After making our new dolls house furniture and our shoe box dolls houses, we needed some dolls to enjoy them. These examples are cheap and very easy to make and with a few simple materials, you can put together a whole family in a very short time. A glue gun really is necessary to ensure that the beads do not slide off again, although you may find a craft glue that would do the job.
For one doll you will need:
- 1 long pipecleaner (or 2 regular pipecleaners)
- 2 small beads for the hands and 2 larger beads for the feet
- 1 large wooden bead for the head
- hair of some kind (wool, lamp shade trim – see pic above)
- scraps of fabric, felt, lace and other bibs and bobs for clothes
- Cut your extra long pipe cleaner into 2 pieces; with a ratio of approximately one third to two thirds.
- Bend the smaller piece in half and twist the centre to secure. The centre becomes the neck so leave enough to glue the head onto later.
- Bend the larger piece in half and slide the neck of the smaller piece through the centre and twist to secure – this should give you a headless pipecleaner man shape (See pipecleaners above.) Give the body a few gentle twists and leave the legs free and open.
- Decide on your clothing. For men I folded the felt in half and cut wide pants, leaving the top joined with only a small hole to poke the pipecleaner body through. Shirts are made the same way – fold a piece of felt in half and cut the sleeves and shirt shape, leaving the top attached. Bend over to snip a small hole just big enough for the neck of the pipecleaners to stick through.
- For the ladies, I cut a full circle with a tiny hole in the middle for skirts and a V-shaped top with a small hole for the neck, leaving it joined along the top (As for the men’s shirts.)
- Put the pipe cleaner bodies into your clothes and hot glue them on.
- Glue on the bead hands, feet and heads.
- Add hair and any other fashion accessories you desire!
I found the idea for the babies here. They are made using a similar method, with a small piece of wadding needed to stuff the sleeping bags. The head beads need to be the kind that are only partly drilled – that is the hole does not go all the way through. Otherwise, you will need to give your baby a beanie or something similar to cover the hole!
- Bend a short piece of pipecleaner in half and twist for the neck.
- Fold a piece of felt in half and cut the shoulders and sleeping bag shape, leaving the top joined.
- Cut a small hole to slide the neck of the pipecleaner through.
- Glue on the head and hand beads and down the sides of the sleeping bag, leaving an opening to stuff it with.
- Push the stuffing inside and glue the hole shut. Of course, you could sew these if you prefer.
You could make the dolls without faces to allow greater imaginative play scope (they are not stuck being “happy” all the time!) but my girls were adamant they wanted faces and in the end I gave in! I find that they are not constrained by the face I have drawn anyway.
Filed under: Crafts | Tagged: children crafts kids, common and found objects, family, hand made dolls and people, home made toys and gifts, homemade peg dolls, how to make dolls house people, make your own wooden bead and pipe cleaner dolls, Montessori faceless dolls, recycled materials |