Handmade Doll Activity

4.8 based on 5 ratings
Updated on Aug 16, 2012

Your child will make a homemade doll similar to dolls made by pioneer children who did not have many materials or toys. Only a few materials are needed.

What You Need:

  • Two 4-inch sticks
  • Two 6-inch pieces of yarn
  • Fabric square, plain color, about 4" x 4"
  • Fabric rectangle, patterned, about 3" x 12"
  • Scissors
  • Small ribbon or rubber band
  • Fabric markers, glue, more yarn (optional)


What You Do:

  1. Have your daughter lay two pieces of yarn across each other so they cross in the middle in an “X” shape.
  2. Have her lay two sticks across the center of the yarn X, in the shape of a “+” sign.
  3. Tell her to take the two bottom yarn ends and pull them around the sticks’ center. She should tie a double knot, keeping sticks in the cross shape. Then she should take ends of the other yarn and tie another double knot.
  4. For the doll “head,” have your child put two cotton balls in the middle of the fabric square. Fold the square around the cotton. Insert a stick end from doll’s “body” into open end of fabric square (into cotton). Tie the fabric’s bunched end with a small piece of ribbon or rubber band, securing the head to the body.
  5. Lay out the fabric rectangle. With scissors, make two holes: one about one inch down from top end of rectangle, and the other at four inches in from fabric end. Make two identical holes at other end of fabric.
  6. Let her put doll stick arms through holes on the left side of fabric. Wrap the rest of the fabric around the doll until reaching the other two holes. Then she’ll poke stick arms through the other two holes.

Once the doll is complete, your daughter can draw a face with a fabric marker, or glue yarn on for hair. Or she can leave the doll as is. Either way, enjoy your new doll!  

Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.