Useful Tips

DIY dolls


Modern techniques of such hand made products are presented in different types: playrooms for children, amulets, ceremonial, theatrical, interior. Making dolls with your own hands, both for beginners and experienced craftsmen, is preceded by the preparation of the necessary materials / tools.


  • product outline, paper pattern with a designation of shape, size,
  • natural fabric of neutral color for sewing the body of the product and color - for clothing,
  • stuffing (synthetic winterizer, holofiber, small scraps of fabric, etc.),
  • dermatin, felt (for shoes),
  • durable cotton threads to match the product for sewing on its parts and woolen / floss for embroidering the nose, mouth,
  • acrylic paints and brushes for face painting (if necessary),
  • scissors,
  • needles
  • decorative elements (buttons, beads, lace, etc.),
  • auxiliary means for filling the doll’s “body”, filling and inverting parts (stick, bamboo skewer),
  • colorful crayons, pencil, disappearing marker for marking fabrics,
  • sewing machine.

We sew a textile doll with our own hands

It is important to consider that the DIY doll created for beginners must necessarily consist of such actions:

  1. Making paper patterns of the product according to the finished template or your own standards.
  2. Transfer the paper pattern to the fabric with a fine / marker, and when cutting it, create allowances for the seams (0.5-1 cm). In order to avoid size differences, the cutting out of the legs and handles is carried out on a piece of cloth folded in half.
  3. Attaching to the cut trunk of the limbs (legs on its two sides at a distance of up to 2 cm, and handles - up to 12 cm from the bottom) and stitching.
  4. The overlay on one part of the torso cut out on the fabric of the second half (inward with the front side), first with a basting by hand, and then stitched with a machine. For further eversion of the workpiece, the upper part of the back is left unstitched.
  5. Turning the torso blank with limbs, filling it with prepared material with density adjustment using sticks, skewers.
  6. Sewing (manually) of the hole left open (the resulting seam will be covered with hair).
  7. Making hair and attaching it to the top of the head, face design.
  8. Sewing clothes according to pre-prepared patterns with the creation of allowances on the side cuts for seams up to 1 cm, on the top - up to 3 cm. In the manufacture of shoes, it is necessary to provide front / rear slots for dressing and holes for lacing.

Fabrics for designer dolls

The experience of skilled craftsmen shows that for those who are just starting to create dolls with their own hands, it is best to use previously used clothes. Well-trained needlewomen do not neglect such a second-hand along with the remnants of new fabrics.

In all cases, it should be fabrics made of cotton, wool, knitwear, dermatin, natural silk, leather.

It is very important to combine materials of different types, textures, plasticity and color palette. The main requirement is their naturalness, attractive appearance, and the absence of artificial colors.

Tilda and its varieties

The first Tilda doll was created with her own hands by the young Norwegian designer girl Tony Finager in 1999. This is one of the toys, which even for beginner needlewomen creates rich opportunities for manufacturing various products.

A distinctive feature of the man-made style of tildomania is the use of environmentally friendly materials, the unusual smooth lines of the "body" and the size of its parts. These are elongated torso and limbs, a small head, a pastel tone of the face with miniature bead eyes, a nose, a mouth, and bright rosy cheeks.

The desired colors can be achieved using natural dyes (tea, coffee, powder, pencil lead, etc.).

Fillers are synthetic winterizer, synthetic winterizer, holofiber and even calcined cereal. Handles / legs are fastened by sewing / fastening them on buttons. For hair, pure wool yarn, floss and other natural materials are used. In outfits, they certainly use color prints, various accessories, ruffles, lace.

Tildomania found application in the manufacture of dolls in various images (blonde, brunette, country, romantic, etc.). Along with dolls, there are various toys of this stylistic direction in the form of fairies, angels, various animals, as well as soldiers, airplanes, etc.

Such products can be used not only as children's toys, but also as elements of decor for the interior, creative gifts.

We make the doll hair and hairstyle

The process of “hair extensions” consists of the following steps:

  1. Material selection: yarn for knitting / felting, natural wool, flax in a combed ribbon, sheet felt, tresses used for comprehension, synthetic hair, satin ribbon. Each of these types has its own application features requiring a separate master class.
  2. Preparation of additional tools to existing scissors, sewing machine / needle, tape measure / centimeter. This adhesive tape, tissue paper, box for DVD / ruler, hot glue - for yarn, universal - for synthetics.
  3. Length determination: long, short, medium. For a baby, it is better to make a doll with short hair. Older children, long-haired toys are suitable for interior decoration.
  4. Hairline formation, its fastening on the doll’s head is the initial “construction” of the strands. This is done using the DVD box, which is wound, glued, fixed, and then cut the strands of the required length. After several manipulations with a different amount of yarn according to the location of the glued parts, sewing threads to tissue paper, you should get strands that are attached to the fabric head.
  5. Hairstyle creation with straight, wavy, curly hair. For hairstyles with straight hair, new yarn is suitable, and with curls, waves - synthetic threads or from loose knitted things. At the same time, the use of initially straight threads allows you to create different degrees of curly hair when they are wound for a short time on a small wooden rod.

The right choice of material, length, hair attachment allows you to vary hairstyles: shortening, braiding, creating “tails”, etc. Mixing multi-colored strands helps to achieve original combinations when creating a harmonious image of any doll.

How to make a doll face

There are different options for creating volume, reliefs, facial expressions using hosiery, forehead, chin, cheeks, nose, sculptural textiles. The first step in creating a doll’s face is to paint it. Moisture-resistant acrylic dyes are best suited for this, which form a rubberized film on the fabric.

In addition, they are distinguished by a large color palette. First, you need to draw on the head, eyes, nose, lip contours with a clear indication of their corners, chin on a head filled with sintepon / holofiber. After checking the symmetry of the location of these parts using a long needle and a strong thread, a “tightening” is carried out to form the necessary recesses / bulges of the face.

This peculiar analogue of flashing thick blankets allows you to create the necessary size and shape of the nose, eye shape, roundness of the face as a whole. After that, with the help of a brush, the face is tinted with oil paint or pastel in different tones for the pupils and proteins of the eyes, eyebrows, nose wings, lips, cheeks.

Master Class: Waldorf Doll

A properly made do-it-yourself Waldorf doll for beginners and experienced needlewomen is a chance to take advantage of the achievements of the most widespread alternative pedagogy in the world.

Its popularity is due to its orientation toward the systematic development of the child’s personality, the creation of a natural play environment, and favorable conditions for familiarizing with creativity, culture, and spiritual development. A distinctive feature of this simple-shaped doll is a hard head, soft body, clear design of moving limbs, and roundness of all outlines.

The proportions of the model are determined by the correspondence of the anatomical, physiological structure of the baby’s body at different periods of development.

The “face” of a baby doll can change from an impassive, neutral expression to a pronounced expression in “maturing” products. This allows you to give the toy different feelings, stimulating his imagination. Together with her, the baby seems to get an adequate idea of ​​his real body.

It is important to know that Waldorf doll can be made exclusively by hand and using only natural materials!

The dimensions of the doll when creating the pattern should correspond to the age proportions of the child’s body. For babies up to 2 years, the head is from 1/3 to ¼ relative to its length, respectively: from 2.5 to 4.5 years - 1/5, and for 5-year-olds and older - 1/6. For one-year-old children it is recommended to sew butterfly dolls, corners in bags, diapers.

They have no hair, clear features of the face and limbs, and "maturing" dolls already possess them. The total size of the pattern increases independently.

Then it is necessary to select the necessary materials for sewing the torso, clothes, stuffing, hair (threads, trimmings of knitwear of white and flesh colors, sheep’s wool, sliver, straw, yarn). It is not recommended to use heavy, dense, albeit natural, cotton wool as a filler.

One of the most popular options for making dolls for the smallest with a size of up to 15 cm is the following:

  1. Head and neck preparation. Create a small ball (diameter up to 8 cm) from the filler wrapped in yarn, place it in a pair of strips, wrap it and “insert” the formed head into the sock / bandage. The neck should be tied with thick, strong threads, and the lower part should be sewn up. Then a piece of light knitwear should be wrapped around this inner head.
  2. Hair making can be performed in the form of a wig sewn to the head (“hugs”) or securely fixed strands (“braids”). In both cases, the stitches should be tight to prevent the head tissue from showing through. Many mistresses instead of hair will place a hat on their heads.
  3. Torso and Handle Training. A workpiece sewn according to the pattern (a body with sleeves and legs) is half filled with sliver / fine straw / yarn. Then the head is tightly inserted and sewn. The formed corners are bent, and prepared circles, similar to the fists of pens, are sewn to the ends of the hollow sleeves.
  4. Face embroidery simple floss stitches (eyes, mouth, nose, cheeks).

Features of a teapot doll

More than 200 years ago, a peculiar detail of the tea ceremony appeared in Russia - heating pads with painted porcelain faces and insulated fluffy skirts. Today, handmade dolls for the teapot are used as a colorful part of the interior. To create a doll, you will need fabric, insulation, scissors, threads, floss, needle / sewing machine, decoration details.

The work process consists of the following actions:

  • preparation of the doll’s pattern in height / volume of the teapot, its transfer to the fabric to cut out the parts and then stitch them (except for the bottom),
  • turning the workpiece in place, placing inside the filler,
  • preparation of the lining and its flashing with the filler, while leaving a hole,
  • stitching both blanks around the circumference, and after turning out through the hole - completely,
  • making a wig from a mouline thread and sticking it to the head with a browned face, painted eyes, lips, eyebrows,
  • sewing clothes (dress, apron with frills, lace, buttons, etc.),
  • complete design of the doll and hoisting to the desired place.

Motanka or doll amulet

These dolls have long been considered the guardians of the hearth and travelers, intermediaries between the living and future generations. A skirt dressed on them personifies the earth, a ribbon and a scarf - heaven, a shirt - the present, future and past life. Ancestors passed them from generation to generation.

The important points are the winding of threads on the swarg (face) without eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips in the form of a sacred cross. It is here, on the symbol of the mother of God’s Lada, that the main magic of the doll is focused. It is noteworthy that all parts of the body, hair, and clothes are hand-wound with threads (cross to cross) in the direction of the sun without cutting them off.

Work should be performed in a good mood for one day. All this contributes to a happy fate, resistance to disease and spoilage, taming of natural phenomena (drought, rainfall). Each turn symbolizes the filling of the doll with energy potential.

There are 3 types of winders:

  • diapers (for newborns),
  • dolls in wedding dresses that were intended for young wives before the birth of a child,
  • Beregini - fertile, herbalists, female breeders, Easter, palm, etc. They should have been near the house or in its eastern part.

How to sew a doll from nylon tights

Making such a toy does not require special materials and skills. Here you will need pantyhose / stockings made of nylon, synthetic winterizer, threads (for sewing, knitting), a needle, scissors, pieces of fabric, ribbons for clothes. Along with interior “hosiery” items in the form of fairy-tale characters, children's play dolls are popular. Their implementation is even for beginners.

Step-by-step instruction: a doll from a kapron sock

The most affordable is the manufacture of a sweet little simple shape.

The algorithm of actions is as follows:

  • fill the sock with a padding polyester and tie,
  • mark the place of the neck with a rare stitch, and then pull and thread a couple of times,
  • to form a nose, place a small circle on the head and pull it off,
  • stitch the circles for the legs and stitch them,
  • in place of the sock seam, make a navel hole by threading a needle from the back and grabbing a capron from the tummy. Buttocks,
  • ears, cheeks are performed by pulling the threads in the right places, the eyes and eyebrows are embroidered with threads, and beads are used for the eyes,
  • a smiling baby mouth is made with the help of red threads (the needle is stuck through the crown, where the knot will be),
  • handles are made of scraps of excess capron on the head, and then sew them to the body,
  • hair is made from nylon socks of the desired tone,
  • the clothes are made of fabric, the sock of different colors.

Such a technique will be the first step to master more complex models.

Dolls from plastic bottles

A variety of manufacturing methods for dolls makes it possible to combine different materials with lightweight plastic bottles of various sizes. They can be used both in the form of a frame and the main component of a toy for children of different ages.

There are different versions of the models, namely:

  • rattle for babies - a small bottle filled with water, cereals, beads, beads, peas. This sounding container needs to be “put on” in a cover with the shape of funny animals, fairy tale characters, angels, etc.
  • Baby doll for children 1-3 years. A bottle with a capacity of up to 1 liter, dressed in a cover will serve as the body. The head is made of a nylon stocking filled with sintepon, where the nose is formed using a needle and thread. By analogy, limbs are performed. Then the eyes from the accessories for toys and hair from yarn are glued, and all parts of the body are sewn to the body.
  • Doll-girlfriend for preschool girls made from the smallest bottle. First, cut 2 circles of fabric of different diameters to fit the neck and the rest of the bottle. Handles attached to the body are made of a piece of rope stitched in the middle (up to 20 cm), at the ends of which sew sleeves - “flashlights”. The rag head is made in the image and likeness of the previous one or according to one’s imagination.

These examples can be supplemented by the know-how of users or by their own ways to create exclusive models.

Author frame doll

For the manufacture of the doll’s frame, aluminum / copper wire (length about 30 cm), of one or different diameters, is used. It makes 2 loops 12 cm long (for the head, trunk) and 16 cm (for the legs). In the manufacture of doll frames up to 50 cm in size, up to 2 m of wire is required.

The head is made separately from the part of the sock / pantyhose with the further formation of an oval and parts of the face, eye fastening, hair from yarn / old wig. Fingers of wire segments, loops at the ends of shoe legs are wrapped with synthetic winterizer / electrical tape (arbitrary thickness).

A piece of sock / pantyhose is put on a blank for palms, on which the outlines of fingers with nails are embroidered, and “shoes” made of dermatin are stitched on the legs. A head is sewn to the body covered with a padding polyester. The final touch is sewing and dressing. The attractiveness of such a doll is the mobility of different parts of the body, modeling its different positions.

We cut out a doll from paper

This method of making dolls has been popular for over 200 years. The blanks for them were colorful images on the cardboard of characters in luxurious outfits. Во времена дефицита игрушек бумажные куклы были их альтернативой. Сегодня же они рассматриваются как возможность реализации творческого потенциала детей и взрослых с наименьшими экономическими затратами.

A DIY doll for beginners from paper is the easiest way to make a doll for a child.

The creation of different models consists in drawing a silhouette on thick paper (a box of sweets / shoes), cutting it along the contour and coloring it. Then follows the manufacture of clothing, accessories with fastening by bending several “valves” available on them. Here you can give room for imagination to the kids themselves.

How to make a voluminous paper doll

One of the latest methods for manually creating volumetric toys is the use of 3D technology. For volume models, flat patterns of princesses, Disney / fairy-tale characters, angels, animals, birds, etc., printed on thick paper, are used. It can be both independent figures, and in the form of inserts in books.

When making them apply:

  • gift colorful paper
  • fabrics
  • glue,
  • threads
  • buttons
  • decoration
  • other materials available.

Among the most acceptable techniques are:

Each of them can be performed in various ways, which can be found in virtual master classes. As a result of borrowing the experience of others, it is possible to create author's dissimilar creations, capable of becoming both toys and decoration of interiors, copyright collections, an exclusive gift.

Any of the ways to make a doll with your own hands expands the possibilities of manifesting your personality. For beginners, this is a kind of test for patience, the possibility of realizing one’s fantasies. Experienced craftswomen give a chance for further improvement, and children can reveal their talents, appreciate work.

Frame doll

You will need: steel wire, pliers, scissors, plasticine, newspapers, PVA glue, sanding paper, superglue, toilet paper, filler (cotton or synthetic winterizer), threads, thin fabric, dense fabric (calico or filament), needle, acrylic paints, thin brush, fabric for dress, pieces of fur, transparent manicure varnish, satin ribbon for creating hair, velvet cardboard, lace, false eyelashes, simple pencil, stacks, toothpicks.