Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Homemade dolls can have a special appeal that store-bought dolls may not have. When you make dolls, you can personalize them by adding the features, clothes and hairstyle you prefer. Whether you choose to make a cloth doll, a porcelain doll, a tiny doll or a large doll; you can make dolls that you think are beautiful.
If you want to make porcelain dolls, a porcelain slip, or porcelain doll face, fits into the doll's head that you create. You can choose from different types of porcelain doll slips with different skin tones and eye colors. If you are new to making dolls, you may want to look for a porcelain doll making kit.
If you want to make dolls that are small enough for a doll house, it is a good idea to have the doll house furniture to scale first so you can be sure the doll will be the right size. Does the doll look realistically sized for the bed, the sofa and other furniture? Do the doll's accessories such as dishes, hairbrush and shoes seem to be the right size for the doll? These are some questions you should ask yourself when you make dolls for any type of doll house.
When you make large dolls, you can concentrate more on the doll's clothing and accessories as they are larger and often easier to embellish than those for tiny dolls. Many doll makers make their own doll clothes when they make dolls. Clothes for larger dolls are often easiest to sew on a sewing machine. Remnants of fabrics on sale at fabric and craft stores make great doll clothes. Cloth dolls are often floppy such as the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy type of dolls and usually have the clothes sewn onto the doll.
You can make dolls with authentic clothing such as a Japanese doll wearing a kimono or a doctor doll with a tiny authentic-looking stethoscope around his or her neck. You can decide to make dolls of only one type such as only baby dolls or only fashion dolls.
Many different doll parts can be bought online. Be sure to have the proper measurements of items such as doll stands, hats and clothing before you order. You may also find websites that allow you to connect with others who make dolls.
I remember you used to be able to buy pre-printed fabric that had doll or stuffed animal designs on it. You cut the desired figure out, sewed it together and stuffed it with poly fiberfill. Seems like that was my first sewing project in home economics.
I also remember making clothespin dolls out of the old fashioned one-piece clothespins. We made them in Vacation Bible School. They had pipe cleaner arms and little tufts of fluff for hair. We also made little tunics for them out of small pieces of fabric, and drew faces on the clothespin balls. They were pretty cute and very easy to make.
I've also made dolls or puppets from paper towel rolls and scraps of fabric. You can do a lot with odds and ends if you just use a little creativity.
I have a handmade rag doll that I got for Christmas many years ago. She has a stuffed body, arms and legs, black yarn for hair and a sock for a head with a painted on face.
I've rehabilitated her a bit. She needed new hair, so I replaced it with fresh black yarn, and bought some fabric paint to refresh her eyes and lips.
The lady who made her dressed her in a green dress, with a yellow pinafore and a green sunbonnet with a red brim. I'd like to have more clothes for her, but I'd have to make them myself, since she's not a standard size. I did love that doll, though, and I'm glad I've kept her all these years.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!