If there’s one kind of toy our kids love more than anything at all, it’s their dolls. Ever since they were tiny, they’ve simply adored carrying their dolls around, brushing their hair, dressing them up, and playing house or adventure games with them. They certainly have their favourites within their collection but they also always have their eyes peeled for new dolls they’d like to play with as well. Naturally, we can’t be buying them new dolls out at the toy stores every day, but they’re sweet, kind kids, so we admit that we like to treat them whenever we can. That’s why we’re so lucky that we’re crafty parents! Sometimes we find it more budget friendly to make new dolls for our kids to play with using whatever crafting supplies we have on hand or whatever DIY skills we enjoy doing the most.
Just in case you love the idea of making your own homemade dolls just as much as we do, if not more, here are 15 of the cutest and most creative ideas, designs, and tutorials to get you started!
1. Felt and wire dolls with yarn hair
Have you always been rather good at small sewing projects and hang stitching, but you’re determined to make your dolls from a material that will withstand how active your little ones are? Perhaps you’d actually just prefer to make dolls that can be posed because you’ve already made rag dolls and floppier toys for them before. In either case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Talentista used wire and felt to make these adorable little ladies with felt hair and even little pets of their very own!
2. Miniature felt angel and mermaid dolls
Are you very intrigued by the felt and yarn elements of what we showed you above but you’re not sure you love the idea of working with wire? Perhaps your kids’ taste in characters are actually just a little bit more fantastical, so you think they’d like a doll shape that’s a little more whimsical. Then we think you should absolutely check out how Gingermelon made these stunningly adorable little mermaids and angels, hand embellished with sequins and beads!
3. Wooden peg and paper quilling doll
Have you actually always been a big fan of working with harder tools than fabric or making toys out of slightly more unconventional materials? Then we think perhaps these adorable little wooden peg dolls dressed up in stunning spiralled dresses made of paper might be right up your alley! Sangi Creations guides you through the process of using delicate paper quilling techniques to create the dress, hair, and accessories. These particular dolls are admittedly a little more decorative than they are playful, but we’ve made plenty of them in different styles and designs and our kids love arranging them into different fun, imaginary scenes.
4. Cute bunched fabric dolls
Are your kids perhaps still very small and you know that their favourite dolls are always the ones they can cuddle, since the hard plastic pieces don’t exactly make for the comfiest napping buddies? Then perhaps making them an alternative pal that’s a little more soft and comforting would be a better idea for both you and them! As sewing enthusiasts who always have lots of scrap fabric left over, we were pretty big fans of the way How To Instructions created these wonderfully soft bunched fabric dolls using material scraps and yarn. The only thing we did differently was adding cute little faces to our finished dollies using simple fabric markers.
5. Simple cut and sew doll
Are you actually quite new to the idea of sewing and hand stitching so you’re looking for something very simple in its actual construction, but you’d still like to include some kind of super fun detail or bright colouring scheme? Then perhaps something like this pattern featured on Spoon Flower that comes printed with a cute face and outfit but ready for you to put it all together would be the best DIY doll choice for you!
6. Crafting stick and felt clothing dress up doll
When it comes to dolls they actually want to play with, rather than just snuggling them at nap time, our kids have always loved cut-out dolls whose outfits they can change and swap out. That’s part of the reason we were such big fans of these cute little crafting stick and felt clothing dolls outlined step by step on Maxabella Loves. Besides that, the felt clothes are so cute and easy to make that our kids were actually able to help us design and put together outfits of their own imagining. This is another great idea for using up fabric scraps!
7. Elsa and Anna rag dolls
We briefly mentioned earlier on our list how much fun rag dolls are to make but we haven’t actually given you a full tutorial for creating one of your own yet! Now, there are certainly plenty of more traditional, Raggedy Anne style dolls you can make and find instructions for but, as just about any parent with young kids in the last five years will know, there’s one movie that wins out against all other characters for favourite almost every single time: Frozen! Our kids are so obsessed with the film that we knew we simply had to create these adorable Anna and Elsa rag dolls outlined on MKT the moment we saw them.
8. Folk style rag doll
Did we actually really catch your attention when we started talking about more traditionally style rag dolls like the ones you might have seen in your grandmother’s house or in old movies because you’ve always been curious about making them? Then we have a feeling this fantastic folk style inspired rag doll tutorial outlined on DIY Network might actually be the perfect option for you! We love the way they used ribbons and bits of lace or doilies to carefully embellish their dolls and make them look very fancy indeed.
9. Fabric “paper” dolls
Do you remember playing with cute little paper dolls when you were a kid? We do, because we used to get the booklets filled with illustrated card stock pages as Christmas and birthday gifts, carefully punching them out around the perforated lines and adding them to our collection with each new edition. We always found, though, that we had trouble keeping them extremely neat and in good condition, since the edges tended to become tattered and a little worn looking the more we played with them. That’s why we were so intrigued when we stumbled upon this printed and cut fabric version of the same idea (and the same traditionally illustrated style) in this tutorial from Charming Doodle!
10. Plush mermaid dolls with sequin tails
Were you very intrigued indeed when we mentioned the idea of making little mermaid dolls earlier on our list, but you’re just not sure the basic felt idea we showed you earlier is quite the one for you, since you’re a big fan of embellishments and working with unconventional materials? In that case, we would definitely encourage you to take a look at how A Beautiful Mess used sequinned fabric, yarn, sequinned string, buttons, and beads to make these adorably serene and peaceful looking mermaids with long, beautiful hair.
11. DIY flower fairy wooden peg dolls
Are you actually still scrolling through our list and thinking about how much you loved the basic concept of making little wooden peg dolls but you’re just not sure the paper quilling technique we showed you earlier on our list is quite something you’re ready to tackle right now? Then maybe you’d prefer these simple, felt wrapped flower fairies outlined step by step on The Imagination Tree! We can’t get over how cute their little petal shaped bonnets are.
Have you actually always adored the process of creating things in miniature, so it’s actually you who is interested in finding some kind of “doll” you can carry on your keys or attach as a charm to your purse to show your appreciation for the little tributes to girlhood that you love so much? Well, if you feel like getting detailed with some of your hand painting skills, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Skill Flair made cute miniature geisha doll charms out of three different sized beads. Follow their painted design or get creative with details of your own!
13. Fabric animal dolls
Have you been scrolling through our list and pouring over the details of the different rag dolls we’ve shown you the steps for making so far but you also know that your kids have always had a little more love for animal shaped dolls than anything else? Well, you’re in luck, because Bugaboo City is here to show you exactly how they made these lovely, soft fox, rabbit, and cat rag dolls in adorable, old fashioned inspired outfits.
14. DIY clothespin fairy dolls
Were you briefly intrigued by the idea of making cute wooden peg dolls but you’ve taken a look around your crafting room and realized that the closest thing you’ve got to those pegs is actually a package of old fashioned wooden clothes pins? Well, thanks to Simply Tale, all is not lost! Their tutorial shows you exactly how to use wooden clothespins to make cute little fairy dolls from tulle, embroidery floss, and silk or fabric petals.
15. Eggshell dolls
Just in case you’re totally taken with the idea of making more traditionally styled homemade dolls but you and your kids have actually already tried making rag dolls together before, here’s another idea that many adults in Europe will tell you they remember having made in their childhood! Check out how Pink Stripy Socks created these little girls and bears by painting the shells of boiled eggs.
Have you made other kinds of awesome DIY dolls that your kids fell absolutely in love with but that you don’t see anything quite similar to on our list? Tell us all about how you did it or link us to photos of your finished dolls in the comments section!