'm no artist! This way only requires very minor adjustments, so anyone who's just a little bit crafty can do it, and it only costs an extra $10 for the 2nd figure. Well worth it, I think, for the work it saves you!

    2. That makes sense. With the limited timeline, too, this seems like the faster way to go. Thanks!

  9. I've started watching Supernatural now from your last post and realizing that Canton Everett Delaware III was on it, and I'm 3 episodes in, and I'm already hopelessly addicted, and THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.

    Ahem. Thank you, I mean :)

  10. you must research stencil vinyl. It would really help with things like the eyebrows...

  11. you like paper crafts enough, you should also consider a cameo or other cutting machine... would make things like cutting out the box easy peasy!

  12. I'd never do this, as I have neither the talent nor the patience, but I LOVED seeing how you did it. I saw it when Mark tweeted it (and I commented, but it got eaten) but didn't realize it was from you. Mark is the BEST and it's so cool that he liked it.

  13. I was thinking you could have made a stencil to do the eyebrows. That way you could paint directly on the face without having to do it freehand. For a future one perhaps?

  14. I made my own Crowley after seeing yours, which is made of awesome btw, before your tutorial went up. It was my first, as well. Here's how I did it: as per several other tutorials for custom Pops, I boiled the two pops that I was using...turns out I was right about whose head and whose body to use (yay me!). Boiling helps soften the glue for easy head removal. Plus, it softens the plastic, making it easier for cutting off other parts.

    I used Gorilla Crazy glue to glue everything back together. I use E-6000 for almost everything, but for this I wanted something that would adhere instantly, and it worked very well. As for the paint, I used regular acrylic craft paint, it worked fine.

    For the eyebrows, I made a stencil using white electrical tape. I drew an eyebrow freehand on card stock, cut it out, the traced it on the tape, then cut that out with an exacto knife. I flipped the card stock eyebrow and traced for the other side. Then placed the stencils on the pop head where I wanted them. Next, I sponged the paint on using a craft mini sponge, but an eyeshadow applicator would work fine too. After letting the paint dry for a couple of minutes, I lifted the tape and had me some eyebrows. I did the same thing for his beardy scruff, used the electrical tape to, well, tape off where I wanted the line.

    I crafted my angel blade using moldable plastic, but I'd recommend sculpey or another type of clay, because my blade turned out wonky. But, all in all, I was really happy with how my very first custom pop turned out...and I'd have never tried it if I hadn't seen your super amazing Crowley. So thanks...and sorry this comment was so long :)

    This is mine, if you want to see

    1. Sorry for the random comment, but your Crowley looks equally amazing! I like your method for doing the eyebrows and beard scruff. And the blood on the tip of the angel blade is a nice finishing touch. Kudos! I really, really want to try making one for myself now. :)

  15. The art marker I used (Prismacolor) for the beard does NOT come off with water. It stains a little darker and if you make a mistake, it's permanent. I used electrical tape as a guide and it bled a little, but only noticeable close up. Adds to the scruffiness. :-) Thanks for the tutorial!

  16. Thanks so much for the tutorial. The box layout was immensely helpful! I created a custom funko for a british comedian I was going to see. I started with a blank base and added the sleeves, pants and hair. I made him a bit too top heavy, so I had to glue him to a base so he would stand, rookie mistake. I do like how it turned out in the box though as it looks like he is on a stage.

    This is the final product.

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  17. Thank you so much for giving me the courage to attempt my first vinyl customization! I turned Cake from Adventure Time into a Lucky Cat. Here's a link to my blog with pictures

  18. I'd like to make a custom doll for a friend of mine who is a big band singer, but the dolls I'm finding all have beige skin and she's African American. The hair is the wrong color too so it means a large area of painting and I'm afraid it will end up streaky. Any tips?

    1. Top tip for painting,Thin layers!
      Let each layer dry and use acrylic paint, not only does it dry matt but you can wash it off if it goes wrong

  19. How did you safely remove the plastic window from original pop box? Thanks.

    1. The best way is to slide a thin craft/razor blade between the plastic & the cardboard box, and then carefully peel it off. You'll still have some glue & paper scraps come away with it, but that won't show when you glue it into the new box.

  20. Thanks Jen for your quick response. What glue did you use to attach the plastic window to the newly made box? Thanks.

    1. We used a clear glue meant for papercrafting, but anything like Elmer's will work!

  21. Hi,
    How does the process for making stubble work?


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