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If you are looking for a simple toy that you and your little one can make together, you will love learning how to make Yarn Dolls. These easy, frugal little toys might just become the next favorite.
How to Make Yarn Dolls
When I was little I loved to make things to play with. My grandpa helped me build a big dollhouse out of some scrap wood, so my sister and I were very much into playing with little dolls. I never had a doll that I bought that lived in the dollhouse, but instead, we made cute little dolls from yarn and some from pipe cleaners.
Making Yarn Dolls is a fun project that can be done with boys or girls and doesn’t take long to create, but they make a great project for a snowy day. You only need a few supplies (that you probably have laying around the house), and if not, they can be purchased inexpensively. Let’s get started!
How to Make a Simple Doll
To make these DIY yarn dolls you just need some yarn (and any yarn will do, so if you don’t have any, you can look for the cheapest yarn at the store!), scissors, and some ribbon. The ribbon is optional. 🙂
Start by creating the arms of the doll. You can do this by wrapping yarn around your fingers, or if someone with little hands is making the doll, you will want to find something thin and at least 4 inches wide (like a piece of cardboard) to wrap the yarn around. Wrap the yarn at least 20 times to make the arms.
Cut the arms away from the main skein of yarn and cut 2 small pieces of yarn to tie up the arms with. You can see this in the process here. Tie off a small section for the “hand” on each end of the arms.
Now cut the loops on each end of the arms to create “hands” for the yarn doll. Set the arms aside for now.
Take something larger, either a large piece of cardboard, a thin book, or a dvd case (like I’m using here) and loosely wrap more yarn around it to start forming a body for your doll. Make sure that the body is at least 3 times as long as the arms you’ve made. Wrap the yarn around this at least 20 to 30 times or more.
Carefully remove the yarn doll’s body from whatever you used to wrap it around and tie off a section for her head. For a girl doll you will want her head to be a little longer than it looks like it should be so you can add a bun later. For a boy doll you don’t need the longer head so just tie off a section that looks like the right shape for a head.
Cut the loops on the other end of the body to form the dress.
Take the yarn doll’s body and part her dress, place the arms in the middle of the body and snugly up against the underneath of the dolls head.
Use another small piece of yarn to tie a waist right below the arms to hold them into place on the doll. Now if you are making a girl doll you are already done with her dress, however, for a boy doll, you will want to slip the “dress” of the yarn in half and tie off legs for pants.
To form the bun on the girl doll simply gather up a bit of the loops of yarn in the back of her head and use a small extra piece of yarn to create a little bun. Trim the excess yarn from tying.
For a fancy doll, you can use the ribbon to tie a pretty bow around her waist or around the bun in her hair.
She’s all ready to be played with and for your little ones to make a little family to go with her! Try and experiment with different sized bodies and arms to make small and large dolls. We used to create huge families with tiny baby yarn dolls!
–For another fun project, you can also try making these Corn Husk Dolls!
Looking for more fun crafts your kids will enjoy? Here are a few to try next:
Have you ever played with yarn dolls? Do you plan on making some for your kids to play with?
This post on How to Make Yarn Dolls was originally published on Little House Living in November 2014. It has been updated as of October 2019.